Politics /

Oregon Could Elect Its First Republican Governor Since 1982

The polling data showing a GOP advantage was actually skewed nine points toward Democrats

New polling data shows Oregon residents could elect their first Republican governor in 40 years.

Just a month ahead of the midterm elections, Emerson College Polling (ECP) shows Republican candidate Christine Drazan leading the Democrat Tina Kotek by two-points.

Independent candidate Betsy Johnson shows 19 percent support and nine percent of voters say they are still undecided.

Facing term-limits, incumbent governor Kate Brown’s (D) tenure will end at the beginning of 2023.

Spencer Kimball, Executive Director of ECP, says Drazan enjoys support from 34 percent of independent voters and 80 percent of Republican voters. Forty-two percent of the overall state electorate hold a favorable view of Darzan, according to ECP.

And ECP’s toplines and crosstabs data show that Democrats were oversampled by more than nine points.

Drazan has campaigned on ending homelessness, supporting police officers, ending programs that allow early release of violent offenders, expanding school choice, and booting the state’s economic growth.

“Among those who say the economy is their top issue, 52% plan to vote for Drazan,” Kimball said.

He also noted that a “majority of those who say ‘threats to democracy’ is their top issue when voting” plan to vote for Kotek.

Oregonians haven’t elected a Republican candidate for governor since 1982 when Victor Atiyeh won re-election in a landslide victory, taking more than 61 percent of votes and carrying every single county in the state.

Currently, Democrats hold a 37-23 majority in Oregon’s House of Representatives and an 18-11 majority in the state Senate.

Among the ECP survey’s findings, in a hypothetical matchup between President Biden and former President Trump, Biden would win the state by a nine-point margin.

When asked whether the FBI’s raid on Trump’s home at Mar-a-Lago affected their support of Trump, 35 percent say it makes no difference, while 33 percent say it makes them more likely to support him if he decides to run.

The top four issues for Oregon voters are the economy (30 percent), threats to democracy (21 percent), crime (12 percent), and abortion (12 percent).

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