How could you vote for Dudley! How could you vote Kitzhaber!
If you uttered either of those statements, then you dont know your neighbors. Theyre all over the political map.
Thats good for Oregon. Maybe were getting back to our maverick roots.
Five sets of election results from Tuesday demonstrated Oregonians eclectic thinking:
-They bucked the national trend and overwhelmingly re-elected Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden, whos served in Congress since 1981. In fact, they re-elected all six members of Oregons congressional delegation who were on Tuesdays ballot: five Democrats and one Republican.
-They easily passed a get-tough-on-crime measure sponsored by conservative Republican Kevin Mannix of Salem.
-They were split on the governors race between Republican Chris Dudley and Democrat John Kitzhaber.
-They soundly toppled the Democratic supermajority in the Oregon Legislature. Both the House and Senate might wind up split evenly between Republicans and Democrats.
-They handily elected a Democrat, appointed incumbent Ted Wheeler, as state treasurer.
The party registration in Oregon provides an interesting backdrop for those results: Democrats, 41.6 percent of registered voters; Republicans, 32.0 percent; independents, 20.5 percent; with the remainder divided among minor political parties.
But if you think that only one political party has the answers for todays problems, then youre out of sync with your neighbors. Oregon is not a blue state, a red state or even a blended purple state. Its a state whose pioneering, independent streak lives on in todays voters.