PORTLAND, Oregon - Democrats are now poised to have at least 57 votes in the Senate next year. The latest Republican incumbent to fall is Gordon Smith of Oregon.
He conceded defeat today to Democrat Jeff Merkley, as the latest vote count showed Smith trailing by more than 40,000 votes in Tuesday's election.
Smith had hoped to avoid being caught in a wave of anti-GOP sentiment in this election by highlighting his efforts to work across the aisle. But he says, ``There was simply a tide too strong for us to stem.'' It's the first loss for an Oregon senator in 40 years.
Merkley is calling for a ``very different approach'' on issues including health care, affordable housing and energy independence.