For those Oregon voters who have not yet sent in their ballot and who are practicing a Safes States strategy, I have news. Oregon is safe. The preponderance of recent surveys show Kerry ahead here by 5. So feel free to vote your heart.
I'm no statistician, but I think if you take this many surveys, each with a margin of error of 4%, and average them, that the resulting margin of error would be close to zero. When I looked at these, I dropped the two extreme polls (Riley and Wall Street) and averaged the remaining seven. Result: Kerry by 5.2%.
I looked at several other factors. None of the news sources, and apparently not the campaigns either, are treating Oregon as a contested race any more. Also, as pointed out here in recent posts, surveys tend to underestimate Kerry's strength for several reasons: they don't count newly registered voters, and they con't count voters who rely solely on cell phones. Both of these groups are likely younger and therefore more left-leaning, the thinking goes. The surveys tend to be sponsored by corporate interests and worded to skew the results.
So you can feel free to vote for Cobb or Nader or Brown without helping Bush.
See you on November 3.