Oregon Governor Race: Why are Blue states turning Red now?

As if Democrats did not have enough problems on their hands with the upcoming midterm elections, one surprising trend they may pay more attention to is solidly blue states potentially turning red this election cycle.  Case in point, Oregon.

Why Oregon Matters

Oregon, along with much of the Pacific Northwest, has been a bastion for Democrats for decades now.  The last republican governor in the state was elected in 1982, and ever since that time, the state has slowly been falling off a cliff.  

Crime and homelessness have increased exponentially, especially in recent years, and drugs are more commonplace than ever.  

Portland in particular used to be an amazing destination for tourists, but with homeless camps and rampant drugs on nearly every street corner these days it is a shame how Democrats have left the state and its major cities in the conditions they are in.  

Oregon should matter, not only for Democrats trying to hold on to some semblance of “normalcy” in the state, but on a nation-wide level for two main reasons.  

The first main reason is that Oregon shows there is a breaking point where people have simply had enough of bad Democrat policies.  

The current governor, Kate Brown, is leaving with a nearly 60% disapproval rating even though she checked the list off of Democrat wants such as Measure 110, which lessened penalties for those doing hard drugs.  

Oregon is a bit unique in the sense that much of the state is actually red, with the urban areas holding most of the population being solidly blue.  

What this means is that Oregonians have had people from Portland telling them how to run the state for decades, and you can see where this was heading.  

Even Nike CEO Phil Knight has given millions of dollars to Republicans for the upcoming election, and if that doesn’t speak volumes, what will? 

The second main reason why Oregon matters is that it provides a playbook for Republicans to turn to if they want to try their hands at other solidly blue states in the future, especially when the 2024 elections roll around.  

If a state such as Oregon can turn red, why not other blue states as well? The playbook is simple: focus on the issues at hand and show individuals within the state how Democrats have performed recently.  

This playbook is currently being performed in the governor’s race and is a textbookexample that republicans can follow in the future.

Oregon Governor’s Race

With Kate Brown leaving office, there are three main candidates vying for the governorship in the state of Oregon: Tina Kotek (Democrat), Christine Drazen (Republican), and Betsy Johnson (Independent).  

Recent polls have shown that Kotek and Drazen are in a toss-up with only days to go until the election, which is remarkable to say the least given there hasn’t been a Republican governor in Oregon in 40 years.  

Johnson is a Democrat-turned-Independent but has had a long tenure in the party and will likely take quite a few votes away from Kotek.  With that being said, however, there are other reasons why Drazen could pull off a Republican victory in the state of Oregon.

Reframing the Real Issue

As with most of the nation, the real issue at hand is the economy.  Businesses are leaving the state of Oregon left and right and are not considering coming back any time soon.  Why? 

Democrats in the state office have increased taxes and regulations in such a manner that most companies would rather do business elsewhere.  

Such a huge emphasis was placed on the climate even though Oregon comprises less than 1% of greenhouse gases in the United States as recently as 2020, but for what?  To let climate activists take over the state while real jobs flee it?  Having been in the state legislature for 15 years, 

Democrat candidate Tina Kotek knows very well about the tax increases and tighter regulations that her along with other Democrats were able to pass.  

What is her response?  To reframe the real issue to abortion, obviously.  Don’t worry about the economy, it will be fine any time now.  But abortion?  It needs to be put front and center even though the state codified Roe v. Wade into law in 2017. 

Kotek does not want to be held accountable for the disastrous policies over the past two decades that have led to businesses fleeing the state in droves and would rather have everyone focus on another issue that isn’t even an issue.  

Why she made it central to her campaign is anyone’s guess.  If anything, it shows a sense of incompetency and ignorance towards Oregonians.  

The Real Issues

Drazen, of course, has smartly gone all-in on the economy, crime, and homelessness within the state of Oregon.  

She knows that at the end of the day, people still need to put food on their tables, and they can’t do so if there are no businesses around who will hire them.  

They don’t need ridiculous climate regulations that will raise energy prices without any real clear benefits to the state.  

Drazen is not beholden to climate activists and actually has enough of a backbone to say enough is enough.  

She won’t allow hard drugs to flood the streets and let individuals get off with little to penalties.  

These are problems that everyday Oregonians feel strongly about, and one can get a clear sense that whether or not Drazen is able to pull off a Republican victory in the state of Oregon, she is planting seeds for future success.

The Seeds of Future Success

For Republicans in the state of Oregon, future success lies with hammering home the real issues affecting all Oregonians.  

Whether Democrat or Republican, high energy and food prices affect everyone and can have significant negative ramifications long-term.  

Kotek and the Democrats in Salem are seemingly oblivious to this and would rather continue marching with climate activists until their agenda is completely fulfilled rather than listening to the problems true Oregonians have.  


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