April 25th, 2018
The latest polling is in, and it is frustrating. Knute Buehler, with his backing from the progressive establishment and billionaire donors, is pulling ahead, while the conservative majority remains divided.
This is why conservatives continue to fail in Oregon – and it needs to stop.
Here are the numbers (rounded):
Knute Buehler – 39%
Sam Carpenter – 24%
Greg Wooldridge – 12%
Bruce Cuff – 3%
Jeff Smith – 2%
Other/Undecided – 20%
You can see the poll results here.
As you can see, after enormous expenditures on multi-media advertising, Knute has pulled into a sizeable lead – yet, he is still short of a majority. There’s a reason for that: despite the full support of the establishment and a multi-million dollar war chest, the majority of Republicans are NEVER going to get behind a pro-choice, anti-gun, anti-Trump “democrat-lite” who thumbs his nose at his own party in a bid to woo the left to his side.
This is unprecedented: Knute Buehler is going to spend close to $3,000,000 in this primary race. He is buying the nomination! Dennis Richardson, in his 2016 race for Secretary of State, spent a TOTAL of $2,300,000 in the primary AND the general combined!
And this is a serious danger for the future of our Republican Party and our state should Buehler go on to win the nomination.
Moderates do not win statewide election in Oregon. The conservative base sits out, or looks for a third party that honors conservative values, each and every time. So support for Knute Buehler really becomes support for Kate Brown.
Do you want more abortions in Oregon? Vote for Knute. Do you want more gun bans in Oregon? Vote for Knute. Do you want Oregon to go on “resisting” President Trump? Vote for Knute.
What else do you notice about the numbers above? Well, if you look at the three people in second, third, and fourth place, the total numbers add up to the exact same total as Knute. If this were a two-man race, it would be tied – and with the Republican base being more conservative than liberal, the remaining undecided voters would likely swing heavily against Knute.
But it’s not a two-man race. It’s a ten-man race.
At least, it WAS a ten-man race when the poll was taken over the weekend. But, as of Monday, it is now a nine-man race.
I’d like to take a moment here to thank one of the original ten:
On Monday, we spoke with Jack Tacy. Jack’s name will appear on your ballot. He participated in the March 17 candidate forum in Keizer (one of the many that Knute Buehler couldn’t be bothered to attend). And he made waves with his blunt, honest, and most assuredly un-PC support for conservative values. But Jack saw that the divided field was handing primary victory to Knute, and he didn’t want to see that happen – so he graciously announced he is endorsing Sam Carpenter for Governor.
Jack Tacy put the needs of his Republican Party and his state of Oregon above his personal ego and pride, and for that, we are grateful. Now it’s time for some other candidates to follow Jack’s example and do the same.
Bruce Cuff is a good man. After spending time with him at many candidate forums (where, again, Knute Buehler has been largely absent), I’ve come to memorize Bruce’s introduction to his stump speech: he’s a Christian, Constitutional, Conservative, Oregon Republican. And that’s wonderful – we need more of those! But Bruce cannot possibly win the nomination. He has run for governor twice before and never built more than a small following – and this year, he is consistently polling in low single-digits. But his followers are passionate and vocal – and will never get behind Knute Buehler. The time has come for Bruce to do the right thing, to promote the conservative values he so strongly believes in, and support the strongest conservative in this race to stop Knute. Bruce: you are polling at 3%. WHY do you remain in the race? Your legacy here will be that you are a spoiler. You will be seen as the Christian, Constitutional, Conservative, Oregon Republican who helped nominate Knute.
