One more post on the Oregon primary, and then it's back to our regularly-scheduled Bush bashing. One of the more revealing outcomes of yesterday's election was how few people actually participated--32% of registered voters. Oregon regularly has one of the most engaged electorates (Minnesota seems to always beat us on turnout, but we're always top five). Further, since enacting vote-by-mail, we've seen participation increase noticeably. While our midterm turnout is lower than during presidential elections, we generally approach 50%, so this is seriously off pace.
I have no real data to offer, but based on discussions and my own mood, I'd say that it is representative of the current mood of the nation. We have entered a period of sustained lassitude arising from the catastrophe of our federal government. Perhaps also from the recent bitterly polarizing presidential election. I don't know what effect this will have on November, but if the Dems have any hope of forcing the GOP out, we're going to have to do some work on getting out the vote.
Does anyone recall a time when the mood of the nation has been so ugly? During the Iran hostage crisis, maybe. I was young, but it penetrated my consciousness nevertheless. It's bad.