GOP Maryland Gov. Hogan predicts Oregon could flip from blue to red following visit to crime-ridden Portland

Polling and historical trends indicate that the 2022 midterm elections could be a “red wave” featuring high turnout for Republican voters, which may put into play a few congressional seats and state governorships that might otherwise be considered safe for Democrats.

The typically blue state of Oregon could be one of those, according to Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R), who is touting Oregon’s GOP gubernatorial nominee Christine Drazan following a recent visit to Portland, Fox News reported.

Hogan, a moderate who got elected in a typically deep-blue mid-Atlantic state, shared his positive outlook for the Pacific Northwestern state’s governor’s race during an appearance Thursday on the network’s “America’s Newsroom” program.

“Fed up” voters could seek change in Oregon

“Portland is a poster child for far-left policies run amuck,” Gov. Hogan said. “People are doing hard drugs that are now legalized all over the streets, there are homeless people, it’s causing tremendous amounts of — a 207% increase in violent crime.”

He referenced a roundtable discussion about homelessness and crime that he participated in with Drazan, who he described as a “great candidate,” noted that the Republican Governors Association was “high on this race” and believed that Drazan had a “great shot” at winning the election, and predicted, “Most people don’t focus in on Oregon as a potential pick-up for Republicans, I’m telling you it could happen.”

Comparisons were drawn to Hogan’s own surprising victory in 2014 in the blue state of Maryland due to voters being “fed up” with Democratic leadership, and the governor opined, “I think that’s where they are in Oregon today and a couple of other states.”

Regarding his own run, Hogan recalled, “People said a Republican can’t win in the bluest state in America, but we did because people were so fed up that they were ready to finally do something and vote in a way that they never had before. And that’s what I saw in Oregon — people just so disgusted, who probably never voted for a Republican in their life but they might be fed up enough to do it.”

Oregon is officially rated as a “toss-up” state

Gov. Hogan is not the only one who views Oregon as a flippable state, as the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics in August announced that it had moved Oregon from “leans Democratic” to “toss-up,” in light of outgoing Gov. Kate Brown’s (D) deep unpopularity and its three-way race to replace her that featured three prominent state legislators — Republican Drazan, progressive Democrat Tina Kotek, and former moderate Democrat-turned-independent Betsy Johnson.

The Oregon Capital Chronicle reported in August on the state being labeled a “toss-up” and how all three candidates had a legitimate and viable chance to win the election, perhaps even with less than 40 percent of the total vote.

“Oregonians are ready for a new direction and we are ready to turn the page on one-party rule,” Drazan’s campaign said of the change, and spokesman John Burke told the outlet, “This rating change and the multiple polls showing Christine leading both of her Democrat opponents are proof that she is well-positioned to win and make history this November.”

The fact that Oregon is actually in play instead of a foregone conclusion for Democrats is a bit stunning in and of itself, and it would be a veritable shock to the political system if Drazan is able to pull off a surprising upset victory in November, so the state is certainly one that political observers should keep an eye on over the next few months.