Biden’s Oregon visit gives national attention to local political races

Published: Oct. 14, 2022 at 8:07 PM PDT
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PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV) — President Joe Biden touched down in Portland Friday, bringing with him a national spotlight, shining on Oregon’s local politics.

The President’s visit is much different than his last one in April of this year. First of all, he’ll be in the state longer, spending the night in downtown Portland and leaving back for the East Coast on Saturday. Secondly, he’ll be campaigning for his fellow Oregon Democrats running for office in an election cycle that’s more competitive than years prior. John Horvick is FOX 12′s political analyst. He said the competitive nature of this year’s election in Oregon is what drew the President to fly across the country and visit a state that usually votes blue.

“The fact that at least the Oregon districts and the Oregon gubernatorial election are close is one of the reasons why the president is out here,” Horvick said. “But also the fact that we don’t often have close elections is perhaps one of the reasons we don’t get as many presidential visits as other places.”

SEE ALSO: Expect traffic delays, road closures Friday and Saturday for Biden visit

Homelessness, crime, and the cost of living are all weighing on voters’ minds in the state. Horvick said Republicans this year see an opportunity to capitalize on that after decades of Democratic leadership.

“It’s a much more difficult environment, in an environment where a Democratic candidate might need a little extra help from the president to try to get them to try to get her over the top,” Horvick said.

One of the President’s events will be a private fund raise to bring in more cash for Tina Kotek’s campaign for governor. Recent polling through Horvick’s firm, DHM research, found Kotek behind Republican Christine Drazan.

“I don’t think that the fact that having President Joe Biden here, people are going to think, oh, God, I got to vote for Tina Kotek,” Horvick said. “But he has the ability to raise money, that money can be used to get out the vote.”

With the President vouching for Kotek, Drazan is countering his appearance with a visit from Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin, a popular figure in the Republican Party. Horvick said this is a normal move in the game of politics.

“Glen Youngkin, the governor of Virginia, has a high profile and I think a strong base of support among Republicans,” Horvick said. “So if she can get her voters to be looking the other way, that’s probably to her benefit.”

Horvick also says Youngkin’s visit will be similar to the President’s, a chance to draw in the spotlight on Drazan and raise money to be used to persuade votes. But as we approach election day, Horvick wants everyone to remember this about the country we live in.

“Try to put aside the cynicism and be glad that we live in a place where we can hear directly from our leaders and yell at them when we want to and take their guidance when we need to,” Horvick said.