Governor's Race: Sizzle or Fizzle?

Jeff Alworth

I just sat down with the Willamette Week's election endorsements, and I was a little surprised by the Governor's race.  They didn't buck convention--Ted got their nod--but the language of their support was ... tepid.  At best.  I was also a little surprised by the muted discussion on BlueOregon's debate thread last night  (currently just 17 comments). 

Every election is big, but this one has special significance.  With a good showing, Democrats might take back the House.  If Kulongoski wins the election, it would be an opportunity for liberals to see real change in the state, including one or more of these pretty doable tasks:

Liberals would love to see health care reform, different environmental practices, funding for higher ed, a new generation of land-use planning--the list goes on and on.  With the stars so close to aligning, I don't understand why there seems to be so little interest in the campaign.  Even the Willamette Week failed to note this larger context as a reason for voting for Ted.  Am I missing something, or is interest actually low?

  • Harry (unverified)

    "Am I missing something, or is interest actually low?"

    You are not missing something....and you are quite candid.

    Interest is low because nobody (even the Bluest of the Base) is very excited about Ted. His last term was marginal at best. Maybe 90% of the blame goes to Minnis (I doubt that very much), but regardless, Ted was the Gov, and the buck stops there (in most people's eyes).

    Interest is low because Ted was not the leader many (most?) thought he couldv'e been and shouldv'e been.

    When people ask: "Are you happy with the last four years?" Most people say "No".

    What is the answer when people ask: "Do you want four more years of this?" or "Does Ted deserve four more years?"

    Probably not an excited "Yes!!!" from most people.

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    The governor's race is indeed a bit of a snoozer. I do think it is important to have a Democratic governor, I just wish that he would say something that was exciting, inspirational, motivating. I'm more interested why the Willamette Week would endorse Jack Roberts for Supreme Court over the far more qualified Virginia Linder...

  • Kevin (unverified)

    Harry nails it, IMHO.

    For what it's worth, coming from a moderate Independent like myself, Kulongoski is simply uninspiring. Contrast him with Kitzhaber. Kulongoski is arguably closer to me ideologically and yet I didn't vote for him last time and am seriously considering either a write-in or 3rd party this time. Kitzhaber is in my view to the Left of Ted and yet I gladly voted for him every time. Kitz inspired me... made me believe in him... convinced me that he was taking principled stands on the issues and let the chips fall where they may. Kulongoski has the exact opposite effect on me.

  • Becky (unverified)

    I wouldn't be very thrilled about a Democratic sweep. Too much power in the hands of one party is never a good idea. If the House really is that close, then I have no choice but to vote for Saxton - even though I really don't want to. Particularly if a Democratic sweep means "a legislative fix to Measure 37." That's a classic example of one party having enough power to do whatever they want, even if it is contrary to the will of the majority.

  • Bill (unverified)

    Interest is low because nobody (even the Bluest of the Base) is very excited about Ted. His last term was marginal at best.

    I agree.

    As a gay, married (in Canada) father of three, I've seen my children's schools suffer, and my basic civil protections erode. And where was Ted? Barbara Roberts and John Kitzhaber championed education, talked about it, took leadership roles, and publicly, passionately, and eloquently fought off anti-gay measures promoted by faith-based campaigners pushing their evidence-free religious prejudices on our state.

    So like many I'll hold my nose and fill in the correct ballot circle (Saxton - no thanks!), but I'm certainly not excited or optimistic about the idea of Ted as my Governor for another four listles, leader-free years...

  • Robin Ozretich (unverified)

    Yes, like many Oregonians this year, I'll be voting against Saxton rather than for Kulongoski. I'm much more excited about retaking control of the State House, and while I understand that we need to keep the Governor's Mansion blue, I'm so lukewarm about Kulongoski that I haven't bothered to get a lawn sign or anything (I'm not even sure I could get one past my wife, who doesn't like K much at all - though she will probably vote for him).

    Its hard to believe that Saxton is doing as well as he is (which isn't that well, right?), but Kulongoski's consistently been one of the nation's least-popular governors over the past few years.

