Friday, May 19, 2006

Kossack Dopes Out Most OR Races For November

Over at Daily Kos, a Portland diarist using the handle skywaker9 has been doing a good job keeping that community updated with Oregon political happenings. For the primary he published two diaries (here and here) handicapping the races, and then gave a late update here on Election Day. His predictive success was up and down--he nailed Kulo's primary and Sten's race but picked Chuck Butcher in the 2nd CD and Mannix for Guv--as was true for most of us in the punditology game.

Today the self-described progressive activist is back with a pretty thorough rundown of the relevant races across the state in November. I cannot vouch for the accuracy of his perspectives, but it's a good jumping off point for the general election, and gives the opening lay of the landscape from which Democrats can plot their takeover of the House. (Sidebar: of course it all starts with taking down Karen Minnis, and a new poll in her district, reported by Blue Oregon, shows her in a major fight for her political life). Here are a couple notable or interesting entries, but definitely check them all out:
State House 24
The Matchup: Donna Nelson (R), Sal Peralta (D).
Analysis: Donna is by far the least intelligent person in the Oregon Legislature and I wish she could be replaced. Sal (one of, if not the first candidate this year, to be endorsed by Dean's "Democracy for Oregon") has as good a chance as any in this district. Interesting note, Donna has not raised any $ as of yet, which may be a factor.
Early Line: Leans Nelson.

State House 30
The Matchup: Everett Curry (R), David Edwards (D)
Analysis: The only R open seat is going to be a war but one that given the recent ineptiude of the Washington County R's you have to think Edwards has a very good chance to win.
Early Line: Tossup.

State House 54
The Matchup: Chuck Burley (R), Phil Philiben (D)
Analysis: This Bend district is really the only district east of the Cascades in which the Democrats are competitive. Two years ago, when this was an open seat, Burley won by about 600 votes. Now he is not facing as strong a candidate but with the recent tidal wave (Bend is the fastest growing city in the state) of mostly liberal Californians into this district, Philiben goes in with a decent chance to pull the upset.
Early Line: Leans Burley.

State House 20
The Matchup: Vicki Berger (R), Connie Garcia (D).
Analysis: Vicki is one of those Rs that really should be a D. She certainly has the edge but this district has enough D's in it to swing if things go right.
Early Line: Leans Berger.

State Senate 7
The Matchup: Vicki Walker (D), Jim Torrey (R).
Analysis: Torrey represents probably the best chance for a Republican pickup in the Senate this year. He is an eminently likeable and reasonable conservative. This race may come down to how effective the D's are at getting out the U of O student vote.
Early Line: Tossup.