Poll: Monica Wehby Putting Portlandia in Play

by Patrick Brennan

A new Republican-sponsored poll finds potential GOP nominee Monica Wehby leading Oregon Democratic senator Jeff Merkley. In the poll, conducted by the new firm Vox Populi, she’s up 40 points to 39, and when leaners are included, she’s up 45–41 with 14 percent undecided.

Other polling has found Merkley ahead by relatively comfortable margins and Merkley’s approval rating is in positive territory, but the Oregon Senate race is considered a possible upset opportunity for the GOP. The state has seen probably America’s worst Obamacare-implementation effort, with the Democratic state government opting to spend hundreds of millions on an online exchange that never enrolled a single applicant.

Wehby, the head of pediatric neurosurgery at the Children’s Hospital in Portland, received Mitt Romney’s endorsement yesterday. Her campaign recently ran this widely praised ad, which tells the story of one of her patients: