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Author Topic: Oregon then, later, and now  (Read 673 times)
Plankton5165
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« on: April 28, 2017, 07:50:16 pm »
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If Minnesota voted Republican in 2016, which it nearly did, Oregon would be tied for the longest Democratic streak (with NY, RI, Massachusetts, Hawaii, and neighboring Washington state). It voted for Dukakis in 1988 over Bush.

Then, in 2000, Al Gore received 47.0% of the vote, while Bush received 46.5% of the vote. This is a 0.5% margin. While Bush won the presidency, Al Gore won the popular vote by 0.5%!

In all of the four elections afterward, Oregon was nearly 10 points more Democratic than the national average. (7 in 2004, 10 in 2008, 8 in 2012, and 9 in 2016.)

And also, according to something, in every Oregon election since 2002, it voted Democratic.

What is the rationale of this? Did the Republican Oregonians get in rages and decide to turn out less after 2000 or something? In fact, Oregon votes entirely by mail.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2017, 09:04:49 pm by Plankton5165 »Logged
mencken
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« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2017, 09:11:53 pm »
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« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2017, 12:01:50 am »
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If Minnesota voted Republican in 2016, which it nearly did, Oregon would be tied for the longest Democratic streak (with NY, RI, Massachusetts, Hawaii, and neighboring Washington state). It voted for Dukakis in 1988 over Bush.

Then, in 2000, Al Gore received 47.0% of the vote, while Bush received 46.5% of the vote. This is a 0.5% margin. While Bush won the presidency, Al Gore won the popular vote by 0.5%!

In all of the four elections afterward, Oregon was nearly 10 points more Democratic than the national average. (7 in 2004, 10 in 2008, 8 in 2012, and 9 in 2016.)

And also, according to something, in every Oregon election since 2002, it voted Democratic.

What is the rationale of this? Did the Republican Oregonians get in rages and decide to turn out less after 2000 or something? In fact, Oregon votes entirely by mail.

Good question, and trying to explain Oregon election results between '88 and '16 at the Presidential level, as well as elections for statewide offices will require multiple different points:

1.) Oregon's economy was harder hit than just about anywhere in the country during the Reagan Recession of the early 1980s. 40% of the state's economy in 1980 was directly linked to the Timber Industry, and the economic decisions of the administration to jack of interest rates as a "shock therapy" means of dealing with the Stagflation of the late 1970s, caused housing starts to collapse, and Oregon to experience the highest unemployment rate in the nation for much of the early 1980s. Almost every county in Oregon was impacted, with the unemployment rate almost hitting 20% in some counties in the state, and entire communities dependent upon plywood mill jobs for the US residential construction industry were not only devastated in terms of unemployment levels, but additionally saw funding collapse for their local schools, since at that time there was effectively a policy that a certain % of timber money would go to local communities.

2.) Oregon actually swung hard towards Mondale in 1984, but it wasn't especially noticed at the time, as a direct result. One could also note, the high level of support that John Anderson received in the 1980 Oregon Presidential election, as a harbinger of what was to befall Republicans later in suburban and upper-income Metro parts of the state....

3.) In 1988 Oregon was one of Jesse Jackson's best states in the Democratic Primary, which was a remarkable feat considering that Oregon has one of the smallest percentages of African-Americans in the nation... In fact he did quite well in rural and mill-town Oregon, even better than in many parts of Metro Portland.

Oregon, with a long history of being one of the most Republican States in the West, with two Republican Senators, long history of Republican governors, and only ever voting for a Democrat in '64 in the post New Deal era, was primed for a major transformative long-term upset in '88...

4.) In '88 the remarkable thing wasn't that Dukakis won Oregon, or even it won it by 5 points, when Bush Sr clocked an 8 point National win, but where he won it...

Roll through the county numbers, and you will see Dukakis doing extremely well outside of ancestral New Deal Democratic mill towns/counties (Clatsop, Columbia, Lincoln, Coos) but also in fairly reliably Republican parts of the State (Linn, Douglas, Jackson, Marion, Polk, Yamhill, etc...)

Even heading over to Eastern Oregon, check out the numbers from Union and Umatilla counties.

Additionally, and perhaps most significantly the fast growing Portland suburbs of Washington County, and at that time the largest (by population) solidly Republican county in Oregon.

5.) Then the politics of the "Timber Wars" hit in the late '80s/early '90s....  The Timber Industry and Republican statewide elected officials chose a non-scientifically accepted argument that environmental protests and lawsuits to protect Spotted Owl habitat was "locking up Federal Land", at a time where the industry was just starting to recover from the impact of Mill Closures and shutdowns of the early '80s.

A Democrat Harry Lonsdale ran for US Senate and almost took out legendary Oregon Senator Mark Hatfield (A man who most Native Oregonians admired and respected for many reasons) in 1990, partially because of his support for the continued logging of the last remaining slivers of Old Growth Timber.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Hatfield

6.) 1992--- Oregonians are still ambivalent about Democrats and Republicans alike (Clinton and Bush Sr) and Perot obtains one of his highest percentages of the Presidential vote in the Country.

These votes came from both traditionally Democrats, Republicans, and Independents alike, in larger Metro areas and also rural areas and smaller Mill towns.

This subject requires a whole separate thread, and since I do have access to a complete precinct level data set from '92 will start a whole thread on this in the appropriate section, when I can mine through the results in a more comprehensive manner.