    If Saxton wins, he'll be a pathetic one-termer who will be restrained by a Democratic state legislature. He won't be able to do too much damage, and Oregon Dems will have four years to find a better candidate for governor than Ted Kulongoski.

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    If Saxton wins, he'll be a pathetic one-termer who will be restrained by a Democratic state legislature.

    That's not a sure bet. While the Dems are riding high nationally this year, the races at home are a lot tighter. If we fail to retake the House--and particularly to oust Minnis--then Ron Saxton might have quite a bit more power.

    I personally am pleased to vote for Ted. Kitzhaber was indeed inspiring--but his tenure was marked by as much gridlock and failure as Ted's. Moreover, Ted had the misfortune of governing during the worst fiscal crisis in decades, which obviously hampered what he could accomplish.

    He doesn't use the bully pulpit as often as he could, but given how our President abuses that right, I tend to regard this as something less than a deep character flaw. If Ted holds on, I predict that you'll see him take advantage of opportunities he didn't have and find him a far more able governor than people think now.

    (Full disclosure: my predictions are famously spotty.)

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    I'm voting for Ted so he can sign the bills that come out of a Democratic legislature. I know we could probably train a monkey to do that, but given his performance over the last four years, who could possibly expect anything more?

  • Garrett (unverified)

    If Saxton wins it will be because of the campaign Kulongoski ran and not because Saxton is better than Ted. I like Ted and I think he's a good guy but man is he uninspiring. Maybe he isn't but his campaign staff did some poor PR. They really choked not going after Saxton's throat early. We should have learned what Kerry's campaign learned to late. If they campaign with lies you'd better be ready to counter with the truth and stick it to a weasel like Saxton.

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    I think the comments here say it all.

    My gut tells me that Kulongoski is going to lose. The trends are simply not good. Support on liberal-leaning ballot measures is eroding. There is not much enthusiasm for his governorship, especially among independents and independent/Dems. While the economy is turning around, the state seems to be in a permanent fiscal crisis and little that is coming out of Salem--either from the legislature or the governor--acknowledges the problem.

    Finally, Saxton's numbers are trending upwards.

    I hope this is not true, but this race feels an awful lot like the Blanchard/Engler race from way back in Michigan.

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    Finally, Saxton's numbers are trending upwards.

    Do you have a source for that? Any source at all? That is, other than the Saxton campaign's internal poll and your own gut?

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    BTW, I've got a source for my contention that Saxton's poll numbers have been flat for weeks.

    Right here, at

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    Your gut, paul, is likely wrong. The fact that Kulongoski isn't charasmatic, like Clinton, isn't always the negative it's portrayed to be. Independents - like a co-worker of my wife - are seriously considering Saxton. But the more they look, the less they're finding they like. You can't get a good sense about what he'd actually do.

    Again, in any other year, I think his obvious massive money advantage, this wouldn't bother people so much. But the idea of voting for someone who plays dodgeball with hard questions and the facts isn't so appealing in the 6th year of a disasterous President who got elected doing the exact same thing.

    Yes, both Ted and his Campaign's inability to state the issues in simple declaritive sentences is overwhelmingly frustrating. But I sense no momentum at all toward Saxton. His polling negatives are huge for someone who has so little past history, and that does not bode well for him. My wife's independent friend watched the debates and saw Ted as the clear winner.

    So a strong get-out-the-vote effort should push Kulongoski over the top and get him back to doing the only thing he actually does well.


  • Andrew (unverified)

    I second all the Ted is uninspiring comments above. But Ted/the Dem's big mistake has been not nationalizing this election. All over the country people (Ds,Rs and Is) are pissed at Bush and the ultra-conservative Rs in charge nationally. And all over the country people are running local campaigns on national issues. But based on some passe, Oregonians are different mentaility, not here. Admittedly, Ted tried to paint Saxton as Bush II in one of the debates, but no one but die-hard political junkies are paying attention to the debates. Ted's whole campaign should have been about Saxton supporting Bush and Bush-like policies. I understand that Bush may have no meaning to local politics, but its where people are passionate, and more importantly for Ted (and the potential benefits of D controlled Oregon legislature) where people are passionately anti-R. By keeping the campaign local, the mood echos the local feeling about both the candidates--a big fat yawn.

