GOP Takes Control of Senate; McConnell Wins

Scott Brown fails in upset bid, but Republicans flip at least 7 seats
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 4, 2014 4:24 PM CST
Updated Nov 5, 2014 12:30 AM CST
McConnell Confident as Polls Get Set to Close
Democratic Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes and her husband, Andrew, leave the Pleasant Green Baptist Church election station after voting yesterday in Lexington, Ky.   (AP Photo/John Flavell)

Election night was a win for Republicans: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell started things off by defeating Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes in Kentucky, reports the AP. Hours later, McConnell learned he will be changing his title to majority leader: Republicans needed a net gain of six seats to take the Senate, and they've now got seven, reports CNN:

  • In Iowa, Joni Ernst beat Bruce Braley for an open seat currently held by Democrats.
  • In North Carolina, Thom Tillis unseated Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan.
  • In Colorado, Cory Gardner unseated Democratic Sen. Mark Udall.
  • In Arkansas, Tom Cotton unseated Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor.
  • In West Virginia, Shelley Capito won and will replace retiring Democrat Jay Rockefeller (and become her state's first female senator).
  • In South Dakota, Gov. Mike Rounds won an open seat currently held by Democrats.
  • In Montana, Steve Daines beat Amanda Curtis and won the seat held by Democrat John Walsh, who dropped out of the race over plagiarism charges.

But it's not all bad news for Democrats: In New Hampshire, Democrat Jeanne Shaheen held off a challenge from former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown, and in Minnesota, Al Franken easily won re-election to the seat he won by just 312 votes in 2008. Other key races:

  • In Louisiana, the race between Democrat incumbent Mary Landrieu and GOP challenger Bill Cassidy will go to a Dec. 6 runoff.
  • In Kansas, Republican Pat Roberts won re-election in a close race against independent challenger Greg Orman.
  • In Georgia, Republican David Perdue beat Michelle Nunn in the race for a GOP-held open seat.
  • In Virginia, Democratic Sen. Mark Warner has declared victory in a surprisingly close race with challenger Ed Gillespie, though the Republican has yet to concede and says he hasn't ruled out a recount.
  • In Alaska, Democratic Sen. Mark Begich has fallen behind Republican challenger Dan Sullivan, but many remote precincts and tens of thousands of absentee ballots remain to be counted.
(More Mitch McConnell stories.)

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