Rep. Peter DeFazio (D) won his 12th term in 2008 with 82 percent of the vote, but a new GOP internal poll has the Democrat leading his Republican challenger Art Robinson by just six points — 48 to 42 percent. “All the data indicates that Peter DeFazio is extremely vulnerable, and that a traditionally-safe Democratic seat is in play. There is no doubt that this is now a toss-up race,” the survey concludes. The poll was sponsored by the group Concerned Taxpayers of America (CTA), which has already spent almost $200,000 in ads targeting DeFazio, a move that has surprised both candidates.
Though the race is still viewed by handicappers as a “Solid Democrat,” Oregon’s 4th district has a Cook PVI rating of only D+2. DeFazio, who has never faced a tight campaign before, appears to be feeling the heat. He has lashed out at CTA, calling it a “shadowy special interest” group and recently said he favored replacing Nancy Pelosi as House Speaker. According to the aforementioned survey, 56 percent of district voters have an unfavorable opinion of Pelosi.