Independents (IPO and NAVs) generally support reasonable compromise for the betterment of all Oregonians. This last election provided significant evidence (see Dennis Richardson for Secretary of State and Ron Noble in the House) that i/Independents can swing close races. While i/Independents currently lean about 45% Republican and 55% Democratic, the vast majority are moderate, and in the right race at the right time can be persuaded to lean another way. Hence Secretary of State Richardson.
The well informed Independent voters- making up perhaps 5-10 percent of the total voter population, will watch this legislative session as Democrats and Republicans make their cases and offer their alternative Oregon futures. If the Democrats push through the Our Oregon proposal and 2017 ends up being the blood bath many expect, it holds the possibility that many Democratic leaning i/Independents, especially those that voted for Richardson, could end up more often leaning Republican. But if i/Independent voters believe both parties are equally to blame, i/Independent leanings will remain the same. A pox on both parties attitude.
At this point, the Senate Republicans are the only ones channeling i/Independent voters. While the more rabid Oregon House Republicans may not like it, for Republicans to win over Democratic leaning i/Independents the GOP will have to compromise and work with the majority Democrats to get the best deal they can.
That will not make the far right Republicans happy. But here in Oregon, the Trump or Tea Party or social conservative strategy isn’t going to work. A moderate pro i/Independent path is the only way the Oregon GOP has ever reached majority status.