Posts tagged ‘Quarter Century Study’

An Observation on Candidate Quality

As Oregon Republicans meet for the annual Dorchester conference, one key issue has to be reversing Republican losses.

One overlooked factor is candidate quality.

Here is an observation they should bear in mind: The government experience of the last four Republican nominees for governor, at the time they were nominated, is comparable to, and probably below, the government experience of the current four Republican Lane County commissioners at the time they were nominated.

The four Republican nominees for Governor had the following levels of experience:
Kevin Mannix had the most. He had been in the state legislature for a dozen years.
Ron Saxton had been a one-term Portland School Board member.
Neither Chris Dudley nor Bill Sizemore had any significant government experienced when they were nominees.

The four Republican Lane County commissioners had the following levels of experience:
Sid Leiken had been Mayor of Springfield for nearly a dozen years.
Pat Farr had one term as a state representative, a decade on the Eugene City Council, and, to top it off, had been a school board member before that. Farr gets at least a tie.
Jay Bozievich had been a one-term community college board member.
Faye Stewart had had no major elected office.

The Lane County commissioners are definitely comparable to the Republican nominees.

The point of this point is not so much to extol the virtues of the Lane County commissioners, but to point out the relative weakness of recent Republican nominees. The discussion of rebranding misses at least part of the point. The Republican gubernatorial nominees need to have done something to place on their resume or Oregonians won’t vote for them.

One has to go back at least to 1956 with Robert Holmes to find a Democratic nominee with as little experience as Mannix. One has to go back to 1948 with Lew Wallace or 1946 with Carl Donaugh to find a Democratic nominee for Governor with clearly less experience.

The question remains. Why do Republicans in heavily Democratic Lane County appear to have access to an equivalent, or better, talent pool for county commissioner than the statewide Republican Party does for governor?

 

Relative Funding Levels in Recent Oregon Statewide Down Ballot Races

In 2012, the only partisan statewide contests Oregonians had to vote on were the down ballot constitutional offices: Attorney General, Secretary of State, and State Treasurer.  This post will compare the 2012 fundraising levels with comparable contests in recent years.

The two 2008 races did better than Buehler did this year. This was despite the fact that the 2008 election was the best Democratic wave among the three years.

The expenditure totals are as of November 16, 2012.

These results fit the pattern. The two 2008 races were for open seats. Dancer placed ahead of Alley because he is from Eugene.

This corresponding vote percentages are at: http://lindholmcompanyblog.com/?p=8548

Vote in Recent Oregon Statewide Down Ballot Races

In 2012, the only partisan statewide contests Oregonians had to vote on were the down ballot constitutional offices: Attorney General, Secretary of State, and State Treasurer.  This post will compare the 2012 results with comparable contests in recent years.

The red line is for the Republican percentage. The blue line is the Democratic percentage. This is the two-party vote. Third parties votes are not counted in order to make the results more easily comparable.

What’s most interesting is that the best result for Republicans was Rick Dancer running for Secretary of State in 2008. This was despite the fact that the 2008 election was the best Democratic wave among the three years.

This result fits with the traditional Eugene Republican advantage: http://lindholmcompanyblog.com/?p=8505

Another related point is that Dancer did relatively poorly in the Portland Metro Area: http://lindholmcompanyblog.com/?p=719. He more than made up for it in Lane County: http://lindholmcompanyblog.com/?p=299

 

Eugene – The Bedrock of Statewide Republicans Wins?

There is an interesting piece of trivia amidst all the Republican futility in statewide races.

The only Republican nominees to win statewide races the first time out, no previous statewide races and not an incumbent, in the last 35 years were Dave Frohnmayer in 1980 and Jack Roberts in 1994. Both were from Eugene and Rubicon members.

The time a last Republican from the Tri-County area (Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington counties) won a statewide partisan race the first time out was in 1968 (Bob Packwood and Lee Johnson)!

There is actually a pretty good strategic reason why the “Berkeley of Oregon” has been so comparatively successful since the 1960s minting statewide Republican nominees. However, that’s for another post.

This post updates the earlier “Quarter Century Study.” For example, please see: http://lindholmcompanyblog.com/?p=122.

Source: Oregon Secretary of State.

Full disclosure: Rick Lindholm ran the Jack Roberts campaign in 1994.

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

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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).

Oregon Statewide Open Seat Expenditure Ratios 1982-2008: 3rd Party Conservatives Running Highlighted

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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.

Significant third-party conservative nominees are defined as those who either received 10% or more of the vote or raised at least $100,000.

It is important to note that two of the three best funded Republican nominees faced significant third-party conservative nominees. Also, neither of the Republican wins faced significant third-party conservative nominees.

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.

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

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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.

Several observations are pertinent:
1. The two Republican victories in open seat and challenge were not the best funded relative to Democratic funding.
2. Three Republican nominees were outspent by Democrats three to one.
3. Republicans did not even contest the 2008 Attorney General contest.

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.

Oregon Statewide 1982-2008 Comparison Summary

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This graph brings together the comparable data on Republican statewide partisan contest success. The Oregon performance from 1982 through 2008 is compared with California and Washington in recent years and Oregon in the decade prior.

Sources of data: Oregon Secretary of State; California Secretary of State; Washington Secretary of State.

Oregon Statewide 1982-2008 and Washington 2003-2008

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This graphic compares Republican performance in Washington statewide contests from 2003-2008 with Oregon performance from 1982-2008.

Incumbents of both parties dominated.  However, despite the Democratic dominance of Washington in Presidential contests in recent years, the Republicans still won a third of open seat contests.

The 2003-08 period in Washington directly parallels the period in Oregon since the last statewide victory and the presumed Democratic dominance.

Sources of data: Oregon Secretary of State; Washington Secretary of State.

Oregon Statewide 1982-2008 and California 2003-2008

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This graphic compares Republican performance in California statewide contests from 2003-2008 with Oregon performance from 1982-2008.

Incumbents of both parties did the best. However, despite the Democratic dominance of California in recent years, the Republicans still won a third of open seat contests.

The 2003-08 period in California directly parallels the period in Oregon since the last statewide victory and the presumed Democratic dominance.

Sources of data: Oregon Secretary of State; California Secretary of State.