Saturday, September 20, 2014

Race of the Day- Oregon Governor

45 Days Until Election Day

Status: Democrat Incumbent
2012 Presidential Result: Blue State (West)

Outlook: Likely Democrat

Republicans have been shut out of statewide victories in Oregon since 2002 and it has been since 1982, when the state last elected a GOP Governor. They thought their time might have come in 2010, only to see the Democrat win by one percent. With all that in mind, it is considered a tough assignment to try to deny Democrat John Kitzhaber another term as Governor.

A physician, Kitzhaber served two terms as Governor, beginning in 1995, before term limits forced his retirement. Under state law, he was able to run again, and in 2010 he joined Jerry Brown of California and Terry Branstad of Iowa in returning to office, although the Oregonian's time out of power was the shortest, at just eight years. Apparently, he will trail only Branstad as the longest serving Governor in American history at the end of another term.

While Oregon has become increasingly liberal, Kitzhaber looked vulnerable earlier this year in large part due to public anger over the state's plagued Obamacare health exchange. That failure caused the state to have to switch to the troubled federal website and Kitzhaber took some hits over the debacle. Republicans looked for a viable challenger, but the candidate who lost to the incumbent by just a point in 2010 had moved his family to California and was out of elective politics.

Several Republicans would enter the May primary, but the most high profile was State Representative Dennis Richardson, a former lawyer and businessman. A father of nine, Richardson is 65 years old, while Kitzhaber is 67. This may be one of the oldest combined ages race in recent Gubernatorial history anywhere in America.

Richardson won the GOP primary fairly easily and started off the general election very close to Kitzhaber in the polls. While certainly a credible candidate, many believe that the Republican nominee is too far to the right on social issues to be a true threat to winning statewide in Oregon. Polls have continued to show Kitzhaber ahead and the margin has increased as the months have gone by.

Public dissatisfaction with Governors seems to be a trend this year, be they in blue states or red states. Based on the most recent numbers, it is possible that this turns out to be a single digit race. Enough people in Oregon certainly had their doubts about Kitzhaber returning to office four years ago, to only cause him to win by the narrowest of margins. However, the incumbent certainly has the edge at this point.

Richardson campaign link:

Gubernatorial races predicted thus far: 12 D (1 Safe, 4 Likely, 4 Leans, 3 Tossup) , 15 R (4 Safe, 5 Likely, 6 Leans)
Overall totals predicted thus far: 19 D, 22 R


At 1:52 PM, Anonymous Conservative Democrat said...

Kitzhaber (D-inc)-57%
Richardson (R)-40%

At 8:16 AM, Anonymous Conservative Democrat said...

New poll in Pennsylvania Governor's race
Wolf (D)-52%
Corbett (R-inc)-31%


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