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Author Topic: Oregon political trends thread  (Read 9413 times)
greenforest32
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« on: November 17, 2011, 01:01:44 am »
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I've been doing some reading about the political demographics of Oregon and I figured I'd just make a thread to post interesting information, numbers, and maps in case anyone besides me is interested.

First off: political party voter registration statistics from 1950-2010 (2-year increments): http://bluebook.state.or.us/state/elections/elections07.htm

1950 - 50.36% D, 48.07% R, 1.56% O
1952 - 48.92% D, 49.52% R, 1.56% O
1954 - 49.09% D, 49.38% R, 1.53% O
1956 - 51.39% D, 47.12% R, 1.49% O
1958 - 52.30% D, 46.21% R, 1.49% O
1960 - 53.36% D, 44.99% R, 1.54% O
1962 - 53.59% D, 44.74% R, 1.67% O
1964 - 54.91% D, 43.15% R, 1.95% O
1966 - 54.56% D, 43.44% R, 2.00% O
1968 - 54.54% D, 43.31% R, 2.14% O
1970 - 54.59% D, 42.98% R, 2.42% O
1972 - 56.25% D, 39.57% R, 4.18% O
1974 - 57.08% D, 38.46% R, 4.46% O
1976 - 55.93% D, 35.02% R, 9.06% O
1978 - 54.52% D, 34.51% R, 11.03% O
1980 - 49.97% D, 35.99% R, 14.04% O
1982 - 49.53% D, 36.38% R, 14.10% O
1984 - 49.25% D, 36.95% R, 13.81% O
1986 - 48.47% D, 39.09% R, 12.44% O
1988 - 48.25% D, 38.64% R, 13.11% O
1990 - 46.87% D, 38.67% R, 14.46% O
1992 - 44.64% D, 36.17% R, 19.19% O
1994 - 42.94% D, 36.34% R, 20.72% O
1996 - 41.04% D, 36.42% R, 21.52% O
1998 - 40.28% D, 35.84% R, 23.88% O
2000 - 39.37% D, 35.78% R, 24.85% O
2002 - 38.95% D, 36.34% R, 24.71% O
2004 - 37.45% D, 34.40% R, 24.85% O
2006 - 38.83% D, 35.74% R, 25.43% O
2008 - 43.17% D, 32.30% R, 24.54% O
2010 - 41.73% D, 32.10% R, 26.17% O

* D = Democrat, R= Republican, O= Other parties (and non-affiliated/independent voters)
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greenforest32
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« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2011, 01:04:41 am »
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Voter registration map (including counties) from our primary back in May 2008 from this NYT article on Oregon: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/19/us/politics/19oregon.html



SE Oregon = Tongue
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greenforest32
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« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2011, 01:12:48 am »
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Then there's this map from Nate Silver: http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2008/05/oregon-swing-state-or-latte-drinking.html

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Democrats like to pretend that Oregon, like Wisconsin, isn't really a swing state because they've usually managed to win it in the end. But a swing state it is -- Al Gore won there by less than 7,000 votes, and John Kerry improved on those numbers, but not by much. And yet Oregon also has a reputation for being extremely progressive: people think of its assisted suicide law or its decriminalization of marijuana, or the bohemian atmosphere of Portland, and naturally enough come to that conclusion. How to reconcile these two things?

There are two ways to be a swing state. One is to have a lot of moderates. That doesn't really describe Oregon; a moderate state like Ohio would never pass an assisted suicide law. The other way is to have both a lot of conservatives and a lot of liberals, who happen to roughly balance one another out. Oregon is one such state.

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Exit polls from 2004 contain a basic question about the ideology (conservative/liberal/moderate) of each voter. We can apply a Likert scale to these responses, assigning 10 points to every liberal, 5 to every moderate, and 0 to every conservative. We will call this result a Liberalness Score. The average voter in Oregon has a Liberalness Score of 4.65, which ties it with Minnesota as the 13th most liberal state in the country. (Massachusetts is the most liberal state at 5.65, and Utah the most conservative at 3.30. Note that only a handful of states have a rating above 5 -- that is, have more self-identified liberals than conservatives.)

