Republicans win Senate control

 

Republicans have clinched Senate control in an election night that saw Democrats around the country crushed by the growing unpopularity of President Obama.

Democratic losses piled up throughout the night, with the GOP securing a Senate majority before midnight as Sen. Kay HaganKay HaganDemocratic National Convention event calendar 10 Senate seats most likely to flip in 2016 Senate Republicans are feeling the 'Trump effect' MORE lost in North Carolina and Republican Joni Ernst won an open seat in Iowa.

Incumbent Democrats also fell in House and gubernatorial races, adding to the scale of the party's defeat. High-profile Democratic targets including Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) prevailed, and the party failed to pick up a single Senate seat. 

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The GOP needed to gain six seats to win the majority, and had already gained seven seats before polls even closed in Alaska. There, Republican Dan Sullivan has opened a lead over Sen. Mark BegichMark BegichSenate GOP deeply concerned over Trump effect Ex-Sen. Kay Hagan joins lobby firm Unable to ban Internet gambling, lawmakers try for moratorium MORE (D) with nearly all of the vote counted. 

Republicans won open seats held by Democrats in Montana, West Virginia, Iowa and South Dakota, and knocked off incumbents in North Carolina, Arkansas and Colorado.

Their majority could grow larger — Sen. Mary LandrieuMary LandrieuBrazile’s new role? Clean up DNC mess oil is changing the world and Washington Ex-Sen. Kay Hagan joins lobby firm MORE (D-La.) will be the underdog in a runoff election in December against Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy. Sen. Mark WarnerMark WarnerTim Kaine backs call to boost funding for Israeli missile defense Democratic National Convention event calendar Liberal group: Kaine could be 'disastrous' VP pick MORE (D-Va.) was also clinging to a razor-thin lead in Virginia that appeared headed for a recount.

If both Sullivan and Cassidy eventually prevail, that margin could grow to nine seats netted by the GOP by the end of the cycle. 

Sen. Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellReid: Trump is a 'hateful con man' McAuliffe: Clinton won't move TPP without changes Scalise says FCC chair should abandon set-top box plan MORE (R-Ky.) easily won his reelection fight, and the other wins ensure he will fulfill his long-held dream of becoming Senate majority leader.

McConnell was declared the victor in his closely watched race as soon as polls closed in the Bluegrass State, defeating Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes to earn a sixth term. Democrats had early hopes for the Kentucky secretary of State's candidacy, but her campaign couldn't take advantage of the senator's unpopularity in the state. 

McConnell had to wait for several more hours to learn which way Senate control would fall. But the GOP leader's counterpart admitted just before midnight that Democrats had been ushered from power. 

"I'd like to congratulate Senator McConnell, who will be the new Senate Majority Leader. The message from voters is clear: they want us to work together. I look forward to working with Senator McConnell to get things done for the middle class," said now-Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidDems urge Grayson to end Senate bid Reid: Trump is a 'hateful con man' Reid: DNC never gave Sanders a ‘fair deal’ MORE (D-Nev.). 

The change in power means that Obama will spend the last two years of his presidency dealing with an emboldened all-Republican Congress that intends to challenge him on major legislation and, in the words of McConnell, take the country in a “new direction.”

Hagan's loss to state Speaker Thom Tillis was one of the most surprising results of the night, and her fall sealed the Democratic Party's 2014 fate.

Arkansas Sen. Mark PryorMark PryorCotton pitches anti-Democrat message to SC delegation Ex-Sen. Kay Hagan joins lobby firm Top Democrats are no advocates for DC statehood MORE (D) was the first incumbent to fall on Tuesday. Freshman Rep. Tom CottonTom CottonHow far will Cruz go in backing Trump? The Hill's 12:30 Report GOP rallies to Trump's 'law and order' message after Baton Rouge MORE (R) handily defeated the centrist lawmaker in a state that has slipped rapidly away from Democrats in recent years.

Colorado Rep. Cory GardnerCory GardnerTim Kaine backs call to boost funding for Israeli missile defense Behind the scenes on Day 2 of the Republican convention Lobbyists bolting Trump convention early MORE (R) knocked off Sen. Mark UdallMark UdallColorado GOP Senate race to unseat Dem incumbent is wide open Energy issues roil race for Senate Unable to ban Internet gambling, lawmakers try for moratorium MORE (D), defying Democratic cries that their vaunted ground game would save the vulnerable incumbent. 

Republicans also picked up a Democrat-held open seat in West Virginia with Rep. Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Moore CapitoWeek ahead: Clinton, Dems to tout green agenda at convention Company announces closure of Ohio coal plants Why regulations were a convenient target at the GOP convention MORE's (R) easy victory. 

South Dakota flipped to the GOP column after former Gov. Mike Rounds (R) won the open seat of retiring Democratic Sen. Tim JohnsonTim JohnsonFormer GOP senator endorses Clinton after Orlando shooting Housing groups argue Freddie Mac's loss should spur finance reform On Wall Street, Dem shake-up puts party at crossroads MORE (D). The three-way race had become a late headache for the GOP with the addition of former GOP Sen. Larry Pressler (I), but with Republican attention and help the race turned again in Republicans' favor. 

Rep. Steve Daines (R) then won the open Democratic-held seat in Montana. 

Republican leaders crowed over the victory, arguing voters had sent a strong signal about which party they want in control in Washington.

"The American people have put their trust in the Republican Party, sending a GOP majority to the U.S. Senate. I want to congratulate all our candidates tonight," Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said in a statement. "Our party's principles and message resonated with voters across the country. This was a rejection of President Obama's failed polices and Harry Reid's dysfunctional Senate."

This post was updated at 5:02 a.m. on November 5. 

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