In a Blue State like Oregon, What makes a Republican candidate electable in the general?
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Three things. First you need charisma. A republican candidate must have the personality to win over voters.
Second, the candidate must not carry any baggage. Old scandals, close relationships with unsavory characters, or just about anything the Oregonian would jump on and make an issue out of.
Lastly the lack of a good democrat running. We can be thankful sleepy Ted is running.
Mr. Plunk is correct in all three cases.
In my opinion, Mr. Saxton has all the necessary qualities needed to run and or win the primaries and elections in November. His competition on the GOP side do not have a chance to win and he is not a career politician.
Unless a Republican can get a substanial number of votes in the Portland Metro area they will never win an election. It’s as simple as that. And I think the Mannix campaign is starting to get a little desperate right now. The negative ads slamming Ron Saxton will bite Mannix in the ass big time. They show what a sorry, sour grapes campaign he is running.
Sorry Kevin – you have “LOSER” written all over your forhead.
I am ok with people relating this topic to specifics … but I would prefer this post to work through a numerical list of criteria that answers the question. Steve’s answer is EXACTLY what I was looking for.
Mason … can you share why you think the other 2 candidates don’t meet Steve’s list.
Dave … do you think that Gordon Smith’s race provide any support to your thesis? (the importance of Portland) IE … does it help to elect a Portland R? When was the last time that type of candidate was successful statewide?
A Republican candidate in this state needs a strong libertarian streak in order to win. He/she needs to put social conservative ideals aside and press the real problems with this state: the Education and public employee unions.
I heard that 1/3 of registered voters in Oregon are Independents. An independently-minded candidate can become our next governor.
He needs to be able to appeal to social conservatives (i.e., pro-life crowd) so that they will turn out. But at the same time, he must not fall into the trap of making social issues the primary focus of the campaign (will turn off moderate-liberal swing voters).
A perfect example of what went wrong with 2002: while the GOP had a candidate in Kevin Mannix who the pro-life crowd could rally behind, he failed to make the case for those who are not single-issue pro-life voters to support him. Many people who might have otherwise voted for a GOP candidate either voted for Tom Cox or held their noses while voting for Sleepy Ted.
Kevin Mannix is in worse shape now than in 2002. He has done nothing to offer anyone other than a single-issue pro-life voter a reason to support him.
Ron Saxton is trying hard to win over the social convervatives, but his plan is backfiring. Many social conservatives don’t trust him, and many moderate-liberal swing voters are getting upset that he is pandering to groups like OFIR and personalities like Lars Larson.
Jason Atkinson is the only GOP candidate who can turn out the social conservative vote, without alienating moderate-liberal voters. Jason may be pro-life, but that isn’t the centerpiece of his campaign. He respects marriage, but isn’t out there campaigning on an anti-gay agenda. He is solid on immigration, but isn’t out there making inflammatory statements like “we need to kick the alien kids out of school” (which goes against federal law). But most importantly, the moderate-liberal voters, who don’t care about abortion and aren’t as worked up on other social issues, DO care about jobs, property rights, taxes, and the economy. These are the issues Atkinson has put at the forefront of his campaign.
This is why I got behind Aktinson early: I believe he is the ONLY candidate who can give the GOP a victory.
The number one criteria for Republican success here in Oregon seems to be…
A weak, untested, underfunded democrat opponent with low name ID. Our only statewide success in recent memory was Gordon Smith and Jack Roberts. Take a look at their opponents and tell me I am wrong.
Ceteris paribus, Democrats have the sheer numbers to win statewide in Oregon. Doesn’t common wisdom say that a candidate needs to win 30% in Multnomah and break even everywhere else? Added to that fact is that we Republicans force our candidates through the Procrustean litmus test of abortion, the result of which either turns off the base, or alienates the cross-overs.
“…Republicans force our candidates through the Procrustean litmus test of abortion, the result of which either turns off the base, or alienates the cross-overs.’
Excellent point. And well said.
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