Politics of Oregon

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Like many other U.S. states, the politics of Oregon is centered mostly around regional concerns.[1] Oregon leans Democratic as a state, with both U.S Senators from the Democratic party,[2] as well as four out of Oregon's five U.S. Representatives.[3] The state has voted Democratic, by relatively small margins, since 1988 in presidential elections.[4]

The state is broken up into two main geographically separate political areas: the liberal cities of the Willamette Valley and the rest of the state, whose voters are moving from conservative to libertarian.[1][5] While about 47% of the population of Oregon lives in the Portland metropolitan area as of 2013,[6][7] the state has a rural population with generally conservative views on same-sex marriage and state taxes. On most other issues, however, the state leans considerably left, including on public health care,[8][9] medical marijuana,[10] euthanasia[11] and environmental protections.[12]

History[edit]

For the first half of the 20th century, Oregon was the most consistently Republican west coast state.[13] In 1954, the upset of incumbent Republican Senator Guy Cordon by Democrat Richard L. Neuberger, along with Democratic wins in the U.S. House and statewide races and pickups of fourteen and two seats in the state House and Senate, respectively, signaled a strong shift towards the Democratic Party.[13]

The last Republican governor of Oregon was Victor G. Atiyeh, who served from 1979–1987 and died in 2014.[14][15]

The most prolific governor in Oregon history is John Kitzhaber, who had served two consecutive terms as governor before winning a third from Republican debutant and former Portland Trail Blazer Chris Dudley.[16][17] In 1994, Oregon became the first U.S. state to legalize physician-assisted suicide.

Key issues[edit]

Key issues in Oregon include:[citation needed]

Population's political ideology[edit]

Presidential elections results[18]
Year Republican Democratic
2012 42.15% 754,175 54.24% 970,488
2008 40.40% 738,475 56.75% 1,037,291
2004 47.19% 866,831 51.35% 943,163
2000 46.46% 713,577 47.01% 720,342
1996 39.06% 538,152 47.15% 649,641
1992 32.53% 475,757 42.48% 621,314
1988 46.61% 560,126 51.28% 616,206
1984 55.91% 685,700 43.74% 536,479
1980 48.33% 571,044 38.67% 456,890
1976 47.78% 492,120 47.62% 490,407
1972 52.45% 486,686 42.33% 392,760
1968 49.83% 408,433 43.78% 358,866
1964 35.96% 282,779 63.72% 501,017
1960 52.56% 408,060 47.32% 367,402
1956 55.25% 406,393 44.75% 329,204
1952 60.54% 420,815 38.93% 270,579

Similar to the West Coast states of California and Washington, Oregon has a high percentage of people who identify as liberals. A 2013 Gallup poll that surveyed the political ideology of residents in every state found that people in Oregon identified as:[19]

Another study on the state's political ideology noted that the state's conservatives were the most conservative of any state (more so than Utah or Tennessee) and that the state's liberals were more liberal than any state (more so than Vermont or D.C.).[20]

Political parties[edit]

As of August 1, 2012, there were 2,095,721 registered voters in Oregon, and their political party affiliations were:[21]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Cohen, Micah (August 16, 2012). "Oregon, Sitting at the Border of Safe and In Play". FiveThirtyEight. Retrieved August 6, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Oregon's United States Senators". Oregon Blue Book. Oregon Secretary of State. Retrieved July 31, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Oregon's United States Representatives". Oregon Blue Book. Oregon Secretary of State. Retrieved July 31, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Votes Cast in Oregon for U.S. President 1860-2012". Oregon Blue Book. Oregon Secretary of State. Retrieved July 31, 2014. 
  5. ^ Yardley, William (May 19, 2008). "A Shift in Voters, but Oregon Still Embraces the Unconventional". The New York Times. Retrieved July 27, 2014. 
  6. ^ "State & County QuickFacts: Oregon". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved July 27, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Update of Statistical Area Definitions and Guidance on Their Uses" (PDF). The White House. November 20, 2007. p. 45. Retrieved July 27, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Oregon Health Plan". State of Oregon. Retrieved July 31, 2014. 
  9. ^ Vekshin, Alison (May 19, 2014). "Doctor-Governor Kitzhaber Imperiled by Oregon Insurance Failure". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved July 31, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP)". Oregon Health Authority. State of Oregon. Retrieved July 31, 2014. 
  11. ^ Oregon Death with Dignity Act
  12. ^ McCaulou, Lily Raff (December 10, 2012). "Oregon's political divide". The Bulletin (Bend, Oregon). Retrieved July 27, 2014. 
  13. ^ a b Swarthout, John M. (December 1954). "The 1954 Election in Oregon". The Western Political Quarterly (The Western Political Quarterly) 7 (4): 620–625. doi:10.2307/442815. JSTOR 442815. 
  14. ^ "Governor Victor G. Atiyeh's Administration: Biographical Note". Oregon Secretary of State. Retrieved July 31, 2014. 
  15. ^ Turner, Wallace (May 18, 1982). "Oregon's Governor Leading 6 in Polls". The New York Times. Retrieved July 31, 2014. 
  16. ^ "Governor John Kitzhaber". Oregon Blue Book. Oregon Secretary of State. Retrieved July 31, 2014. 
  17. ^ Kaplan, Thomas (August 2, 2010). "Candidate’s Platform: Jobs. Experience: N.B.A.". The New York Times. Retrieved July 31, 2010. 
  18. ^ Leip, Dave. "Presidential General Election Results Comparison - Oregon". Retrieved July 31, 2014. 
  19. ^ Swift, Art (January 31, 2014). "Wyoming Residents Most Conservative, D.C. Most Liberal". Gallup. Retrieved July 31, 2014. 
  20. ^ Silver, Nate (May 17, 2008). "Oregon: Swing State or latte-drinking, Prius-driving lesbian commune?". FiveThirtyEight.com. Retrieved February 24, 2010. 
  21. ^ Elections Division (August 6, 2012). "Voter Registration By County - July 2012" (PDF). Oregon Secretary of State. Retrieved August 6, 2012. 

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