Muckraker: Grist on Politics

The Oregon Senate race has been called for enviro-backed candidate Jeff Merkley, who finished with a 48.4 to 46 percent lead over Republican incumbent Gordon Smith.

In Minnesota, the latest tally puts Republican incumbent Norm Coleman just 439 votes ahead of Democrat Al Franken, a margin that falls within the state’s mandatory recount law. That recount is likely to take several weeks.

The Georgia Senate race is likely headed toward a runoff, after initially being called for incumbent Republican Saxby Chambliss. They’re still counting votes, but if neither Chambliss nor enviro-backed Democratic challenger Jim Martin gets at least 50 percent, there will be a runoff on Dec. 2.

And in Alaska, convicted felon Ted Stevens (R) is ahead of Anchorage mayor Mark Begich (D) by 3,353 votes, though they haven’t yet finished counting votes.

Here’s a July interview we conducted with Merkley on his environmental plans: