Monday, July 28, 2008

Republican Congressional Candidate Voices Support For Obama

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 serious problems with the statewide Republican Party for his support of Obama, and even considered running as an independent for a time because of the lack of support that he has gotten since his 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.

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.


At 11:34 AM, Blogger Work in progress said...

I'm Joel's campaign manager-- thanks for taking note of this story!

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.

At 11:53 AM, Blogger Paul Hooson said...

Thanks so much for your comments that help to clarify the party position of your candidate, Joel Haugen.

I'm very happy to run this positive news-commentary piece to celebrate any independent minded politician like Joel who votes his own mind, and not some strict party line. If anything represents the Oregon tradition of independence, it is this.

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 faces a very difficult and uphill battle against David Wu who has both the money and organization to be a strong favorite to win re-election, but Joel has won the respect of many in Oregon for being an independent voice and thinker and many will continue to admire Joel, win or lose in November.

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