Cover Oregon failure puts Merkley’s seat at risk


by NW Spotlight

National Journal Hotline is calling Sen. Jeff Merkley’s (D-Oregon) seat one of fifteen U.S. Senate seats “most likely to switch.” Merkley’s seat comes in at #15.

Hotline notes “Merkley is facing a field of untested Republicans. But disappointment over the 2010 health care law could resonate more in Oregon, which created its own exchange but has struggled to get it started. Even if the federal government gets its website fixed soon, Oregon’s portal might not be up until mid-December.”

Merkley, a freshman Senator, narrowly won election in 2008 by a 3.4% margin over Republican Sen. Gordon Smith – in a race where the Constitution Party candidate took 5.2% of the vote.

Hotline further notes “One of Merkley’s GOP challengers is pediatric neurosurgeon Monica Wehby, who has no political experience but could appeal to voters on the issue.”

Oregon State Rep. Jason Conger (R-Bend) has also announced he’s running for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Jeff Merkley, as have Republicans Jo Rae Perkins and Mark Callahan.