In a dominant showing in which they won nearly every competitive race, Republicans won control of the Senate Tuesday night, toppling three Democratic incumbents and winning four Democratic-held open seats while successfully defending all of their own seats.
The takeover was complete when the networks called Iowa for GOP candidate Joni Ernst, giving the GOP its sixth pickup. Minutes later, Republicans won North Carolina, and with the Democratic-held seats in Alaska and Louisiana still up for grabs, Republicans likely aren’t done picking up seats.
The takeover means Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky is the heir to the job of Majority Leader, which he’ll take over from Democrat Harry Reid. It also means President Obama, who has had a Democratic-controlled Senate with which to work for his entire presidency, will face a Congress entirely controlled by the GOP.
Up for Grabs: 6
Democratic total includes two independents who caucus with the Democrats
Check out the interactive map from CNN and follow along for updates each time a race is called.
11:29 P.M.: The Republicans will have no fewer than 52 seats when the Senate re-convenes in January after GOP candidate Thom Tillis ousted Democratic Senator Kay Hagan in North Carolina. Tillis’ win is the first GOP pickup in a state where the Democrat was favored to win, albeit slightly.
11:25 P.M.: The networks are calling Iowa for Republican Joni Ernst over Democrat Bruce Braley, giving the GOP their sixth pickup and clinching their takeover of the chamber.
10:48 P.M.: In an enormous hold that makes it a virtual certainty that the GOP will re-take the Senate, Fox News is projecting Republican Senator Pat Roberts to survive a challenge from Independent Greg Orman and hold onto his seat. The hold means the Republicans need to win only one additional state to flip the Senate, with races yet to be called in the Democratic-held seats of Iowa, North Carolina, Virginia, Alaska and Louisiana.
10:43 P.M.: CNN is projecting that Republican David Perdue will hold off Democrat Michelle Nunn in Georgia, giving the Republicans a major hold in an increasingly competitive state that the Democrats had hoped to flip. The GOP hold means Democrats’ chances of holding their majority are even more narrow.
10:05 P.M.: With a pickup in Montana, the Republicans moved to within one pickup of controlling the Senate. To do so, the GOP needs to win only three of the following states: Iowa, Alaska, Louisiana, Kansas, North Carolina, Virginia and Georgia.
9:56 P.M.: The Republicans have scored a major win in Colorado, where the networks are projecting Republican Congressman Cory Gardner to oust Democratic Senator Mark Udall, giving the GOP its fourth pickup of the night. The GOP needs a net gain of two more seats to take control of the Senate, with Democratic-controlled seats in Iowa, Alaska, Louisiana, North Carolina and Virginia still up for grabs. GOP-held seats in Georgia and Kansas are also still up for grabs.
9:20 P.M.: Multiple networks have called New Hampshire for incumbent Democrat Jeanne Shaheen, who defeated former Massachusetts GOP Senator Scott Brown. Shaheen had been a modest favorite throughout the campaign, though the race had tightened over the past several weeks. Democrats got another win in New England when Democratic Senator Jack Reed was re-elected in Rhode Island.
9 P.M.: Republicans got another expected pickup when the GOP won South Dakota, where Mike Rounds beat Democrat Rick Weiland. It’s the third GOP pickup of the night, meaning if the Republicans don’t lose any of their own seats, they need only three more seats to take back the Senate. Republicans also held onto their seats in Nebraska and Texas, while Democrats held onto seats in Minnesota, Delaware and Michigan.
8:32 P.M. Republicans got a key pickup when the networks called Arkansas for Congressman Tom Cotton, who ousted Democratic incumbent Mark Pryor. The seat is the second pickup for the GOP, which needs another four seats to re-take the upper chamber.
8:16 P.M.: As expected, Democratic Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois, the majority whip, has defeated Republican Jim Oberweis. NBC News was the first to call the race.
8:08 P.M. CNN has called a slew of races for candidates who were widely expected to win. As expected, Democrats held onto seats in Massachusetts and New Jersey, while Republicans held seats in Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Oklahoma and Maine.
7:31 P.M. Republicans got their first pickup of the night when Shelley Moore Capito beat Democrat Natalie Tennant to win the West Virginia seat being vacated by retiring Democrat Jay Rockefeller.
7:04 P.M: Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott, South Carolina’s two Republican U.S. Senators, have both been re-elected, according to CNN. Both seats had been considered safe for the Republicans.
7 P.M: CNN has called the Kentucky race for Mitch McConnell, giving the Republicans a hold in a race that has been competitive throughout the fall. McConnell’s win puts him in position to take over as Senate Majority Leader if the Republicans take back the Senate.
6:40 P.M. Polls have closed in one state: Kentucky, where Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is hoping to fend off a challenge from Democratic Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes. If McConnell wins convincingly, the race could be the first called. The Fivethirtyeight forecast gives McConnell a 90 percent chance of winning, meaning the polls will need to have been biased against Grimes in order for her to pull off the upset.