Bottom line, this is where you start to see a wholesale rejection of the "DLC Clinton" paradigm among many Oregon Democrats, and shifts towards 3rd Party Voting.... There was a countervailing trend among '92 Perot Republicans and Republican Leaners, quite a few of whom had voted for Dukakis in '88!

7.) In 1996 you have the first Democratic Senator from Oregon elected since 1968 (Legendary Wayne Morse), current Senator Ron Wyden....

8.) Meanwhile, to rewind slightly back in time to '88, you have the Oregon Citizens Alliance, while was essentially an Evangelical Christian Republican political movement, mainly focused on Anti-Abortion and Anti-Gay issues, but also essentially hijacked the Oregon Republican Party to some extent....

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oregon_Citizens_Alliance

Their Ballot initiatives, city ordinances, and attempts to create a Republican "Litmus Test" in Oregon, or is not withholding support and running independent campaigns, likely played a large factor in the dramatic swings against the Republican Party in the traditionally Republican Middle and Upper-Middle Class suburbs of Metro Portland, Salem, Corvallis, Eugene, as well as Moderate Republicans and Independents that weren't to crazy about where their Party was going in Oregon in the 1990s...

9.) So 2000 hits and Al Gore chooses to run on the economic legacy of Bill Clinton.... Sure, makes great sense economy booming and all that stuff. Well, a similar message didn't work out particularly well for Hillary Clinton either.... By tying himself to Bill's legacy, Gore probably picked up votes in many places nationally he wouldn't have otherwise.

In Oregon, it meant that fairly (Or unfairly as I now believe) that he was tied to unpopular decisions, including NAFTA that Bill Clinton supported, as well as essentially being yet another DLC schill. So, the Progressive Left of the Democratic Party rejected Gore and went with Nader (One of his highest performances in the US).

Many of us voted tactically, not thinking that W. would be able to almost achieve his Daddy's numbers in Oregon. But there was another reason.... If we voted Nader, than the Pacific-Green Party would have automatic ballot access, because of Oregon law where if a National Party candidate achieves a certain % of the vote, then automatically, all candidates running on that parties platform for "X-years in the future" will be able to carefully read their voting pamphlet for all elected offices and ballot measures, and then decide if we want to vote for a major party candidate or for 3rd party candidates.

This is an Oregon ritual, and is part of the reason why our voter turnout levels, and support for 3rd Party Candidates are so high, compared to most other parts of the country.

So, in 2000 despite the Nader effect, what Gore was able to do for the first time in forever, was to deliver the "Knowledge Workers" solidly into the Democratic coalition.

By this time, the economy of the state had shifted from 40% Timber- 20% Tech, to more like 40% Tech and 20% Timber.... The fast growing suburbs of Portland swung Hard-Dem (Washington County Ground Zero), drift down to Corvallis, traditionally Republican suburbs of Eugene. Salem Oregon now starts to become a heavily Democratic City.

Meanwhile, the smaller Mill Towns and Rural areas swing against the Dem Pres nominee...

10.) In 2004 there was definitely a significant "rally behind the incumbent factor" in more rural communities and towns....

However, this was more than offset by Nader voters, and Moderate Republicans who had voted W. in 2000 turning against his Presidency, largely because of the Iraq War.

This was most noticeable in Metro Portland....

The largest county (Multnomah) goes from (64-28 D) to (72-28 D).... I can waddle over to the Westside (Washington County) and it pops from (49-46 D) to (52-46 D)

Tip of iceburg...

10.) 2008 hits and is basically a political Tsunami.

Oregon is once again one of the hardest hit states in the US in terms of unemployment. Once again you see various counties peaking at unemployment rates from 12-17%. What was different from the Reagan Recession, is that you start to see numbers go high, even in non-Timber based areas and sectors.... Obama was able to both expand upon Democratic inroads in the Upper-Middle Class areas of Metro Portland, but additionally retain a solid base of support in Ancestral Democratic Mill towns, as well as performing fairly well in rural Western Oregon.

Meanwhile, incumbent Moderate Republican Senator Gordon Smith loses to a Progressive Populist Oregon kid, who grew up in a Mill Town in Southern Oregon. This will likely be the last Republican Senator from Oregon for decades....

2012: Obama does OK in Oregon, but unnoticed was a significant drop-off in support in rural and mill-towns in Oregon.

2016: Clinton has dramatic swings towards her vs Obama '12 numbers in educated and upper-middle class regions, while tanking in rural areas and mill towns. The key caveat here, is that most of the swings in many working-class precincts in Urban, Cities, and Ancestral Democratic stronghold, were actually defections to 3rd Party Candidates....

It's actually looking like Bernie Sanders votes in many of these areas were actually greater than Ralph Nader's numbers in 2000.

Still, Trumpism is alive and well, and it should be noted for the record, that he came close to winning to Oregon Congressional districts currently represented by Democrats....

Shot heard around the world, and all that great stuff.

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Hydera
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« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2017, 09:28:15 am »
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Nice analysis Nova, to expand a little on nine Two of my friends moved to Oregon one to Beaverton and another in Portland. And they went mainly because if the hipster vibe in the Portland area.

but anyways how much did out of state migration and also immigration strengthen the democratic voting base in Oregon?
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