Oregonians were a fiercely independent group of voters at one time...party affiliation came second.
Our values were anchored in the belief that we deserved strong personal liberties and freedom from constitutional infringements. Whichever party could deliver those values was the party for Oregonians. Fast-forward to today—which party delivers the goods on those demands now? If you don't have a good answer to that, then I believe this is why the majority of voters in this state are registered independent or are unaffiliated. It is clear to many of us, that neither of the two major parties represents them.
CD01 is 37% Democrat, and 24% Republican.*
This leaves 39% of registered voters without a favorite or a first choice. These voters are excluded from primaries and are often forced to choose the 'least-worst' among candidates.
Could you imagine an election where we agonize over the best of two, equally compelling, equally good choices?
All personal liberties are relevant...even if it is a liberty you personally do not choose to exercise.
This is where the Republican Party needs to improve, and also where it needs to unify instead of bifurcate. There are many fiscally conservative, strong personal liberty voters who do not feel welcome in the Republican Party because they are in same-sex marriages. Consequently, they vote independent, or reluctantly, vote Democratic.
Potential Republicans are discouraged from exercising their liberty within our party.
Additionally, I know many pro-small government voters who are also single parents, and most of them did not choose to become single parents. They do not feel welcome in the Republican Party because they are told over and over that a two parent household is optimal for raising children. If you are fortunate enough to be in a two parent household, God bless you and yours. You have advantages that look enviable to others. But to single parents, it is also a reminder of the failed marriages that they did not want to see end. Could Republicans exercise some humility here and quite possibly be less boastful? You’d be amazed how far that will take you in growing the Republican Party. If we do not do this, these single parents will likely vote independent.
Big Money is not free speech and corporations are not people.
Is there a voter out there who disagrees with this? How has this detail been so successfully hidden behind false flag outrage and obfuscation by various non-issues that demand our attention because the other issues viscerally outrage us (think: fluoride in water)? When big bank bailouts happened during the Great Recession, why were voters of all stripes not united on this? Liberty loving Republicans need to do better on this point because K Street lobbyists used money as speech to influence our elected officials. Bailing out banks was a huge transfer of wealth from working families to the wealthy. And we argued about fluoride. And this is not to say that what we put in public water is not worthy of concern, and that the cost of putting a mineral in our water is not worthy of concern, but it is to say this: if money equals speech, you and I won’t be able to have our voices heard on the fluoride issue at all, because we have little money, and therefore no speech. To use a water analogy, speech is upstream from all other political events.
* Based on registered voters in the district at the end of 2017