Wednesday, 4 November 2020

Senate TIED at 47-47 as Mark Kelly flips John McCain's Arizona seat but Lindsey Graham holds off $100m challenge as Democrats' bid to take control of Senate collapses - but House remains safely in Nancy Pelosi's grip

 Democrats hoping to easily wrestle control of the Senate from Republicans in Tuesday's election were met with disappointment, as the race was tied 47-47 in the early hours of Wednesday morning. 

Republicans had gone into the night holding the upper house of Congress with a slight edge of 53 to 47. 

At first an easy victory seemed possible with Colorado's former Gov. John Hickenlooper knocking off incumbent Republican Sen. Cory Gardner. 

Then Democrat Mark Kelly flipped the late GOP Sen. John McCain's Arizona Senate seat, robbing Republican incumbent Sen. Martha McSally from serving a full term. 

Kelly is a retired astronaut and benefited from national name recognition. His wife, former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, was wounded and nearly killed in the 2011 Tucson shooting, and the couple became nationally known as gun control activists. 

But the early optimism disappeared as Georgia went into a runoff between GOP Sen. Kelly Loeffler and Democrat Raphael Warnock. There was a special election for the seat Loeffler was appointed to fill after the retirement of GOP Sen. Johnny Isakson.

Republicans also scooped up a seat in Alabama with Tommy Tuberville beating Democratic Sen. Doug Jones, who looked emotional as he conceded the race. 

A $100 million campaign from fundraiser powerhouse Jaime Harrison to oust Sen. Lindsey Graham failed, with the South Carolina politician boasting during his winner's speech: 'You wasted a lot of money. This is the worst return on investment in the history of American politics.' 

And as the clock neared 6am on Wednesday, Alaska, Maine, Michigan and North Carolina were all still counting ballots.  

Democrats were also met with slight disappointment with the results in the House, because although they are poised to remain in control, they lost at least six incumbents and failed to oust any Republican lawmakers in initial returns.


Democrat Mark Kelly (pictured) flipped the late GOP Sen. John McCain's Arizona Senate seat, robbing Republican incumbent Sen. Martha McSally from serving a full term

Democrats scored their first big win of the night Tuesday when they knocked off incumbent Republican Sen. Cory Gardner in Colorado – but Republicans scooped up a seat in Alabama and failed to take down South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham (pictured)

Democrats scored their first big win of the night Tuesday when they knocked off incumbent Republican Sen. Cory Gardner in Colorado – but Republicans scooped up a seat in Alabama and failed to take down South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham (pictured)

And in Georgia there will be a runoff held on January 5 between GOP Sen. Kelly Loeffler and Democrat Raphael Warnock (pictured). There was a special election for the seat Loeffler was appointed to fill after the retirement of GOP Sen. Johnny Isakson
And in Georgia there will be a runoff held on January 5 between GOP Sen. Kelly Loeffler (pictured) and Democrat Raphael Warnock. There was a special election for the seat Loeffler was appointed to fill after the retirement of GOP Sen. Johnny Isakson

And in Georgia there will be a runoff held on January 5 between GOP Sen. Kelly Loeffler (right) and Democrat Raphael Warnock (left). There was a special election for the seat Loeffler was appointed to fill after the retirement of GOP Sen. Johnny Isakson

Republican Tommy Tuberville (pictured) successfully knocked off Alabama Democratic Sen. Doug Jones

Republican Tommy Tuberville (pictured) successfully knocked off Alabama Democratic Sen. Doug Jones

Another big score for Republicans was Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst (pictured) winning her second term against Democrat Theresa Greenfield. Seen as a bellwether, Ernst was declared the winner right before Iowa was called for Trump

Another big score for Republicans was Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst (pictured) winning her second term against Democrat Theresa Greenfield. Seen as a bellwether, Ernst was declared the winner right before Iowa was called for Trump 

The first Democrat win for the night was Colorado's former Gov. John Hickenlooper (pictured) knocking off incumbent Republican Sen. Cory Gardner in Colorado – but Republicans scooped up a seat in Alabama and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham remained in his seat

The first Democrat win for the night was Colorado's former Gov. John Hickenlooper (pictured) knocking off incumbent Republican Sen. Cory Gardner in Colorado – but Republicans scooped up a seat in Alabama and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham remained in his seat


STATES THAT FLIPPED 

ALABAMA  - WENT RED

Republican Tommy Tuberville, a former Auburn University football coach, defeated incumbent Democratic Senator Doug Jones.

Jones had been considered the most vulnerable Democrat in the Senate. He won the seat in an upset in 2017 after Republican Jeff Sessions vacated it to become Trump's attorney general.

In a state normally considered safe for Republican candidates, Jones bested former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, whose campaign was snarled by allegations of sexual misconduct with young women.

Tuberville, a popular figure in football-mad Alabama, defeated Sessions' attempted comeback earlier this year.

ARIZONA - WENT BLUE

Republican Senator Martha McSally lagged Democratic challenger Mark Kelly in fundraising and trailed him by an average of nearly 6 percentage points in opinion polls, according to the campaign tracking website RealClearPolitics.com.

McSally may have been weighed down by her close alliance with President Donald Trump, who lost the state to Democrat Joe Biden, Fox News projected late Tuesday. McCain's widow Cindy had campaigned alongside Biden in the state.

McSally had been appointed to her seat by Arizona's GOP Gov. Doug Ducey in December 2018 after she lost another Senate race to Democrat Kyrsten Sinema a month prior. 

McSally, a former U.S. representative and U.S. Air Force combat pilot, was appointed to the seat once held by the late Republican Senator John McCain after losing her 2018 Senate bid to Democrat Kyrsten Sinema. Kelly, a former astronaut and U.S. Navy combat pilot, has been leading McSally in opinion polls for more than a year.

COLORADO - WENT BLUE 

In Democrats' first big win of the Senate in Colorado, Cory Gardner had trailed John Hickenlooper in opinion polls going into election day.

Hickenlooper overcame some of his own stumbles after he was forced to pay a state ethics fine. 

He ran for president this year and stumbled, but was considered a top Democratic prospect in his state after serving two terms as governor.  

Like other Senate Republicans, Gardner became tied to Trump, who was viewed negatively in the state. 

Although he once criticized Trump during the 2016 campaign after the 'Access Hollywood' tape, Gardner, a former leader of his party's campaign wing, didn't put much distance between himself and the president.

He said he thought Trump was moral and ethical when asked about it during a candidates' debate. 'I wish he could be more specific in his communications with the American people,' Gardner added.

Gardner's defeat would've taken the GOP’s narrow Senate majority down to 52 votes – however Republicans successfully knocked off Alabama Democratic Sen. Doug Jones, making his win a wash. Pictured: Republican Senate candidate Tommy Tuberville smiles as he wins the Senate seat in Alabama over Doug Jones

Gardner's defeat would've taken the GOP's narrow Senate majority down to 52 votes – however Republicans successfully knocked off Alabama Democratic Sen. Doug Jones, making his win a wash. Pictured: Republican Senate candidate Tommy Tuberville smiles as he wins the Senate seat in Alabama over Doug Jones

Colorado Senator Cory Gardner became the first major political casualty Tuesday night, after former Democratic governor and Denver mayor John Hickenlooper (pictured) defeated him 

Sen. Doug Jones, R-Alabama, becomes emotional near the end of his concession speech Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, during his election night watch party in Birmingham, Alabama. Jones lost to Republican Tommy Tuberville

Sen. Doug Jones, R-Alabama, becomes emotional near the end of his concession speech Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, during his election night watch party in Birmingham, Alabama. Jones lost to Republican Tommy Tuberville

TOO CLOSE TO CALL 

Georgia 

Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler and Democrat Raphael Warnock were headed to a Jan. 5 run-off election after neither secured a majority in a multi-party, multi-candidate 'jungle primary' special election.

Loeffler, a wealthy businesswoman, was appointed last year to replace retiring Sen. Johnny Isakson. Warnock is pastor of the Atlanta church where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. preached and is trying to become Georgia's first Black U.S. senator. 

The unusual race was prompted by the retirement of Republican Senator Johnny Isakson. Loeffler was appointed last year to fill his seat. 

The contest featured 21 candidates in all, including another prominent Republican, Representative Doug Collins, who conceded defeat late Tuesday and immediately endorsed Loeffler. 

She urged Republican voters to unite behind her in the runoff against Warnock., saying: 'You all know how important it is that we all come together,' she said, 'because the radical left wants to take over this country.'

Warnock addressed supporters and promised to fight for 'ordinary people' worried about keeping their jobs and healthcare.

'It never mattered much to me, and it doesn't matter tonight, who I have to run against,' Warnock said, 'because I've always been clear about who I'm running for.'

Warnock gained the backing of Democratic leaders including former President Barack Obama. That helped clear the field for Warnock on the Democratic side while Loeffler and Collins battled it out on the right.

Either Loeffler or Warnock will serve the rest of Isakson's term. The seat goes on the ballot again in 2022.

Democrats haven't won a Senate race in Georgia in two decades. But ongoing population growth around Atlanta and shifting demographics that have made the state less white — along with dissatisfaction with President Donald Trump in the suburbs — have helped fuel hope among Democrats that the state is in play.

Alaska,  Maine, Michigan, North Carolina 

Votes are still being counted in Alaska, between incumbent GOP Dan Sullivan and Democrat Al Gross; Maine, between incumbent GOP Susan Collins and Democrat Sara Gideon; and North Carolina, between incumbent GOP Thom Tillis and Democrat Cal Cunningham.

Michigan is possibly poised for a flip, with Democrat incumbent Gary Peters trailing Republican John James in the early hours of Wednesday morning, with 73% of the vote in.  

In Georgia's second Senate race, GOP Sen. David Perdue (pictured) was seeking a second term against Democrat John Ossoff. Incomplete election returns showed Perdue leading, but the race could not be called
In Georgia's second Senate race, GOP Sen. David Perdue was seeking a second term against Democrat John Ossoff(pictured)

In Georgia's second Senate race, GOP Sen. David Perdue (left) was seeking a second term against Democrat John Ossoff (right). Incomplete election returns showed Perdue leading, but the race could not be called

Republican Sen. Thom Tillis celebrates at a election night rally. He was seen celebrating before North Carolina had been called in a very tight race

Republican Sen. Thom Tillis celebrates at a election night rally. He was seen celebrating before North Carolina had been called in a very tight race

Michigan is possibly poised for a flip, with Democrat incumbent Gary Peters trailing Republican John James (pictured) in the early hours of Wednesday morning, with 73% of the vote in

Michigan is possibly poised for a flip, with Democrat incumbent Gary Peters trailing Republican John James (pictured) in the early hours of Wednesday morning, with 73% of the vote in

TOP STATES THAT STAYED RED

Iowa 

Republican Senator Joni Ernst defeated Democratic challenger Theresa Greenfield.

Ernst used her role in U.S. Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett's confirmation to appeal to conservative-leaning voters.

Greenfield, an urban planner and real estate developer, accused Ernst of being a rubber stamp for President Donald Trump and not taking the COVID-19 pandemic seriously enough.

Kentucky 

Early in the night, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell easily beat Democrat Amy McGrath, with networks calling his race for reelection soon after the polls closed in Kentucky.    

It was a result that political experts had forecast – but it dashed the hopes of Trump 'resistance' members who poured contributions into the race in hopes of turning back a prime facilitator of the president's agenda. 

McConnell helped Republicans maintain their foothold in the Senate, leading Democrat McGrath 56% to 40%, with about two-thirds of the state's vote counted.

He acknowledged the uncertainty ahead even after he secured a seventh term in Kentucky, fending off McGrath, a former fighter pilot in a costly campaign.

McConnell said: 'We don't know which party will control the Senate. But some things are certain already. We know grave challenges will remain before us, challenges that could not care less about our political polarisation.

'We know our next president will need to unite the country, even as we all continue to bring different ideas and commitments to the table.'

The 78-year-old was the architect of the strategy to push through a quick confirmation for Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett

McConnell, who also helped push through Trump's tax cuts and confirmed a raft of appeals court judges, also designed the strategy to block President Barack Obama's Supreme Court nomination of Merrick Garland.

Democrats made McConnell a top target even with ample other opportunities on the map, funneling $88 million to McGrath and shattering records compared to $55 million for McConnell, a proven fundraiser.  


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (pictured with his wife Elaine Chao) has scored the first important win of the election night, with networks calling his race for reelection soon after the polls closed in Kentucky

Montana 

Republican Steve Daines of Montana won a second Senate term, dealing a blow to Democrats' hopes of gaining a majority in the chamber.