But here's where it gets interesting. The average Kerry voter nationwide had a Liberalness Score of 6.20 -- just slightly left of center. However, in Oregon, the average Kerry voter was a 7.17. This, as it happens, is the highest score in the country; the Kerry voters in Oregon were more liberal than the ones in Vermont (7.11) or even the District of Columbia (6.97).

Meanwhile, the average Bush voter nationwide had a Liberalness Score of 2.58 -- pretty darn conservative. But in Oregon, the average Bush voter was a 2.01 -- very conservative. And guess what? That is the lowest Liberalness Score for Bush voters anywhere in the country. The Bush voters in Oregon were as conservative as the ones in Tennessee (2.02) or Utah (2.15).

« Last Edit: July 24, 2012, 09:06:28 pm by greenforest32 »Logged
greenforest32
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« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2011, 01:28:36 am »
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Ethnic demographics from the Census are always interesting to see as well: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/nation/census/2010/

1990 - 90.8% White, 4.0% Hispanic, 2.4% Asian, 1.6% Black
2000 - 83.5% White, 8.0% Hispanic, 2.9% Asian, 1.6% Black
2010 - 78.5% White, 11.7% Hispanic, 3.6% Asian, 1.7% Black

We'll probably hit minority-majority status statewide in the 2050s.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2012, 08:59:02 pm by greenforest32 »Logged
greenforest32
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« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2011, 02:01:50 am »
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SE Oregon = Tongue

That reminds me of the 1998 election for Governor when Bill Sizemore (a conservative who kept getting anti-tax measures put on the state ballot) won the Republican primary and faced off against incumbent Kitzhaber.

Sizemore lost in 35 of our 36 counties and by a 34% margin statewide (just imagine Tim Eyman vs. a Democratic candidate for Governor in Washington state. It's kind of like that) but he did manage to win one county in SE Oregon: http://www.uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS/state.php?year=1998&fips=41&off=5&elect=0&f=0



You can bet that was the first county Kitz wrote off when he ran again in 2010 Tongue
« Last Edit: November 17, 2011, 02:04:51 am by greenforest32 »Logged
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« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2011, 02:17:33 am »
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First of all, kudos on the great selection of Oregon-related information for introduction.

Do you accept (semi-obscure) electoral questions?
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greenforest32
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« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2011, 02:24:42 am »
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First of all, kudos on the great selection of Oregon-related information for introduction.

Do you accept (semi-obscure) electoral questions?

Thanks. I'm up for electoral questions but I can't guarantee I'll have the answer as I'm not familiar with making maps down to the precinct level like many other forum members are.
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« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2011, 02:31:35 am »
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I was wondering why Josephine County/Grants Pass is so staunchly Republican?  It's oftentimes more reluctant to flip Dem than significantly more GOP parts of Eastern Oregon.  I've never been to Grants Pass, but from Google, it doesn't have the Republican "feel" of, say, Douglas or Linn Counties' cities.  Dems just seem to have a low ceiling in Josephine for some reason.

That's really obscure, but anything you can tell me about Grants Pass would be appreciated!
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greenforest32
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« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2011, 02:54:09 am »
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Yeah SW Oregon does stand out from the West Coast coastal areas:


I think it has a lot to do with resentment and the associated economic decline in the county from the spotted Owl ruling (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Spotted_Owl#Controversy) that stopped a lot of the logging in the PNW.

Add to that with the fact that most of the county land is owned by the federal government and it's mostly rural I think explains some of it. They really are pushing it down there. They closed the county libraries a few years ago because they weren't willing to fund them via property taxes and the county commissioners have even said they might have to declare bankruptcy or merge with some other counties if the federal "timber payments" expire and the upcoming property tax measure fails: http://news.opb.org/article/counties-prepare-loss-federal-payments/

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Josephine County, in the southwestern part of the state, is one of the places at risk of just going away.

Dwight Ellis is a Josephine County Commissioner. He points out that without federal timber payments, his county’s budget would total $3 million.

It costs him $4 million just to keep his jail open. He says forget 2012 when the timber payments phase out.

Ellis says his county will be broke by 2010.

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Dwight Ellis: “We won’t have a criminal justice system after 2 years. It’s broken now, but its dead in two year. I’m not going to say bankruptcy, I don’t think Josephine County is ever going to go bankrupt, but it may mean we combine with another county or a region or something like that to maintain ourselves.”

Merging counties was just one of the ideas debated at the conference of counties.

