In Oregon's 1st Congressional District, the Republican candidate who won his party's nomination with 70% of the vote in the May primary has voiced support for Senator Barack Obama for president. And the latest Rasmussen poll finds that as high as 18% of registered Republicans could vote for Senator Barack Obama in the November election as well.
Joel Haugen, who is the Republican Party nominee in Oregon's 1st Congressional District has faced some recent serious problems with the statewide Republican Party for his support of Obama, but intends to stay in the Republican Party according to his campaign manager's comments to me today. But Haugen continues to face soft Republican Party support since he his independent views and support for Obama became public.
Yet Haugen's support for Obama is yet another sign that John McCain hasn't sealed down his own party support with many voters wary that he will only continue more of the failed Bush Administration policies in too many areas, where even some Republican congressional candidates are opposing McCain as more of the same as Bush.
The Campaign Manager for the Joel Haugen campaign made these comments to me to clarify some television earlier news reports that Haugen may switch parties and run as an independent candidate in the November election because of some weak party support problems that he is is now facing from the some in the Oregon statewide Republican Party.
"Just a little clarification, because this has confused most people, I think: Joel never has considered switching his registration, and plans to remain a Republican. This does not prevent him from also accepting the Independent nomination though, should they offer it. Then the situation would be similar to that of John Kroger, a Dem who also won the Republican primary as a write-in. Joel could retain the nominations of both the Republican and Independent parties, as well as his Republican registration, but would then have to choose which would appear on the ballot".
Wayne Morse was an early example of Oregon independence, as he was originally elected to office as a Republican but later joined the Democrats when Vietnam became an important issue. But his reputation as an Oregon legend will last forever.
Certainly Joel Haugen faces a very difficult and uphill battle against incumbent Democrat David Wu who has both the money and organization to be a strong favorite to win re-election, but Haugen has won the respect of many in Oregon for being an independent voice and thinker and many will continue to admire Haugen, win or lose in November and enhance his standing for any future run for office as an independent thinker.
Oregon's U.S. Senator Gordon Smith has run some remarkable ads recently as well, voicing support for his bipartisan work with Obama on legislation to raise fleet fuel economy averages for automobiles. Even though Smith supports John McCain, Smith still recognizes that Obama may sweep Oregon by a wide majority in November and realizes that Obama is widely popular in the state.
It cannot possibly be good news for the McCain campaign when so many little cracks are appearing in what is normally a more solid Republican effort to back their nominee. It is also a good sign for the Obama organization that he benefits from such a positive view by many Republicans that he may be able to count on enough goodwill from many Republicans to rule the nation with a decent degree of bipartisan support. This may allow Obama to achieve great results as president and become one of the most effective U.S. presidents in some years.
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