You've only got 32 hours left to drop off your ballot at the nearest library, elections office, and/or McDonalds, everyone! That means it's prime time for making some totally knee-jerk election night predictions!
Only 37% of Multnomah County voters have turned in their ballots, putting us relatively on pace with the last governor's election but slacking a bit compared to other Oregon counties (pdf). If you haven't voted yet, our endorsements are here.
First, the polls! The governor's race is too close to call. This awesome NYTimes site gathers data from a bunch of polls and puts Kitz ahead two percent... with a five percent margin of error.
In addition to our own gut reaction predictions, Denis and I called some smart politicos and asked them what they think will go down on election night. Here's their bets, feel free to add your own to the comments!
Paul Gronke, political science professor at Reed College
Governor: Chris Dudley, 51-49, plus or minus 4. "This race is the hardest one to predict at this point...There seems to be this pro-Republican tide washing across the nation. I'll have to go with the tide here."
County Commission: Loretta Smith, 55-45. Despite enthusiasm for Collymore, Smith has brought big names and institutional support to bear.
Metro President: Tom Hughes, 53-47.
Measure 71: (annual legislative sessions) Fail, 60-40. It's doomed in an "anti-politics year," even if it's the right thing to do.
Measure 73 (longer mandatory minimums) Pass 60-40. It'll bring a "budget meltdown," but "locking people up is always a popular thing to do."
Measure 74: (medical marijuana dispensaries) Fail, 65-35. "Very little chance that'll pass... We still need California to lead the way on this stuff."
TriMet, Historical Society and Fire Bonds. I think TriMet will fail 55-45, Disgruntlement over previous cutbacks and rail cost overruns make a tax measure hard to sell. The fire bond will pass, 52-48, but the history bond will fail 55-45. "It hasn't been sold very well."
Voter Owned Elections: Pass 54-46. "People are proud Portland is on the the bleeding edge," and it's an issue that progressives have targeted.
More predictions below the cut!
Kari Chisholm, BlueOregon.com editor. [EDIT: I should also add that Chisholm runs a media company that works for Kitzhaber and other candidates. Should have noted that before.]
Governor: Kitz is going to win but by less than two percent.
County Commission: Karol Collymore had a big margin in the primary, I think she'll win.
Metro President: This is the race with the least dollars spent per vote in the state. It'll be tight, but I think Bob Stacey will pull it out.
Measure 71 (annual legislative sessions): Pass.
Measure 73 (longer mandatory minimums): Pass. I don't want it to, but I think it will.
Measure 74 (medical marijuana dispensaries): I think it'll fail, I think it's too complicated and when people get confused they vote no.
TriMet, Historical Society, Fire Bond Measures: I think voters will think of these as a shopping list and rank them against each other, I would not be surprised to see fire pass and the other two fail.
Voter Owned Elections: I think it passes, barely.
Denis C. Theriault, news editor, lead collared-shirt wearer
Governor: John Kitzhaber, 50.5-49.5. PDX-based get-out-the-vote pushes late in the game will help Kitz eke out a surprisingly competitive Dudley
County Commission: Karol Collymore, 52-48.
Metro President: Tom Hughes, 51-49. The difference in this race will be Washington and Clackamas counties.
Measure 71 (annual legislative sessions): FAIL, 49-51. Voters typically reject measures they don't know very well. Also, it will be misread as "bigger government."
Measure 73 (longer mandatory minimums): PASS, 70-30. Drunk drivers and perverts: Tailor-made targets too tough for voters to pass up.
Measure 74 (medical marijuana dispensaries): FAIL, 47-53.
TriMet, Historical Society, Fire Bond Measures: TriMet will fail 48-52 as voters send a message to TriMet. The fire bond will pass 51-49 because unlike other tax measures, this one involves firefighting. The history bond will fail 47-53. The argument that this isn't Multnomah County's problem will be persuasive.
Voter Owned Elections: Pass 54-46.
My predictions, I'm an optimist who always thinks my candidate is going to win.
Governor: Kitz, but by such a tight margin (3 percent) it won't be called till at least Thursday.
County Commission: I think Karol's got it, but, oh, about five percent.
Metro President: This will be the tightest race of the election, I predict Stacey wins by like 500 votes.
Measure 71 (annual legislative sessions): Pass.
Measure 73 (longer mandatory minimums): Pass. People always vote for these stupid tough-on-crime things.
Measure 74 (medical marijuana dispensaries): Fail. I agree with Kari on this one.
TriMet, Historical Society, Fire Bond Measures: I think the fire bond and TriMet will pass, it's hard to vote down firemen and disabled grannies. The historical society hasn't done great outreach, I'd be really surprised if it passed.
Voter Owned Elections: I think this'll be an easy pass. Let's say an eight percent lead. The pro-side has launched a strong campaign and the anti-side has barely been out at all.