Urban/Rural Divide Helped GOP In Oregon’s 5th, Says Political Science Professor
For the first time in a generation, Oregon’s 5th Congressional District is held by a Republican. Lori Chavez-DeRemer beat Democrat Jamie McLeod Skinner by about a one-percent margin, becoming the first Oregon Congresswoman of Hispanic descent. Judy Stiegler, Oregon State University Cascades Political Science Professor, said redistricting and the urban-rural divide played a big role in her win earlier this month.
“She did not play to her Hispanic heritage at all, and I think that was purposeful to some degree. And, I think the dynamics of that race got to be really down and dirty; it was out there in the weeds, as so many races are anymore.”
Redistricting brought Bend and half of Deschutes County into the 5th district, which Stiegler said helped the GOP. She added the addition of Linn County also benefited the Republicans in this race.
Stiegler continued Democrats may have underestimated the vastness of the urban-rural divide inside the new boundaries.
“You have a lot of places in all of those counties - Marion, Linn, Clackamas. For instance, Linn and Marion, just in total, they tend to be more conservative areas."
The last Republican to represent Oregon’s 5th Congressional District was Jim Bunn, who served in Congress until 1997.
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