Congressman who got 82 percent of the vote in 2008 is now vulnerable to defeat 

Just how bad are things for Democrats this year? This bad: According to a new pol, Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., is now fighting for his seat. DeFazio represents Oregon’s 4th District, where the big population anchor is Eugene, home of the University of Oregon and possibly the most liberal town in the state. The 12-term incumbent was reelected in 2008 with 82 percent of the vote. But now a  survey by Wilson Research Strategies finds that Republicans lead on the generic ballot by a percentage point in the district and DeFazio’s opponent, Art Robinson, is only down six points.

After over two decades representing the district, DeFazio is quite the fixture in the district — I used to drive by the Peter DeFazio Pedestrian Bridge all the time when I went to school in Eugene. So believe it or not, even though he’s down only six points Robinson’s name recognition could still stand to go up. Only 88 percent of people heard of him and 70% have an opinion of him — compared to 99 and 93 percent, respectively, for DeFazio. Wilson finds that Robinson leads by six among those who have heard of both candidates and leads by four among those that have an opinion of both.

Now bear in mind that Wilson Research Strategies is a GOP firm, and DeFazio has to remain the clear favorite. But who knows? A big cash influx to Robinson’s campaign and some ads raising his profile could quite possibly swing the race in his favor.

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Mark Hemingway

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