This wait for election results is excruciating. The news changes by the hour and, so far, the news is mostly bad.
As of 11:42:30 am, 92 percent of votes have been counted and Dudley leads Kitz by 15,411 votes. BUT because voters in Multnomah County are slackers who turn in their ballots at the deadline, the majority of the votes that still need to be counted (62,000, to be exact) are here in MultCo, while there's 33,000 in Lane, 13,000 in Washington & 11,000 in Jackson. All that vote calculating leads to some hopeful math that puts Kitz ahead at the end of the total vote tally by between 6,000-12,000 or so votes.
You know, last night I was hanging out on the Portland Spirit cruise ship with some fancy cheese platters and Tom Hughes, who is still locked in a nail-biting race for Metro President, and he had some good insight. Though his pals were reloading election results constantly on an iPad, Hughes was totally calm. "I'm just glad it's over, there's nothing more I can do," he said. "It's in the voters' hands." Obsessing over the hourly returns today is only going to give you a headache and carpal tunnel. Go outside, eat a sandwich, and check back in a few hours when the state has more solid numbers. For now, there's nothing we can do... let's just hope no race ends in a Dino Rossi-style recount that drags out the results to the last, bitter 133 deciding votes.
Here's some numbers we do know: Republicans turned out at a higher rate than Dems for this election.
- Oregon Elections Div
Overall turnout is almost exactly the same percent as in the 2006 midterms, but there's 105,000 more registered voters in Oregon now than in 2006, so that means more people are voting overall. Which is good. What's also interesting is more registered voters are signing up as Democrats than in 2006—the percentage of registered voters who are Dems jumped from 38 percent in 2006 to 41 percent this year (thanks, Obama!) while the percent of voters registered as Republicans dropped from 35.2 percent to 32 percent. So while Oregonians have increasingly registered as Democrats, Republicans were more likely to actually turn out to vote.