We’re making our predictions on the 2020 Oregon House races.
What can you say about a blue state like Oregon? For one thing, the coastal areas vote like California while the interior regions, to the east of the Cascades, vote like Idaho. In some bad news for Republicans in Oregon, there are a lot more people west of the Cascades than in the rest.
Oregon has been blue for a long time, but it didn’t use to be. Republicans ruled the state legislature for much of the 1990s and early 2000s and had two Republican senators for decades. (The Democrats are strong favorites in this year’s Senate race as well.) In fact, Oregon was a solid Republican state until some point in the 1950s. Now, we would characterize it as the other way around. It has been almost a quarter-century since Republicans had a second House seat in the Beaver State, and over 60 years since they held a majority of them.
As for the present, here comes the part where we tell you how we see the races going in 2020.
OR US House Rating Scale
The 2020 Oregon House races are rated on this sans-tossup scale shown here.
2020 Oregon House Races Current Prediction Summary: May 23
Current Oregon US House Map
2018 was for certain Suzanne Bonamici’s best run, getting over 60 percent of the vote for the first time. She’s in good shape but it takes some massive margins to get the coveted “very safe” designation.
Greg Walden is exiting, and the GOP lined up to get their whack at this district. Cliff Bentz won the Republican nomination1, and he is the favorite to win in November. This seat has been GOP for about 40 years and will continue in said tradition.
Earl Blumenauer and his festive bow ties will be back in Congress in January 2021. The day a Republican wins in Portland will be the same day the Marijuana Party wins in South Carolina.
Peter DeFazio has not gotten over 60 percent in a contested race (with a GOP challenger) since 2006. He will, however, keep southwestern Oregon blue, as no Republican has gotten all that close to him.
This district is not that Democratic, especially when compared to the other blue seats in the state. However, do we think Kurt Schrader has much reason for concern? No; he has never hit 55.1 percent in any run, but it’s not close enough to take this lower than a “strong lean.” Calling this “safe” would dismiss the fact that the GOP is competitive in this district in other ways.
OR House References
1: The Enterprise, “Bentz wins nomination to succeed Walden in Congress,” Malheur Enterprise, May 20, 2020, Malheur Enterprise Link)