Breaking: Merkley Wins Oregon Senate Seat
NPR and NBC have just called the Oregon Senate race for Democrat Jeff Merkley.
Merkley trailed Republican Gordon Smith before early and absentee ballots were tallied. Most of these ballots came from Portland and other Democratic strongholds.
According to NPR, Merkley leads 48 percent to 46 percent, with 82 percent of precincts reporting.
Merkley represents the Democrats’ sixth pickup in the Senate, bringing their total to 55 seats, plus two independents who caucus with the party. Three races have yet to be called: Minnesota (headed for a recount), Alaska (still counting absentee and other ballots) and Georgia (runoff election likely). If the Democratic candidates manage to win in all three states, the party will reach its goal of a 60-seat filibuster-proof majority.
UPDATE: FOX has also called the race for Merkley. CNN has yet to call it.