In a poll released on Thursday, Oregon's vast pool of Republican candidates has splintered voters enough that the leading candidate had only 11% support.
Bud Pierce, a cancer doctor from Salem who was the Republican governor of Oregon in 2016, was the top choice for respondents in the survey conducted by Nelson Research, followed by Christine Drazan of Oregon City, a Republican, with 8 percent.
Pierce's advantage over Drazan is within the margin of error for the survey, which was 4.3 percent.
Three candidates have been tied for the third place with 5%, according to former state legislator and corporate consultant Bob Tiernan, Sandy Mayor and insurance executive Stan Pulliam, and anti-tax activist Bill Sizemore.
Nineteen Democrats have been invited to the governor this year, which might result in voters choosing their nominee by a narrow margin, according to The Oregonian/OregonLive.
When ballots start to show up in mailboxes in about two weeks for the May 17 vote-by-mail primary, nearly half of respondents, 47.5%, were undecided about who they might vote for. The survey of 520 likely Republican primary voters was conducted by telephone and online.
Drazan's campaign said she only entered the race in, while Pierce said he'd run more than a year ago. "Republicans increasingly see Drazan as the candidate who gives them the best chance to win the corner office in four decades," the campaign said in a memo, pointing out that a paid for by Pierce showed Drazan with 4% support. At the time, Pulliam was in second place.
Mayor Stan is still in a strong position after the corporate and establishment supported candidates spent over half a million dollars on television, according to David Kilada. "This is the strength of achieving a long-term grassroots powered conservative campaign."
Public Affairs Counsel, a lobbying organization with the help of J.L. Wilson, has financed the new study.
According to state campaign finance records, Drazan has raised over $1.8 million since January 2021. Some of which she used to assist other legislative Republicans
According to state records, Pierce has raised $1.6 million since January 2021, with substantial personal contributions to his own campaign. Following spending more than $440,000 this year, including outlays this week on television and radio ads, he has $473,000 on hand.