PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – As votes continue to be tallied, Oregon and Washington are in the national spotlight with some key races too close to call and control of Congress hanging in the balance.
Washington’s third district, formerly Republican Jamie Herrera Beutler’s seat, is a toss-up between Trump-backed Republican Joe Kent and Democrat Marie Gluesenkamp Perez.
In Oregon, the hotly contested District 5 race is still too close to call between Republican Lori Chavez-DeRemer and Democrat contender Jamie Mcleod-Skinner. In Oregon’s new 6th congressional district, Democrat Andrea Salinas is still vying for the seat against Republican Mike Erickson.
Reed College professor Chris Koski says the region followed a national trend.
“There’s a lot this election teaches us. I think the biggest loser of Tuesday is Donald Trump…the candidates who were flirting with Trump were burned,” Koski said.
He also noted Democrats should not get too comfortable even though they avoided a “red wave” nationally.
“I think Democrats can draw a lot of lessons from this election, one lesson I think they should not draw is they won so everything is fine,” Koski said.
The professor noted that Democrats should also focus on issues like crime and homelessness.
“Once we gained a national spotlight, these races became nationalized, so, in so far as we think about local issues driving issues, that’s true, but it’s also true that the races are reflections…of a broader battle nationally,” Koski explained. “I think voters in Oregon, and New York, voters in places where crime was high and homelessness was visible, it was clear these are issues voters really care about.”
With congressional power on the line, Koski called these races incredibly important explaining, “each of these votes are crucial.”