Also Up in the Air: Control of the Senate

Democrats still have a long shot to win a majority
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 5, 2020 4:54 PM CST
Also Up in the Air: Control of the Senate
Raphael Warnock, a Democratic Senate candidate in Georgia, speaks during a rally Tuesday in Atlanta. He is hoping to unseat Kelly Loeffler.   (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson, Pool)

Control of the Senate hung in the balance Thursday, a cliffhanger after Republicans trounced Democratic challengers in crucial states but failed to lock down the seats needed to retain their majority, per the AP. One race in Georgia is headed to a January runoff. A second contest in Georgia and races in North Carolina and Alaska remain undecided, leaving the chamber deadlocked 48-48. An outcome may not be known until the new year. With the race between President Trump and Democrat Joe Biden also undecided, the Senate is in limbo because the vice president of the eventual winner's party serves as a tie-breaker in the chamber. "We're waiting—whether I’m going to be the majority leader or not," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Wednesday. That was still the case Thursday, as Democrats faced long but not impossible odds to take a majority.

  • Georgia: The counting continued in Georgia, where GOP Sen. David Perdue was trying to hold off Jon Ossoff in a multicandidate race that could also go to a runoff. There already is a Jan. 5 runoff in the state's other Senate race: GOP Sen. Kelly Loeffler will face Democrat Raphael Warnock.
  • North Carolina: GOP Sen. Thom Tillis hoped to prevail over Democrat Cal Cunningham.
  • Alaska: Republicans were confident they'll keep Alaska, where Sen. Dan Sullivan was challenged by newcomer Al Gross, a Democratic-backed independent.
  • In the books: In Michigan, Democratic Sen. Gary Peters withstood a strong challenge from John James. But Republicans kept Susan Collins' seat in Maine and held their own in one race after another—in South Carolina, Iowa, Texas, Kansas, and Montana. The Democrats' gains were in Colorado, where former Gov. John Hickenlooper beat Sen. Cory Gardner, and Arizona, where former astronaut Mark Kelly defeated incumbent Martha McSally. But Democrats couldn't hold on in Alabama: Ex-football coach Tommy Tuberville beat Sen. Doug Jones.
(More Election 2020 stories.)

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