Press Releases

What They’re Saying: No Clear Winner in Oregon GOP Street Fight

May 11, 2018

For Immediate Release
Contact: Molly Woon
(503) 367-4327
press [at] dpo [dot] org
May 11, 2018


What They’re Saying: No Clear Winner in Oregon GOP Street Fight


As the GOP Primary tightens, political insiders are becoming increasingly vocal about the negative tone of the campaign heading into Tuesday. Yesterday, Politico reported on a new poll that shows contenders Knute Buehler and Sam Carpenter within single digits of one another, with a full third of Republican voters still undecided.


“This is anyone’s race,” said Jeanne Atkins, Chair of the Democratic Party of Oregon. “These recent poll results are an additional piece of evidence to add to what we’re already seeing online and on TV: Buehler and Carpenter are at each other throats. Buehler’s frontrunner status is a distant memory at this point, and you can tell his camp is nervous by the amount of money they’re spending in this final stretch.”


Meanwhile, the candidates face off on the Lars Larson Show today at 1 PM PST. With national reports indicating that candidate loyalty to Trump has become a key issue for Republican voters, the candidates will be put on the spot to answer to a conservative audience that still widely supports the Trump administration. According to the poll reported on by Politico, Trump’s approval rate in Oregon is nearly 80 percent among Republicans.


Here’s what others are saying about the GOP Street Fight in the final days of the election:


Jim Moore, political science professor at Pacific University and director of the Tom McCall Center for Policy Innovation in the Portland Tribune, 5/10:


“When he ran ads against Sam Carpenter, that tells me that internal polling told them that they are in trouble. He was running against Kate Brown before that. That was it, and all of a sudden, ‘Oh, I have to win this primary.’ The Trump backers and Sam Carpenter seem to be the main problem and that is why he is attacking Sam Carpenter.”


"This is surprising that it has become a race for Buehler… It's entirely because Buehler ran a campaign that didn't seem to pay attention to the Republican electorate and now is having to play catchup."


Sam Carpenter, surging candidate for the GOP Gubernatorial nomination, on OPB, 5/10:


“He’s panicked,” said [Sam] Carpenter, insisting that “we’re so strong we’re going to overwhelm” the other candidates on Election Day.


Jeff Mapes, Senior OPB political Reporter, on today’s weekly political update on Morning Edition:


“It’s not entirely clear he’s [Knute Buehler] closed the deal with Republican primary voters…Bend businessman Sam Carpenter, by some accounts, is not that far back.”


“If nothing else, the Democrats are enjoying the possibility that Buehler will come out of the race a little bloodied, or at least mostly having drained his campaign fund.”


Global Strategy Group President Jefrey Pollock,  comparing Sam Carpenter's support to that of conservative grassroots candidate Corey Stewart, who outperformed expectations in the 2017 Virginia Republican primary for governor. Politico Pro, 5/10.


"Carpenter has spent no money and yet is within spitting distance of Buehler. I think there's something about this that shows there's indications of the Corey Stewart effect," Pollock said, pointing to Stewart as an example of how a candidate can still be competitive without spending a large amount of money. "If Sam Carpenter is the nominee for the Republicans, I think you're going to see far more eye-rolling than bankrolling at the [Republican Governors Association]."