Thursday, November 06, 2008

Democrats take senate seat in Oregon

We're up to 57 in the caucus (if you include independents, I think). The Huffington Post:

PORTLAND, Ore. — Democrat Jeff Merkley has ousted Republican Sen. Gordon Smith, a victory once considered unlikely against an incumbent who had highlighted his efforts to work across the aisle in hopes of surviving a wave of anti-GOP sentiment.

Smith's loss _ the first for an incumbent Oregon senator in 40 years _ means Democrats are poised to have at least 57 votes in the Senate next year. He had been the last GOP senator standing in the three Pacific Coast states south of Alaska.

Steve Benen:

Smith, who had run campaign ads trying to tie himself to Obama, called Merkley this morning to concede. All of the votes are not yet counted, by Merkley enjoys a 2-point lead with votes in heavily Democratic areas yet to be counted.

The victory is no doubt gratifying for Merkley for a variety of reasons, including a vindication of sorts -- the Democratic establishment did not want Merkley to win the party nomination for this contest, fearing he was too liberal to be electable.

There are, of course, three more Senate contests that remain unresolved -- Alaska, Minnesota, and Georgia, the last of which is headed for a run-off.


Blogger grishnash said...

Merkley too liberal to be elected? Seriously? He's about as middle of the road as Oregon Democrats get. He's freakin' Speaker of the House, and a total party loyalist. If that's too liberal for the national party, who were they looking for, another Joe Lieberman?

9:42 AM, November 07, 2008  
Blogger grishnash said...

Oops, the article you quote actually has a correction for my objection. Yeah, I couldn't imagine why they'd object to Merkley, and who they would have backed in his primary instead. He's confusing Jeff Merkley with Steve Novick or someone else.

9:56 AM, November 08, 2008  

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