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    My meter reader says that 79% of Americans think big business has too much influence in our government. Saxton has represented big business interests as a corporate lawyer throughout his career. His "big" claim to fame is serving on the Portland Public School Board, regarded by many as the worst run public school system in Oregon. Couple that with Saxton's Republican organ transplant as he moved from portraying himself as a moderate Republican, to join the wingnut portion of the Oregon Republican Party, hanging out with the likes of Don McIntire as well as hauling in buckets & buckets of dollars from outside of Oregon from special interest groups. Let's see, he can't give straight answers or give specific solutions in his debates but he can throw a mean truth twisting untruthful punch in his ads.

    I'll take Ted Kulongoski's serious, sincere, and proven track record of supporting the working people. He's fought all forms of discrimination since the 70's when he began his public service for Oregon in the legislature. His environmental stands play well with the "Sportsmen for Ted" crowd. In case you've forgotten, most sportsmen are huge environmentalists who guard Oregon's natural heritage with their votes. When Oregon was flat on its back with the highest unemployment in the nation Ted Kulongoski took office. In four short years he grew the Oregon economy to the 5th fastest growing economy in the nation.

    All you whiners out there need to sit down at your kitchen tables and question your tepid support of Ted because he doesn't inspire you. Who fought to keep Oregon's economy strong? Ted. Who is strong on emmission standards? Ted. Who supports reproductive rights? Ted. Who saved 8 billion dollars for K12 schools and saved every school district from shorter school years by fixing PERS? Ted.

    I'm inspired by Ted Kulonoski's hard work for Oregon. If Saxton gets elected we Dems and Independents in Oregon will feel the pain. Oregon will slide Right and backwards. Democrats and Independents must vote to save the State of Oregon from the Republican base. When you receive your ballot, remember if Democrats don't vote, Democrats won't win. I'm voting proudly for Ted Kulongoski.

  • peter (unverified)

    i am happy to support kulongoski, in fact, i like that he works hard outside of the spotlight, does not stand on the bully pulpit, and took some necessary, but politically inexpedient, steps to fix oregon's finances (PERS is the best example. it was in the best interest of the state, but his worst political interest).

    obviously, this is not the best recipe for political success, but it is refreshing for a change, imho. kulo's biggest problem is that he alienated his base, leaving him with luke warm democratic support. it is no suprise that republicans don't support him, and the the rest are mostly unengaged anyway.

    saxton comes off as pretty slippery, even though ihappen to mostly agree with him on his "prominent" issue (education reform), but i will not vote for him. his stances on renewable energy and the environment are unacceptable. i usually agree with people like becky above, who feel that divided government is the best solution, but this year, i am voting straight dem. the republicans in this state have no interest in working together, compromise, or good government issues. on my key issue, renewable energy, they are completely beholden to the extraction industries, and won't do anything--oregon needs to be a national leader in this area, and the 25 by 2025 program will be a good start. i'm gonna give the dems a chance, if they blow it, 2 years is not that long. if they succeed, maybe the republicans will shape up to try to get a piece of their success.

  • Stan Pdgorny (unverified)

    Yes, as usual it's not that el'phants win, it's that Dems lose. This 'lection is Ted's to lose. It's House Dems to lose. It's Senate Dems to lose.

    Guess what's happenin' now?

    An uninspirin' mess'ge and slick poly-wonks gets us 16 in the Senate, no change or +1 at best in the House, and Lord help us all an el'phant in the Gov barn.

    Press folk sensed that months ago. So did most folk who've been 'round the block a time or two. Seems most folk figgred that out, 'sept some city-slicker per-gress've types. "Xplains the open mouth and glaze in yer eyes look y'all are showin'.

    Thanks boys fer givin us Dems our worst nightmare.

