Oregonians have more common ground than disagreements, survey finds

by Julia Shumway, Oregon Capital Chronicle
June 11, 2024

Oregonians across the political spectrum largely agree on the value of compromise in politics, respecting individual choices around abortion and marriage and the ability of individuals to succeed despite outside forces, a lengthy study from the Oregon Values and Beliefs Center found.

The nonprofit, nonpartisan center based in Portland regularly surveys Oregonians to learn more about their opinions on matters of public interest. Its latest two-month study sought to uncover areas of common ground and identify different clusters of Oregonians who hold similar beliefs about key issues.

The study, an online survey of more than 3,400 residents that ran during September and October of 2023, divided respondents into eight distinct classification types based on their responses to a series of questions. 

“Oregon’s strength lies in its people,” said Amaury Vogel, the center’s associate executive director. “Through typology, we gain a deeper understanding of one another and how we can shape our state’s future together.”

<h4>Eight types of Oregonians</h4>    <p>The first and largest, Party-Aligned Progressives, makes up 23% of the survey respondents. They tend to be older, are overwhelmingly registered with the Democratic Party and are the most likely of the groups to vote.&nbsp;</p><p>Dispassionate Liberals, who make up 16% of the respondents, are similarly old, liberal, and highly educated, but they’re less fervent in their views than the Party-Aligned Progressives.&nbsp;</p><p>The 9% of respondents in the Alienated Young Left are the youngest group. They’re not likely to vote or affiliate with a political party, have strong negative views around government efficiency and effectiveness and favor addressing climate change, acknowledging white supremacy and lowering consumption.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>The fourth group, Green Rural Independents, also fall on the young end and make up about 9% of respondents. They tend to be underemployed, less wealthy and less educated than the average, identify as conservative without affiliating with either party and show strong support for environmental protections and gun rights and moderate support for abortion rights.&nbsp;</p><p>The fifth cluster, Diverse and Devout, represents about 14% of respondents. They’re largely people of color, religious and disengaged with politics and news, and the group most likely to have children in the house. The majority of this group is between the ages of 18 and 44.</p><p>Disengaged Traditional Conservatives make up 11% of respondents. They’re religious, and they’re less likely to vote than more fervent liberals or conservatives.&nbsp;</p><p>The Free-Market Libertarians, who make up 9% of respondents and were disproportionately male, favor gun rights, minimal government regulation and think personal choices, not outside forces, determine success. They’re less religious than other conservative-leaning groups, support abortion rights and respect same-sex relationships.&nbsp;</p><p>The most conservative group, the Modern Conservative Loyalists, make up 9% of the respondents. They’re strong supporters of former President Donald Trump, highly likely to vote and strongly support restrictive immigration policies and gun rights while opposing environmental protection efforts and business regulation.&nbsp;</p>    <h4>Common interest and disagreements</h4>    <p>Respondents across all groups agreed that laws should be passed to regulate unlimited money in political campaigns. Lawmakers took a step toward that this year, <a href="https://oregoncapitalchronicle.com/2024/03/07/oregon-is-one-signature-away-from-ending-unlimited-campaign-contributions/">passing a law</a> that will take effect in 2027 and create new caps on how much individuals, corporations, unions and other political committees can give to candidates.&nbsp;</p><p>All groups but the Modern Conservative Loyalists indicated support for abortion rights,&nbsp; less driving and simpler living to address climate change and said that society is well off if people have priorities other than marriage and children. The Modern Conservative Loyalists and the Alienated Young Left were opposed to political compromise as selling out on core beliefs, while other groups generally viewed it as necessary to get things done for the greater good.&nbsp;</p><p>The three most conservative groups and the Green Rural Independents were skeptical of claims that white people benefit from societal advantages that Black people don’t have, though 79% of respondents statewide agreed with that claim. The Modern Conservative Loyalists and Disengaged Traditional Conservatives were least supportive of same-sex relationships, which enjoy support from more than three-quarters of all respondents.&nbsp;</p><p>There was much less agreement on issues of government and guns. The Party-Aligned Progressives, Dispassionate Liberals and Diverse and Devout groups were inclined to say that the government does a better job than people give it credit for, though their support was tepid. Other groups, particularly the Alienated Young Left and Modern Conservative Loyalists, were adamant that government is almost always wasteful and inefficient.</p><p>Three groups – the Modern Conservative Loyalists, Free-Market Libertarians and Green Rural Independents – strongly opposed efforts to ban combat-style firearms. It’s the most conservative stance taken by the Green Rural Independents, who tended to be more moderate in their answers to most questions.&nbsp;</p><p>And the most contentious question was about whether the country needs to do more to ensure Black people have equal rights with white people. The three most liberal groups and the moderate Diverse and Devout group favored it, with the Green Rural Independents and three most conservative groups strongly opposed.&nbsp;</p><p>“The subject matter and the pronounced disparity in responses highlights a societal fracture and significant cause for concern,” researchers wrote.&nbsp;</p>    <a href="https://oregoncapitalchronicle.com/subscribe">    <div class="subscribeShortcodeContainer">        <div class="subscribeTextContainer">          <i></i>            <p>GET THE MORNING HEADLINES DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX</p>        </div>        <div class="subscribeButtonContainer">            SUBSCRIBE        </div>    </div>    </a>    <style> figure, .tipContainer, .socContainer, .subscribeShortcodeContainer, .donateContainer {display:none !important;} .youtubeContainer { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; padding-top: 30px; height: 0; overflow: hidden; margin-bottom:12px; } .youtubeContainer iframe, .video-container object, .video-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100% !important; height: 100%; margin: 12px 0px !important; } .newsroomSidebar {width:35%;max-width:35%;padding:10px;border-top:solid 2px black;background-color:#d3d3d3;float:right;margin-left:50px;} .snrsInfoboxSubContainer {padding:10px;border-top:solid 2px black;background-color:#d3d3d3;} .halfwidth {float:right;width:50%;max-width:50%;} .indent2Container {margin-left: 1em;margin-bottom:1em; border-left: solid 1px black;padding-left: 2em;} @media only screen and (max-width: 600px) {.newsroomSidebar {max-width:95%;width:95%;margin-left:4%} .halfwidth {float:none;width:100%;max-width:100%;} }</style> <p><a href="https://oregoncapitalchronicle.com">Oregon Capital Chronicle</a> is part of States Newsroom, a nonprofit news network supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. 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