(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)
Updated 12:37 a.m. | As Election Day folded into Nov. 7, the only question remaining in the fight for the Senate was the size of the Democratic majority.
Democrats were looking at a net gain of two seats, with just two Democratic-held seats and one Republican seat left to be called. That meant the Democratic majority could be no lower than 53-47, exactly where it was at the beginning of the cycle.
“When we started this campaign, no one, and I mean no one gave us a chance. But we went out and built the best Senate campaigns in the history of the country,” Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (Wash.) said in a statement. “We recruited some of the highest quality candidates, including a record number of women. Democrats never let up, and now we will retain our majority in the United States Senate.”
The Associated Press called the Wisconsin Senate race after midnight, with Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D) topping former Gov. Tommy Thompson (R) for the seat of retiring Sen. Herb Kohl (D). That left two Democratic-held seats yet to be called: in Montana, where Sen. Jon Tester (D) faced Rep. Denny Rehberg (R), and in North Dakota, where former state Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp (D) faced Rep. Rick Berg (R) for the seat of retiring Sen. Kent Conrad (D).
Nevada Sen. Dean Heller (R) was looking to hold on against Rep. Shelley Berkley (D), even as President Barack Obama carried the state.
Updated 11:25 p.m. | Democrats will retain control of the Senate.
Tim Kaine’s (D) victory in Virginia and Sen. Claire McCaskill’s (D-Mo.) re-election took two more pickup opportunities off the map for Republicans and left the GOP without enough states left to complete its quest for the majority.
With the presidential contest now called for President Barack Obama, Democrats would control the Senate even in the event of a 50-50 tie, as Vice President Joseph Biden would cast the deciding vote. Full story