by Jerome Armstrong, Thu Nov 06, 2008 at 07:36:09 AM EST
57, EVEN BETTER:
Posted by mrollins November 06, 2008 09:05AM
Republican Gordon Smith, who has represented Oregon in the U.S. Senate for the last 12 years, this morning called Jeff Merkley, his Democratric challenger, to concede their race.
Jon Isaacs, an aide to Merkley, said that Smith called Merkley about 8:40 a.m. to concede the hard-fought race, which came down to a few thousand votes. Isaacs described the conversation between the two men as "very cordial."
It came as Merkley prepared to give his acceptance speech this morning at Portland State University.
Merkley, a five-term state lawmaker and former Habitat for Humanity director, took advantage of a surge of Democratic support to win the bitterly fought battle with Smith, a Pendleton frozen food magnate who also rose through the Oregon Legislature.
Merkley was ahead through most of the counting Tuesday night, but then Smith overtook him overnight. By the end of counting Wednesday, Merkley had moved ahead with tallies from Democrat-rich Multnomah and Lane counties.
I feel like I did the day after the election in November 1992. A great weight has been lifted with the return of Democratic control.
In a few months: A President Obama, a Democratic Senate with at least 57 seats, and House with at least 258 Democrats.... a much better reality than the past 8 years.