Safe Districts

04.11.13

Why Greg Walden Won't Worry About a Primary

Greg Walden (Alex Wong/Getty Images) ()

"Practical Girl" comments on my "Primary Greg Walden" post to tell me I'm an idiot (in this case, it looks like she's right):

Ugh...This is an example of the ridiculous misunderstanding of the concept "all politics are local".

Justin- Do you know anything of the demographic make up of the voting base of Oregon's District 2? It's the largest, the most conservative and one of the most advanced average age of voters in the state. It also encompasses an area that was devastated by the recession of 2007- real estate prices plummeted 35%-45% in a two year period (and aren't really recovering), jobs evaporated (and aren't coming back) farmers and ranchers got hurt. This is a district with a lot of older constituents that can ill afford these cuts. Walden knows that.

If the Republicans want to remove him as Chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee because of his comments, so be it. They were fiery and do seem to go against the party grain. But to make a national case out of a district representative reflecting the opinion and needs of his local constituency seems a bit much, especially for the party that supposedly believes in local and state control and representation.

Bring on a challenger backed by the Club For Growth? Good luck. This is a pretty independent voting base that doesn't take kindly to outside agitators and who have re-elected Walden time and time again, often by as much as 70% of the vote. This is a man who's been a very reliable part of the GOP House caucus,. And now they want to replace him?

Again, good luck. There's a few Democrats in that area- centrists- who have deep pockets, big backers and would love to smack some extremist one-issue candidate around. And with Walden gone? They just might succeed this time, especially if the highlight issue of the GOP candidate is one that the majority of voters find disturbing. Maybe this is one lesson the GOP needs to learn the hard way.