Tonight's election results for Oregon
races are now in. Here are seven insta-conclusions from the first batch of numbers:
1) Republican Chris Dudley
's bid to end the Democrats' 24-year control of the governor's office is too close to call so far
against Democrat John Kitzhaber.
Democrats' large voter-registration edge
in the state shows how it hard is for any Republican to win statewide—even one who raises a lot more money
2) The People's Republic of Portland isn't a slam-dunk for all measures dear to progressives' hearts. Measure 26-108
, the continuation of public campaign finance for city elections, is losing.
3) The People's Republic of Portland isn't that tight with its wallet, even in this lousy economy. A proposed Multnomah County levy to fund the Oregon Historical Society is passing, and a city fire bond that conducted a low-key campaign is only losing narrowly.
4) Loretta Smith
made an amazing comeback to win a seat on the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners. Coming in second in the May primary
[PDF], Smith trailed first-place primary finisher Karol Collymore by 18 percentage points. But in the general election results today, Smith (a longtime aide to U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden—who incidentally won re-election easily) easily defeated Collymore.
5) Even in a generally live-and-let-live state like Oregon, pot—even of the medical marijuana variety—can be a tough sell. Oregon voters are rejecting Measure 74
, which proposed to create a system of medical marijuana dispensaries.
6) There is a limit to Oregonians' appetite for more gambling. State voters are rejecting Measure 75,
which backers of putting a casino in the old dog racing track in east Multnomah County hoped would clear the way for their proposal.
7) Any national Republican congressional tsunami doesn't include Oregon. Incumbent Democratic Reps. David Wu and Kurt Schrader appear well on their way to defeating
well-funded Republican opponents.
UPDATE at 9:30 pm:
And here's an eighth tidbit I just noticed from the proposed changes to the Multnomah County charter. Two of the county changes on the ballot are losing. One of those losing narrowly is Measure 26-109
, a proposed end to term limits for elected officials in the county. But the more intriguing result potentially is Measure 26-110
, which is losing by a huge margin. That's interesting, because the defeat would keep in place a requirement that county officials resign their office if they choose to run for another office in the middle of their county term—which puts county Chairman Jeff Cogen in a bind if he decides to run for mayor in 2012.
If these conclusions are too pithy for your taste, hang on—we've got reports coming in the next hour or so from the campaigns for governor, Metro president and Multnomah County commissioner, as well as from the campaigns for Wu, and for passage of Measure 26-108.