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Biden heads to Oregon amid signs of trouble for Democrats

President Biden
Greg Nash
President Biden walks towards Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House on Wednesday, October 12, 2022 as he heads for a trip to Colorado, California and Oregon.

President Biden is making a rare trip to Oregon this weekend for a series of political events in the reliably Democratic state amid signs the party’s hold on the governor’s mansion may be at risk.

The president visited Portland in April to tout infrastructure investments at the city’s airport, but this weekend’s visit comes with the midterm elections one month away and Democrats facing tight races up and down the ballot.

Biden will attend an event Friday night with grassroots volunteers in Portland, and he will join Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tina Kotek for an event on Saturday.

Oregon has not had a Republican governor since 1987, and it has voted for the Democratic presidential candidate in each election since 1984. 

But Gov. Kate Brown (D) is departing because of term limits, and the governor’s race has become something of a toss-up, largely because of the presence of a competitive independent candidate.

An Emerson College college poll released earlier this month found Republican Christine Drazan with a narrow lead over Kotek, 36 percent to 34 percent. Candidate Betsy Johnson, a former Democratic state senator received 19 percent support from those surveyed. Nine percent were undecided in the poll.

The state could also be home to multiple competitive congressional races next month.

Rep. Pete DeFazio (D) is retiring and the race for his seat in the 4th Congressional District has tightened. In addition, a district newly created through redistricting could also be competitive.

There is also the state’s 5th Congressional District, where Biden made his lone primary endorsement in backing Rep. Kurt Schraeder (D), who ultimately lost to progressive challenger Jamie McLeod-Skinner. She is now facing Republican Lori Chavez-DeRemer in the general election.

“Joe Biden’s disastrous policies continue to hurt Oregon families, and there has been no bigger fan of his out-of-touch approach than Kate Brown, Tina Kotek, and Betsy Johnson,  who have followed suit in exacerbating the affordability crisis in the state,” Kaitlin Price, a spokesperson for the Republican Governors Association, said in a statement.

“This last ditch effort from national Democrats is proof of their hysteria as they watch Christine Drazan take hold of once deep-blue Oregon that is desperate for change.”

Tags 2022 midterms Joe Biden Joe Biden Kate Brown Kate Brown Oregon Oregon governor's race tina kotek
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