Most popular candidate on Oregon ballot by far? Vets

Hillary Clinton triumphed in Oregon, but fell short of breaking the million-vote ceiling, according to vote tallies as of noon Wednesday.

Ditto Kate Brown, who won overwhelming election to the governorship after being appointed to the role in 2014. She garnered even fewer votes than Clinton, with about 910,000 tallied by noon Wednesday.

So which candidate proved most popular with Oregon voters? Veterans, hands-down.

A whopping 1.5 million people voted for Measure 96, which sets aside 1.5 percent of state lottery proceeds to care for those who have served their country in the military. No other candidate or measure came close in popularity on the Nov. 8 ballot.

Next in line were elephants, tigers and other exotic animals, whose parts will no longer be legal to sell in Oregon, thanks to voters' approval of Measure 100. Microsoft co-founder and Blazers owner Paul Allen really wanted the majestic wild creatures protected from poaching, and more than 1.2 million Oregon voters were right there with him.

In terms of actual candidates for office, the most popular human standing for office was someone you'd probably have trouble naming in a trivia contest: Supreme Court Justice Lynn Nakamoto.

 
 

A California-born Japanese American who worked two decades as corporate lawyer in Portland, Nakamoto was appointed to the Supreme Court by Brown in December 2015.  One of nine openly lesbian or gay state supreme court justices in the country and the first Asian American on the Oregon high court, Nakamoto won election on her first try Tuesday, drawing more than 1.05 million votes. She was unopposed.

The candidate who won the most votes from Oregonians while facing an opponent (or in his case, five of them) on Oregon's general election ballot? Senator Ron Wyden, who reeled in 1.04 million votes while facing a phlanx of competeting candidates from Libertarian to Pacific Green.

Come January, Oregon's widely supported Democratic senior senator will rejoin a Republican-majority U.S. Senate, to be presided over by Vice President-elect Mike Pence.