John Kitzhaber waltzed into the Grand Ballroom in the bowels of the Hilton to a screaming crowd of fans and told them, essentially, GO TO BED.
"This probably won't be decided until some time before the sun comes up," said Kitz, wearing his signature tight cowboy jeans. "I'm very optimistic. and let me tell you why. We've known all along that this would be a close race. We've known all along it would come down to the Multnomah County vote. We're down two points statewide, but almost half the Multnomah County vote isn't in yet."
"Jeff Merkley was in exactly the same place at 11 o'clock on election night," continued Kitz. "And he woke up the next morning as a United States Senator. I expect the same thing is going to happen this evening.
Even though it's a superclose race, Kitzhaber will be resting easier tonight than Duds.
Here's the hopeful math that puts Kitz in the lead: There's 400,000 ballots left in the state to count, a third of them are in Multnomah County. Judging by the results so far, our county is going 70 percent for Kitz, which means by the end of tonight he'll likely be ahead.