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.

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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.

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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: