2 Oregon congressional districts still too close to call, sign of future elections

Published: Nov. 11, 2022 at 6:05 PM PST
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - Two Oregon congressional races still do not have a clear winner, days after the election.

On Friday afternoon, Republican Lori Chavez-Deremer was ahead of Democrat Jamie McLeod Skinner in the state’s 5th District. In Oregon’s 6th District, Democrat Andrea Salinas was ahead of Republican Mike Erickson.

With 85% of the vote counted, Chavez-Deremer declared herself the winner, even though the Associated Press has not made the call.

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Her campaign issued this statement:

“I am humbled and grateful for the outpouring of support we received throughout this campaign. From the suburbs of Clackamas, down to rural Linn and Marion counties, and over to the Cascades to Central Oregon, one thing was clear to me: Oregonians wanted common-sense solutions to their everyday problems. Families needed a Congresswoman to tackle inflation, keep us safe, and focus on what’s best for Oregon families.”

McLeod-Skinner’s campaign responded to the perceived win with this statement:

“Most media outlets have not called this race. There are thousands of ballots still to be counted, including at least 65,000 ballots in Clackamas County alone, along with additional ballots that are contested or challenged. It’s still too soon to make any declaration on this race. We’re going to continue to monitor the process to ensure every vote is counted.”

FOX 12 reached out to Salinas’ and Erickson’s campaigns but did not hear back.

Regardless of the outcome, these districts have shown that the Democratic hold on Oregon is being challenged.

John Horvick, FOX 12′s political analyst and vice president at DHM research said newly drawn districts have created a more competitive environment.

“In the redistricting process, Democrats who control that process drew these districts in a way that in good years they could win five out of the six districts,” Horvick said. “That meant, though, in order for that to happen, they had to make those margins pretty narrow.”

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He said the new congressional districting map has helped give Republicans a chance to chip away at a Democratic stronghold in the state.

“We’re going to have a change in our delegation,” Horvick said. “We’re going to have another Republican, most likely we’re going to have, three at least new members of Congress, and it’ll be four in the last two years.”

With these two districts in Oregon now a shade of purple, Horvick said whichever party wins, the other party knows there’s a chance to flip it. If the national parties see that, they’ll direct more money into those districts. And more money means more highly competitive races which could grab the attention of the country.

“At least as we sit here today, closely divided, it wouldn’t be a great shock, you know, to see them go back and forth between Democrat and Republican in years to come,” Horvick said.