... and then there were six.
NPR projects that Democrat Jeff Merkley is the winner in the Oregon Senate race. Merkley defeats two-term Republican Gordon Smith. Smith's re-election campaign focused on casting the junior Senator as a moderate. The Republican incumbent even aligned himself with the Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama in this ad where the narrator asks, "Who says Gordon Smith helped lead the fight for better gas mileage and a cleaner environment? Barack Obama."
Obama then went to bat for Merkley in this ad where he told Oregonians that "with Jeff Merkley in the U.S. Senate, we can get our country back on track."
The Merkley win increases the Democratic net gain in the Senate to six. Three more Senate races -- all held by Republicans -- have yet to be called: Alaska (some votes still being tallied), Minnesota (automatic recount), and Georgia (where a Dec. 2 runoff is possible).