In the wake of revelations about Congressman David Wu’s mental health, poll numbers show the incumbent in trouble for re-election. A recent Survey USA poll illustrates his problem. Some of the findings:
- In the sample, 52% voted for Democrat David Wu, 38% for Rob Cornilles, and 1% for Constitution Party candidate Don LaMunyon. However, in a hypothetical “redo” election only 33% would support Wu for re-election, with 41% for Cornilles, 3% for LaMunyon and 17% for undecided.
- 46% of the sample would like to see Wu resign, compared to 42% who would like him to stay in office and 12% unsure.
- 52% of the sample has “lost confidence” in the Congressman.
The district, with a PVI of D+8, is typically a safe Democratic seat. It is inevitable that Wu will face a primary challenge, and you can find a big list of potential Democrats here. However, we could have a Charlie Rangel situation; the ethics-plagued Democratic Congressman managed to survive a primary challenge in 2010 due to his 5 challengers splitting the anti-Rangel vote.
If Wu does find his way into a general election, the opportunity could open for a strong performance by a third party candidate. One source within the Oregon Pacific Green Party has indicated that the 1st district will be “a high priority” for candidate recruitment, regardless of the redistricting environment (in 2010 the party did not run a candidate in this district, although it did in four others). Nevetheless, they are quick to note that it is still early in the cycle.
Before they can run a candidate, the Pacific Greens have to retain ballot status. The party plans to register at least 2,00o more voters in order to accomplish this goal.