Crosspost on the EA Forum

I aim to provide a brief overview of the 2022 US House of Representatives election in Oregon’s 6th congressional district (OR-06), which some EAs have expressed interest in due to Carrick Flynn’s candidacy. I am not affiliated with, nor do I claim to endorse any candidate in this election.

Background

In 2022, OR-06 will elect their congressperson to the US House of Representatives for a 2 year term. The Democratic and Republican primaries will occur on May 17th, 2022, and the general election will occur on November 8th, 2022. Oregon had previously been allotted 5 congressional districts, but it gained a seat from reapportionment following the 2020 census. OR-06 is a newly-created district with no incumbent 1 (thus no candidate with incumbency advantage), and serves portions of the Portland/Salem metropolitan areas, and rural communities in Yamhill and Polk County.

Primary Election

Barring Flynn, there are currently 8 other candidates in the Democratic primary: two self-financed crypto investors, two members of the Oregon House of Representatives, a commissioner on the county board which represents Portland, a Oregon Medical Board member, a progressive organizer and former candidate in OR-01, and a candidate I could not find public campaign information for. As Zach Stein-Perlman suggests, Flynn may have difficulty winning in a pool of candidates with with endorsements, name recognition, and electoral experience.

Campaign finance figures prior to December 2021 are listed on Ballotpedia - Flynn is not included as he did not file his candidacy until January 21st, 2022. However, Flynn has reported raising $430,000 in the his campaign’s first ten days, and received $1.36 million from Sam Bankman-Fried’s Protect the Future PAC in February 2022. Primary elections can also be highly volatile, due to being poorly-polled and having more candidates than general elections. I couldn’t find any polling for this primary election either.

General Election

At of March 22nd, 2022, Metaculus has Flynn winning the primary at 40% and the general election at 30%, suggesting a 75% probability of winning the general conditional on winning the primary. Indeed, the University of Virginia Center for Politics, Cook Political Report, and Inside Elections all characterize this race as Likely Democratic. However, OR-06 doesn’t have an incumbent or clear frontrunner in either primary, so electoral rating organizations can’t strongly consider candidate quality to judge general election outcomes.

Empirically, the Democratic Party won OR-06 by 13 points in the 2020 presidential election2, and FiveThirtyEight reports that OR-06 has a partisan lean of D+7, indicating that it has historically voted 7 points more Democratic than the country as a whole. General election results could also be conditional on candidate quality and the broader midterm political environment. OR-06 Partisan Lean

FiveThirtyEight Partisan Lean for OR-06


  1. OR-06 contains more than half of the old OR-05, but the incumbent representative is running in the newly drawn OR-05 instead. 

  2. Here are results for other recent elections in OR-06.