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Posts published in “Day: May 4, 2006”

Quarter view

The state quarter design choices have been an intriguing proposition all around: How do you effectively summarize what your state is about in a simple, and small, image?

Washington quarter designIt's an imperfect thing, but the idiosyncrasy of it can be charming. Does Crater Lake really sum up Oregon? Well, no. But it's a pleasing design, and you could say that some of the things you can say about Crater Lake can be said - metaphorically - about the state.

And so maybe Washington's choice too, chosen by Governor Chris Gregoire and just released, with the salmon and Mount Rainier. Think in terms of metaphor, and some of the connections with the state;s life and society and economy and even politics can come a little clearer.

Is it Saxton?

The just-out Oregonian and KATU poll shows Ron Saxton in what looks like a decided first place, poised to win the Republican nomination for Oregon govenror in the election now underway. (Yes, under way, ballots already having hit home mailboxes and started making their way back to the counties).

Maybe he will. But call us a little uncertain just yet.

The poll, which gives Portland lawyer Saxton 31% of the vote (favorable or leaning toward), while 2002 nominee Kevin Mannix gets 24% and state Senator Jason Atkinson 18%. There's a 5.6% margin of error, which could render the race fairly close.

(There's a bigger gap on the Democratic side, with Ted Kulongoski predictably well ahead of Jim Hill and Pete Sorensen.)

So does that suggest a Saxton win in the making? Certainly, a win is quite possible; he's heavily outspending his opponents, his ads have been hard to miss on the tube, and he's been picking up plenty of endorsements, notably newspaper endorsements. But then, in 2002 he picked up 24 of 25 of those around the state, and still came in third.

The variable in the equation is: Who actually votes? Traditionally, the extreme and the party activists do, and that would help Mannix, out of proportion to his poll numbers. On the other hand, good headlines for Saxton during the voting period might shore up his numbers.

Don't assume a done deal.