T.A. Barnhart of the BlueOregon blog made the daring voyage over the hill to Bend with The Bus Project last weekend to ring doorbells for state legislative candidate Judy Stiegler, and says he saw signs of encouragement for the Democrats: Tibetan prayer flags.
"Bend in 2008 is a whole new country," Barnhart writes. "It's not Bend 2004: The Democrats now have a slight edge in registration, but more importantly, the issues that seem to be driving voter preferences and choices are not any different than what we find in uber-blue Portland: the economy, health care, the environment, Iraq."
"Here's what I found in the two different neighborhoods I walked this past weekend: Tibetan prayer flags and 1-in-6 voters having moved since the last election. The prayer flags were noticed by other Bus people: from tiny strings at the front door to large displays in their living rooms or on their patio, there seem to be a lot of people in Bend with a view of the world much in variance with liberal Oregon's preconceptions [of Bend] - which, I confess, I share(d)."
The Wandering Eye has wandered around Bend a lot more than Barnhart, and we are somewhat skeptical that the Tibetan-prayer-flag vote will be enough to put Stiegler over the top against incumbent Rep. Chuck Burley.
However, we do seem to be seeing an awful lot of Obama bumper stickers this summer. And so far we have seen just one - count it, one - McCain sticker. At this point in 2004 Bush/Cheney stickers were all over the place and a Kerry/Edwards sticker was hardly to be found.