All of this hurt Schrader in the primary, but might it have positioned him better than McLeod-Skinner in the general election?That upcoming contest, between McLeod-Skinner and Republican Lori Chavez-DeRemer, looks competitive. The national Cook Political Report, which earlier estimated the race as “leans Democratic,” has been shifted to “toss-up.”
For now, “leans Democratic” – a small advantage in that direction – actually seems the clearest evaluation.
The new 5th Congressional District has a small built-in Democratic tilt. The much-used Dave’s Redistricting site estimates the Democratic vote in the district at six percent higher, over the last three general elections, than Republican (50.6%to 44.6%). The large Deschutes County vote, strongly Republican a couple of decades ago, now tilts Democratic, and McLeod-Skinner has been building her base effectively there; her big win in the Bend area gave her the margin she needed to beat Schrader. (She lives in rural Jefferson County.) Her campaign probably has a burst of energy from the upset in the primary.
This will be as fascinating a political race as any in Oregon this fall.