The former business executive and Donald Trump loyalist defeated Gov. Steve Bullock.

Daines' first election in 2014 broke a Democratic lock on the Senate seat that had lasted more than 100 years. After Trump carried Montana by more than 20 percentage points in 2016, Daines emerged as one of the president´s ardent defenders.

Bullock is a two-term Montana governor who entered the race in March after dropping a presidential bid that attracted little support. 

South Carolina  

Senator Lindsey Graham, one of Trump's closest allies in Congress, held off a surprisingly strong challenge from Democrat Jaime Harrison, who raised staggering amounts of money.

The competition between Graham, 65, and Harrison, 44, turned into South Carolina's most expensive race ever, with both candidates posting record fundraising that has surpassed $200 million total and continued to grow in the race's closing days.  

To Harrison's funders, Graham spoke directly Tuesday, saying: 'You wasted a lot of money. This is the worst return on investment in the history of American politics.'

Graham was last re-elected to the Senate in 2014 with more than 55% of the vote in the deeply Republican state. This year, he faced skepticism from conservative voters who doubted the sincerity of his support for Trump, analysts say, while moderates were disappointed by his loyalist stance.

But Graham hasn't always been a fan of Trump. 

He had tried to put distance between then, calling Trump in 2016 a 'race-baiting, xenophobic, religious bigot,' while Trump once gave out his personal cell number at a campaign rally. 

But the two mended fences after Trump won and Graham became the president's frequent golf partner and advisor.

Graham also headed up an investigation of the FBI's crossfire hurricane probe of Russian election interference. Then, upon the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, he oversaw the quick confirmation of Justice Amy Coney Barrett, Trump's nominee.  

Democrats scored their first big win of the night Tuesday when they knocked off incumbent Republican Sen. Cory Gardner in Colorado – but Republicans scooped up a seat in Alabama and failed to take down South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham (pictured)

Democrats scored their first big win of the night Tuesday when they knocked off incumbent Republican Sen. Cory Gardner in Colorado – but Republicans scooped up a seat in Alabama and failed to take down South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham (pictured)  

Things were looking close for Graham, as his race became a surprise tossup of the election cycle due to his potent fundraising challenger Jaime Harrison (pictured), who raked in more than $100 million in donations. “We didn’t get the result at the ballot box that we wanted, but we showed courage and determination,” Harrison said on Twitter. “We brought hope back to South Carolina”

Things were looking close for Graham, as his race became a surprise tossup of the election cycle due to his potent fundraising challenger Jaime Harrison (pictured), who raked in more than $100 million in donations. 'We didn't get the result at the ballot box that we wanted, but we showed courage and determination,' Harrison said on Twitter. 'We brought hope back to South Carolina'

TOP STATES THAT STAYED BLUE 

Delaware

Democratic Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware defeated Republican challenger Lauren Witzke to win reelection.

The victory comes a decade after Coons won a special election to fill the Senate seat once held by Democrat Joe Biden. Since then Coons has voted solidly with Democrats while also seeking out ways to work across the aisle.

Witzke is a conservative activist and political newcomer who soundly defeated the Delaware GOP´s endorsed candidate in the Republican primary. 

The Republican has defended the neo-fascist Proud Boys, and previously promoted the baseless, far-right conspiracy theory QAnon.

Illinois 

Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois was reelected to a fifth term, handily winning over four lesser-known challengers.

The 75-year-old Durbin is the Senate´s second-highest ranking Democrat. He was first elected in 1996 and has been Democratic whip since 2005.

The candidates vying to replace him in Illinois´ only statewide race included Republican former Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran and Chicago businessman Willie Wilson, who ran under his own party.

Massachusetts 

Democratic Sen. Edward Markey, a Massachusetts fixture in Congress since the mid-1970s, won reelection.

Markey easily defeated Republican challenger Kevin O´Connor to win a third term. 

The 74-year-old Markey has represented the state in Washington for decades - first in the House, starting in 1976, before winning John Kerry´s former Senate seat in 2013. After completing Kerry´s term, Markey won reelection in 2014.

Markey´s bigger test came earlier this year, when he overcame a hard-fought primary challenge from fellow Democrat Joe Kennedy III, the grandson of Robert F. Kennedy and a member of Massachusetts congressional delegation.

