By Jeb Bladine • President / Publisher • 

Jeb Bladine: Worst week for Thursday column

It’s the worst week ever to write a political column on Thursday morning!

Between this writing and your reading, there probably was a huge national exhale/gasp when updated vote counts named the presumed next U.S. president. However, this historic election may be far from over, instead turning into recounts, court challenges and extended national angst.

Early Thursday, Joe Biden was leading President Donald Trump by 3.7 million votes, a plurality, we know, that doesn’t elect a president. After Biden apparently won Wisconsin and Michigan, the quest for 270 Electoral College votes was hanging on results from five key states.

For Biden, the path to the White House required either a win in Pennsylvania, or wins in both Arizona and Nevada (the latter seemed most likely). To extend his presidency, Trump needed to win Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Georgia, and either Arizona or Nevada.


Jeb Bladine is president and publisher of the News-Register.

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As press time passed, Biden was declaring full confidence in winning; Trump was tweeting about election fraud, mandatory recounts and trips to the Supreme Court. I was left to ponder a few random outtakes from Tuesday’s election.

Yamhill County voters came out for the Trump/Biden race. Their 55,298 ballots – 75 percent turnout – included just 513 “undervotes,” so fewer than 1 percent failed to support a candidate.

By comparison, the undervote for three McMinnville City Council races ranged from 14 to 18 percent, while 10 percent of voters ignored the controversial mayor’s race. One contested Newberg City Council race had a 25 percent undervote.

Statewide, Bidon’s 57 percent led Trump by 376,000 votes; in Yamhill County, voters supported Trump by 27,484 to 25,296.

McMinnville voters favored Biden; Newberg was almost a tie; voters in all smaller Yamhill County city areas backed the president – at 60-plus percent in Amity, Yamhill and Willamina, and 67.9 percent in Grand Ronde.

In the unusually contentious county treasurer’s race, Kris Bledsoe led Paulette Alexandria by 1,421 votes countywide. Bledsoe’s winning margin in McMinnville precincts was 2,097 votes.

Carlton voters responded to recent controversies by defeating their mayor and two incumbent city councilors; McMinnville council incumbents won reelection, accompanied by lessons on some widespread misgivings about city governance.

State voters allowed a constitutional path for laws to limit campaign finances and require donor disclosures; made Oregon the first state to decriminalize hard street drugs; imposed new taxes on cigarettes, cigars, e-cigarettes and nicotine vaping devices; and legalized psilocybin (from hallucinogenic mushrooms) for mental health treatment.

But here, on Thursday morning, the huge story of a tempestuous election week remains untold.

Jeb Bladine can be reached at or 503-687-1223.


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