Politics

Oregon voters are angry and worried. Our new series looks at what the next governor can do to help

By Anna Griffin (OPB)
April 21, 2022 12 p.m.

Oregonians, you are an unhappy bunch.

You think the state is heading in the wrong direction.

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You’re worried about housing costs, homelessness, crime, wildfires and droughts.

You’re mad at the president, at the governor, at elected officials in general.

Source: DHM Research

The candidates for governor feel your pain and in many cases, are echoing it right back at you – even if those frustrations you’re feeling are not always based in data.

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Most election cycles, OPB partners with DHM Research to survey potential voters. In many years, we focus primarily on the candidates themselves.

This year, we tried a slightly different approach: Spending less time asking about candidates and more time asking about issues.

Some of that, to be frank, is that stories focusing on candidates – you might call them “horserace polls” – are tricky. The 2022 election is even more convoluted than usual, with Gov. Kate Brown term limited out of running again and 34 – yes, you read that correctly – candidates on primary ballots seeking either the Democratic or Republican nomination.

Related: OPB coverage of the May 2022 election

Polls focusing on which candidate is most popular are fun to talk about, and extremely useful to campaign strategists plotting a path to victory, but they don’t actually inform potential voters all that well.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be bringing you a series of stories looking at some of the topics that seem most on your mind. These stories will look at whether your concerns are justified – spoiler alert, a few of these pressing problems might not be quite as problematic as you seem to think – the decisions the next governor will face on them and what candidates for governor say they’ll do.

Source: DHM Research

The survey itself included 600 people, with a demographic and voter affiliation breakdowns that mirror Oregon, and has a 4% overall margin of error. You can find the survey results here, and if you want to go extra deep the crosstab results are here.

For even more from the candidates, check out our stories profiling Democratic candidates Tina Kotek and Tobias Read and the most prominent Republican candidates. And dig into their responses to a survey, based on the DHM Research poll, we sent everyone running from both major parties. The questions were based on responses to our poll. Among the major candidates, Republicans Bud Pierce and Christine Drazan opted not to respond.

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