By Jeb Bladine • President / Publisher • 

Bladine: Intense analysis of our county election

News flash: After intense investigation and careful analysis, here is the real message of this week’s election in Yamhill County.

(Drum roll) — Republicans voted for Republicans; Democrats voted for Democrats.

One point to remember is that election numbers have changed since this column was written Thursday morning, based on Wednesday evening reports from the Yamhill County Clerk’s office.

Compilation and release of those election results has been slow, hampered by inexperience and fraught with confusion, but I digress. Even when updated to include all votes counted, the reality of party-loyalty politics in Yamhill County won’t change.

Latest numbers show that Yamhill County has 13% more registered Republicans (23,145) than Democrats (20,485), and Republican voters turned out in greater numbers than Democrats, 67.2% to 64.3%.

Nonaffiliated voters outnumber either major party at 24,496, but their puny 31.9% turnout showed limited interest in the election. Voters from minority parties were a bit more connected with 53.8% turnout, but there are only 5,424 of them.

Those numbers explain many Yamhill County voting results. Based on Wednesday reports:

We backed Christine Drazan for governor at 53%; we voted 51% for Jo Rae Perkins to replace Ron Wyden as U.S. senator; we gave a 55-43 margin to Republican Mike Erickson, who trails Andrea Salinas slightly for a congressional seat; we elected Republican Lucetta Elmer to the state House of Representatives by a 56-44 margin, and helped re-elect Republican Anna Scharf to the House; we appear to be electing Kit Johnston – seen as being more Republican than Republican Beth Wytoski – to a nonpartisan Yamhill County Commission position.

In statewide issues, we soundly rejected (58-42) a gun control initiative that, surprisingly, is just barely trailing statewide. We gave that same negative margin to a proposal on access to affordable health care, which is barely leading statewide. We opposed, 53-47, the confusing constitutional amendment to remove language allowing slavery and involuntary servitude as punishment for crimes, which is passing handily statewide.

We all can see the red and blue maps that characterize national, state and local politics. In state after state, and across the country, those images illustrate the rural-urban divide of American politics, with sparsely populated areas more conservative than medium-to-large cities that can control voting results through sheer numbers.

However described, party politics drives the national deadlock that continues to unfold as 2022 election results are finalized. Here in Yamhill County, it’s no surprise that those results are guided by the party makeup of our electorate.

Jeb Bladine can be reached at jbladine@newsregister.com or 503-687-1223.

Comments

HumblyYours

Good analysis, Jeb. Thanks.