Oregon's right-wing bloggers continue to try and understand what went wrong for them. At Upper Left Coast , blogger Ken argues that it wasn't just a national anti-GOP tidal wave that hit Oregon:
But I want to focus on the landslide in Oregon, which saw the re-election of a vulnerable Democrat governor, the Democratic takeover of the legislature, and the rejection of every conservative ballot measure. Can we attribute that Democratic slaughter to a national wave of anti-Republicanism? Perhaps partially, but I'd argue that the national picture was not solely responsible for the local landslide. ...
First and foremost, Ron Saxton did not inspire the electorate. Polls showed Ted Kulongoski was among the most vulnerable incumbents in the nation, but I don't think Saxton ever found a way to explain why voters should vote for him instead of against the governor. Saxton never hit any heart issues -- cutting government 10 percent may be attractive to some, but it doesn't rally the troops when the ballots arrive. That's not to say Gov. Kulongoski was better at putting out a vision (in fact, he was pathetic in that regard, just like his entire first term) but Saxton didn't inspire swing voters to consider him.
I think that mindset trickled down to the legislative level, as Republicans appeared to take their House majority for granted, while the Democrats were fighting tooth and nail for every fingerhold they could find. Why the GOP would take the majority for granted in blue Oregon is mystifying, but that's how it seemed to me.
Beyond the issues, he digs into the numbers:
...the county numbers show a Republican bleed across the state. Unlike the 2002 election, the 2006 Kulongoski campaign took Washington, Clackamas and Marion counties from the Republicans, including a 9-point majority in Washington County that stuck a dagger in the heart of Saxton's goals.
Saxton lost votes in 19 counties compared to Kevin Mannix's numbers, and Kulongoski gained votes in all but six counties. Just in the Tri-County area alone, Kulongoski gained more than 20,000 votes over his 2002 totals; half those votes came in Multnomah County, where Saxton also lost almost 7,000 votes (and where Mannix earned 29.3 percent of the vote compared to Saxton's 25.3).
The biggest shocker, however, was Marion County, where Saxton lost nearly 10,000 votes compared to 2002, while Kulongoski's numbers stayed static and he won a slim plurality in the county. Voter turnout in this county was 9 percent lower than 2002, and it was all Republicans!
Read the rest. Discuss.