Smith poll: City Council race tied

Telephone survey commissioned by one of the candidates says the race is too close to call with 22 percent undecided.

The Portland City Council race is too close to call, according to a survey commissioned by Loretta Smith's campaign.

The poll was conducted by Patinkin Research Strategies on Oct. 17 and 18. It shows Smith with 39 percent of the vote and Jo Ann Hardesty with 40 percent of the vote. Twenty-two percent are undecided.

Those results are very different than the May primary election, where Hardesty received 46 percent, Smith received 21 percent, and the rest of the votes went to the four other candidates in the race. Only 33 percent of registered voters in Portland actually returned their ballots, however.

"Loretta Smith has significantly improved her standing among likely voters in Portland since the May 2018 Primary Election. Indeed, as we head into the home stretch of the 2018 General Election, Loretta Smith and Jo Ann Hardesty are statistically tied," reads the analysis written by Patinkin Research Strategies, a Seattle-based firm.

The analysis also says, "Loretta's focus on opening Wapato as a temporary shelter with mental health and addiction services for the homeless clearly resonates with the electorate. In polling conducted during the Primary Election, 80 percent of likely voters said they supported using Wapato as a temporary shelter."

Smith has called for opening the never-used former Multnomah County jail as a homeless triage center since 2015.

"In addition to her approach to homelessness, Loretta's emphasis on the need for more affordable housing, cleaning up our streets and adding more public safety officers has clearly hit a strong chord with the public. This race is now too close to call," the analysis also says.

Smith is a Multnomah County Commissioner and Hardesty is an activist and small business owner.

The telephone survey reached 400 adults, age 18 or older, who were registered and likely to vote in Portland. Sixty-one percent of respondents were reached on wireless phones.

They were asked, "If the November 6th General Election for Portland City Commissioner Position 3 were held today and the candidates were Jo Ann Hardesty and Loretta Smith for whom would you vote or are you undecided?"

The survey has an overall margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percent.

Angela Murphy