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    Wow, Stan. Do you do anything but whine and make dubious assertions in that fake country pigeon of yours? You're so incoherent, I can't even make out what you think Democrats should do.

    Stupid is as stupid does, I say.

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    fake country pigeon of yours? You're so incoherent....

    Er, just for the sake of coherence (which seems to be a recurring stumbling block for you) it's pidgin not pigeon........

  • PanchoPdx (unverified)

    The poster wrote:

    "real tax reform that would stabilize funding, create a rainy day fund, and make taxes fairer"

    You'll never get any tax reform without a real spending limit in place, even if you won Mahonia and both houses.

    Any significant proposal would have to go before the voters (by referral or referendum) and they aren't going to support "tax reform" when they know that it really just code for "tax increases".

    If there was a real spending limit in place, like, oh...I don't know...Measure 48, then the voters would at least be assured that any proposed "tax reform" would be revenue neutral (why increase taxes if you can't spend the results?).

    Of course, progressives won't accept a spending limit while there is "just so much more that government needs to do..." That attitude is so out of touch with political reality that it is laughable.

    A recent poll showed that two out of three voters who support creating a rainy day fund think it should be created out of existing tax revnues (as opposed to new revenues or using the kicker).

    If M48 doesn't pass, progressives will have missed their best opportunity to build a rainy day fund and lay the groundwork for "fairer taxes."

  • red (unverified)

    *Yes, I'm a troll, but I'm not going to say anything vitriolic or bash on Democrats, so don't be clicking on over to actblue. And yes, this is off-topic, but I really have to say this.

    Does Stan Pdgorny's writing style bother anyone other than me? Comments are my favorite part of blogs but trying to read Stan's is way too difficult. Is it too much to ask, Stan, that you speak/write in proper English? Please?

    See, I wasn't being donations!

  • Garlynn (unverified)

    I've got one really good reason to vote for Kulongoski: He can hold the line.

    Hasn't anybody learned anything from the past 6 years? Republicans try to make it seem like there is very little difference between them and the Democrat -- like Bush did to Gore in 2000 -- in order to get their foot in the door and get elected. Then, once they're in office, they demonstrate exactly how much difference there really is (do I really need to make a list here?).

    I see Saxton following the same playbook. He tries to portray Teddy K as a do-nothing Dem who doesn't offer proposals, get anything done or really even vary too greatly from Saxton himself. This is just his strategy to weasel into office. DON'T BUY IT.

    Teddy K., as the Governor of Oregon, really just needs to do his best to hold the line. He needs to protect the land use system, protect the environment, keep the schools open, keep the police force staffed, and balance the budget. Anything else is gravy.

    Sure, we would all love to see a progressive reformer in the statehouse, one with real vision, charisma, and the ability to make Oregon into an even better state. Don't be fooled, however -- this man is most definitely NOT Ron Saxton. At least with Kulongoski, if such a character were to come along and dominate the legislature such that it were to produce some good bills, he would sign them.

    So, why will I be voting for Kulongoski, even if he's not my dream candidate?

    Because he'll hold the line. He'll keep the state from sliding backwards. He'll at least carry the torch for all the accomplishments which have been made thus far.

    And who's to say that he won't, like Clinton in his second term, manage to pull off some rather impressive accomplishments that just can't be predicted yet? I'm willing to take the gamble that he might.

    Kulongoski -- good enough for me.

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    Yes, thank you for the spell check. I type these missives at work, usually while waiting for 2 minute compiles to complete, this is definitately first-draft stuff.

    Personally, I think Kari is being a bit unfair. We also get green/socialist/nadarite trolls as well, of the "if only Democrats would stop being so pro-business, and help us destroy world trade, they'd win every election" variety.

    Again, I guess I don't mind, so long as there is a non-trollish, 1) positive policy put forward rather than bashing, and 2) attempt to persuade. However, judging by posts he's made other places, Stan is just such a green/socialist troll, and determined to be offensive to rural Americans as well.