New Mexico 

Democratic Rep. Ben Ray Luján won the Senate race in New Mexico to succeed retiring Democratic Sen. Tom Udall.

The six-term congressman from northern New Mexico defeated Republican Mark Ronchetti, a former television meteorologist, and Libertarian Bob Walsh.

Luján is the fourth-ranking Democrat in the House. His move to the Senate marks a resurgence of Latino political leadership in a state with the largest share of Hispanic residents.

His campaign emphasized support for Affordable Care Act consumer health protections and highlighted President Donald Trump´s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Democratic Rep. Ben Ray Luján (pictured) has won the Senate race in New Mexico to succeed retiring Democratic Sen. Tom Udall. Luján is the fourth-ranking Democrat in the House. His move to the Senate marks a resurgence of Latino political leadership in a state with the largest share of Hispanic residents

Democratic Rep. Ben Ray Luján (pictured) has won the Senate race in New Mexico to succeed retiring Democratic Sen. Tom Udall. Luján is the fourth-ranking Democrat in the House. His move to the Senate marks a resurgence of Latino political leadership in a state with the largest share of Hispanic residents

Democratic Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware defeated Republican challenger Lauren Witzke to win reelection. The victory comes a decade after Coons won a special election to fill the Senate seat once held by Democrat Joe Biden

Democratic Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware defeated Republican challenger Lauren Witzke to win reelection. The victory comes a decade after Coons won a special election to fill the Senate seat once held by Democrat Joe Biden

THE REST OF THE STATES THAT STAYED RED

Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia, Wyoming 

GOP Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas easily won reelection in a race against Libertarian nominee Ricky Dale Harrington. Cotton, 43, has been rumored to eye a bid for the White House in 2024. 

Idaho Republican Sen. Jim Risch cruised to reelection, defeating Democrat challenger Paulette Jordan. 

Republican Rep. Roger Marshall won an open Senate seat in Kansas in a tougher-than-expected race that saw his Democratic opponent far outraise him.

Marshall is an obstetrician who has represented western and central Kansas in Congress for two terms. He prevailed against Democratic state Sen. Barbara Bollier.

Republican Bill Cassidy won a second term representing Louisiana in the Senate, avoiding a runoff. The lawmaker from Baton Rouge defeated 14 challengers, including Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins.

Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith was reelected in Mississippi, winning her first full term.

In a repeat of a 2018 special election, Hyde-Smith defeated Democrat Mike Espy as she tied herself closely to President Donald Trump. Hyde-Smith is the only woman to have represented Mississippi in the House or Senate.


Nebraska Republican Ben Sasse was reelected to the Senate, beating Democrat Chris Janicek.

Sasse, a former university president, benefited from an overwhelming Republican advantage in Nebraska despite his criticism of President Donald Trump.

He said last month that Trump has 'flirted with white supremacists,' mocks Christian evangelicals in private, and 'kisses dictators´ butts.' Trump lashed back on Twitter, calling Sasse 'an embarrassment.'  

Oklahoma's GOP incumbent Jim Inhofe won in a landside against Democrat challenger Abby Broyles. 

Republican Sen. Mike Rounds won reelection to his second term in South Dakota.The ex-governor defeated Democrat Dan Ahlers, a former state legislator.

Republican Bill Hagerty won an open Senate seat in Tennessee, replacing retiring GOP Sen. Lamar Alexander.

Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas defeated Democrat MJ Hegar in his hardest-fought reelection battle in almost two decades. 

Shelley Moore Capito became the first West Virginia Republican to be reelected to the Senate in more than a century, defeating progressive Democrat Paula Jean Swearengin, a coal miner´s daughter who lacked statewide political experience.

Republican Cynthia Lummis won an open seat in Wyoming, beating ecology professor and climate activist Merav Ben-David to replace Republican Sen. Mike Enzi, who´s retiring.

