An Oregon surprise?

Many of us considered Gordon Smith a long shot to retain his Senate seat against Democrat Jeff Merkley, especially if Barack Obama won a convincing victory for the Presidency.  But despite Obama’s 14-point win in Oregon, Smith has apparently hung onto the narrowest of margins to win the election.  According to the Oregon Secretary of State, Smith beat Merkley by just 907 votes:

Gordon H Smith (Republican) 549,594 47.18%
Jeff Merkley (Democrat) 548,687 47.10%

If this holds — and there will almost certainly be a recount — this will be an unexpected lift for Republicans after a very difficult night. Given the strong showing for Obama in Oregon, this appears to be a clear renunciation of Merkley.