(CNN) - Oregon Sen. Gordon Smith has conceded defeat to Democratic challenger Jeff Merkley in his re-election bid, CNN has confirmed.
Smith personally called Merkley earlier Thursday to concede the race, according to Merkley spokeswoman Julie Edwards. Smith is also expected to publicly admit defeat in a press conference later Thursday.
Election Center: Check out the results in Oregon
With 100 percent of the counties reporting, Merkley received 48.4 percent of the vote to Smith's 46 percent.
Smith's defeat means Democrats now hold 57 seats in the Senate. The outcomes of three races remain unclear - Alaska, Minnesota, and Georgia.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Sen. Joe Lieberman, the Democrat turned independent who backed Republican Sen. John McCain for president, will meet at 1 p.m. Thursday with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to discuss Lieberman’s future with the Democratic caucus, according to two congressional sources familiar with the matter.
At stake is Lieberman’s chairmanship of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and possibly his other committee assignments. Reid could also ask Lieberman to leave the Democratic caucus altogether.
Lieberman’s support of McCain – and harshly critical words of President-elect Barack Obama during the campaign - angered many Senate Democrats but Reid was reluctant to act against the Connecticut senator earlier because Democratic control of the Senate relied on Lieberman’s decision to organize with the Democrats.
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(CNN) – Two days after winning the White House, President-elect Barack Obama is readying to assume the presidency as the nation fights two wars and tries to battle back from a struggling economy
In the latest episode of CNN=Politics Daily, White House Correspondent Suzanne Malveaux reports on Obama’s choice for Chief of Staff, and who’s on the short list to be the next Secretary of the Treasury.
State Department Correspondent Zain Verjee reports that people around the world are eagerly awaiting Obama’s inauguration with hopes that the new president will be able to play an important role in fixing a host of global problems.
In the wake of Obama’s win and a string of Democratic congressional victories that added to their majority, Republicans are tending to their political wounds and beginning to think about what they need to do to rebuild their party’s damaged brand. Brian Todd takes a closer look.
Finally, Special Correspondent Frank Sesno speaks with American Morning’s Kiran Chetry about the challenges President-elect Obama will likely face once he gets to D.C. - and faces the task of dealing with the ailing economy.
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(CNN) - The Pentagon is all abuzz with talk of the "transition," so - along with some other reporters - I got a sneak peak at the transition office the Pentagon has set aside for the advance team from the Obama camp.
The "office" is series of new, but nondescript cubicles on the E-ring of the 3rd deck of the Pentagon, not far from the Secretary of Defense’s office.
Room 3E971 to be precise.
Nobody has moved in yet, but the office is equipped with phones, computers and office supplies.
A lot of highlighters, hanging files, and other office accoutrements.
“Look like somebody’s been to Staples,” one reporter equipped.
Because nothing transition related goes uncovered in Washington, we’ve asked for permission to photograph the empty spaces.
Look for that video coming soon to a cable news network near you.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Bush will meet President-elect Obama "early next week," he Bush vowed that he will keep a promise to "sprint to the finish" of his administration, which ends with Obama's inauguration on January 20.
Watch: Bush heads into the homestretch
He asked his staff to join him and his wife "in congratulating President-elect Obama and wishing him the very best for him and his family" as he addressed them at the White House to thank them for their service.
"As January 20 draws near, some of you may be anxious about finding a new job or a new place to live. I know how you feel," he said, to laughter from the staff.
"But between now and then, we must keep our attention on the task at hand, because the American people expect no less. Earlier this year, I promised I would sprint to the finish. I am keeping that promise."
CHICAGO, Illinois (CNN) – Will Senior Obama Campaign Strategist Robert Gibbs become Barack Obama's Press Secretary?
A high level source involved in the Obama transition team tells CNN Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley that as of this morning the offer to Gibbs of the Press Secretary's position has been discussed but that the job has not been formally offered yet.
CNN's Jessica Yellin is also hearing a similar message from another Obama transition source.
A very close friend of Gibb's on Capitol Hill tells CNN Chief National Correspondent John King that he's been told the job is a done deal and will be announced later today.
Gibbs steered the Obama Campaign's communications. He served as Communications Director in Obama's Senate office prior to joining the presidential campaign early last year, and he was a major player in the freshman senator's rise in the public eye.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Rep. Roy Blunt of Missouri has decided not to run for another term as Republican whip in the House. His deputy, Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia, has already told his colleagues he will be a candidate for the position.
Florida Rep. Adam Putnam, the Chairman of the Republican House Conference, is also relinquishing his GOP leadership post in the next Congress.
But House Minority Leader John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell have said they are looking to hold on to those posts.
Democrats have netted a total of 17 additional seats in the House of Representatives and four new seats in the Senate. CNN has not projected a winner yet in four outstanding Senate races. Should Democrats prevail in all four of those contests, they would have the 60-seat majority that would overcome Republican attempts to filibuster in the Senate.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - Spend tens if not hundreds of billions to boost the economy. Pass a law giving homeowners more leverage over lenders. Do more to address the growing ranks of unemployed workers.
There's a new day for economic policy in Washington.
The Democrats not only took back the White House - they gained a stronger hand in both chambers of Congress. As a result, in the 10 weeks before President-elect Barack Obama takes office and the months that follow, legislative leaders will likely revive a series of measures that failed to gain traction in the past year.
At the top of the agenda: stimulating the flagging economy.
ABOARD THE CNN EXPRESS
Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images
CHICAGO, Illinois (CNN)– Quite a week. Here are ten pieces of supporting evidence:
1. If my reading of statistics is correct– never a certainty when my favorite truck-stop dining companion of 2008, Bill Schneider, is off the bus– Barack Obama did something perhaps even more impressive this week than becoming the first African-American to win the presidency.
He also became the person who, in the entire history of the United States, won the most number of popular votes in a presidential election.
Granted, the population grows between each election year, thereby increasing the total possible number of votes. But still. No one has ever received more votes than Obama did this week.
2. To put the above into a little perspective:
In 2000, the year the man whom Obama is replacing as president, George W. Bush, was elected, Obama was defeated in a congressional primary– a primary– by Bobby Rush, who first came to local prominence in the 1960s as a founder of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party.
Eight years later, not only is Obama president-elect, but no one– not Lyndon Johnson, not Ronald Reagan, not Bill Clinton– has ever received more votes on an Election Night.
NEW YORK (CNN) – The Republican Party faces a long list of problems with no clear national leader and an identity crisis that will play out during a period of good will for the first African-American elected president.
Barack Obama not only won a clear majority of the votes Tuesday night, but he won with a coalition that dramatically recolored the Electoral College map and creates an opportunity for Democrats to have the upper hand after a long period of Republican electoral dominance.
It is the combination of Obama's success among young voters and Latino voters that many Republican strategists see as particularly troubling to their party's long-term health.
"We learned from the Ronald Reagan years how generational support for a candidate can ripple through the demographics for years to come," said one leading GOP strategist close to the McCain campaign.
In other words, young voters who were attracted to Reagan in 1980 remained loyal to Republicans as they aged, providing the base on the party's presidential success over the past 25 years.