    What are we gonna do? Have another kitty for Naderite trolls that contributes to the Democratic Leadership Council?

    Actually, knowing some of these people, that would piss them off far more than pissing off Republican trolls.

  • anon (unverified)

    When Oregon was flat on its back with the highest unemployment in the nation Ted Kulongoski took office.

    How could Oregon get flat on its back to begin with inasmuch as a two term (8 years) Democrat was leading our state down to that level?

    Just sayin'.

  • Scott (unverified)

    I am one of probably many Democrats who will vote for Saxton this election. I don't buy the arguments that Ted has been a good leader. I have spoken to several legislative Ds who desperately wanted his leadership during the last session, but he was nowhere to be found. He strikes me as someone who likes being governor, but doesn't have the interest or energy to do much as governor. He campaigns like he wasn't governor the last four years, except when he is put on the defensive. You can't sit on the sidelines for four years and then unveil some interesting policy ideas in the months leading up to the election and expect the voters to buy it. And I am sorry, but the bad economy excuse only goes so far.

    Beyond my problems with Ted, I actually think Ron will be a good governor. I know Ron and he is not the right-wing racist wacko that some on this site make him out to be. Although I do not agree with all of his policy positions and I dislike a lot of the rhetoric I have heard from his campaign, I think he will work on the issues where we really need strong and courageous leadership (education, economic issues, and trimming the fat in Salem) and I have no fear that he will push the kind of extreme right wing social issues that would make me oppose most R candidates. More importantly, I think Ron is a smart and consciencious guy who will make good decisions and be a great executive.

    Finally, and I know many of you will disagree, but I think Ron will ultimately be good for the Democratic party in Oregon. We can't support poor leaders like Ted simply because they are Ds. I think that by sending a message that we are willing to take our votes elsewhere when our leaders fail us, we will prevent our public officials from simply going through the motions. Plus, I think a shake up in Salem will be good for future Democratic office holders who will not feel obligated to retain failed programs and unimaginative bureaucrats.

  • karl (unverified)


    You're an idiot.

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    I think the phrase is "concern troll," Karl.

    Kari---not only are they flat, that's including a poll done FOR Saxton (Moore), a poll done over the internet (Zogby) and a poll done by Riley, who had Bush cruising over Kerry in OR in 2004. Hibbitts and Rasmussen are the only polls worth reading in that whole pile, and between the four of them done in the last 2 months, if Saxton's making any headway I don't see it.

    We do need a fresh poll, however.

  • cAptaiN daNDy (unverified)

    It seems that Ted's campaign has gone from lame to flat out weird. Yesterday morning as I was leaving the house for work I came upon a huge vote-for-Ted sign hanging on my front door knob. It was obviously meant to appear to anyone looking in the direction of my house that I support his sorry ass. Quite the contrary. Neither he nor Ron will be getting my vote. They are equally Republican Light. Perhaps one of the folks here could tell him that such tactics are slimy and dumb, much like his last term has been.

  • Sonny (unverified)

    I'm a D but I'm voting for Saxton. Kulongoski is a nice man but he has morphed into what he was in the late 70's and early 80's, an out-of-touch left winger. It is apparent that he loves to dream up new government programs for every social problem and thinks if they were "properly funded" and we had a "fair" tax system, Oregon would be wonderful. It is obvious, however, that if K were re-elected, Oregon voters are not going to approve any of his new tax schemes. He will then get discouraged and disappear again, just as he did throughout the 2005 legislative session. Most of the editorial boards in the state think Saxton is smart, creative and has the kind of energy a governor needs. I don't agree with his right wing stand on some issues, minimum wage, pay day lenders etc., but on trying to upgrade our educational system without new taxes, I am willing to give that a try. What exactly is wrong with merit pay for teachers?

  • Scott (unverified)

    Brilliant and cutting analysis Karl. And I think it is pretty pathetic to assume that anyone who claims to be a D that is voting for Saxton is a troll. I am not a troll, and whether you like it or not, there are many, many smart, thoughtful, and politically active Ds that will be voting for Saxton this election.

