The first public results from a survey of likely voters shows a close race between Gov. Kate Brown and Rep. Knute Buehler for the state's highest office.

COURTESY PHOTO - Gov. Kate BrownLikely voters appear to be evenly divided in the race for governor between Democrat Gov. Kate Brown and Republican Rep. Knute Buehler, according to the first public results of a survey, or poll, since the May 15 primary.

The random online survey of 770 registered voters, considered likely to cast a ballot in the Nov. 6 general election, was performed by Gravis Marketing, a nonpartisan research firm that has been repeatedly scrutinized for inaccurate results.

The survey was conducted July 16-17 and was weighted by voting demographics. Gravis reported paying for the survey and gave it a margin of error of 3.5 percent.

About 45 percent of those surveyed indicated they would vote for Brown; the same percentage said they would vote for Buehler. Ten percent of respondents were uncertain.

The campaigns for both candidates declined comment on the survey.

Patrick Starnes, the Independent Party of Oregon nominee, and other third-party nominees for governor were not offered as an option, so it's unclear how undecided and third-party voters could sway the results.

The governor's race was just one of 25 questions posed to the survey participants.

Gravis has a 67 percent accuracy rate in calling races, according to Nate Silver's FiveThirtyEight.

For example, in January 2016, a Gravis Marketing poll got a Maryland congressional race wrong by 96 percentage points, according to "The Fix" from the Washington Post.

COURTESY PHOTO - Rep. Knute Buehler, R-Bend, GOP nominee for Oregon governorThis is the second time that Buehler has attempted to unseat Brown from a statewide elected position. In 2012, he challenged her for the office of secretary of state and lost with 43.2 percent of the vote compared with Brown's 51.3 percent.

Paris Achen
Portland Tribune Capital Bureau
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