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OR: Back of the envelope

Votes are counted till they’re counted, which is making frustrating the slow count at Multnomah County. In the balance: A close U.S. Senate race, in which Republican incumbent Gordon Smith at present holds a narrow lead over Democrat Jeff Merkley.

If we’re reading the count of vote not-yet-counted correctly, however, not all but the bulk of the remaining ballots still out are from Multnomah, where Merkley has been winning at a clip of 66.5%. If our back-of-envelope math is somewhere around right, that would suggest a Merkley win of somewhere are 20-30,000, and maybe a little higher.

There’s a reason no one has conceded or claimed victory in this one yet (time at this writing: 12:07 p.m. Wednesday). But we may know soon.

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