Does anyone have the Big Mo in the Oregon Republican governor's race? Doesn't feel like it . . . Though if anyone should, Ron Saxton should be the guy. He's been watching persistent stories about how Jason Atkinson hasn't been gaining big-time traction and almost no endorsements from major entities, and about a string of financial problems, including persistent debt and fast and odd financial shifts, surfacing in the Oregonian (on clockwork, as noted here and elsewhere a few weeks ago). And yet.
The well-connected Republican I Am Coyote (a strong Atkinson backer, it should be noted) at the NW Republican blog, is adamant that Saxton is stalling. Key rationale:
1) Saxton is not releasing any poll numbers. Well except for the all important Dorchester straw poll and the Portland Business Journal online poll. If a candidate has a poll that says they are winning, they release it.
2) Saxton is calling in the chits with The Oregonian. It has been a full on assault on Kevin Mannix by the "O." With two "hard" news stories, an editorial against Mannix, a nauseating endorsement and TWO hits by Uncle Dave [Reichert, conservative editorial page columnist]? If you have ever wanted to see what political mouth to mouth resuscitation looks like, well, this is it.
3) The Grand Ronde Tribe is beginning to act hysterical in their support. Hysterical in that you can almost hear them yelling "DON'T YOU PEOPLE KNOW THAT WE REALLY REALLY MEAN IT?! Really."
The conclusion is not that Saxton necessarily is losing, just that the primary is undecided as yet. Watch the Monday night debate, and you get that sense: A feeling that this race is very much yet to be won or lost.