Midterm Elections: Two Oregon politics professors discussed their perspectives on the reasons for the Republican Party’s failure over the past 35 years and how voters should respond to Measures 111 and 114.
Dr. William Toombs, an adjunct politics professor at Southern Oregon University (SOU), is originally from Ontario, Oregon, a heavily Republican town close to the state line with Idaho.
He broke down the election results by county, detailing how seven counties in Oregon voted overwhelmingly for Tina Kotek but the remaining 29 counties voted overwhelmingly for Christine Drazan. This includes every county east of Bend.
For as much as Toombs disliked using the phrase, “it’s a Civil War vibe,” he summed up the prevailing feeling.
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Final results from the Oregon midterm election on November 8 showed that 47% of voters picked Kotek, 43.50% picked Drazan, and 8.60% picked the independent candidate Betsy Johnson.
He laid forth the conditions that have “ripened” this election to be favourable for the Republican Party.
Being in the office while deeply unloved (Gov. Kate Brown). Toombs said that the state needed a “focusing event” like Covid-19, which included policies that were widely disliked. Betsy Johnson provides a middle ground for Democrats who want to leave the Democratic Party but are wary of jumping headfirst into the Republican Party. What just happened, y’all, was really cool.
While it was a step in the right direction, it wasn’t enough to swing the vote for Republicans.
Toombs claimed that the failure of the Republican Party in the state was a major factor in Drazan’s loss.
“The Republican Party needs additional candidates who can appeal to a wider voter pool. You need to attract a younger demographic and increase your ethnic and gender diversity, Toombs warned. Also, identify a person with the skills necessary for successful fundraising. It’s going to be very difficult to defeat the Democratic Party of Oregon since they have a lot of money.
An additional political science professor gives his take on the state’s midterm elections from five hours north of SOU.
Medford High School class of 1977 alum and current professor at Pacific University in Forest Grove Jim Moore broke down the discrepancy between the expected “red wave” of Republican gains across the country and the actual results.
Moore argued that “we as voters are considerably more politicised than we were in the past,” which was overlooked in the original forecast. While only 10% of voters in Multnomah County are registered Republicans, it still outnumbers all of Oregon’s 14 least populous counties put together. Take a look at the number of registered Republicans in certain reliably Republican counties.
Moore argued that if one were to look at the state’s 29 mainly red counties, one could question why Drazan wasn’t more successful in the gubernatorial election. He stressed that winning the most populous places is more important than winning the majority of counties in an election. That, he claimed, is one place where Drazan fell short.
Almost every Republican, including Christine Drazan, makes the same mistake, according to Moore. She disregarded the Portland region in hopes of increasing the number of Republican voters and of winning over the large number of unaffiliated voters who live there as well.
Moore claimed that two of the results from the four proposals on Oregon’s ballot in this midterm election surprised him.
The healthcare affordability initiative, Measure 111, was approved by voters with a majority of 50.74 per cent. The approval rate for Measure 114, the gun control initiative, was 50.71 per cent.
What appears to be one set of data when looking at voter turnout and attitudes toward Measure 114 in Southern Oregon at a distance becomes radically another when you zoom in. The percentage of people who voted no was as follows: 59.53% in Jackson County, 63.88% in Curry County, 69.84% in Josephine County, 77.29% in Klamath County, and 87.35% in Lake County.
Moore claimed familiarity with the gun culture of Southern Oregon. He cited a case when students at Medford High School had left firearms in their pickups before dismissal so that they could go hunting after school had ended.
He clarified for them how to make sense of the overwhelming rejection of Measure 114 in Southern Oregon.
Here’s my take on the regulations. Moore remarked that the regulations resembled the NRA’s recommendations from the era prior to the 1970s. In certain areas, such as Medford, the NRA taught gun safety to high school students as an extracurricular activity. They insisted that you enrol in school. It was not a bad idea to register.
Measure 114, effective December 8th, will mandate local authorization for the purchase of firearms. Fingerprinting, a background check, and mandatory safety training are all requirements for applicants. Magazines holding more than 10 rounds are prohibited by the initiative as well.
“I hate to use the term, but it’s a Civil War vibe,” Southern Oregon University's Adjunct Politics Professor Dr. Toombs said.https://t.co/ouYj13Q9BB
— News10 (@KTVL) November 30, 2022
Moore advised, “If personal safety is your top priority, then determine if you feel safe.” You may be asked, “Are additional firearms necessary?”
Moore elaborated on the other startling outcome of a state measure by providing his own explanation of Measure 111.
He said that all it did was establish a constitutional guarantee of access to low-cost medical treatment. What it doesn’t do is provide a working definition of “affordable” healthcare or even healthcare itself.
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Moore expressed fear that the new legislation wouldn’t lead to substantive change.
In the past, legislators have shown a tendency to overlook similar issues. Over two years ago, a majority of Oregonians (78.19%) voted in favour of Measure 107, which established a constitutional provision making it possible to limit campaign contributions. For our part, we told lawmakers, “You find out what those boundaries are.” And the legislature did nothing in the last two years to put that into effect.
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