Yet another possibility would be to ask the feds to use a market-based system to reward counties for keeping forests healthy.

Finally, Josephine County Commissioner Ellis wants to sue the federal government. In effect, go to court for the right to cut down trees.

Somewhat surprisingly, the county is a marijuana growing hub! It has a very high per-capita amount of medical marijuana cardholders: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/08/03/national/main20087493.shtml

Also relevant: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jefferson_%28Pacific_state%29

« Last Edit: July 24, 2012, 09:01:50 pm by greenforest32 »Logged
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« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2011, 02:57:06 am »
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Honestly... I think politics in Oregon can be split right down the Cascade Mountain range. If you're on the east side, chances are pretty high your republican, if youre on the west chances are your a democrat. I still shake my head at the last governor election. All counties went red cept for 6 or 7 tiny itty bitty (tho dense with population) and the republicans STILL cant win. (I know its counted by popular vote but still funny) Just shows ya one certain city holds all the cards in the state.

Though your charts were pretty interesting. And is our black population really that low?? o_o

EDIT: I totally grew up in the state of Jefferson xD In fact a few years ago they found like one of the biggest marijuana patches in our states history.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2011, 02:59:49 am by Helenae »Logged
greenforest32
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« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2011, 02:59:32 am »
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Good background on the 'federal timber payments': http://yournec.org/content/library-levy-fails

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In more than 300 counties nationwide, dwindling logging receipts means less money for essential county services, and environmentalists are frequently blamed as long-standing federal subsidies that had poured millions of dollars into county budgets have come to a screeching halt.

The fiscal trainwreck has hit especially hard in several Southwestern Oregon counties and the result is closed libraries, slashed school budgets and disappearing police departments. On May 15, proposed property tax levies to keep public services intact were rejected by 60% of voters in Coos, Curry, Josephine and Jackson counties.

Federal legislative efforts to rescue western public lands from fraudulent railroad scams dating back to the 1800s resulted in the creation of the 1937 Oregon & California (O&C) Railroad Act. One aspect of the 1937 legislation was to funnel 50% of gross timber revenues generated from O&C public lands back into more than 300 sparsely populated rural “timber” county budgets where the majority of the land was managed by the federal government and thus excluded from the local tax base.

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In 1946 the O&C lands were transferred over to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and they covered Forest Service, who worked hard to ‘get the cut out’, in part, because many of the affected counties relied heavily on O&C funds to pay for police services, road maintenance, schools, libraries as well as some forest enhancement projects.

After logging was sharply curtailed in the eighties, the O&C counties successfully lobbied the federal government to continue subsidizing their budgets because O&C timber receipts no longer covered the cost of essential services. The most recent county funding program enacted by U.S. Congress in 2000, the Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act, was designed to be a short-term fix while O&C counties sought ways to become self-sufficient. But Congress voted lasted year to allow the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act to expire. In Josephine County, more than $15 million will be lost annually.

While voters in Southwestern Oregon counties refused to support higher taxes to pay for services, they still have no state tax, and also pay some of the lowest property taxes in America.

Think they meant no state sales tax at the end there.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2012, 09:04:27 pm by greenforest32 »Logged
greenforest32
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« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2011, 03:16:55 am »
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Honestly... I think politics in Oregon can be split right down the Cascade Mountain range. If you're on the east side, chances are pretty high your republican, if youre on the west chances are your a democrat. I still shake my head at the last governor election. All counties went red cept for 6 or 7 tiny itty bitty (tho dense with population) and the republicans STILL cant win. (I know its counted by popular vote but still funny) Just shows ya one certain city holds all the cards in the state.

Well you know people vote, not land. I've heard of some Oregon Republicans argue for a statewide electoral college for the Governor election. No thanks.

Though your charts were pretty interesting. And is our black population really that low?? o_o

Yeah I was surprised by that too. Washington has a similar Hispanic proportion, but twice the % for Asians and Blacks.

EDIT: I totally grew up in the state of Jefferson xD In fact a few years ago they found like one of the biggest marijuana patches in our states history.

Maybe we can spread the patches statewide in 2012: http://www.cannabistaxact.org/

Though I wonder how it will fare considering the dispensary initiative failed last year.

