Saturday, April 26, 2008

Oh, so now you give a shit about Oregon

I notice the Clintons are paying much more attention to Oregon now than they ever did when they were in the white house. We've got Bill here this weekend, Joe Wilson to follow. I guess we're supposed to forget that time that Hilary came here to raise money for her senate run. There was a piece about this on Blue Oregon, but I can't seen to find it right now. Typically when national candidates for the Senate (recently Al Franken used us as an ATM in the same fashion) they give a certain amount to the state party to cover the cost of the event. Hilary gave our party jack shit. Gee, I wonder why all our 4 party SD's have remained neutral. Some folks (okay, so like 1 person) have asked me to do a rundown of how this race will go down in the Beaver state, my projections are as follows.

Okay, so rather than making this over 20 pages and going county by county (and believe me, I could do that if I wanted to) I'll talk about how I think the presidential race will play out congressional district by congressional district (hereby referred to as CD).

For folks who don't know, Oregon has five Congressional districts (we may get six after the next census, I would love to nerd out over where the boundaries get drawn!).

First District: Represented by Obama supporter and first Chinese-American Congressman David Wu this CD stretches from west Portland all the way to clatsop county on the coast. Major population centers include Portland (duh), as well as suburbs like Beaverton and Hillsboro as well as towns on the coast like Astoria. 65.3% of workers in this district are white collar, many of them employees of Nike, Intel and Tek. The amount of college educated folks in this district is high which favors Obama, but Hilrod will have some strength with the soccer moms and elderly folks. Prediction: Lean Obama

Second District: Represented by Republican and supposed future Gubernatorial Candidate Greg Walden (don't laugh, hes sitting on a 9 million dollar war chest) this district is the 7th largest in the nation. it covers the entire eastern part of the state and goes down into southern Oregon. Major (chuckle) population centers include Bend, Medford and Ashland. This is Hilary's best hope as this region is chock full of retirees, most of them from California. Obama's best hope is SOU students turning out in Ashland. Prediction: Lean Clinton

Third District: Represented by Earl Blumenauer, my favorite elected official in Oregon and the first OR SD to endorse Obama this district covers most of Multnomah county. I'm not sure why Hilary even has an office here, because shes going to get pwned. If Obama's performance in King county (Seattle area) is any indication and this city and this city is by some accounts more progressive than Seattle, his MOV may be above 15 points here. Prediction: Stumptown is Obama country.

Fourth District: Represented by Peter DeFazio, my favorite elected official in Oregon to watch on CSPAN. This district starts just south of Salem and covers Roseburg through the southern Oregon coast. The major population center here is Lane county which has the reputation as being one of the most anti-war counties in the nation, needless to say Hilary is not too popular here. She'll do well in Roseburg however, and the southern coast is populated by a lot of folks who work in a nearby prison in CA. Prediction: Lean Obama

Fifth District: Represented by retiring congresswoman Darlene Hooley this is the district to watch. This district covers northern clackamas and part of southern multnomah county as well as the Salem area and the central Oregon coast. This CD will also play witness to one of the most hotly contested house races of the 2008 election. Salem is probably the most conservative major city in the state, and basically the arm pit of the state and Hooley's endorsement of Hilary Clinton may carry some weight as she remains pretty popular. Obama's strength will be in those areas of Portland and will College students. Prediction: Tie.

The Super-Delegate Race: Oregon has 12 super-delegates and only four of them have endorsed with Barack and Hilary tied with 2 each. Unlike many states, our Governors endorsement of Hilary Clinton doesn't mean a whole lot as he is widely regarded (somewhat undeservably so) as a do-nothing, Mayor of Portland Tom Potter is staying neutral as is our city council, most of Oregon's mayors are weak mayors anyway with the exception of Beaverton Mayor Robert Drake, who could make a difference in the 1st district, but he isn't. The most important endorsement on the table is Ron Wyden, who was recently ranked the 11th most important undecided super-delegate who I predict will wait as late as possible to act. DeFazio knows that without Lane county he would be toast, so him endorsing Obama is more of a "when" and not an "if"question although he may wait until after our primary. That leaves SOS Bill Bradbury and our four DPO officials who I have little pulse on. It should be noted though that Obama has the endorsement of both of our major US senate candidates, former Mayor of Portland Vera Katz and former governors John Kitzhaber (who still has a large following) and Barbara Roberts (who is often an add-on delegate after our state convention).

Conclusion: If Obama wins IN and has a good margin in NC our primary may be moot but should Hilary win IN and keep NC close Obama's survival may depend on his popular vote margin here. Yet another reason to GO OUT AND VOTE!!! Your last day to register is Monday people!

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