Oregon's most high-profile contest was so close it took almost 24 hours after the polls closed to determine the winner.
In the closest race for governor since at least 1956, former two-term governor John Kitzhaber defeated political newcomer Chris Dudley. Details: Kitzhaber elected to third term
In the Oregon legislature, Republicans gained ground, breaking the Democratic supermajority in both sides of the state's legislature. More: GOP gains ground in House, Senate.
Meanwhile, in two of the most hotly contested NW Congressional races, Jaime Herrera prevailed over Denny Heck in the SWWashington House District 3 race; and Democrat Kurt Schrader edged Republican Scott Bruun in Oregon House District 5.
At the same time, powerful incumbents retained their seats as expected in early results from Oregon races. Republican Greg Walden and Democrats Earl Blumenauer and David Wu easily won their races U.S. House District races on Tuesday. Ron Wyden kept his U.S. Senate seat, according to KGW projections. KGW also projected that Democrat Ted Wheeler has defeated Chris Telfer.
In Washington, the race for U.S. Senate between incumbent Patti Murray and Republican challenger Dino Rossi had important implications for the composition of the U.S. Senate. With most of the votes counted, incumbent Murray narrowly led Rossi, with thousands of votes still uncounted and absentee ballots likely to be crucial. More: Murray-Rossi latest
Initiatives draw big response
Several high-profile initiatives were defeated in the Northwest.
In Oregon, voters rejected a proposal to approve a casino in Wood Village. An initiative to create marijuana dispensaries was also defeated. Voters approved the extension of dedicating Lottery funds to parks.
Measure 71, which creates annual legislative sessions in Oregon, was also approved by voters. Measure 73, which increased sentences for DUI drivers and repeat sex offenders, also passed.
In Washington, a measure to tax the super-rich was defeated. Two measures to authorize private liquor sales were also defeated. The I-1098 income tax measure, and I-1082 the industrial insurance measure, were also defeated. Washington voters approved I-1053, requiring a supermajority for tax increases; and voters repealed an earlier tax increase on junk foods.
Close races, measures drive high turnout
Voter turnout in both Oregon and Washington soared Tuesday, fueled by close key races in both states.
Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown predicted a 72 percent turnout of voters in the general election Tuesday. Her counterpart in Washington, Sam Reed, predicted a 66 percent turnout. Officials said final ballot totals would likely be done Wednesday at 5 p.m.