The Northwestern state of Oregon has long been a democratically held one. But just as Illinois is only Democratic because of Chicago, so too is Oregon only left-leaning because of its larger cities such as Portland and Eugene.
When we look at voting trends statewide, most counties tend to vote Republican and have for some time. For example, if we look at the 2020 presidential election, 26 out of 36 counties favor former President Donald Trump.
And yet, because of heavily populated liberal counties, most of which lie along the coast, the state went to Biden. The same trend has taken place every election year for nearly the last four decades. Ronald Reagan was the last Republican to actually win the state’s Electoral College votes in 1984.
At some point, you’d think the vast majority of Oregonians would get tired of their wishes and desired leadership being ignored.
And you’d be right.
In fact, they are so tired of it that a total of seven counties, all of which are located near the state’s eastern border with Idaho, have now voted in favor of seceding from the state to join their eastern and far more conservative neighbor.
As The Oregonian reports, Baker, Grant, Lake, Malheur, and Sherman counties have now joined Union and Jefferson in their wishes to leave the liberal governance of Oregon and move the state’s border with Idaho.
Union and Jefferson counties voted last year in favor of looking into the possibilities of such a move, and now, with recent and local elections taking place in several other counties, the other five have joined their ranks.
Sherman County’s vote was the closest, with 429 for the move and 260 against. On the other hand, Lake County was much more decided, with 1,341 yays and 463 nays.
As the Oregonian notes, it is the lastest effort by conservatives in the state to 1) make themselves heard and 2) “gain political refuge from blue states.”
The potential move is being led by “Move Oregon’s Border for a Greater Idaho,” whose website maintains that moving the state borders of Oregon and Idaho is the only way to ensure the conservative voices of Oregon, as well as a few in California, can be heard and not trampled on by liberal leaders.
According to the organization’s website, Oregon has become a place of increasing division in recent years, with much of the state being ignored. And like California, conservatives living there have a significant problem with the increased tax rates, progressive policies such as decriminalizing hard drugs that came about last year, and a consistent lack of conservative representation.
The movement’s lead petitioner, Mike McCarter, says that the recent vote pretty much speaks for itself.
“This election proves that rural Oregon wants out of Oregon. If Oregon really believes in liberal values such as self-determination, the Legislature won’t hold our counties captive against our will. If we’re allowed to vote for which government officials we want, we should be allowed to vote for which government we want as well.”
And he most certainly has a point.
However, the movement still has a long road ahead of them to win their freedom from liberal Oregon governance and join with GOP-led Idaho.
Sure, the counties have now voted in favor of leaving the state. But they can’t just suddenly start writing ID instead of OR as part of their address. First, Oregon, Idaho, and Congress all have to approve of the move. And as I’m sure you are well aware, the liberals leading Oregon will be hard-pressed to do anything that might give their eastern neighbor even the slightest upper hand over them.
Then again, it’s not the like move of five or even seven rural counties will take much away from Oregon or add that much to Idaho. In fact, the addition of the counties would only add one representative to Idaho, and that wouldn’t be until at least 2022 if the move were to take place in the near future. Oregon wouldn’t lose any representation either.
Additionally, money that is now being sent to those rural counties from the liberal government head would no longer be needed, allowing more to be available to left-leaning metropolises like Portland.
However, I’m still reluctant to believe that Democrats like current Oregon Governor Kate Brown will give up any of her perceived power and admit a loss.
Only time will tell what the future holds for conservative Oregonians.