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What matters most to Oregonians


What matters most to Oregonians

What are the major issues on the minds of seemingly all Oregonians these days? Ask Adam Davis, and he’ll tell you: poverty, homelessness and the cost of housing.

Davis is co-founder of DHM Research, a Portland firm that’s been conducting opinion research in the region for more than four decades. Gard and DHM have partnered on many projects over the years.

DHM recently ran some research for the Coalition of Oregon Land Trusts, a Gard client, and others to find out what issues may be of the biggest importance to Oregon voters in the coming year. It’s something that Davis and DHM have done annually around this time of year, when political candidates and ballot measure campaigns start calling to see what’s on voters’ minds. 

In the past, the research has been somewhat limited, as it’s been based on statewide surveys using proportional sampling. As a result, the research typically doesn’t paint a very specific picture for some of the less-populated areas of the state. 

But this year, with the support of the Coalition of Oregon Land Trusts, the Yarg Foundation and the Oregon Community Foundation, DHM was able to expand its research and come up with statistically reliable findings for eight areas of Oregon, including the Portland metro region, the Oregon Coast, the Willamette Valley, and Central, Southern and Eastern Oregon. 

What stuck out most this year was the fact that the same issues are high on voters’ lists no matter where they live. Poverty and homelessness ranked among the top three in all eight areas, while housing costs landed high up in six of the eight. 

You can read more about DHM’s latest findings in a recent op-ed Davis wrote for the Portland Tribune titled “Regardless of ZIP code, Oregonians share same concerns.”