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Is Oregon in play?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 4:45 pm - October 2, 2012.
Filed under: 2012 Presidential Election

Commenting on my post about the apparent abundance of Romney signs in swing states, our  reader Bastiat Fan who lives in Vancouver, Washington just across the river from Portland has been

. . .  STUNNED by the amount of Obama TV ads I’m seeing. It doesn’t get much bluer than the Portland metro area, so why is he spending all that money HERE, of all places? I suspect their internal polling is scaring them. I don’t believe all the media spin about polls….it looks like what we used to call “whistling past the graveyard” to me.

I do recall seeing a polls or two in the summer that had Obama well below 50 in the Beaver State and Mitt Romney not far behind.

Could this state which hasn’t gone Republican since 1984 be in play?  And if Oregon is in play, could Maine and Minnesota also be competitive?

UPDATE:  Picking up on this post, Michael Barone reminds us how close Oregon was in the 2000 and 2004 elections and speculates that

. . . someone in the Obama campaign somewhere are concerned that Libertarian party nominee Gary Johnson may cut into Obama’s vote in Oregon, which could make Mitt Romney competitive as George W. Bush was in 2000. After 2000 many left-leaning voters were wary of third party candidates like Nader, for fear that votes for them would elect a Republican. But Johnson differs from Nader in one important way: the former governor of New Mexico favors liberalizing the laws against marijuana.

Read the whole thing.



  1. …if Oregon is in play, could Maine and Minnesota also be competitive?

    I’d sure like to think so. But then, I’m an optimist, and refuse to be an “eyore.”

    Comment by Bastiat Fan — October 2, 2012 @ 5:18 pm - October 2, 2012

  2. It would surprise me if Oregon wasn’t close (in my non-expert opinion), at least within a margin of 5 points. It would surprise me, but not very much, if Romney won Oregon. If it weren’t for the Democratic Party’s propaganda arm, I would think this would be a landslide in favour of Romney.

    As for Minnesota, I am very surprised it isn’t considered a battleground state, considering it voted for Obama in 2008 by a smaller percentage than Pennsylvania, Nevada, and Wisconsin (and by a much smaller percentage than Michigan); and barely by a bigger percentage than Iowa and Colorado. Does anyone have an explanation for that?

    Comment by Rattlesnake — October 2, 2012 @ 5:29 pm - October 2, 2012

  3. I’ve commented on this before. Here in the Bay Area, the belly of the beast, we are seeing unending Obama ads on all the cable networks. Am I stupid, or can’t the Obama campaign decide where to spend their cable advertising budget? Does an ad on A&E go nationwide even if it doesn’t need to be seen in bluer than blue California? Does SiFy network only sell national ads? I can’t believe the cable networks can’t differentiate what markets they advertize in. Why oh why is Obama spending valuable advertising funds on California? Just what do their internals show?

    Comment by John in Dublin — October 2, 2012 @ 7:57 pm - October 2, 2012

  4. There are grumblings that Maine will split it’s electoral vote. The northern district of Maine has been leaning very much in the favor of Republicans over the last few years. In 2010, Mainah’s voted in a Republican Governor, State House and State Senate Republican majorities for the first time since the mid-60’s. Our Gov. is despised by the liberals in the southern district and looked upon favorably by the conservatives in the northern district.

    Obama stickers and signs are scarce in Southern Maine. They were abundant in 2008.

    Comment by TnnsNe1 — October 2, 2012 @ 8:56 pm - October 2, 2012

  5. John in Dublin:

    As I understand it (and I only know this because I was interviewed for a job with a cable company doing ad scheduling once), even what appear to be “national” ads can be run or NOT run in various markets. In other words, the Obama campaign is PAYING for those ads you’re seeing on A & E and SyFy in the Bay area….just as they are paying for those same ads that I SEE here in Vancouver (Portland, Oregon metro area.) That’s what I find so puzzling. This area should be a LOCK for him, as should your area. This is why I am forced to conclude that his campaign has some internal polling that has them SCARED. Please share your thoughts! FYI: the Obama ad in heaviest rotation right at the moment is about China and Romney not being in favor of trade sanctions. Is that what you’re seeing?

    Comment by Bastiat Fan — October 2, 2012 @ 10:02 pm - October 2, 2012

  6. I don’t know a tremendous amount about Oregon politics, but my impression has always been that if cities could have children, Portland would be the offspring of San Francisco and Seattle, and it is just as reliably left-wing as both. Likewise, Eugene is sort of like Berkeley Junior. Much of the rest of the state is fairly conservative and the rural areas are rather like the rural areas of California, Nevada, and Idaho. The rest of the state isn’t as populous as the coastal cities, though, so for it to be close, it really comes down to a question of turnout for the Democrats in the liberal centers. If people in the big cities aren’t motivated to vote for Obama, or if they vote for the candidates from the Green Party or the Libertarian Party instead, then Obama really might lose in Oregon. Now that would be fun to see.

    Comment by Kurt — October 2, 2012 @ 10:53 pm - October 2, 2012

  7. Bastiat Fan:

    Thanks for confirming what I thought about the cable networks being able to advertize in selected markets. The repeat ad that keeps appearing here is accusing Romney of planning tax increases on the middle class. This has been repeated ad nauseum for weeks and weeks now. I suspect they really are worried their base will largely sit out this election.

