In August, Karl Rove described Oregon as a target for the GOP in 2016. While it is widely recognized as a firmly Blue state, it was thought to be a battleground in 2000. Eyes are mostly on the presidential race in Oregon's 2012 election, but there are a few races that deserve some attention.
Congressman Peter DeFazio, from Oregon's 4th Congressional District (CD), is running for re-election for a seat he has held since 1987. The 4th CD is known as a "swing-district", and as a staunch progressive, DeFazio is coining himself as being "As Independent as Oregon," in a close race against Republican candidate Art Robinson, who ran against DeFazio in 2010, garnering 45% of the vote. DeFazio's race can be seen as a bell-weather race for vocal Democrats seeking reelection in 2012 who have stood strong with President Obama. This is definitely a race to watch!
Incumbent Kurt Schrader in the 5th CD has an tighter race than usual against Republican candidate Fred Thompson due to redistricting. While the district is still leaning blue, the competition has this race listed as one of the New York Times' close House races. Schrader, unlike DeFazio, has only two terms of experience in Congress, which makes this race much more about support for President Obama than on his record before the Obama took office.
Many will also be keeping a close eye on the results from Measure 80, the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act Commission, which would create a seven-member panel that would regulate the cultivation and sale of marijuana in the state of Oregon.
PolicyMic will be covering the 2012 election from the state of Oregon live. For live updates, bookmark and refresh this page.
UPDATE 12:55 PM: Measure 80 has indeed failed, while passing in neighboring Washington. Lots of Oregon residents (and perhaps mostly of the Portland variety) are none too pleased with the result of this ballot measure.
UPDATE 11:18 PM: Measure 80, the ballot measure that would have legalized personal marijuana use statewide appears to be failing, 56% to 44%.
UPDATE 9:33: Following an Obama win nation-wide, Kurt Schrader and Peter DeFazio, both in countentious congressional races, have both definitively won their seats
UPDATE 8:15: Obama is the projected winner in Oregon!
UPDATE 8:11: On a local level, Charlie Hales just won the Portland mayoral race! He's partying at Holocene, if anyone wants to join...
UPDATE 8:02: MSNBC says Oregon is too early to call, but Obama is leading!
UPDATE 8:00 PM: Drop-off locations just closed in Oregon!
UPDATE 7:37 PM: Drop-offs are still accepting ballots for another 20 minutes, and lines are still out the door at several locations!
UPDATE 5:31 PM: Oregon Secretary of State's office says voter turnout reached 70% as of 5:00 PM http://www.kgw.com/news/politics/Multnomah-County-voter-turnout-climbs-past-59-177562581.html
UPDATE 4:28 PM: KGW shows a line up to hand in ballots at Multnomah County Election Headquarters in Portland, with still 2 and a half hours to go!
Remember, public libraries are drop off sites too!
UPDATE 4:10 PM: Election results have started rolling in from the East Coast! Romney projected to have won 19 electoral votes from Indiana and Kentucky and 3 for Obama from Vermont. Many hours to go before results start coming in from this coast, but at least we're starting to see some action.
UPDATE 3:24 PM: You can still drop off your mail-in ballot at sites around the state! Find your closest drop-off site by searching by address: http://www.sos.state.or.us/dropbox/#