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    Beyond my problems with Ted, I actually think Ron will be a good governor. ...I think he will work on the issues where we really need strong and courageous leadership (education, economic issues, and trimming the fat in Salem)... More importantly, I think Ron is a smart and consciencious guy who will make good decisions and be a great executive.

    I'm going to bookmark those comments, because if he is elected, I'm willing to bet that he'll be a terrible governor. I'm not so blinded by liberalism that I can't conceive of a conservative, but ably-run administration. I think Frohnmeyer may have offered that. But the evidence is to the contrary with Ron. He is ideological to the extent that he does have faith in markets to solve what are in fact government responsibilities--education, principle among them.

    In the first debate, which I attended, he at one point made the bold comment that education the most important thing state government should do. But later, when Ted pressed him on how he would pay for government, and what he would do to encourage improvements, Ron had no answer. He fell back on market solutions, which just won't cut it. He doesn't have the foggiest idea how to govern. Evidence of that is ample in his one role as a public servant--his catastrophic tenure on the PPS board.

    Meanwhile, schools have consistently improved under Ted, despite massive shortfalls in state dollars. If Ron is elected, expect things to go south. Seriously. Any hope that Ron will govern ably is purely faith-based.

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    I agree that Saxton is scary. Scott and others who are considering voting for Saxton because they think he won't be that bad, and will govern as a liberal Republican, are fooling themselves.

    He will block everything possible from a Democratic legislature, and undo everything good Kulongoski has done, such as improved auto emmission standards.

    If the Dems don't take over the legislature, we'll be in a world of hurt all of a sudden, with the House and Governorship in Republican hands. We'll be on our way towards making Oregon the new Mississippi.

    I actually like Kulongoski and I'm definately voting for him, with my nose wide open, taking in a deep breath. Just because he's not slick and not charismatic doesn't mean he's not a good governor.

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    I'm with Paulie.

    About Ted's lack of charisma, does Saxton have any? I don't trust myself on these things -- most of the country apparently saw Ronald Reagan as grandfatherly, I thought he had mean little eyes.

    Scott writes I know Ron and he is not the right-wing racist wacko that some on this site make him out to be. Before this campaign that would have been my impression too. But it is Saxton himself who is painting himself this way, particularly in his racist immigrant-bashing pandering, which is not alone among his panders but the most vocal. Why he favors having illegal immigrants driving without licenses is beyond me.

    Although I do not agree with all of his policy positions and I dislike a lot of the rhetoric I have heard from his campaign, I think he will work on the issues where we really need strong and courageous leadership (education, economic issues, and trimming the fat in Salem). His attempts will be to lead in the wrong direction. Without in any way equating Saxton to its famous 1920s and 1930s advocates, the Leader Principle divorced from content is not something to support.

    The main saving grace is the likelihood that Saxton, like Kulongoski, would likely be hamstrung by partisan division in the legislature. I see no evidence of Saxton as someone able to lead in the sense of bridging such divides; certainly he is not running on that basis.

    To consider what that situation would mean, try a thought experiment about school funding. A couple of years ago Ted opted for less vigor than I'd have liked pushing for more, & better ways, in a misguided and I think failed effort to call out Minnis -- if it had succeeded we wouldn't be having this discussion. But in the end he also held the line against deeper cuts.

    I think Saxton would be the inverse -- would call symbolically for some deeper cuts and then compromise at the low rather than high end of the narrow, inadequate range that seems to be the leg's comfort zone. But if he really proved more clever ("a stronger leader"), it would be to lead in a destructive direction.

    BTW, how much control over the reforms/deforms Saxton's running on does the governor really have, as opposed to Susan Castillo?

    I have no fear that he will push the kind of extreme right wing social issues that would make me oppose most R candidate. If he gets in, I hope you're right. But frankly his course this year of radicalizing himself after losing to Mannix last time reminds me of the southern Dem "racial moderates" in the Jim Crow era who, after losing one primary, would move right saying things like "I'll never let anyone outnigger me again" (I believe that was George Wallace in the late '50s but it might have been someone earlier).

