Friday, September 09, 2016

Race of the Day- Oregon U.S. Senate

59 Days Until Election Day

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

Outlook: Safe Democrat

Two years ago, for some time at least, Republicans looked competitive against an incumbent Democrat Senator. That is certainly not the case this year, as Ron Wyden, first elected to the Senate in an early 1996 special election, is poised to win a fourth full term. The Portland Democrat had served for 15 years in the U.S House prior to that. A typical 60s style liberal, Wyden has in recent years run a bit afoul of the left of his party, for a willingness to work with Republicans on some issues, and especially a more favorable view of free trade, that many have in the party. Still, he won his party's nomination this year without breaking too much of a sweat in the primary.

The Republican contest was much closer in May. While a County Commissioner ran, he finished well back of two non-officeholders. A businessman who also ran in 2014, finished in second place, about six points behind somewhat of a political gadfly. The GOP nominee for the U.S. Senate is IT consultant Mark Callahan, who while not having risen this high in politics, has run before. He was the third place finisher in the 2014 U.S. Senate primary, but made the most headlines for getting into a tiff at an editorial board meeting of candidates when he felt a reporter was being disrespectful to a fellow candidate. Callahan was asked to leave the meeting. Before that, he somehow ran for President in 2012, I assume as a Republican, and two years before that ran for the State House as a member of the Green Party. He has claimed he ran as a Green purely to hurt the Democrat and try to elect a Republican.

This year, Callahan is running on a fairly right-wing grassroots platform for Senate, that might not be too conductive to success in Oregon. Senator Wyden can prepare to stick around Capitol Hill for six more years.

Callahan campaign link:

Senate races predicted thus far:
 8 D (6 Safe, 1 Likely, 1 Leans)
19 R (6 Safe, 5 Likely, 5 Leans, 3 Tossup)

Overall predicted thus far: 44 D, 49 R


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