Oregon could have its first Republican governor since 1982 as a shocking new poll shows pro-life Republican Christine Drazan leading the Oregon governor’s race.
A new poll from Nelson Research shows that the Oregon governor’s race is much closer than most people would think given its liberal history.
The Oregon-based public opinion research firm recently surveyed 577 likely voters. Results showed that Republican Christine Drazan received 43.5% of the vote, while Democrat Tina Kotek garnered 41.1% of votes. Unaffiliated candidate Betsy Johnson tallied 5.4% of the vote — 9.4% of voters were undecided.
Nelson says that of the 42.6% of respondents who say they already voted, Drazan leads Kotek by less than one point (47.6% to 46.7%).
Republican gubernatorial candidate and former member of the state House of Representatives Christine Drazan, who is endorsed by Oregon Right to Life, led her opponent, former Democratic Speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives Tina Kotek, by two points in a recent Emerson College poll earlier this month. Johnson, a former Democrat, may be pulling voters away from Kotek.
Drazan says she is pro-life and her stance is a faith-based decision. She said she would oppose legislation for unlimited abortions or tax-funded abortions.
“I would have vetoed legislation which would put Oregon further outside the mainstream on abortion policies, including taxpayer funding for abortion and abortion on demand up until the moment of birth,” she has said.
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Democrats currently dominate the Oregon legislature and President Joe Biden won the state by a 16 point margin in 2020, with the state’s most populous city, Portland, widely viewed as one of the most left-wing places in the country.
Drazan’s campaign has focused heavily on public safety, drawing attention to the surge in violent crime in Oregon cities in recent years. She has characterized the political response to widespread homelessness in cities like Portland as policy failures.
“An emergency declaration is a powerful tool we need to help homeless Oregonians,” she wrote. “We should’ve done this a long time ago, but my Democrat opponents have failed to come through for Oregon families. It’s time for a new direction.”
Her campaign has emphasized moving away from policies associated with rampant public drugs use, homelessness and crime; Kotek took the positions Drazan now criticizes on several key issues while serving in the state Senate. Kotek recently defended a 2020 ballot measure that decriminalized all drugs in small quantities, and in the summer of 2020 she urged police to take a more lax approach to protesters during violent clashes.
Portland has struggled with surging violent crime, including homicides, in recent years. Polls have found widespread concerns about public safety, with a majority of voters considering the city “very unsafe” after dark.