When will we finally free the weed? Sad
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« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2011, 07:10:27 am »
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Greenforest -Democrats lost their control of the legislature in 2010, now narrowly controlling the Senate but are split even with the GOP in the House.  Given that elections are next year, do you see Democrats regaining total control of the legislature?   
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greenforest32
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« Reply #13 on: November 17, 2011, 01:58:35 pm »
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It is pretty likely Democrats will hold the state senate and get a majority in the state house again in 2012. Turnout is always lower in non-presidential midterms and Republicans currently hold like 4-5 state house seats that are D+1-4.

2010 was basically Republican's greatest opportunity and the best they could do was tie the house (compare that to before 2006 where they won outright majorities). Demographics are swinging our way as well in Salem and Bend.

2010 redistricting basically just maintained our existing maps for another 10 years. We may get a 6th seat in Congress next time depending on population growth.

I am disappointed they tied the chamber though. They held up some good legislation last session.
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« Reply #14 on: November 17, 2011, 06:17:42 pm »
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It is pretty likely Democrats will hold the state senate and get a majority in the state house again in 2012. Turnout is always lower in non-presidential midterms and Republicans currently hold like 4-5 state house seats that are D+1-4.

2010 was basically Republican's greatest opportunity and the best they could do was tie the house (compare that to before 2006 where they won outright majorities). Demographics are swinging our way as well in Salem and Bend.

2010 redistricting basically just maintained our existing maps for another 10 years. We may get a 6th seat in Congress next time depending on population growth.

I am disappointed they tied the chamber though. They held up some good legislation last session.

So how long do you think it will take before Oregon becomes as Democratic as Washington state? 
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greenforest32
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« Reply #15 on: November 17, 2011, 06:46:44 pm »
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It is pretty likely Democrats will hold the state senate and get a majority in the state house again in 2012. Turnout is always lower in non-presidential midterms and Republicans currently hold like 4-5 state house seats that are D+1-4.

2010 was basically Republican's greatest opportunity and the best they could do was tie the house (compare that to before 2006 where they won outright majorities). Demographics are swinging our way as well in Salem and Bend.

2010 redistricting basically just maintained our existing maps for another 10 years. We may get a 6th seat in Congress next time depending on population growth.

I am disappointed they tied the chamber though. They held up some good legislation last session.

So how long do you think it will take before Oregon becomes as Democratic as Washington state? 

I don't know if we'll ever reach parity. The states have a lot in common but if you go into the details they are different (just as an example, Eastern Oregon is more Republican/conservative than Eastern Washington).

I think Washington will continue to be more Democratic than Oregon and we'll probably reach where they are now in 10 or 15 years I think.
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greenforest32
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« Reply #16 on: December 04, 2011, 07:38:30 pm »
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Another week, another article on the economic decline of rural areas with no oil/gas

http://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/index.ssf/2011/12/in_rural_oregon_middle-class_l.html

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In rural Oregon, middle-class life is slipping away

The recession's punch hit the state's rural communities first and hardest. In rural areas, the economy still drags, now tugging down many middle-class families with it. Families that once worried only about future retirement or college costs now face foreclosure or need food stamps or ask charities for help to keep the heat on.

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More than 24,600 Oregonians have exhausted their unemployment benefits since the beginning of the year. The number of Oregonians receiving food stamps is expected to top 800,000 before the year is over. Government and nonprofit agencies expect even higher demand for food, rent and utility assistance as winter sets in.

Roughly a third of the people living in Douglas and Josephine counties get free groceries through food pantries supplied by a giant new warehouse operated by the United Community Action Network in Roseburg. The shelves were disturbingly bare during a recent visit.

Over the past few years, United Community Action has received about $3.4 million from the federal government. That money is almost all spent, and there's no indication that Congress is going to send any more, says Executive Director Mike Fieldman.

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U.S. census numbers show no population losses in urban Oregon over the past decade while eight nonmetro counties shrank. The nonmetro counties that did grow gained at a rate less than half that of metro counties.



The coming decades are even darker for rural America with the inevitable rise in gas prices. Wait till we hit $6+/gallon Tongue

I wonder if they're still going to choose to live so far away from everything and vote for fiscal and social conservatism for another 30 years?
« Last Edit: December 04, 2011, 07:44:26 pm by greenforest32 »Logged
greenforest32
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« Reply #17 on: December 15, 2011, 11:44:31 pm »
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We may not get that 6th house seat in 2020

http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2011/12/oregons_population_growth_slow.html

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The state's population growth over the past five years has slowed to a relative trickle, which seems evident given the economy. But newly-certified figures released by Portland State University's Population Research Center show the recession's lingering effect.

