WASHINGTON (AP) – Democrats faced increasingly lengthy hurdles in the battle for Senate control as Republicans overtook several challengers to defend their majority. Nevertheless, the GOP was soon to declare victory.
In Maine, Republican Sen. Susan Collins won the toughest fight of her career by defeating Democrat Sarah Gideon to achieve her fifth term. Announcing the victory on Wednesday afternoon, Collins said the result was “a confirmation of the work I’m doing in Washington.” Democrats had tried to tie liberal Republicans to President Donald Trump and criticized him for his vote to confirm Justice Brett Kavanaugh in 2018.
But crucial races in North Carolina and Michigan remained inconclusive, and at least one January in Georgia was headed for runoff.
Senate Leader Mitch McConnell said President Donald Trump’s campaign helped his GOP colleagues, but state election officials were still counting ballots.
“We’re waiting – whether or not I’m going to be the majority leader,” McConnell said at a news conference in his home state of Kentucky.
In a delicate pushback against Trump’s own premature claims of victory over Joe Biden in the presidential race, the GOP leader said: “You have claimed winning the election is different from finishing the count.”
McConnell said he felt “very good” about the remaining competitions. He secured a seventh term in a costly campaign, that of Democrat Amy McGrath, a former fighter pilot.
Election Knight produced a bizarre result for Democrats, who drew up a detailed political map, eager to counter Trump and his party’s grip on the Senate.
While Democrats won seats in Colorado and Arizona, they suffered a setback in Alabama, and Republicans held their share in one race after another – in South Carolina, Iowa, Texas, Kansas, And Montana, dramatically limiting Democrats’ expectation.
The race attracted an unprecedented spread of small-dollar donations for Democrats, with Americans apparently voting with their pocketbooks to run long-shot campaigns.
The choice of voters will force the Democratic Party to rethink the strategy, message, and approach in Trump’s era.
Lindsay Graham, a White House affiliate, said, “You wasted a lot of money. Despite Democrat’s $ 100 million setback for Democracy’s sizzling campaign, Lindsay Graham in Columbia, South Carolina defeated Jamie Harrison.” This is the worst return on investment in the history of American politics. “
Trump drew widespread hatred in the Senate race as did Democratic rival Joe Biden. The Trump Administration Deals With the COVID-19 Epidemic and Its Economic Collapse, Also the uneasy mood of the nation Everyone seemed on the ballot.
According to AP Votecast, voters ranked the epidemic and economy as top concernsA national survey of voters.
“It’s time for a different approach,” Democrat John Hickenlooper, a former governor who said in a live video message posted on Facebook to Republican Sen. Corey Gardner in Colorado.
Yet voters, for the most part, cling to the status quo.
Achieving a Senate majority will be crucial to the presidential winner. Senators confirm the administration’s candidates, including the cabinet, and can promote or stall the White House agenda. With Republicans now controlling the chamber, 53-47 will determine party control over three or four seats, depending on who the president wins because the vice-president can break the tie in the Senate.
Democrats contested seats from New England to the Deep South and from the Midwest to the Mountain West, reaching deep into the GOP strongholds. But until early Wednesday, the rally before Election Day was not much different.
The Democrats’ gains were in Colorado and Arizona, where former astronaut Mark Kelly defeated the GOP beating Martha McSally. But they couldn’t hold on in Alabama: former college football coach Tommy Tuberville defeated Sen. Doug Jones.
Many battlegrounds broken for Republicans: in South Carolina, Graham survived his political career race against Harrison; In Texas, Sen. John Cornyn returned former Air Force helicopter pilot MJ Hager; In Iowa, Sen. Joni Ernst defeated Democrat Theresa Greenfield in a race seen as a toss-up; In Montana, Sen. Steve Dens entered Gov. Steve Bullock; And in Kansas, Rep. Roger Marshall conquered State Sen. Barbara Bollier, a former Republican who used to activate Democrats in a state that had not elected a Democrat for the Senate since 1932.
The final breakdown awaited race results in Alaska, Michigan and North Carolina.
North Carolina Republican Sen. Thomes Tillis has struggled against Democratic era Cunningham, despite a scandal challenging a marriage with a public relations strategist.
In Georgia, two seats were being contested and no candidate reached the 50% threshold for winning after at least one candidate ran.
GOP Sen. Kelly Loeffler will face Democrat Rafael Warnock, a black pastor at the church where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. campaigned. In January a 5 runoff special election for Seat Loebler was tapped to fill for retired Sen. Johnny Isakson.
In other Georgia races, GOP Sen. David Pardew, a former business executive Trump called his favorite senator, tried to stop Democrat John Ossoff, another candidate who has benefited from the “green wave” of campaign donations. This can also lead to a runoff.
Republicans were on defense in most states. But in the Michigan presidential battleground, Republicans made an aggressive push for John James, a black Republican businessman who stood by Trump at a rally late Monday night. James is trying to unify Democratic Sen. Gary Peters.
In South Carolina, Harrison stirred up voters, including several Black Democratic candidates in the Senate, including Warnock, calling for national support of racial support over the course of a year.
“We did not get the result in the ballot we wanted, but we showed courage and determination,” Harrison said on Twitter. “We brought hope back to South Carolina.”
McConnell Attracted in Washington Attends Senate to Confirm Trump Supreme Court Candidate Amy Connie Barrett A week before Election Day, senators quickly pulled out – along with the president – to shore up votes for last-ditch tours.
The political landscape has been changing rapidly since six years ago, when most of these senators last encountered voters.
The Senate will welcome some newcomers, as others will retire. In New Mexico, Democrat Tom Ray Lujan, a member of the House Leader, was elected to a seat held by Democrat Tom Udall. Tennessee Republican Bill Hegarty won the seat held by Republican Lamar Alexander. Republican Cynthia Loomis, former congressman from Wyoming, won the Senate seat being vacated by Republican Mike Ng.
Associated Press authors Bruce Shreren in Louisville, Ky., Meg Kinnard in Columbia, SC, and Padmanand Ram in Washington contributed to this report.
Get full election coverage of the AP at APNews.com/Election2020.