PORTLAND — Chris Dudley greeted commuters catching the train in Beaverton and java lovers at a coffee house in Hillsboro. John Kitzhaber knocked on doors and strolled through downtown Portland.

The candidates for Oregon governor also stopped by their campaign phone banks Monday to cheer on volunteers. The campaign comes down to turnout now, and the candidates are imploring their supporters to return their ballots in a final sprint to Tuesday’s 8 p.m. deadline.

For once, both candidates had the same message: Get your ballots in.

“Both campaigns know that they need every single vote,” said Jim Moore, a political science professor at Pacific University. “So their get-out-the-vote drives are the most important thing — more important than message or anything else they’ve got.”

The get-out-the-vote push caps a battle that’s been an apparent stalemate for months. Neither candidate gained much of an advantage as both sparred about Dudley’s proposal to cut capital gains taxes, Kitzhaber’s idea to weatherize schools and the best way to scale back the rising cost of public employee pay.

Polls have shown the race is close. The Democrats’ registration advantage gives the upper hand to Kitzhaber, a former governor. But Dudley, a former NBA player, was confident he can pick off enough Democrats and unaffiliated voters to pull out a victory.


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