NEW POLLING: Oregonian opposition to Trans-Pacific Partnership, Fast Track Authority could pose reelection risk to Senator Ron Wyden
BURLINGTON, VT — Oregon’s U.S. Senator Ron Wyden could face challenges in his new 2016 reelection fight if he votes with Senate Republicans in favor of the job-killing Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the so-called “Fast Track” Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) many in Washington believe is needed for passing it.
According to the new poll conducted by Public Policy Polling (PPP) on behalf of Democracy for America, half (50%) of all Oregon voters would be less likely to vote for Senator Wyden in his 2016 reelection if he voted for fast track authority and the TPP. (results below)
Senator Wyden is widely believed to be one of the Senate Democrats most likely to work with Republicans and the White House to secure passage of TPA and the TPP. However, according to PPP’s new polling, 63% of Oregonians oppose the TPP and a startling 73% oppose giving the president authority to ram trade deals through Congress without broad public debate or amendments.
Oregon voters’ opposition to the TPP shouldn’t be that surprising, especially since, according to the PPP poll, nearly two out of three voters (61%) believe that past free trade agreements, like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), have cost the United States jobs.
In fact, even after being exposed to the best arguments both for and against fast-track authority and the NAFTA-style TPP, 57% of Oregonians stood with those opposing the agreement.
The good news for Wyden? While he’s viewed as a key pick-up opportunity for the corporate lobbyists pushing to pass fast-track authority and the TPP, he still has a chance to represent Oregonians’ opposition in Washington. And, if he does, he stands to benefit electorally: 43% of those surveyed saying that, if Wyden joins with progressives, like Senator Elizabeth Warren or Oregon’s other Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley, in opposing the job-killing TPP and the authority needed pass it, they’d be more likely to help reelect him in 2016.
“Senator Ron Wyden can either stand with the Republicans who want to pass the job-killing Trans-Pacific Partnership or he can stand with the people of Oregon who oppose it, but he can’t do both.
“Senator Wyden might believe that this time will be different, that this time a NAFTA-style trade agreement like the TPP won’t cost the U.S. jobs. But Oregon voters know better and, as these results make clear, not listening to them may cost Senator Wyden next year.” – Charles Chamberlain, Executive Director, Democracy for America
DFA has a national progressive political action committee with 24,892 members in Oregon and 1 million members nationwide. Since DFA’s 2004 founding by Gov. Howard Dean, DFA members have injected more than $32.7 million and made more than 10.1 million volunteer calls to help successfully elect 806 progressive candidates across the country.
Poll of 537 Oregon voters conducted by Public Policy Polling (PPP) on behalf of Democracy for America from Feb. 16-17, 2015 (MOE 4.2%) :
Based on what you know, do you think that free trade agreements between the United States and other countries like the North American Free Trade Agreement or NAFTA help create more jobs in the United States, or do you think they cost the United States jobs?
Currently, the Obama administration is negotiating a new, NAFTA-style free trade agreement called the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP. The TPP is one of the largest trade agreements ever negotiated and includes the United States and 11 other countries like Vietnam, Mexico and Malaysia.
Would you say your view of this trade agreement is very favorable, somewhat favorable, somewhat unfavorable, or very unfavorable?
The president has asked Congress for something called “fast-track authority” which allows the administration to negotiate NAFTA-style trade agreements like the TPP with other countries without any input from Democrats or Republicans in Congress. It also requires Congress to then hold an up-or-down vote on the agreement without making any amendments or changes — no matter what’s in it.
Do you strongly favor, somewhat favor, somewhat oppose, or strongly oppose Congress giving the president fast-track authority for the NAFTA-style trade agreements like the TPP?
Now, I will read you two statements about fast track authority and the TPP and then ask you which statement is closer to your opinion.
Supporters of passing fast track authority and the TPP say that free trade has been good for America and will create millions of jobs in the United States while ensuring that important environmental and labor standards are protected.
Opponents of passing fast track authority and the TPP say it will cost American jobs by making it easier for corporations to send jobs overseas and put our health at risk by reducing food safety standards, while allowing corporations to pay foreign workers wages as low as 56-cents an hour.
What statement do you agree with more?
If Oregon’s U.S. Senator Ron Wyden voted with Republicans in favor of fast-track authority and the TPP, would you be much more likely, somewhat make more likely, somewhat less likely, or much less likely to vote for him in his 2016 reelection or would it not make a difference?
>If Oregon Senator Ron Wyden stood with Senator Jeff Merkley and Senator Elizabeth Warren in opposing fast-track authority and the TPP, would you be much more likely, somewhat make more likely, somewhat less likely, or much less likely to vote for him in his 2016 reelection or would it not make a difference?