2020 Oregon Legislative Races Outlook

Oregon Senate Chambers.

Oregon Legislature

Alex McHaddad, 7/11/20

The Oregon Legislature is composed of two branches, the Senate (30 Senators) and House of Representatives (60 Representatives). Every two years, all 60 seats are up for election. Half of all Senate seats are elected every alternating two years, though in 2020 one special election is being held to fill the seat held by late Senator Jackie Winters. A party's primary turnout has usually predicted the outcome of Oregon's legislative races since 2002, with few exceptions that provide a margin of error.

Senate Dem. Leader Rob Wagner

Senate Dem. Leader Rob Wagner

Senate GOP Leader Fred Girod

Senate GOP Leader Fred Girod

Oregon Senate

16 elections are being held in November, including 15 regular elections for 4-year Senate terms and 1 special election to complete the remaining 2 years of a term held by the late Senator Jackie Winters. Between 2004-2018, only 8 Senators were elected despite their party conducting a primary with lower turnout than the opposition (6.2% of all Senate contests, resulting in a margin of error of 2,088 more participants to ensure a safe election.

  • Safe Republican (at least 2,088 more primary participants): Districts 1, 2, 9, 28, 29, and 30.
  • Lean Republican (fewer than 2,088 more primary participants): District 12. This seat is currently held by Senator Brian Boquist, R-Dallas.
  • Safe Democrat (at least 2,088 more primary participants): Districts 5, 10, 14, 18, 21, 22, 23, 25, 27.

Party Seats Before Election: 18 Democratic/12 Republican.

Party Seats Predicted After Election: 20 Democratic/10 Republican. Republicans lose Districts 10 and 27.

House Dem. Leader Barbara Smith Warner

House GOP Leader Christine Drazan

Oregon House of Representatives

60 elections are being held in November for 60 seats in the House of Representatives. Between 2004-2018, only 37 Representatives were elected despite their party conducting a primary with lower turnout than the opposition (7.7% of all House contests), resulting in a margin of error of 800 more participants to ensure a safe election.

  • Safe Republican (at least 800 more primary participants): Districts 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 15, 18, 23, 25, 53, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, and 60.
  • Lean Republican (fewer than 800 more primary participants): Districts 6, 24, and 39. District 39 is currently held by House GOP Leader Christine Drazan (R-Canby), who won her first term in 2018 by 6,121 votes.
  • Toss-Up: District 19. Rep. Raquel Moore-Green (R-Salem) won a primary with 310 fewer participants than the Democratic nominating competition. While this amount is far behind the margin of error for victory, the election was won by Republican candidate Denyc Boles by over 1,900 votes. Boles resigned to be appointed Senator, and Rep. Moore-Green was appointed to replace her for the duration of the term.
  • Lean Democrat (fewer than 800 more primary participants): District 9. this open seat is contested by Oregon State Parks & Rec. Commission Chair Cal Makumoto and educator Boomer Wright. Retiring Democratic Rep. Caddy McKeown won the seat in 2018 by 2,571 votes.
  • Safe Democrat (at least 800 more primary participants): Districts 5,8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, 20, 21, 22, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, and 54.

Party Seats Before Election: 38 Democratic/22 Republican.

Party Seats Predicted After Election: 41 Democratic/19 Republican. Republicans lose Districts 17, 19, and 54.