Purple Oregon?

Marc Abrams

What do we call a state up for grabs this fall? Purple?

The Oregonian, trying to convince us that we are important and, by extension, the Oregonian is important, tells us that we should expect to see a lot of Bush and Kerry between now and November.

I wouldn’t get my hopes up. In fact, I hope that’s wrong.

I just got back from three days of depositions in central Oregon, which by rights is Red Oregon. It’s almost as if there isn’t an election going on over there at all. I did not see a single Bush Cheney bumper sticker. Not a lawn sign. Not a field sign. In fact, the only evidence that we were in an election year at all was the Democratic HQ in Bend.

What this tells me is that the GOP isn’t getting its folks out in places they need to count on. The polls say that Oregon is no worse than six points Kerry without Nader on the ballot . . . and Nader isn’t going to be on the ballot.

To the north, Washington is blue, and, to the south, California is true blue. Around us is a sea of red — Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah. Maybe Nevada’s up for grabs, but the votes are in Clark County, over 1000 miles away. From where I sit, this entire quarter of the country is settled. As the days count down, campaigns even try to minimize hours a candidate wastes in the air. Phoenix, Las Vegas and Albuquerque are close to each other. They’re not close enough to here.

And let’s not forget that our election starts in mid-October, and after that, forget about any Kerry or Edwards sightings.

So figure we’ve got one more visit in the works — probably sometime in September, and then watch the action move elsewhere.

And while that may not be exciting, it’s for the best. Oregon needs to be taken for granted by a Democratic campaign. If we can’t put these seven electoral votes in the bank, we’re in deep, deep trouble. So let’s hope that last Friday’s history making rally for Kerry is about the last time we see him, except on our televisions.

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    And then of course there's the pre-emptive domain registration one of our fellow bloggers engaged in a few weeks ago.

  • Rob Salzman (unverified)

    Damn. I never thought of getting PurpleOregon.com.

    I've thought about putting up a parody site at redoregon.com - you know - posting strange republicanisms as if they were real. I'd gladly donate RedOregon.com to any group who wanted to do something like that...


  • Spine (unverified)

    "Purple" it is.

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    So who will win the purple states--the guy with the Purple Heart or ... ? (Sorry, couldn't resist.)

    I think we're done seeing Kerry. Even the Oregonian made a de facto admission to that point, noting (sorry, can't find the link) that neither would return if "either candidate" got too big a lead. Which is to say: "if trends continue and the decent lead Kerry now enjoys gapes wide open."

    I believe the national and state GOP were a little shaken by the mammoth turn-out here. The polls, after all, show Bush is competitive. They didn't expect to see such a massive show of support for the opposition, and wince at the metaphor Portland's showing suggests: that on election day. If Kerry musters 50k in a supposedly competitive state in August, what's he likely to muster on November 2?

  • raging red (unverified)

    They didn't expect to see such a massive show of support for the opposition, and wince at the metaphor Portland's showing suggests: that on election day.

    But wouldn't everyone assume that Portland would go for Kerry? It's the rest of the state that makes Oregon a swinger, right?

  • Suzii (unverified)

    And hey, let's not forget that convention bounce coming up. Weren't the R's saying, before Boston, that it ought to be 15 points unless the show is a hopeless flop?

  • Tenskwatawa (unverified)

    Let's hope it is the last time we see Campaign Kerry in Oregon AND on our televisions.

    He can save his travel time AND save his television money from where spending them does not gain him anything, BECAUSE Oregon's seven electoral votes are already his.

    Certainly Oregon's television time-sellers do not, can not, and refuse to, tell their audience or Kerry's campaign such truth. Which means TV viewers get TV lies, not news. And it means TV stations would get NO SALE to Kerry campaign if the truth were told.

    Same for radio listeners and newspaper subscribers -- it's lies not news, and they are trying to sell ads, not report people's communications. And again, Marc, since you are someone working (partly) at a radio station you have a position in which your actions and representations influence (partly) the content of its broadcasting.

    Until you do so influence, (or try), you are not wholehearted in the job. And others could do and be that, like relief pitchers, to keep the game won. When Kremer chooses a topic or makes a point related to a Kerry campaign failing, it is not worth broadcasting because Kerry won Oregon votes, past tense, old news, over, and whatever criticisms Kremer sees for it are irrelevant. It might be worth discussing the Why and How Kerry is a winner and Bush is a loser -- worth it for future candidates studying campaigning.

    Broadcasters get over 17% of their revenues from selling political-ad time. Less when the political advertisers stop throwing ad money at already-decided races. The undecided percent of Oregonians is less than Kerry's margin of victory. Nationwide numbers are similar now, and Bush's sinking trend over time foretells Kerry's winning margin growing wider. Kremer can not change that, he can only add fuel to the fire that burns a LIARS brand on KXL. (Which also devalues ad sales and station revenue. And paychecks. And reputation.)

    Better topics to broadcast discussion of, and contrary to Kremer's delerium, could be: What and Why caused the fire in the railroad tunnel through the Cascades, (it was not sparks from a passing train); or, Who (in Congress) and Why is not charging war crimes against the commander ordering American soldiers in Iraq to commit torture and murder in violation of the Geneva Convention. Photographic evidence at Abu Ghraib shows President Bush is liable for war crimes charges. Never mind HIS political future, what matters before the election is the sentencing of congressmen such as Greg Walden who are harboring a war criminal by their stonewall silence, failing to represent and redress the grievance of Oregonians. You've (partly) got a microphone, Marc, and with it some job responsibility to speak our minds.

    I am glad to see you writing on the blog. This is how communications move. I had thought of the 'Color States Purple' idea, earlier, and am thrilled to see you put it in play. There are so many different tones of purple possible, by mixing different percentages of red and blue, which the human eye can discern and words can distinguish. In practical effect, Colorado votes in November whether or not to split the state's electoral votes according to the split of the state's presidential votes. (Which was how I thought Florida's 2000 electoral votes could have been ruled, had Solomon been in court.) With a Yes vote, Colorado becomes the first purple state. It disappoints some Oregonians that we didn't get to it first. (Winner-take-all electoral rigging also hurts TV and radio station revenue -- campaigns would buy ad time to move percentages of the popular vote where it moves their electoral vote by a percentage.)

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