- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 6, 2008

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Democratic challenger in Oregon’s Senate race, Jeff Merkley, has defeated Republican Sen. Gordon Smith.

The victory will bring at least 55 Democrats to the new Senate, with three more races involving Republican incumbents yet to be decided in Alaska, Minnesota and Georgia. The party breakdown so far includes two independents who caucus with Democrats and 40 Republicans.

The Democratic tide led by Barack Obama’s election overwhelmed Smith, a moderate Republican who was seeking his third term.

Merkley is the speaker of the House in Oregon. Smith was the lone Senate Republican on the Pacific Coast.

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