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    We must read trendlines differently. The link you provided shows Kulongoski with a 3 point margin in the last 5 polls but a 5 point margin in the last ten polls.

    Admittedly an eyeball estimate is that Kulongoski's lead was nearly 10 points in mid September and is down to 3 points now. Saxton's numbers may be flat or are trending slightly upwards, while there is no doubting that Kulongoski's have been going downwards.

    And it's not just my gut. It's the ads I've seen (virtually none for Kulongoski, and we watch local news, listen to local radio), and the the two I have seen are, in my opinion, not very effective. Saxton's ads have been more focussed, harder hitting, and even show better production quality.

    I'm glad to see all the reasons posted above why Kulongoski is the best candidate in November (though an awful lot of the posts describe him as the least worst candidate). I'm distressed that his campaign is not making the same sort of positive arguments.

  • Garrett (unverified)


    I don't think Ron Saxton is a right wing nut job per say. I just think the Republican party has been taken over by evangelical fascists. Once he is elected he is going to have to answer to his "base" if he wants to get reelected. So as much as all of you wonderful Dems that plan on voting for Saxton want to pat yourselves on the back for shaking things up in Salem you're really doing nothing more than contributing to the people that have caused our national nightmare. Think about moderate Repubs. Lincoln Chaffee for example. The guy almost lost his primary to a wack job because the "base" wanted someone more conservative. Unfortunately we did the same thing to Joe Lieberman. Voting for Republicans now only gives the ultra conservative Republican's more power. You vote for Saxton and watch what the mega bitch (yeah I said it cause she is) Karen Minnis starts rolling out of the House. You want a work stoppage in Salem...elect Saxton. The Dems are going to lock up the Senate and nothing is going to see the light of day for another 4 years.

  • capTAIN dandy (unverified)

    All the rhetoric about who is worse... Ted or Ron, demonstrates my point EXACTLY, we have allowed our state to deteriorate to a point where the debate is akin to "what is more painful... poison oak or poison ivy? When are you all going to wake up and realize that the democratic party has become the republican party? The fact that Ben Westlund dropped out because he has calimine lotion should tell you that it's time to seriously look at what you really want for Oregon, more tax breaks for the rich or a state that TRULY cares for its' people. The time to care is NOW.

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    This race reminds me a lot of the Bush/Gore race in 2000.

    We have a Democratic candidate that doesn't excite the base, and a "compassionate conservative" Republican that most Democrats are complacent and apathetic about, thinking maybe he won't be that bad.

    I think Saxton's new ads touting his Oregonian endorsement are devestating. I have a sinking feeling that the next big poll that comes out is going to show Saxton with a lead, and then Democrats will stop being so complacent about this race and start panicing. But it might be too late by then.

  • Garrett (unverified)

    Poll already came out at Ted has a 4.5% lead. As for Dems being apathetic. I never said I didn't like Ted I just think he's kind of a boring guy. A really great governor though!

    Captain Dandy. Westlund was/is a Republican. Ted is not. If you can't see the difference between a Repub and a Dem nowadays you are blind as a bat and have the brain size of a rat. So keep throwing your vote away on a worthless meaningless 3rd party candidate or learn that we have a 2 party system...pick one.

  • captaiN dandY (unverified)

    Garrett... writing that I must have either an optical or mental disability as my reason for believing that Dempublicans are alive and well in Oregon is indeed interesting. Further, the language you use to make your point is helpful to my cause. Thank you!

    Once again it's been made clear to me how the good Dempublicans in our state feel about people with physical and/or mental disabilities. Other than his language, Garrett sets a stellar example of the notion that people who are different have something inherently "wrong" with them. If you follow that belief you will come to a place where you see them as less deserving than their non disabled peers. Eventually you arrive at a place where you see what all the good Dempublicans currently in place in our legislature have done.

    They have behaved very much like the Republicrats in charge at the federal level of government in Washington . They have shrouded themselves in secrecy in regard to $28,000,000 earmarked for adults with developmental disabilities which was spent in other areas of the state budget. They have refused to answer or even admit to this truth although DAWG Oregon proved it last March. Why? because like their Republicrat brethren in D.C., they can.

