Democrats have had control of Oregon for nearly four decades but it seems that many of its people are ready for a change of leadership after the craziness of leftist policies in the past few years.
“I don’t like the Democratic approach to anything that’s happening,” said Terri, a Salem, Oregon resident who dropped her party affiliation two years ago. “I used to be a Democrat for 40 years.”
The Washington Free Beacon spoke with many voters, and like Terri, they are fed up with President Joe Biden and Oregon Governor Kate Brown (D.). Terri spoke candidly about how both Democratic leaders have attempted to woo progressives with policies that undermine public safety and contribute to record inflation.
“I want law and order. I want people who have committed crimes to be prosecuted,” she said. “We want help for those who need it—not help for everybody, like this administration is doing, just handing out money willy-nilly.” A friend with her at the event agreed.
The state-wide dissatisfaction with the Democrat Party’s platform and leadership is threatening Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tina Kotek’s chances in Oregon, where voters rank crime and the economy as top concerns. Even after Biden visited the state, the Democrat trails her Republican opponent Christine Drazan in recent polls. Surveys that have been conducted statewide also have shown a majority of Oregonians have an unfavorable view of both Biden and Kotek.
Talk of Oregon residents often centers on Portland, where Kotek lives and which has long been a hotbed of far-left activism. Anti-police protests inspired by the killing of George Floyd gripped the city for over 100 days in 2020. Afterward, rioters damaged businesses and clashed violently against federal and local law enforcement. Data for Progress is a left-wing think tank that found in 2022 that 62 percent of voters want to see more police in their communities.
“When I drive through Portland, I’m scared. I didn’t used to be scared, but I’m scared,” Chris is a volunteer for a nonprofit that helps the homeless in Portland. “The police are understaffed and underappreciated.”
The Data of Progress also found that sixty percent of voters in the state want police to step up enforcement against quality-of-life offenses such as public urination and homeless encampments.
Drazan and unaffiliated gubernatorial candidate Betsy Johnson have both criticized Kotek for siding with Portland rioters who attacked a police station during the 2020 protests. Kotek has had to do some major juggling to keep her leftist followers happy while still trying to sell herself to the average Oregonian. In her latest debate, she said she has “always supported” police but wants them to be held “accountable.”
An October poll revealed that 52 percent of Oregon voters now trust Republicans to handle crime better than Democrats. Forty-eight percent favor Republicans restoring the economy.