2022 Oregon General Election Results
1-9-2023 Alex McHaddad
A Turning Point Year
The final call for Governor Tina Kotek's election was painful for a lot of volunteers, and I have been waiting patiently for some signs of hope. Thankfully, Oregon provides a massive amount of election data that points toward a bright future for Republicans.
Making the Democrats Blink
Republicans had their best shot to take back the Governor's office since 1982. Rep. Christine Drazan performed admirably against Senator Betsy Johnson (N) and ultimate victor Speaker Tina Kotek (D). 125,942 Republicans did not vote, down from 133,000 in 2018. Governor Kotek led by just 66,727 votes, meaning that outstanding Republican votes could have put Mahonia Hall in GOP hands for the first time in decades. Outstanding nonaffiliated votes would not have allowed Senator Johnson to overtake Rep. Drazan or Speaker Kotek.
The Still Democratic Senate
Popular turns in voter support for parties often hit the lower house before the upper house. In 2022, Senator Kim Thatcher was one Republican identified as likely to win but within the margin of error to lose based on primary turnout. Senator Thatcher was victorious. Incumbent Senator Bill Kennemer lost to Democratic Rep. Mark Meek despite higher turnout in the Republican Primary. Senator Kennemer's victory would have still resulted in a Democratic Senate Majority.
In 2020, two Senate Districts could have been won by higher Democratic turnout (5 and 27), while two could have been won by higher Republican turnout (10 and 25).
In 2018, no Democratic Senate victory could have been reversed by 100% GOP turnout.
The Senate is harder to predict than the House. The Secretary of State reports that 8 of the Senate seats regularly scheduled for the 2024 election have Democratic majorities, as opposed to 7 with Republican majorities (1 being currently held by an Independent). Republicans winning all 7 seats will only amount to 11 seats when combined with the 4 GOP Senators not on the ballot.
The Almost GOPeople's House
The House of Representatives had a record 10 seats that could have been flipped by higher party participation. 6 Democratic seats could have been won by Republicans, while 4 Republicans seats could have gone on to expand the Democratic supermajority.
Republican Close Calls: HD21 Mannix R vs. Navarro D, HD 22 Cramer R vs. Medina D, HD32 Javadi R vs. Laity D, HD52 Helfrich R vs. Long D.
Democratic Close Calls: HD7 Lively D vs. Stout R, HD40 Hartman D vs. Baker R, HD48 Nguyen D vs. Masterman R, HD49 Hudson D vs. Lauer R, HD50 Ruiz D vs. Salvador R, HD53 Levy D vs. Sipe R.
In 2020, higher Republican turnout could have flipped House Districts 31 and 52, while higher Democratic turnout could have flipped House Districts 9 and 19.
In 2018, no Democratic House victory could have been reversed by 100% GOP turnout.
A growth in seats competitive from Republicans from 0 to 2 to 6 bodes well as the party looks to the future.
The key to Republican victories remains in greater outreach to nonaffiliated and Independent Party voters. Republicans need to present a unified platform in 2024 that can attract voters of all stripes at all levels of government.