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|Sunday, October 01, 2006|
By Oakley Brooks
What if you could get small-business owners to vote as one block? Impossible, you say: There are around 100,000 businesses with 50 or fewer employees in Oregon and getting them on the same page come political season would be like herding cats.
But Oregon statewide candidates should think of this group as an opportunity. Here’s a potential voting block unmatched in its size (about the same as the Mormon Church in Oregon) and breadth (you name the demographic, they’re in this group). Winning them over en masse not only solidifies a new base for a candidate, it also gives candidates entree into the workplace, which opinion pollsters Davis, Hibbitts and Midghall say is one of the last forums for civic engagement in a society turned off by public affairs. An owner who convinces a handful of employees to vote with him or her broadens the base even more.
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