Oregonians tired of blue state's policies seek to move border to join Idaho


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Oregonians who are fed up with the blue state’s policies are seeking to relocate the Beaver State’s border to neighboring Idaho, where the red state policies “actually match their values.”

The Greater Idaho Movement’s Executive Director, Matt McCaw, told Fox News Digital that the movement to shift Oregon’s border 200 miles west was created to bridge the growing “tug of war” in the Beaver State. 

“The state of Oregon is divided geographically by the Cascade Mountain Range and that geographic divide is also a huge cultural divide,” McCaw said. “So, on the west side of Oregon you have a different climate, it’s a different economy, it’s a different culture and more urban. It’s a very different place than the east side, where there are agricultural people who are very conservative and traditional.”

“You have these two very different groups of people in Oregon that try to play tug of war over state government,” he said.

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Proposed map of Idaho and Oregon

The Greater Idaho Movement seeks to shift the Idaho border west and move the Oregon border 200 miles west. (Greater Idaho Movement)

Matt McCaw

Matt McCaw, the executive director of the Greater Idaho Movement, discussed with Fox News Digital the grassroots movement to shift Oregon’s border. (Fox News Digital)

The political “tug of war” in Oregon has created a dividing conflict in the western state – aggravated by residents who have different values and needs from their elected officials.

“Eastern Oregonians are very different from western Oregonians,” McCaw said. “And you can take almost any issue that is a political hot topic, whether that’s immigration or taxes or abortion or gun rights or drug criminalization or decriminalization, you can take almost any issue, and what the people of Eastern Oregon want for their communities is different from what the people of Western Oregon want.”

The Greater Idaho Movement workers and volunteers

The Greater Idaho Movement seeks to shift Oregon’s border and join the more conservative Idaho. (Greater Idaho Movement)

The Greater Idaho Movement hopes to bridge the gap by shifting Oregon’s border.

“Why don’t we find a long-term solution to allow people who are different to get different policies for their communities that make sense for them? That will lower political tension, it will lower political conflict. And it’s what people repeatedly say they want out of their politics,” McCaw said.

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“People are not looking for partisan bickering,” he said. “What most people want are bipartisan solutions that create win-wins for everybody involved. That’s what our solution does, that’s what Greater Idaho does.”

“It creates a situation where the people in eastern Oregon get the government that they want and what the people in western Oregon get the government that they want and vote for,” McCaw added. “And all that political tension that comes from sharing the same state goes away.”

Signs supporting the Greater Idaho Movement

The western side of Oregon is rainier and denser in population, while the state’s eastern side has a drier climate and is more rural. (Greater Idaho Movement)

The executive director of the Greater Idaho Movement explained that the “urban rural divide” has been in Oregon “since the beginning.”

“Since this state was created, you were always going to have this difference between the east side and the west side. And a lot of that is just straight up geography. The west side of Oregon has a completely different geography and climate than the east side of Oregon, and people are going to make their livings a different way.”

Greater Idaho Movement meeting

Many residents in eastern Oregon were soured by Oregon state’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic. (Greater Idaho Movement)

McCaw said that the difference between the west and east sides of Oregon were only exacerbated during the coronavirus pandemic and helped “supercharge” their movement.

“During COVID, the state of Oregon was one of the most extreme. They closed businesses across the state, they closed churches across the state, they closed schools, they imposed mask mandates and later vaccine mandates,” McCaw said. “This was all state policy handed down through the government institutions like the Oregon Health Authority, which made these policies for the entire state.”

“It was very heavy-handed, and here in eastern Oregon, people [here] did not want those policies,” he said. 

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“You had just this amazing amount of conflict and frustration out here, tension, because these policies were being forced on the east side of the state that we didn’t want. And all along, just to our east in our neighboring state, Idaho, you had a completely different government response from the state,” McCaw said.

McCaw said that many residents in eastern Oregon saw the pandemic as a wake-up call for residents to want politicians who reflect the community’s values.

“And those policies that happened during COVID were so impactful and so negative that I think that it kind of supercharged this movement,” he said. “It made people realize that the government can have a massive impact on my life in a really negative way, so we need to make sure that that government matches our values, matches our community’s values, so that the next time something like this comes along, we know our government response is going to be the kind of response that our community wants.”

Volunteers for the Greater Idaho Movement

The Greater Idaho Movement argues that a border is an “invisible line.” (Greater Idaho Movement)

“The people shouldn’t be serving this invisible line. The invisible line should serve the people,” McCaw said, referring to the border.

“This is an idea that is not crazy, we move invisible lines all the time in our country to get better representation for people,” he explained. “We redistrict every ten years, and we change that every ten years. Nobody blinks an eye about that.”

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McCaw argued that moving Oregon’s border would “actually make sense.”

“Let’s take this invisible line. Let’s move it to where it actually makes sense, where it actually would represent the people and group similar peoples together who want the same kind of government. And let’s use it to lower political tension, solve problems rather than make problems worse,” he said.

Idaho flag

Matt McCaw told Fox News Digital that the Greater Idaho Movement has gained steam since its creation four years ago. (Greater Idaho Movement)

McCaw said that since the Genesis of the movement, just four years ago, it has gained traction from residents and local officials.

“We have gone to 13 counties in eastern Oregon and asked voters directly, ‘Do you want your elected leaders to pursue making this border change happen?’” McCaw said. “We’ve won in all 13 of those eastern Oregon counties, so we are looking at moving, in total, 17 full or partial counties into Idaho.”

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“The people of Eastern Oregon want to have this conversation, and the people of Eastern Oregon deserve to have their elected leaders have this conversation on their behalf,” he said.



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