Oregon Statewide Open Seat Expenditure Ratios 1982-2008: Moderate Republican Nominee Highlighted


This graph shows the Republican funding as a percentage of the Democrat’s funding for all open seat contests from 1982 through 2008 and from the 1994 victory of Jack Roberts for Labor Commissioner.

Of the Republicans who spent more than their Democratic opponents, the three conservatives lost, two of the moderates faced significant third-party conservative opponents and lost, and the one moderate who faced the Democrat on even terms, won. No conservative Republican nominee has won election.

A recent study published in the Oregon Historical Quarterly (see below for citation) concluded that the last time a conservative won statewide office in Oregon was 1948! Regardless of the details, it has been a very long time.

Methodology: In order to maximize comparability across contests, a single standard was chosen. The standard used in the Almanac of American Politics in that it measures expenditures rather than contributions, combines primary and general funding and omits in-kind expenditures. In addition, because expenditures vary widely across contests, the relative expenditures were standardized by taken the Republican expenditures as a percentage of the Democratic expenditure.

Sources: Oregon Secretary of State and Almanac of American Politics. Jeff LaLande, Oregon’s Last Conservative U.S. Senator: Some Light upon the Little-Known Career of Guy Cordon, Volume 110, No. 2 (Summer 2009).

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