Politics of Oregon
Like many other U.S. states, the politics of Oregon is centered mostly around regional concerns. Oregon leans Democratic as a state, with both U.S Senators from the Democratic party, as well as four out of Oregon's five U.S. Representatives. The state has voted Democratic, by relatively small margins, since 1988 in Presidential elections.
The state is broken up into two main geographically separate political areas: the Portland metropolitan area and Eugene, liberal centers of the state, and the rest of the state, whose voters are moving from conservative to libertarian vs democratic. While roughly three fifths (~57%) of the population of Oregon (Total population 3.8 Million plus) lives in the Portland area, the state has a rural population with generally conservative views on gay marriage and state taxes. On most other issues however, the state leans considerably left, including public health care, medical marijuana, euthanasia and environmental protections.
For the first half of the 20th century, Oregon was the most consistently Republican west coast state. 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.
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 In 1994, Oregon became the first U.S. state to legalize physician-assisted suicide.
Key issues in Oregon include:
- Environmental protection
- Native American relations (particularly in respect to gambling and casinos)
- Public health care
- Public transportation
- School funding
- Land use
Population's political ideology
|2012||42.18% 754,095||54.27% 970,343|
|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 2010 Gallup poll that surveyed the political ideology of residents in every state found that people in Oregon identified as:
- 40.3% moderate
- 33.4% conservative (the 10th least conservative state)
- 26.3% liberal (the 4th most liberal state)
Another study on the state's resident'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.).
As of August 1, 2012, there were 2,095,721 registered voters in Oregon and their political party affiliations were:
- 39.5% Democratic Party
- 31.0% Republican Party
- 22.4% "Non-affiliated" with any party
- 4.4% Independent Party
- 0.7% Libertarian Party
- 0.5% Pacific Green Party
- 1.5% with other political parties
-  George Washington University
-  President Elect: The Unofficial Webpage of the Electoral College
- 2005 Oregon Population Report Portland State University
- Oregon Death with Dignity Act
- 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.
- http://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS/ Retrieved 2010-10-12
- Jones, Jeffrey M. (2010-02-03). "Ideology: Three Deep South States Are the Most Conservative". Gallup. Retrieved 2010-07-18.
- Nate Silver (2008-05-17). "Oregon: Swing State or latte-drinking, Prius-driving lesbian commune?". FiveThirtyEight.com. Retrieved 2010-02-24.
- Elections Division (2012-08-06). "Voter Registration By County - July 2012". Oregon Secretary of State. Retrieved 2012-08-06.