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Posts published in “Day: July 17, 2006”

Incumbent track

Tje general take on the general election for all major offices in Oregon save governor - in other words, the U.S. House races - has been that the incumbents are likely to easily win re-election to all five.

The campaign finance reports just out, covering the period up through the end of June, do nothing to shake that view.

One set of numbers is respectably close, and it may signal the most interesting of the five races. In District 4, where Democrat Peter DeFazio has been entrenched for a couple of decades, the money ballot is just close enough that you can't say - as it stands - that money will be reason the race unfolds as it does. To DeFazio's $507,886 total raised so far and his $367,754 cash on hand, Republican James Feldkammp, running a rematch this cycle, has raised $322,787 and has $240,170 still available. That's enough to run a respectable race. It's probably not enough to unseat an incumbent who has accumulated no new big problems in his latest term and has been winning solidly election after election, including easily defeating Feldkamp last time.

From there, things get really boring. Portland Democrat Earl Blumenauer has no meaningful opposition at all. Democrat David Wu in the 1st district has outraised his Republican opponent, state Representative Derrick Kitts, by nearly 10-1 ($1,149,770 to $116,662); it's a race with low buzz so far. In district 5, Darlene Hooley outpaces her Republican opponent, Mike Erickson, nearly 3-1 ($855,276 to $311,817).

The lone Republican in the delegation, the 2nd district's Greg Walden, has raised $923,193 to Democrat Carol Voisin's $8,923. She's widely described as a quality candidate, but the financial fall ain't there.

You don't have to outraise your opponent to win. But it sure helps if his financial resources aren't completely swamping yours.