6k+ Oregonians left Republican Party in January

Ore. —Last month more than 6,000 Oregonians left the Republican Party.

This comes the same month that pro-Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol, and Oregon’s Republican leadership called the capitol invasion, a “false flag operation” or conspiracy to discredit then-President Trump.

The latest data from the state shows 6,145 people switched their registration to leave the Republican Party last month.

While no single person can speak to why that many people left the party, in just one month, it is a big change when it comes to statewide numbers.

Former Republican Gubernatorial Candidate, Knute Buehler says after nearly 40 years he’d had enough.

“It was deeply painful when I clicked that button at my kitchen table and changed my registration from republican to non-affiliated,” says Buehler.

Buehler dropped his Republican Party registration, and opted to become an Independent, the same night Oregon’s Republican Party passed a resolution, calling the events at the Capitol January 6th a “False flag.”

“Clearly a false it’s a conspiracy theory gone mad and its just not something that I can agree with in any way,” says Buehler.

Data from the Oregon Secretary of State’s office shows more than 6,000 Oregon Republicans left the GOP in January.

Party registration shrank in each of the state’s five congressional districts, including Oregon’s 2nd District, the only district represented by a Republican.

It lost just under 13,000 members of the party.

RCC Political Science instructor Michael Torguson says people’s core beliefs aren’t changing, they simply don’t like what they’re seeing.

“Its a perfect storm a combination of Trump and constantly beating the drum against voter fraud and then capping it all off with the capitol riot, people have just gotten to the point where they’re saying this is not my party,” says Torguson.

“It’s that type of extreme attitude, extreme expression of outrage, people have just gotten enough,” says Torguson.

Former Jackson County Commissioner, Peter Sage has been following politics for years in Oregon and across the country through his political blog.

“Our country was enduring what turned out to be an unsuccessful attempt to stop the government from carrying out it’s functions,” says Sage.

While 6,000 Republicans leaving the party in a such a short period is highly unusual, they aren’t flocking across the aisle.

Democrats saw almost no change in January.

Non affiliated voters grew the most, followed by the Independent Party.

Data from the Jackson County elections office shows both Republicans and Democrats lost registered members in the county since the election.

About 200 people left each party in that time.

Numbers from January were not available from the county.

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Jenna King is the 6pm and 11pm anchor for NBC5 News. Jenna is a Burbank, CA native. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Sports Business. During her time at Oregon she was part of the student-run television station, Duck TV. She also grew her passion for sports through her internship with the PAC 12 Network. When Jenna is not in the newsroom you can find her rooting for her hometown Dodgers, exploring the outdoors or binging on the latest Netflix release.
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