    You might wonder (out of curiosity more than concern) how this could happen. It's mainly because people like the Dempublicans on Blue Oregon go along with whatever their legislature decides. Back in April I told the story on this website with very little response from its' readers, contributors, or administers. The only reason that makes sense for this complete lack of response (never mind "outrage") would seem to be the scenario I just layed out.

    So when you tell me there is a difference between these 2 parties and/or these 2 candidates I would respectfully disagree.

  • LT (unverified)

    Garrett, One reason this is such an uninspiring Gov. campaign is insults such as yours.

    Captain Dandy. Westlund was/is a Republican. Ted is not. If you can't see the difference between a Repub and a Dem nowadays you are blind as a bat and have the brain size of a rat.,

    First of all, one does not earn support by insulting people--something most adults realize. And in a state where a significant fraction of voters are not partisans (in many legislative districts the number of NAV/ 3rd party registered votes is larger than the victory margin of the legislator elected in 2004), the "blind" person would be the one who thinks as long as major party voters turn out they will decide the election.

    Second, Westlund was a maverick that some Republicans wanted to disavow long before he dropped party registration. And look at who won the Democratic nomination as a write in the year he was elected to the Senate in his own right after being appointed to fill the vacancy when Sen. Clarno left for a federal job. Speaker Minnis didn't consider Westlund a loyal Republican--as I recall, she bounced him out of a committee chairmanship when he was a state rep. He is now one of 2 members of the Oregon caucus, the 3rd caucus in the Senate and the one which has promised to hold open caucuses.

    Third, I'll bet you voted for Ted in the primary and were part of the target audience for Ted's "I'm running against 2 Republicans" remarks. Ted might be in better shape today if he had tried to compete for Westlund supporters (not to mention Hill supporters) after the primary instead of acting as if he was entitled to everyone's vote. It took me until late summer/ early fall before I was finally able to talk with someone involved with the campaign who admitted they realized Ted actually made some mistakes this year.

    Fourth, Welcome back, Capt. Dandy--it is good to see you again. I remember your earlier comments. If Garrett is so clueless he doesn't realize there are Oregonians who feel ignored by the political process, that is Garrett's problem. "Ignored" Oregonians have tipped elections before and they could do that this year.

  • JB Eads (unverified)

    Paul writes: I'm distressed that his campaign is not making the same sort of positive arguments.

    First, the initial spots coming out of Ted's campaign were making precisely these type of positive arguments. More importantly, it's a huge mistake to infer that Ted's going to lose because of trend lines driven by 2 mil+ of unanswered Saxton ads.

    Of course Ted's support is going to go down over that period. Any candidate's numbers would. But the campaign has been up on air for weeks now, and there are now two sides to this argument.

    As to "liberal-leaning ballot measure support eroding," that's kind of a head-scratcher. Virtually every measure since the begining of time has had its support decline over the course of a campaign -- that's really basic, ballot measure 101 stuff. I think the analysis of this as declining support for progressive measures overall-- if that's what was intended -- is equally off-base.

    Also, the only measure enjoying full progressive support is ballot measure 44 (prescription drugs) and I don't know of anyone predicting a loss there.

  • capTAIN dANDy (unverified)

    Thanx for your welcome back LT. You were and are probably one of the very few people on this site who seem to care about the underserved people in this state.

    Perhaps it's a demographic thing such as poor people can't afford computers, or are too disenfranchised to want to write, or are too uneducated by our public schools (thanks to Ted and Ron), or are afraid of losing what little they have by pissing off the powers that be.

    <h2>My name is David Thomas McDonald. I am not a troll but am definately on paTROLL. I am an activist on behalf of folks who don't express their pain for the above reasons. I have adopted the name of CAPTAIn DANDy to express my joy in the struggle. Deal with it Republican Lights. I am the conscience you all are SUPPOSED to have.</h2>

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