Oregon Voters: A 2024 Election Preview

Independent Center Contributor Ethan Nelson

At the Independent Center, we polled hundreds of registered Oregon voters. In this article, we will take a look at the sentiment of these voters heading into the 2024 elections including: how they’re relating to the election, key issues that are top of mind, and voting intentions. You can view the full survey data by joining the movement

Candidate’s Approval Ratings in Oregon

In our Oregon Target State Survey, we asked registered voters in Oregon “How do you view the current political climate in America?” They were given 5 options: ‘very positively,’ ‘somewhat positively,’ ‘somewhat negatively,’ or ‘very negatively.’ The responses showed that 67% of voters responded with either ‘somewhat negatively’ or ‘very negatively.’ This reveals a widespread sense of discontent and pessimism regarding the current state of America.

When asked, “Do you feel the Democrats have chosen their best candidate for the upcoming election?52% of voters felt that the Democrats haven’t selected their best candidate. Similarly, when asked, “Do you feel the Republicans have chosen their best candidate for the upcoming election?61% expressed the same sentiment regarding the Republican party’s choice. This suggests that voters are seeking better representation. They feel their voices and concerns are being overlooked by the political parties they’ve supported.

It’s clear that voters want to see reform. The dissatisfaction on both sides of the party line is higher than it’s ever been, and voters aren’t seeing a clear way forward. It’s unclear which side will come out on top, but it’s becoming more and more apparent that Oregon voters aren’t excited about the frontrunners on both the right and left. 

Key Issues for Oregon Voters

To identify the most pressing concerns for Oregon voters, we asked “Of the following, what would you say is the most pressing issue in America today?” providing 12 options to choose from. Out of the responses, 20% of voters ranked government leadership as the most pressing issue, and 14% ranked jobs and the economy as the most pressing. The data makes clear that these two issues will largely drive voter decisions in Oregon, which is abnormal compared to the other statewide studies that we’ve done where immigration is consistently the most or second most pressing issue for voters. These two issues outweigh other issues like taxes (6%), abortion (8%), police reform (6%) and national security (7%). 

Biden Leads in Oregon

After asking, “If this year’s presidential election were between Republican Donald Trump,  and Democrat Joe Biden, how would you vote?” A total of 52% of people said they’d vote for Biden, whereas 40% said they’d vote for Trump.

However, when we asked the same set of voters, “Do you expect in the course of the presidential election campaign you might change your mind about the presidential candidate you will vote for?” a notable 12% of Oregon voters said that they expect they might change their mind on their chosen candidate, and an additional 19% were unsure. This is not an insubstantial portion of the population. This suggests that the cynicism about political rhetoric may be contributing to the high number of undecided voters. If people feel that candidates are not trustworthy and are unlikely to follow through on their commitments, they may be hesitant to fully embrace any one candidate.

This further proves that more and more people are frustrated with the current political landscape and are identifying somewhere in the middle of the two party system. On top of that, this demographic of undecided voters will determine the outcome of the Oregon election. This highlights the need for candidates to appeal to this ever-increasing swath of the population.

In conclusion, the sentiment among Oregon voters reflects a growing frustration with the current political landscape and a strong desire for change. The majority of voters are dissatisfied with Congress, feel poorly represented by their parties, and are uninspired by the current presidential candidates. As the 2024 election approaches, the candidates who can tap into this desire for change, offer fresh perspectives, and propose compelling solutions to Oregon’s key issues – particularly government leadership and the economy – may have the best chance of winning over this discontented electorate.

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