Barbara Roberts, the Democratic gubernatorial candidate in Oregon, thinks her campaign gets a boost from her support for a ballot proposal to shut Oregon's only nuclear power plant. She has cited concerns about storage of radioactive waste.
Republican candidate Dave Frohnmayer, who has about an 8-point lead in the race, said closing the plant is a bad idea that could leave the state vulnerable to energy shortages. Frohnmayer, who is state attorney general, also said tensions in the Persian Gulf make this the wrong time to consider closing the plant.
Two recent polls show most voters agree with Roberts:
The Nov. 6 ballot measure to force the closing of the Trojan plant in Ranier, Ore., is supported by 73 percent of 600 registered voters surveyed in a poll for The Oregonian newspaper. The measure was supported by 63 percent of those surveyed in a poll for Portland station KPTV.
"Dave has painted me as an extremist because of my position on the nuclear safety issue," Roberts said. But polling on the issue "may represent that Dave Frohnmayer is out of touch with Oregonians," Roberts said.
Frohnmayer noted that a similar measure on the 1986 ballot was favored in early polling but was defeated.