    Comment by John in Dublin — October 2, 2012 @ 11:42 pm - October 2, 2012

  8. Perhaps they’re projecting a tight race (or a loss) in the Electoral College, and are trying to boost their popular vote as an edge in perceived legitimacy.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — October 3, 2012 @ 4:43 am - October 3, 2012

  9. (I’m assuming there’s no way that CA’s electoral votes could seriously be in play.)

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — October 3, 2012 @ 4:44 am - October 3, 2012

  10. Speaking of odd places to see Obama ads: I’m seeing them in Texas. I wonder what is making his campaign think that is a wise use of funds.

    Comment by Mandy — October 3, 2012 @ 10:34 am - October 3, 2012

  11. That’s odd, too, Mandy. Obama running ads in Texas makes about as much sense as Mitt running ads in the Upper West side of Manhatttan. He might as well just stay home and BURN the money.

    Comment by Bastiat Fan — October 3, 2012 @ 11:54 am - October 3, 2012

  12. I am approaching 3 years being paid fairly well to live behind the lines in Portland of The Republic of Hemp-in-stan. I relocated from living in both Dakotas (great area if you can adapt to the weather) and I grew up in southern Minnesota.

    Observations on the political climate of the PDX metro area – I can not directly speak of to the rest of the state –
    * The area is nominally ‘blue’ but has a very defined tendency to small L libertarianism and provincialism.
    * The ‘blue’ contingent is woefully ignorant of politics and current events, to the point that I have had conversations with several of them who did not know that Sam Adams is mayor, or even who he is and his back history. The main talking points on the 2012 POTUS election are Bush is evil, Barry the O is black, and Romney will ban abortion.
    * Oregon has only mail in and/ or drop off balloting that the USPS delivers about 2 weeks before the data of the election – there are no options to go to a polling place to cast a ballot. Shiny everyday things tend to make the locals forget to fill out or misplace the ballot packet.

    I am enjoying stressing to the hemp addicts I know that last winter I predicted Holder’s DOJ would be conducting pot busts close to the election – and he is to set up a law and order smoke screen for use in the midwest. Circling back to the ignorant of current events, most of the dopers are unaware Barry’s tool Holder is being mean. The Chicago machine assumes very few votes will be lost here because the faithful will not abandon The One over some inconvenience.

    If the loony libs are not given a reason to become fired up and participate Oregon could easily swing to Romney. My opinion only.

    Comment by Peter — October 3, 2012 @ 2:07 pm - October 3, 2012

  13. So I have a very good reason not to put out a Romney yard sign. Don’t want to alarm the natives.

    I don’t watch TV, and I dropped my Oregonian subscription, so I haven’t seen the ads.

    I dropped the Oregonian because the premise of every story is “federal money is free, nobody in Oregon will ever have to pay it back.”

    Comment by PDX Patriot — October 3, 2012 @ 3:05 pm - October 3, 2012

  14. Wow. Who knew there were so many “Gay Patriots” in my area? Perhaps we should
    have a meetup?

    Comment by Bastiat Fan — October 3, 2012 @ 4:22 pm - October 3, 2012

  15. […] the need for them: Here’s an interesting bit of information from B. Daniel Blatt at the Gay Patriot blog: a commenter reports that he’s seeing a lot of pro-Obama TV ads on Portland, Oregon, stations. […]

    Pingback by JHPolitics – Obama Playing Defense in Oregon? — October 3, 2012 @ 6:16 pm - October 3, 2012

  16. I’ve seen Obama ads in Canada (on CNN). I have no idea what that means, but if the cable networks can run different ads in different markets, it seems strange. Most of the American networks I got in that area (I’ve moved since and no longer have a TV) were based out of Spokane, which is a reliably Republican area in a blue state (I don’t know if CNN considers Spokane a market, though. If not, probably Seattle). I don’t remember seeing any Romney ads (and if I did they were far less frequent), although that was before the GOP convention. Also, I’m not sure if what I was watching was CNN International (and if it was, that would be even stranger).

    Comment by Rattlesnake — October 3, 2012 @ 9:45 pm - October 3, 2012

  17. […] noticing a report on the Gay Patriot blog, the Washington Examiner‘s Michael Barone wrote on Tuesday he believed the […]

    Pingback by Obama Airing Commercials in Oregon to Blunt Potential Gary Johnson Impact | News — October 4, 2012 @ 1:32 pm - October 4, 2012

  18. […] noticing a report on the Gay Patriot blog, the Washington Examiner‘s Michael Barone wrote on Tuesday he believed the […]

    Pingback by Obama Airing Commercials in Oregon to Blunt Potential Gary Johnson Impact « News « @griffinrc — October 4, 2012 @ 1:53 pm - October 4, 2012

  19. […] number of conservative blogs such as Breitbart, Gay Patriot Blog and Michael Barone are speculating that the reason why Obama is running ads heavily in Portland, […]

    Pingback by Is Gary Johnson Putting Oregon in Play for Romney? | Independent Political Report — October 7, 2012 @ 12:52 am - October 7, 2012

  20. […] number of conservative blogs such as Breitbart, Gay Patriot Blog and Michael Barone are speculating that the reason why Obama is running ads heavily in Portland, […]

    Pingback by Is Gary Johnson Putting Oregon in Play for Romney? | — October 7, 2012 @ 9:41 pm - October 7, 2012

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