We recently pointed out that people in Oregon are so tired of crime in Portland that the state might elect a Republican governor.
That might sound unbelievable to some, but the Cook Political Report has just moved the race for governor in Oregon from ‘Leans Democrat’ to ‘Toss Up.’
This could actually happen, and it would be a political earthquake if it did.
From the Cook Political Report:
Oregon Governor Moves To Toss Up
Thanks to the presence of a well-funded independent candidate, private and public polling has shown the GOP nominee, former state House Minority Leader Christine Drazan, neck and neck with Democratic former House Speaker Tina Kotek. Former state Sen. Betsy Johnson — a bespectacled former Democrat-turned-independent — threatens to act as a spoiler. There’s a clear trend of both Kotek and Drazan pulling in the low 30s, while Johnson has yet to poll higher than the mid-20s, though she has argued that will rise post-Labor Day
While polling can often overstate the percentage a third-party candidate receives, Johnson is no ordinarily weak presence on the ballot. She is not just at fundraising parity with Drazan and Kotek, but she has raised the most money so far all cycle with almost $11.3 million brought in as of Sept. 15. She’s gotten $1.75 million of that from Nike founder Phil Knight, who’s contributed to GOP races in the state previously. Drazan has brought in $9.1 million, while Kotek is at nearly $8.8 million. Both the Republican Governors Association and the Democratic Governors Association have given significant amounts directly to each of their candidates.
Johnson has also spent the most and earliest on TV ads so far — $6 million either already aired or reserved, according to AdImpact. Drazan has reserved or spent almost $3.4 million, while Kotek has $3.2 million. Both Republicans and Democrats point to Johnson still mired in third place despite her heavy spending as evidence that she has a ceiling that is lower than their floors. We fully expect whoever wins this race may not even top 40 percent, and the victor could end up with a plurality as low as 35 percent.
This is amazing news.
🚨NEWS: @CookPolitical has moved their race rating in our direction again.
Two months ago our race was “likely Democrat,” now we’re a “toss-up.”
— Christine Drazan (@ChristineDrazan) September 16, 2022
This will be massive news if Drazan pulls it off.
Hat tip to the Legal Insurrection Blog.