Oregon Statewide Party Registration, 1916

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The graphic above requires a bit of explanation. First, Oregon was an overwhelmingly Republican state in 1916 in registration. This continued to be true into the 1930s.

Second, there were three partisan primaries in May, 1916: Republican, Democratic, and Progressive. Teddy Roosevelt’s strong performance in the 1912 Oregon General Election qualified the Progressive party to hold primaries in 1914 and 1916.

Third, despite holding a primary, as opposed to a nominating convention like the Prohibition and Socialist parties did, there were fewer Progressive party members. It should be noted that registration was a bit different than today. Unlike the permanent registration we have today, registration was annual. One newspaper cartoon of the time showed how the Progressive party registration had no waiting line, unlike the Democrats and Republicans.

Finally, as one might guess based on the above information, the Progressive Party nominees didn’t get enough votes to maintain a primary after 1916. This year’s primary, 2016, was the first time since 1916 that Oregon had three major party primaries.

Source: Oregon Secretary of State.

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