Oregon State Sen. Suzanne Bonamici has opened up a wide lead in the Democratic primary to replace disgraced former Rep. David Wu, D-Ore., according to a poll conducted for EMILY's List, which has endorsed her campaign.
The first poll in the race, obtained from a Democratic source, shows Bonamici with a 24-point lead over her two closest opponents. Bonamici takes 34 percent of the vote, while state Rep. Brad Witt registers at 10 percent. Oregon state Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian is in single digits with 8 percent.
When the candidates' biographies are listed, Bonamici's lead widens to 29 points, and she has the highest favorability of all the candidates. Bonamici, a former consumer protection attorney for the Federal Trade Commission, is the only candidate currently on TV. Witt is a former secretary-treasurer of the Oregon AFL-CIO. Avakian has served in both houses of the state legislature before being elected Labor Commissioner in 2008, and has racked up several major labor endorsements in the race.
The poll was conducted by Grove Insight for EMILY's List from September 26-28, and surveyed 400 likely Democratic primary voters, with a margin of error of +/- 4.9 percent.
The Democratic primary is on November 8, but ballots for the all-mail special election will go out beginning October 21. The winner of the primary will advance to the special general election on January 31, 2012, likely against businessman Rob Cornilles, who was the 2010 nominee against Wu. Cornilles has raised over a half-million dollars since entering the race, and without a competitive GOP primary, will likely be able to conserve his money for the general election.