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Veteran Pollster Says Blue Oregon Could Elect A GOP Governor

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Is a deep blue fortress about to turn a bright shade of purple?

It is entirely within the realm of possibility that voters could elect a Republican governor in the historically blue state of Oregon next month, Scott Rasmussen of Rasmussen Reports, a polling firm known for its accuracy, said this week. In fact, “the most surprising event” of the 2022 election cycle is the Oregon governor’s race, Rasmussen told Just the News last week.

“I never would have expected to be saying we might have a Republican governor in Oregon,” he told Just the News TV on Friday.

He went on to explain that the race there is so close because it is a three-way contest.

“You’ve got a wealthy, independent, former Democrat,” Rasmussen noted. “You’ve got a really unpopular Democratic governor who’s leaving. You’ve got all the craziness in Portland. So right now, there’s a chance that a Republican could sneak into the governor’s office. That will be wild.”

The outlet continued:

Christine Drazan, the Republican nominee, is running against Democratic candidate Tina Kotek and former Democrat-turned-independent Betsy Johnson. 

Many Democratic candidates are seeking to distance themselves from President Biden, widely seen as a political liability due to his anemic approval ratings, according to Rasmussen. 

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“The President’s numbers overall are toxic,” the veteran pollster said. “Democrats don’t want to campaign with him. And I suspect after the election, he’ll have some trouble getting calls returned.”

Indeed, Rasmussen’s analysis of the race in Oregon is emblematic of what appears to be happening all over the country.

In Michigan, for instance, the GOP gubernatorial candidate, Tudor Dixon, is now in a statistical tie with incumbent Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, erasing a 17-point deficit that Whitmer held over the summer.

Separately, Just the News reported:

The Michigan News Source/Trafalgar poll released Sunday shows Dixon with 47.9% of the vote, compared to 48.4% for Whitmer – in response to the survey question of who would you vote for it the race were held today.

The RealClearPoltics.com polls average – which includes the new Michigan News Source/Trafalgar poll – shows Whitmer with a 2.6 point lead. The site also shows Whitmer had a 17 point advantage, her largest in the race, in late August. 

Nationally, Democrats have lost a huge amount of political capital with voters amid ongoing inflation, substantial hits to personal 401(k) retirement accounts, fast-rising interest rates, and what critics describe as a wide-open southwestern border.

In fact, early voting numbers are not looking good for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democrats, indicating she may be handing over her gavel to the GOP in January.

In 2020, “just 44,000 votes in Georgia, Arizona, and Wisconsin separated Biden and Trump from a tie in the Electoral College,” NPR’s Domenico Montanaro said, narrowly handing President Joe Biden his victory over then-President Donald Trump. Biden’s victory was due, in part, to early voting by Democrats, according to analysts who add that Republican voters tend to show up on Election Day. But this year, more Republicans are voting early, leading some to believe that a “red wave” is imminent.

John Couvillon, the founder and CEO of JMC Analytics & Polling Campaign & Elections, posted early voting figures on Twitter this week, showing greater numbers of Republicans showing up to vote early than in previous election cycles.

Couvillon broke it all down:

“EARLY VOTING, THEN AND NOW (2020 v 2022)

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“The TURNOUT is not really the relevant number. The Dem/Rep SPREAD is. I’ll leave it at that, and post the comparison.

Democrats are NOT voting their numbers in FL: in 2020, mail at this point was 51-29% D/R. Currently, it’s 42-39%

“In CA the GOP early vote is up 13% over 2020, In Florida 19%, and in Pennsylvania 19%.

“14 states updated (including decent size updates to AZ, IL, PA, and a mystery state that will be revealed tomorrow)

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“40.3M requests, 47-26% D/R

“3.78M VBM, 52-30% D/R

“549K IP, 49-41% D/R

“4.33M total votes, 52-30% D/R.”

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Couvillon also had some bad news for Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams:

“GEORGIA EVing, DAY

“Turnout was off the charts: more than doubling from 135,593 (Day 1) to 291,740 (Day 2)

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