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Natural increase -- births outnumbering deaths -- accounted for two-thirds of the state's population growth in the year that ended June 30, 2011. That's a reversal of how we grew from the 1990s through 2008, when natural increase typically made up only a quarter or third of annual growth. The rest came from net migration -- people moving in minus people moving out.

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Oregon has added an average of 41,000 people per year from 2000-2010. That's akin to adding a new Albany every year. But the population growth of the past year was slightly below 20,000 -- like adding a new Milwaukie.

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Another expert, University of Utah professor Arthur C. Nelson, said the national economy may be "much improved" by 2013. That may lead to a population growth rebound in Oregon as people regain mobility.

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« Reply #18 on: December 15, 2011, 11:47:45 pm »
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So why is everyone moving to Deschutes, Crook, and Jefferson counties in particular?  What's there?  Is there a major city in those parts?  
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greenforest32
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« Reply #19 on: December 15, 2011, 11:57:27 pm »
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So why is everyone moving to Deschutes, Crook, and Jefferson counties in particular?  What's there?  Is there a major city in those parts?  

The growth in Crook and Jefferson counties wasn't really much (both counties have like ~20k people each and added about 5k in the last decade). Deschutes county (specifically Bend) is really where it's at and honestly I haven't got a clue why Tongue

Cheap housing and proximity to universities? But that doesn't really make sense. Why wouldn't people just move to suburban towns near Corvallis (OSU) or Eugene (UofO)?

OSU opened a satellite campus in Bend and now there's talk of turning that campus into Oregon's newest public university: http://www.gazettetimes.com/news/local/osu-cascades-sees-jump-in-enrollment/article_73073074-14e4-11e1-bc84-001cc4c002e0.html

Bend just strikes me as Eugene-lite and they're already so close. Weird...
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« Reply #20 on: December 16, 2011, 12:00:18 am »
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Bend is one of the few places where people in the Northwest 'retire' too, other than Oregon's Banana Belt, and Sequim in Washington.   

At least, that is what I have been told.
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So it goes. heya.
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« Reply #21 on: December 16, 2011, 05:58:24 am »
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Awesome thread, I look forward to more updates!  Smiley
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greenforest32
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« Reply #22 on: December 16, 2011, 04:45:35 pm »
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Religious demographics are interesting as well.

The most thorough national study on religious identification with state breakdowns that I'm aware of is the American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS) which was done in 1990, 2001, and 2008. I'm not sure if they're going to keep doing it (I hope so!). ARIS ranked Oregon (and Washington state) as the least religious states in 1990 though some New England states (New Hampshire, Vermont) have passed us in 2008 report. Here are Oregon's results from that survey:

1990 - Catholics 15%, Other Christians 62%, Other religions 2%, Nones 18%, DK/Refused 2%
2001 - Catholics 14%, Other Christians 51%, Other religions 6%, Nones 21%, DK/Refused 8%
2008 - Catholics 14%, Other Christians 52%, Other religions 3%, Nones 24%, DK/Refused 7%

Sources:
1990 - http://prog.trincoll.edu/ISSSC/DataArchiveNSRI1990/index.asp
2001 - http://www.gc.cuny.edu/Faculty/GC-Faculty-Activities/ARIS--American-Religious-Identification-Survey
2008 - http://b27.cc.trincoll.edu/weblogs/AmericanReligionSurvey-ARIS/reports/ARIS_Report_2008.pdf

The most recent (2009) Gallup poll on state religious identity matched the ARIS numbers more or less, though it showed Oregon as the least religious state with the highest percentage of None/Atheist/Agnostics at 24.6%: http://www.gallup.com/poll/122075/Religious-Identity-States-Differ-Widely.aspx



Note: Right click - view image will maximize the above image

I also tried to find hard numbers on just atheists as opposed to no religion or unaffiliated and the best I could find was this state data from Pew from 2007: http://religions.pewforum.org/maps

Going under the "Beliefs & Practices" map and selecting the "Belief in God or Universal Spirit" shows results for states from the following options:

