From September 12-21, 2022, the Oregon Values and Beliefs Center conducted a statewide survey to determine how the community currently feels about voting and elections. A description of the methodology used for the research is provided below.
The question numbers in this document correspond with the survey questionnaire (Q24–Q32). Due to rounding, the percentages reported below may not add to 100% or compare exactly to the percentages for the same question in the annotated questionnaire or tabs.
How do Oregonians Feel About Their Political Party?
- Oregonians overall are more likely to be satisfied (36%) than dissatisfied (16%) with the political party they are currently registered with.
- Women (41%) tend to be more satisfied with their current party than men (32%).
- Democrats and Republicans tend to share similar levels of satisfaction (48%, 46%) and dissatisfaction (18%, 20%).
Do Democratic and Republican Parties Have Too Much Say?
A plurality of Oregonians thinks the Democratic and Republican parties have too much say in selecting candidates to compete in our general elections (Q25).
- Oregonians’ opinions on the issue are mixed; 37% think the parties have too much say, 27% think they have the right amount of say, and 28% don’t know.
- Those registered as Independent (47%) or other are more likely than their Democrat (32%) and Republican (36%) counterparts to say the parties have too much power.
A Majority Agree with Opening up Primary Elections to All Voters
Most Oregonians (59%) think the two major parties should open their primary elections to all voters (Q26).
- Less than one-quarter of Oregonians (23%) think the two parties should continue their practice of holding close primaries, and some don’t know (18%).
- Democrats (60%) and Independents (69%) are more likely than their Republican (49%) counterparts to call for an open rather than closed primary election.
- Those living in the rest of the state (66%) tend to prefer the idea of an open primary more so than other Oregonians (53-58%).
Oregonians disagree about what should be done about the current voting processes for state elections for the governor and the legislature (Q27).
- About one-third (31%) of Oregonians think the voting process should stay the same, while almost just as many (33%) think that voters should be able to rank their top three candidates, or that there should be a runoff election for those receiving less than 50% of votes (24%).
- Republican voters tend to favor keeping the system the same (41%), while Democrats tend to favor the proposed ranking system (43%).
- Oregonians living in the Tri-County area (38%) are more likely than those in the Willamette Valley (27%) and the rest of the state (30%) to prefer a ranking system.
Oregonians Favor a Multi-Member District
In general, Oregonians are more likely to favor a multi-member district (47%) for city council, county commission, and legislative seats over a single-member district (28%) (Q28).
- One quarter (25%) say they don’t know which they prefer.
- Republican voters (36%) are more likely than their Democrat (28%) and Independent (24%) counterparts to favor a single-member district.
- Those living in the rest of the state (52%), women (50%), and BIPOC Oregonians (54%) are more likely than their counterparts to support a multi-member district.
- Men (36%) and white Oregonians (30%) are more likely than their counterparts to support a single-member district.
How Oregonians Feel about Other Methods of Voting Systems
Oregonians were asked to share their opinions on the following statement:
“One type of voting system combines both a multi-member district (more than one representative for an area) AND ranked-choice voting (voters rank their preferences as first, second, third, etc.). Under this system, candidates would not be required to secure a majority of votes cast in an election to win their seats. Instead, the system sets a minimum percentage for winning seats. For example, in a district electing three members, the minimum percentage is 25%. Voters’ first, second, and third or more choices are combined as necessary until three candidates pass the threshold of 25%.”
Oregonians are most likely to support this method of electing candidates (43%) and are equally opposed (28%) as they are unsure (29%) (Q29).
- Democrats (52%) are more likely than their Republican (36%) and Independent (40%) counterparts to support this method.
- Those living in the Tri-county area (46%) and BIPOC Oregonians (48%) are more likely than their counterparts to support this method.
Should Legal Residents Who Aren’t Citizens Be Able to Vote in County Elections?
Opinions about legal residents who are not citizens being given the opportunity to vote in county elections are split, with 40% of Oregonians in support and 47% in opposition (Q30).
- Republicans are most likely voters to oppose this idea (75%), compared to 33% of Democrats and 48% of Independents.
- Those living in the Tri-County area (45%), those younger than 44 (48-51%), and BIPOC Oregonians (47%) are more likely than their counterparts to be in support of this idea.
- Those living in the rest of the state (51%), men (51%), white Oregonians (50%), and older Oregonians (51-66%) are more likely to be in opposition.
Single-Winner vs. Multiple-Winner Representation?
Oregon voters are unsure about whether the best possible representation in state and local government is achieved by a single-winner election (36%) or a system that allows for multiple winners to represent a single area (39%) (Q31).
- One quarter (25%) of voters say they don’t know which is better.
- Men (44%), Oregonians older than 45 (38-47%), and Republicans (54%) are more likely than their counterparts to prefer a single-winner election.
- Younger Oregonians (46%-51%), BIPOC Oregonians(46%), and Democrats (42%) are more likely to favor a multi-winner election.
Methodology: The online survey consisted of 1,878 Oregon residents ages 18+ and took approximately 15 minutes to complete. Respondents were contacted by using professionally maintained online panels. In gathering responses, a variety of quality control measures were employed, including questionnaire pre-testing, validation, and real-time monitoring of responses. To ensure a representative sample, demographic quotas were set, and data weighted by area of the state, gender, age, and education.
Statement of Limitations: Based on a 95% confidence interval, this survey’s margin of error for the full sample is ±2.47%. Due to rounding or multiple-answer questions, response percentages may not add up to 100%.