Republicans Kept The Senate — Here Is By How Much So Far

Henry Rodgers | Capitol Hill Reporter
  • Republicans are projected to pick up two to four seats in the Senate in the Nov. 6 midterm elections.
  • Extra seats would give Republicans more security to pass legislation.
  • Top Democratic candidates did not do as well as projected.

Republicans kept the Senate Tuesday night, maintaining the majority, as Democrats regained control of the House.

In the Senate, there were eight seats listed as “toss-up” elections, several of which belonged to current Democratic senators, according to RealClearPolitics (RCP). Republicans needed to maintain 51 seats in the Senate in order to keep their majority.

As of Wednesday, Republicans picked up two seats in the Senate, as there are two other races that have not been called, in Florida and in Arizona.

Five of the candidates in those “toss-up” Senate races were incumbents, including Democratic Sens. Jon Tester of Montana, Bill Nelson of Florida, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, and Nevada Republican Sen. Dean Heller. The Senate race in Arizona was also listed as a toss-up, as Republican Rep. Martha McSally was running against Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema for GOP Sen. Jeff Flake’s seat, who announced in October 2017 that he would not seek re-election. (RELATED: Here’s What Happened In The Key Midterm Races Across The Country)

Sen. Claire McCaskill speaks at a news conference on Capitol (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

In Missouri, Republican state Attorney General Josh Hawley defeated McCaskill. The Democratic incumbent faced criticism recently over an ad that says she’s “not one of those crazy Democrats.” McCaskill also was allegedly using a private jet while she said she was on an RV campaign tour of the state.

News also broke in late October that her husband had been accused of domestic violence by his former wife. 

In Indiana, Donnelly lost to his Republican opponent, Mike Braun. Donnelly portrayed himself as a moderate Democrat but voted against President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh — which Braun believes helped him in the polls.

Florida Republican Gov. Rick Scott claimed victory Tuesday night. However, Nelson has requested a recount as the difference was by less than 50,000 votes. He was trailing by just 2 points as of Monday. Throughout the campaign, Scott attacked Nelson for failing to pass legislation in the Senate and has criticized him for the way he handled the Kavanaugh nomination process.

Florida Governor Rick Scott speaks to the media as rescue efforts continue after a pedestrian bridge collapsed at Florida International University in Miami, Florida (REUTERS/Joe Skipper)

Texas Democratic Senate candidate Rep. Beto O’Rourke was defeated by incumbent Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, even after he raised over $69 million to try to secure a victory in the red state. However, O’Rourke lost despite the historic fundraising numbers.

In Mississippi, Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith ran against Republican Chris McDaniel, as well as Democratic candidate Mike Espy, creating a three-way race. Hyde-Smith will now take on Espy in a Nov. 27 runoff election.

New Jersey Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez faced a tough race against his Republican opponent Bob Hugin. Hugin and Menendez’s race is tighter than expected in the deep blue state. Menendez was ahead in the polls by over 9 points as of Monday, according to RCP. Despite the close race, Menendez won by a big margin.

In Arizona, McSally and Democratic opponent Sinema are in a race that is too close to call. This comes despite criticism of Sinema’s radical activist past. Sinema also took heat for an old comment she made about Arizona, saying the state was famous but “not famous in a good way. We’re kind of, like, in a Lindsay Lohan kind of famous way.”

As of Monday, Sinema was leading McSally by 1.2 points, according to the RCP average. Election results show McSally received 49.3 percent of the vote compared to Sinema’s 48.4 percent, a difference in just over 20,000 votes.

Montana was another state to keep an eye on, as Tester defeated Republican State Auditor Matt Rosendale. Tester, who has been in office since 2007, has faced criticism for voting against Kavanaugh. Tester was up over 4 points, the RCP average showed Monday, but ended up pulling away with an easy win.

Heller also was in a tough race in Nevada against his Democratic opponent Rep. Jacky Rosen. He was defeated, and conceded to Rosen late Tuesday night. Heller has been a member of the Senate since 2011.

With a split majority in Congress, it is likely there will be gridlock, as House Democrats are predicted to focus on the impeachment of Trump and oversight of his administration.

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