1. Believes in God- absolutely certain
2. Believes in God- fairly certain
3. Believes in God- not too certain/ not at all certain/ unsure how certain
4. Does not believe in God
5. Don't know/ refused/ other

Going with #4 as the atheist option, Oregon tied with Vermont/New Hampshire, Connecticut/Rhode Island, and Alaska (7.5% MoE for AK) for the highest percentage of atheists with 9% of people in each of these states not believing in God compared to the national average of 5%. Not bad but still pathetically low compared to European countries like Sweden Sad

Too bad the Census doesn't ask about religion. That would be some awesome data.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2012, 08:59:35 pm by greenforest32 »Logged
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« Reply #23 on: December 16, 2011, 05:21:49 pm »
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Then there is self-identification data for political ideology. Oregon usually has about a little over a quarter of its population self-identify as liberal (which is apparently in the top 10), a third self-identify as conservative and the rest self-identify as moderate:

2009 data from Gallup: http://www.gallup.com/poll/125480/ideology-three-deep-south-states-conservative.aspx





2010 data from Gallup: http://www.gallup.com/poll/141677/Wyoming-Mississippi-Utah-Rank-Conservative-States.aspx




2010 Conservative-Liberal outnumber advantage:



I couldn't really find historical trends on state-level political ideology. There's plenty of national data but only a few recent articles on states.

Kind of sad that only D.C. and one or two states have more self-identified liberals than self-identified conservatives Tongue
« Last Edit: December 16, 2011, 07:37:01 pm by greenforest32 »Logged
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« Reply #24 on: December 20, 2011, 01:11:43 am »
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They closed the county libraries a few years ago because they weren't willing to fund them via property taxes and the county commissioners have even said they might have to declare bankruptcy or merge with some other counties if the federal "timber payments" expire and the upcoming property tax measure fails: http://news.opb.org/article/counties-prepare-loss-federal-payments/

Latest news on this:

http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2011/12/oregon_counties_face_sinking_b.html

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Oregon counties face sinking budgets as federal payments end
The federal government owns 53 percent of the land in Oregon and 60 percent of the forests. Because the feds pay no property taxes, they shared timber sale receipts with Oregon's counties.

By law, timber receipts went to schools and roads -- the latter a fiscal handcuff that left many counties with large reserve road funds that can't be tapped for any other purpose. Curry County, on the edge of insolvency, has $33 million in road reserves.

The arrangement provided millions for decades. But environmental restrictions and policy changes sharply reduced federal harvests in the 1990s, and devastated county budgets.

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Acknowledging the problem, Congress provided replacement funding with the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act in 2000 as a temporary safety net.

The act expired in 2006. It was extended in 2007 and in 2008, but at stepped-down levels. Counties receive the last payments this winter.

The Association of Oregon Counties listed crisis counties in 2011 -- where the end of timber payments will bring "severe general fund shortfalls" soon: Curry, Coos, Josephine, Klamath and Lane.

http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2011/12/in_curry_county_oregons_financ.html

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The dissolution of an Oregon county hasn't happened before. It may not be legally possible. Questions outnumber answers.

If there's no county government, who runs the jail, issues marriage licenses, records deeds, adjusts lot lines, inspects restaurants, counsels juvenile delinquents and assesses property? Who sends out the tax bills? Where do you send the payments?

Without timber payments, Curry's expenses will exceed general fund revenue by more than $350,000 in 2012-13. The deficit grows to more than $3 million the next year, the county projects.

"It's anybody's guess," Commissioner Dave Itzen says, "how long we last."

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Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden sponsored a bill to restore federal funding four more years, at reduced amounts. The bill has a chance in the Senate, but not in the House, Griffin says.

Meanwhile, a bill in the House to restructure federal resource land management and designate land for harvests might pass the House, Griffin says, but not the Senate. Even if either passed, counties wouldn't immediately see more money.

Finally, the state has no money to cover county losses. Sorry.

Maybe a property tax measure will pass and they'll be able to use some of the road funds for other purposes or maybe we'll have the state government end up taking over some county functions like Massachusetts did with some of their counties. I wonder how Washington state is dealing with this or do they not have any counties with circumstances this bad?
« Last Edit: July 24, 2012, 08:46:51 pm by greenforest32 »Logged
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