Image 01 Image 03

Cook Political Report Changes Oregon Governor Race From Lean Democrat to Toss Up

Cook Political Report Changes Oregon Governor Race From Lean Democrat to Toss Up

A Republican hasn’t been governor in Oregon since 1982. The unpopularity of the current Democrat governor and the homeless problem could elevate Christine Drazen.

This is HUGE.

Oregon is a deep blue state, but Democratic Gov. Kate Brown’s low approval numbers and an Independent candidate could give the governor’s mansion to a Republican.

The Cook Political Report moved the race from “Lean Democrat” to “Toss Up”:

Thanks to the presence of a well-funded independent candidate, private and public polling has shown the GOP nominee, former state House Minority Leader Christine Drazan, neck and neck with Democratic former House Speaker Tina Kotek. Former state Sen. Betsy Johnson — a bespectacled former Democrat-turned-independent — threatens to act as a spoiler. There’s a clear trend of both Kotek and Drazan pulling in the low 30s, while Johnson has yet to poll higher than the mid-20s, though she has argued that will rise post-Labor Day

While polling can often overstate the percentage a third-party candidate receives, Johnson is no ordinarily weak presence on the ballot. She is not just at fundraising parity with Drazan and Kotek, but she has raised the most money so far all cycle with almost $11.3 million brought in as of Sept. 15. She’s gotten $1.75 million of that from Nike founder Phil Knight, who’s contributed to GOP races in the state previously. Drazan has brought in $9.1 million, while Kotek is at nearly $8.8 million. Both the Republican Governors Association and the Democratic Governors Association have given significant amounts directly to each of their candidates.

Johnson has also spent the most and earliest on TV ads so far — $6 million either already aired or reserved, according to AdImpact. Drazan has reserved or spent almost $3.4 million, while Kotek has $3.2 million. Both Republicans and Democrats point to Johnson still mired in third place despite her heavy spending as evidence that she has a ceiling that is lower than their floors. We fully expect whoever wins this race may not even top 40 percent, and the victor could end up with a plurality as low as 35 percent.

Brown’s approval numbers in May proved she’s still the “nation’s least popular governor,” with only 41% of Oregonians approving of her job performance.

The same poll revealed:

The 11 most popular governors are all Republicans, according to the poll. The three most popular governors are Republicans leading blue states: Charlie Baker of Massachusetts with a 74% approval rating, Phil Scott of Vermont with a 72% approval rating and Larry Hogan of Maryland with a 71% approval rating.

I wrote still because Brown placed last in November 2021 Morning Consult poll when 43% approved of her.

Jessica Taylor mentioned the homeless crisis is the “driving force in the race, if not the top issue.” From Oregon City News in March:

The regional concern on display in the capitol last month reflected the views of Oregon residents, most of whom — regardless of zip code — want local leaders to make responding to homelessness their number one priority.

More than three-quarters of Multnomah County residents and other urban Oregonians said it was very important or urgent for leaders in their communities to make doing something about homelessness their top priority, a recent survey from the Oregon Values and Beliefs Center found.

“Getting the economy back is an important first step. Getting people with addictions and mental health issues treated is the next step,” one Multnomah County resident stated.

But even in rural and suburban areas, at least 60% of residents surveyed in November identified homelessness as a topic of high priority.

Most Oregonians identified mental illness, substance abuse or a lack of affordable housing as the top reasons why people become homeless.

Families are moving out of Portland. Disabled people are suing the city because the homeless encampments block the sidewalks.


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.


smalltownoklahoman | September 16, 2022 at 3:17 pm

Your right that is huge. I wish her luck should she win, Drazan will likely have to work with (but mostly against) a deeply democrat controlled state legislature.

Still better polling than Biden

In more polling news the PA senate and governor races are within 2 points in the latest Trafalgar polls which have been the most accurate in the last few cycles.

The same is true for Arizona with Lake slightly in the lead and Masters slightly trailing the incumbent Dem.

In blue Colorada O’Shea is within 2 points of the incumbent Dem.

Governor and AG races in Michigan and polling very close and trending GOP.

In NY Zeldin is fairly close and the GOP is leading the AG race.

The media will continue to pound that populist Republicans are unelectable, but I think that like 2010 this will be a turnout election. If the disgusted and abused middle class and working class turnout then GOP will make substantial gains. That may not happen but based on what happened in 2021 when Virginia voted in a GOP administration and NJ almost elected a GOP governor (with no party support to speak of} then I like the chances for sanity to win this battle in the long war against tyranny.

The key factor, in my opinion, in addition to base turnout is upper middle class independents. Will they turn in big numbers to support leftist candidates or will they vote with their feet and sit this one out?

    Subotai Bahadur in reply to Mauiobserver. | September 16, 2022 at 6:12 pm

    These are excellent signs, in a constitutional election. It means that there is a feedback mechanism that limits tyranny. However, to be honest, the constitutional election process cannot be depended on any more, possibly going farther back than we suspect. The Left controls the electoral counting process. Not perfectly, but enough so far that trusting it on faith is less than rational.

    But there is a natural limit. Arguably Biden hit that natural limit and was protected by the Leftist media. The concept that Joe Freaking Biden could get over 10 million more votes than Barack Obama’s first term with no real campaign and no attendees in public appearances was ludicrous. But no one wanted to believe that the election process had been corrupted. A large and growing percentage of the population have now figured it out.

    It is harder to steal hundreds of smaller elections at the same time, even with the help of the national Democrat Party and the active help of much of the Republicans. The more candidates opposing the Left who are closing in, the better the chance that the Left cannot cheat their way to victory in all cases. Further, there will be more cases where the theft will be so obvious where it cannot be ignored. Which is a step to returning to a Social Contract acceptable to most Americans by whatever means are needed over whatever period of time.

    Subotai Bahadur

If Drazen should win, she would need most of the council of state to win too. Those Dems won’t allow a non Dem to be too successful.

Don’t make any bets.

Oregon has vote-by-mail.

That screeching sound you’re hearing is Team Kotek going into full freakout mode.

If Phil Knight of Nike is funding the 3rd party candidate it may indicate the Dems are throwing their candidate under the bus.

That would definitely spilt the liberal vote.

Donate. Volunteer. Vote.

“Brown’s approval numbers in May proved she’s still the “nation’s least popular governor,” with only 41% of Oregonians approving of her job performance.”

In a country with Gretchen Whitmer, that’s a tough prize to win.