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Oregon: All Even Everywhere

In a stunning deadlock, Oregon voters appear to have provided America with a political science experiment no one would want to live through: both houses of our legislature may be deadlocked and we have no result in the Governor’s race.

First, the legislature (from OPB):

While results aren’t final, current projections show that the Democrats may lose control in both the Oregon House and Senate.

Still, current House majority leader Mary Nolan is optimistic. She says an evenly split legislature doesn’t have to mean gridlock.

Mary Nolan: “Once we move into the legislative session, we operate on behalf of all Oregonians and most of what we do, we have bipartisan support for. So I don’t think it’s going to change our ability to move legislation.”

Um, okay.

And in the governor’s race (OregonLive):

Republican Chris Dudley was holding onto a razor thin lead over Democrat John Kitzhaber in the governor’s race early today, but the math continued to point in Kitzhaber’s favor.

Tens of thousands of ballots remain to be counted in Multnomah and Lane counties — both with heavy Democratic majorities. An analysis by The Oregonian indicates that if last night’s voting trends continue, Kitzhaber will win in a squeaker.

This might very well be an example of a clearly defined result (Dudley can’t actually maintain his lead as Multnomah votes get counted) the media is not willing to call because the probably winner is still behind.

According to reporters on the Oregonian Live Chat there are 65,000 uncounted Multnomah ballots (central Portland metro area). These votes have gone 70/30 for Democrat Kitzhaber over political neophyte and former basketballer Dudley.

The elections board was swamped with ballots yesterday; they got more day-of returned ballots than in 2008, a presidential year!

It confuses voters to see the ‘winner’ declared with fewer votes, and leads to baseless accusations of media bias when the result then goes as ‘predicted.’

So, we Beavers wait.

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Teddy Partridge

Teddy Partridge