The final margin for John Kitzhaber (DEM, IND) over Chris Dudley (REP) grew to 20,399 votes (1.4%).
Dudley may well blame his loss on the minor party candidates on his right (Constitution, Libertarian), who received almost 39,000 votes (2.7%). In addition, Kitzhaber was listed on the ballot as the candidate of both the Democratic Party and of the Independent Party. In Oregon House and Senate races where an IND ran against both a DEM and a REP, the IND candidate generally earned about 5% of the vote. In the Governor race, 5% would equal over 71,000 votes.
So the minor parties may have caused a swing of about 110,000 votes (7.7%) in this race, assuming that those who voted for the Constitution Party and Libertarian Party candidates would otherwise have chosen Dudley.
This is the third Governor race in Oregon since 1990 where minor parties have greatly influenced the outcome. In 1990, Barbara Roberts (D) won by only 5.7% over Dave Frohnmayer(R), while right-wing candidate Al Mobley received 13% of the vote. In 2002, Ted Kulongoski (D) won by only 2.8% over Kevin Mannix(R), while Libertarian candidate Tom Cox received 4.6% of the vote.
In the Oregon Senate, both seats that switched hands from Democratic to Republican were won by candidates who received the Independent Party nomination (Chuck Thomsen, Alan Olsen). No seats switched the other way. So the Oregon Senate will have a 16-14 majority of Democrats.
Of the 13 major party candidates for the Oregon Senate who were cross-nominated by the Independent Party, 8 won their races, while 5 lost. The winning ratio is 62%. The winning ratio of Democratic nominees was also 62% of Republican nominees was 37%.
Oregon House of Representatives
In the Oregon House, 3 of the 6 seats that switched parties involved Independent Party-nominated candidates, resulting in a 30-30 tie of Democrats and Republicans, though the margins of victory were such that the party's nomination was less likely to have played a role in the outcome. They were Jason Conger, Mark Johnson, and Shawn Lindsay.
Of of 41 major party candidates for the Oregon House of Representatives who were cross-nominated by the Independent Party, 25 won their races, while 16 lost. The winning ratio is 61%. The winning ratio of Democratic nominees was 50% and of Republican nominees was 51% (because the Republicans had no nominee in House District 48, where the Independent Party nominee Jeff Caton won 43% of the vote).
Overall Legislature Results
Combining the Senate and House of Representatives, 33 Independent Party cross-nominees won their races, while 21 lost. The overall winning ratio is 61%. The overall winning ratio of Democratic candidates for the Legislature was 53%. The overall winning ratio of Republican candidates for the Legislature was 48%.