A bloodbath. But not in Oregon!

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

Oregon once again proved that things look different here.

Senator Jeff Merkley's resounding victory was huge, but was by no means a certainty. In the years to come, some will chalk up his victory as a "gimme" -- but it was hardly that. Everyone on Team Merkley -- including hundreds and hundreds of volunteers -- worked very, very hard to make it look that easy. Amazingly, his margin of victory was larger than that of Cory Booker, Dick Durbin, Chris Coons, Tom Udall -- and none of them faced millions in attack ads from the Koch Brothers.

Our entire congressional delegation was easily re-elected, including Rep. Peter DeFazio who faced a $675,000 superpac onslaught in the last week of his race.

As Senate President Peter Courtney said last night, Oregonians chose the Democrats to govern again in Salem. They returned John Kitzhaber for an historic fourth term -- and by a bigger margin than 2010. Our Senate majority is now up to at least 17, with Senator-elect Sara Gelser on her way. (The SD-15 race between Bruce Starr and Chuck Riley is still too close to call, though Starr is leading narrowly.) Our House majority is up one seat to 35 -- with the addition of Rep.-elect Paul Evans.

The big shocker of the night in Oregon was the failure of Treasurer Ted Wheeler's campaign for Measure 86 -- the endowment for student aid. It was seen as such a sure thing that I didn't even bother to put it in the Punditology Challenge. It lost badly, 58% to 41%. I expect the post-mortem will be about that phrase "incur debt" in the ballot title.

As was widely expected, Measure 87 (judges) passed, Measure 88 (driver cards) failed, and Measure 89 (equal rights) passed.

The top-two primary, Measure 90, wasn't even close -- with 68% of voters rejecting it. The story that will reverberate for months to come is the legalization of marijuana -- as Oregonians voted 56 to 44 to be the third state to make the leap.

And finally, while the Oregonian has called the race for the No on 92 side, with just a 17,000 margin, I'm not so sure. Stay tuned on the GMO labeling measure.

What's your reaction? What else are you paying attention to?

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