GOP Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas also easily won reelection in a race against Libertarian nominee Ricky Dale Harrington. Cotton, 43, has been rumored to eye a bid for the White House in 2024

GOP Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas also easily won reelection in a race against Libertarian nominee Ricky Dale Harrington. Cotton, 43, has been rumored to eye a bid for the White House in 2024

Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith was reelected in Mississippi, winning her first full term. In a repeat of a 2018 special election, Hyde-Smith defeated Democrat Mike Espy as she tied herself closely to President Donald Trump. Hyde-Smith is the only woman to have represented Mississippi in the House or Senate

Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith was reelected in Mississippi, winning her first full term. In a repeat of a 2018 special election, Hyde-Smith defeated Democrat Mike Espy as she tied herself closely to President Donald Trump. Hyde-Smith is the only woman to have represented Mississippi in the House or Senate 

Republican Cynthia Lummis won an open seat in Wyoming, beating ecology professor and climate activist Merav Ben-David to replace Republican Sen. Mike Enzi, who´s retiring

Republican Cynthia Lummis won an open seat in Wyoming, beating ecology professor and climate activist Merav Ben-David to replace Republican Sen. Mike Enzi, who´s retiring

THE REST OF THE STATES THAT STAYED BLUE 

Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island, Virginia

Democratic Sen. Tina Smith of Minnesota won reelection, defeating her Republican challenger, former U.S. Rep. Jason Lewis.

This is the second time in two years Smith has had to defend her seat. She was Gov. Mark Dayton´s lieutenant governor when he appointed her to the seat in 2017 after Democratic Sen. Al Franken resigned. 

Smith then won a special election in 2018 to complete Franken´s term.

New Hampshire Democrat Jeanne Shaheen won a third term in the Senate, defeating Republican Corky Messner and Libertarian Justin O´Donnell.

The former governor promoted her record of working across party lines to help small businesses during the coronavirus pandemic, secure funding to address the opioid crisis and improve veterans´ access to health care.

New Jersey Democrat Cory Booker won a second full term in the Senate.

Booker defeated Republican Rik Mehta, a business executive with a law degree and a doctorate in pharmacy.

Booker ran an unsuccessful primary campaign for president this year. While he lost the nomination to former Vice President Joe Biden, Booker had a lock on Democratic support in the state, winning Gov. Phil Murphy´s endorsement.

His victory cements New Jersey as a Democratic stronghold. The last Republican elected to the Senate was Clifford Case in 1972.

New Jersey Democrat Cory Booker has won a second full term in the Senate. Booker ran an unsuccessful primary campaign for president this year. While he lost the nomination to former Vice President Joe Biden, Booker had a lock on Democratic support in the state, winning Gov. Phil Murphy´s endorsement

New Jersey Democrat Cory Booker has won a second full term in the Senate. Booker ran an unsuccessful primary campaign for president this year. While he lost the nomination to former Vice President Joe Biden, Booker had a lock on Democratic support in the state, winning Gov. Phil Murphy´s endorsement

Democrat Jeff Merkley of Oregon easily defeated Republican Jo Rae Perkins, who had drawn national headlines this year for her support of a wide ranging and baseless internet conspiracy theory QAnon

Democrat Jeff Merkley of Oregon easily defeated Republican Jo Rae Perkins, who had drawn national headlines this year for her support of a wide ranging and baseless internet conspiracy theory QAnon

Democrat Jeff Merkley of Oregon easily defeated Republican Jo Rae Perkins, who had drawn national headlines this year for her support of a wide ranging and baseless internet conspiracy theory QAnon.

Merkley is one of the most liberal members of the Senate, and he has been outspoken about climate change. He has pushed legislation that aims to eliminate carbon emissions by 2050.

Merkley considered running for president in 2020 but chose to run for reelection to the Senate instead. He was the only senator to endorse Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Democratic presidential primaries.

Democrat Jack Reed of Rhode Island crushed Republican challenger Allen Waters for a fifth Senate term.

Reed cruised to victory over Waters, an investment consultant who mounted earlier unsuccessful campaigns for state Senate and U.S. Senate in Massachusetts.

The 70-year-old Reed was first elected to the Senate in 1996. He's a lawyer and military veteran who previously served three terms in the House. He's a senior member of the powerful Appropriations Committee and the top Democrat on the Armed Services Committee.

Democratic Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia won a third term.

Warner defeated Republican challenger Daniel Gade in a low-key race in which the incumbent had a massive cash advantage. Democrats haven´t lost a statewide election in Virginia since 2009.

Warner is a businessman who co-founded the company that became Nextel, and he was governor from 2002 to 2006. He´s the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Gade is a professor at American University in Washington. While in the Army, he was seriously injured in Iraq in 2005, losing a leg after his Humvee was hit by a roadside bomb. 

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