Democrats are still barely clinging to their supermajorities in the Oregon Senate and House of Representatives, assuming the current ballot tally holds.
But in at least four races, the count is too close to be certain of the outcome.
Democrats lost a seat in the House, where if current results hold they will outnumber Republicans by as much as 60 to 37, while maintaining their current 30-18 hold in the Senate.
But Democrats are clinging to victory by an astonishingly small margin: Rep. Anna Williams (D-Hood River) leads in a rematch against former Rep. Jeff Helfrich, whom she defeated two years ago, by 94 votes (or less than a quarter of a percentage point). And Rep. Brad Witt (D-Clatskanie) leads his opponent, Republican Brian Stout, by 518 votes (or less than a percentage point of votes cast).
In the Senate, Democratic challenger Deb Patterson has a lead of less than 387 votes (or half a percentage point) over Sen. Denyc Boles (R-Salem).
And state Sen. Tim Knopp (R-Bend) is holding off a challenge by Democrat Eileen Kiely by under 2,000 votes, or less than 2 percentage points.
Before the election, there had been some speculation whether Democrats could increase their advantage in both chambers by enough seats to conduct business without the consent of Republicans.
An increase of two seats in each house would have given Democrats a three-quarters majority—enough to render worthless the Republican tactic of walking out to halt the passage of progressive legislation. (A quorum requires three-quarters of members be present under the Oregon Constitution.)
Instead, Democrats are now hoping to merely maintain their supermajority, which allows them to pass tax increases without bipartisan support.
The results make clear that Oregon, like the nation, has become polarized by geography.
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