Republican Candidate Holds Lead In Major Blue State


OPINION: This article contains commentary which may reflect the author's opinion


Oregon is a historically blue state.

The last Republican governor was elected in 1982, and ever since Oregon has been led by Democratic governors.

But the current political situation does not favor Democrats, as infrastructure has fallen apart during Democratic leadership.

In addition to economic concerns spanning the country, Oregon has had additional issues, such as the 100 nights of protests in 2020 that became extremely violent.

One 66-year-old Oregon voter was quoted as saying,” for me, the Democrats have gotten farther away from the center than Republicans have, the Democrats have moved so far to the left on a plethora of issues I just can’t.”

The quoted voter has changed his party affiliation recently from Independent to Republican.

The upcoming Democratic nominee for Governor is Tina Kotek, a former Speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives.

But in a recent poll, Republicans are gaining a lead.

Republican Christine Drazan, former state House minority leader is running for governor.

The Daily Wire reports poll results:

Independent candidate Betsy Johnson, a former Democratic State Senator running as a non-party affiliated candidate, came in third with 19.4% of the vote. The remaining 23.6% of voters were undecided.
Drazan’s lead is currently within the poll’s 4-point margin of error, but the poll’s crosstabs show that Drazan has several factors working in her favor. Drazan garners more support from her own party than Kotek does: 68.2% of Republicans supported Drazan, while 57% of Democrats supported Kotek.

Drazan garnered more support from Independents as well: 19.1% of independents backed Drazan, while 14.7% backed Kotek. Johnson siphoned off a significant chunk of voters from both parties, but took more votes away from Kotek than Drazan: 18.4% of Democrats backed Johnson, compared to just 13.9% of Republicans.

The poll also presented some findings that may spell trouble for Democrats in other races in the state in 2022. A plurality of the voters surveyed, 40.1%, identified as Democrats, while 33.5% identified as Republicans, and 26.4% identified as Independents or non-affiliated voters.

Despite those margins, Drazan maintains the edge, and Republicans also hold a 1-point advantage in the generic ballot, 40.0%-39.0%.

In addition, Conservative Brief reports, the GOP holds a small advantage in voters who say they are more likely to vote for Republicans in the fall: 31.2 percent of respondents said they are “strongly” likely to cast a ballot for a Democrat in the general election, while 35.9 percent said they are “strongly” likely to vote for a GOP candidate. Also, Republicans were polling much more strongly among Independent voters.

“In the generic ballot, Independents favored Republicans by a nearly 10-point margin, 33.1%-23.6%. Among voters who were ‘strongly likely’ to support a party, Republicans held an even bigger advantage: 25.7% of Independents said they were ‘strongly likely’ to support a Republican candidate, while just 14% said they were ‘strongly likely’ to back a Democrat,” The Daily Wire continued.

The Cook Political Report’s Dave Wasserman also notes that, at least at the congressional level, “the political environment has deteriorated for Democrats” so much that “no Democrat in a single-digit Biden (or Trump-won) district is secure, and even some seats Biden carried by double-digit margins in 2020 could come into play this fall.”

Drazen has premised her campaign on fixing a number of issues that have been brought about thanks to Democratic leadership, Conservative Brief continues, including outgoing Gov. Kate Brown, as well as Kotek.

That would include reversing Brown’s COVID-19 mandates, addressing rising crime and homelessness, improving education outcomes, bringing down inflation to the extent she can for Oregonians, bolstering election integrity, protecting gun rights, and protecting life.

Oregon has not elected a Republican governor since 1982, but recent political trends might favor Republicans in 2022. Kate Brown won a special election in 2016 by just 7.2 points, then won election to a full term in 2018 by just 6.4 points. President Joe Biden’s approval rating is underwater by 5 points, 46% disapprove-41% approve, according to Civiqs.

“Governor Brown made the wrong decision when she chose a never-ending state of emergency and heavy-handed mandates. I opposed her mask and vaccine mandates and repeatedly urged her to repeal them. Oregonians understand how to make decisions for themselves and their families – they don’t need their state government telling them how to live their life,” Drazen’s website notes.

“We spend more on education today than ever before, but our kids are still falling behind. Class sizes continue to grow and test scores remain stubbornly low. The politicians and education bureaucracy in charge of our schools are robbing our kids with their misplaced priorities and agendas. Enough,” it adds.

“As Governor, I will address the root causes of homelessness – addiction, mental health, and affordability – and work with our nonprofits, the faith community, and local governments to get people off the streets. We must help those looking for assistance. And when people commit criminal behavior, I will ensure they are prosecuted instead of given a pass. We cannot continue to enable this any longer,” the site noted.

In the survey of 516 likely voters conducted late last month, former state House Minority Leader Christine Drazan has a solid two-point lead over Democratic nominee and former Speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives Tina Kotek.

The tide seems to be turning in Oregon.

See the poll here:
https://t.co/uAY9mzvwXK

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