UPDATE: After writing this, I heard that Bruce Cuff – who had previously pledged to back out and support the leading conservative if he realized he couldn’t win himself – has apparently decided to drop out and back… Greg Wooldridge? That’s perplexing. Greg is a distant third, and 27 points below Knute. It is clear that Bruce is not thinking about defeating Knute Buehler and nominating a conservative candidate so much as he seems to have succumbed to a selfish personal desire to stop me. So rather than get behind the leading conservative, he is continuing to play spoiler – he may as well still be running. It’s sad. This desperate move reminds me of Ted Cruz and John Kasich joining together in a last-ditch effort to stop Donald Trump. Look how that worked out. Bruce, you will STILL be seen as the Christian, Constitutional, Conservative, Oregon Republican who helped nominate Knute…
And that brings us to Greg Wooldridge:
Look, I like Greg. He’s a nice guy, and I value and respect his service to our nation. But he’s not going to win this primary. He’s been languishing in third place in the polls, bobbing up and down from 8 to 4 to 12 percent – that’s all within margin-of-error range – and he faces an insurmountable 27 point deficit against Knute Buehler. He got into this race far too late, and has no hope of catching up. Without that solitary six-digit check from one wealthy out-of-state supporter, he’d have no campaign resources. He is hopelessly behind in building grassroots following, and he lacks the large and passionate social media support necessary to battle Kate Brown and the radical progressive far left. He also falls short on some of the positions conservatives hold dear: he didn’t score as strongly on the Second Amendment in the Oregon Firearms Federation ratings as some other candidates (including Sam), and some of his campaign staff have dubious anti-Trump and even pro-Sanders records. He himself could only muster the sentence “I don’t abhor the president” to describe President Trump – that is HARDLY a ringing endorsement! And, he doesn’t seem prepared to drain the swamp in Salem. In fact, he doesn’t even think there IS a swamp in Salem:
“I don’t like the term ‘drain the swamp’ because I don’t think there’s a swamp,” [Greg Wooldridge] said. “I think they’re good people.”
It’s pretty clear that Greg is more of an establishment-friendly “go along to get along” guy than the fighter we need today. In 2008, he was a big fundraiser and organizer for John McCain – but he was noticeably absent from politics throughout the Obama administration. We never saw him on the campaign trail in 2016, when Donald Trump needed every bit of support to stop Hillary Clinton. And we never saw him standing up to Kate Brown, John Kitzhaber, Ted Kulongoski, or the rest of the Oregon radical progressive far-left, until just now. I guess because he never saw them as part of the swamp…
But now, Greg, you’re setting yourself up to be the biggest spoiler. You are running largely as the “Oregon Right To Life” candidate – but your legacy will be as the candidate who helped nominate pro-choice Knute. I would not want to live with that legacy after Knute wins the nomination.
In a bygone era, Greg might have been a good candidate and maybe he could have won a race against John Kitzhaber, or even Kate Brown in 2016 – if he had taken the time to build his support and campaign aggressively from the beginning. But it’s 2018 and his campaign is too little, too late. If Greg Wooldridge wants to stop Knute Buehler and support the conservative agenda, if he wants to defeat Kate Brown and Make Oregon Great Again, he needs to swallow his pride and get behind the only candidate in a position to do exactly that: Sam Carpenter.
Now, all that said, do we really expect everyone to follow the lead of Jack Tacy and drop out today and endorse Sam? To be honest and realistic, no. Some candidates have invested too much of their ego to admit the truth of their situation.
But we CAN encourage the voters who are supporting these third, fourth, and lower place candidates to rethink the race, and coalesce around the leading conservative. And we can continue to shine the light of truth on the liberal record of Knute Buehler – the pro-choice, anti-gun, anti-Trump “democrat-lite” – and chip away at his support. Remember, many of his supporters are only there because they haven’t heard the whole story yet – and voting hasn’t started. There’s still time to change minds. We CAN win this primary by peeling away some of Knute’s soft support, rallying conservatives to get behind the strongest challenger, and reaching out to the undecided voters with clear, hard-hitting information – and we are actively working on exactly that.
Can Knute Buehler beat Kate Brown without the Republican base? Now way. Not a chance.
But time is running short – and we need all of YOU to spread the message and talk to your friends and family about our campaign to Make Oregon Great Again.
Remember: a vote for Knute is a vote for Kate: more abortion, more gun control, and more “resistance” against President Trump. And a vote for any other candidate than Sam Carpenter is a vote thrown away – it may as well be a vote for Kate. So think carefully before you fill that ballot out – and spread the word: vote for Sam Carpenter.
To support our campaign to Make Oregon Great Again, click here.