WW presents "Distant Voices," a daily video interview for the era of social distancing. Our reporters are asking Portlanders what they're doing during quarantine.
John Horvick has seen enough Oregon elections to know Multnomah County votes late and left. So he balked at calling this spring's biggest race a done deal before Portland's tardy progressives had their say.
That decision saved him the humbling endured by The Oregonian this week when it prematurely declared Sen. Mark Hass (D-Beaverton) the Democratic nominee for Oregon secretary of state. In fact, Sen. Shemia Fagan (D-Portland) pulled ahead Wednesday afternoon, and now appears comfortably ahead.
"Multnomah County did what it does," said Horvick, a vice president at DHM Research, the state's most trusted polling firm. "It counted slowly, and has more votes to count. And it pulled Shemia Fagan over the top."
That doesn't mean Horvick wasn't himself surprised. He didn't expect turnout to be as healthy as it was during a pandemic, and he underestimated the appeal of Mingus Mapps—the political newcomer who sped past former Mayor Sam Adams to make a runoff against Commissioner Chloe Eudaly.
Horvick says Mapps has to be considered the favorite in November. In this interview, he discusses the lessons of that City Council race, explains why COVID-19 has been good for Gov. Kate Brown's popularity, and previews the one thing he doesn't want to see next in the contest to claim the secretary of state's job.