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Sessions wins 

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R) won reelection to a third term. 



Stevens clings to lead

The fate of Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), the legendary appropriator and longest serving Republican in the Senate, may not be determined for 10 days when the state certifies the final tallies of absentee voters.

Early Wednesday morning Stevens held a slim, two-point lead against Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich in his bid for a seventh term. With 72 percent of the vote counted, Stevens had captured 48.42 percent of the vote to Begich’s 46.06, according to the Associated Press.

Stevens, who spent the night with supporters at the Snow Goose Restaurant and Brewery, said he expected that the outcome might not be determined for days.

A victory by Stevens, 84, who last week was convicted of failing to report gifts on his financial disclosure forms, would defy pre-election poll results.

Stevens is ahead by less than 5,000 votes and about 40,000 absentee ballots won’t be counted until the coming days. There are about 9,000 of 23,000 early ballots that also have yet to be counted.

Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) presence on the top of the ticket, along with his choice of popular Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate, may have attracted more Republicans to the polls and helped save Stevens. Alaskan’s chose McCain over Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) for president by a 2 to 1 margin.




Pryor wins

Sen. Mark Pryor (D) won reelection to a second term. He was uncontested.





Udall wins  

Democratic Rep. Mark Udall won the open Senate seat in Colorado, continuing the transformation of a once-reliable Republican state into a solid blue state.

Udall defeated former GOP Rep. Bob Schaffer and replaces retiring conservative Sen. Wayne Allard (R), who has served in the Senate since 1996. 

Schaffer was one of three Republicans running in open Republican seats who did not receive significant help from the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC).

The committee did not make any independent expenditures on behalf of Schaffer, Rep. Steve Pearce (R) in New Mexico, and former Gov. Jim Gilmore in Virginia. All three lost.

Udall will join his cousin Rep. Tom Udall in the upper chamber. Tom Udall is the projected winner in the New Mexico’s senate race.

The race between Udall and Schaffer became tense toward the end. Udall characterized Schaffer’s performance at a recent debate as “rude” while Schaffer questioned Udall’s truthfulness.




Biden wins twice in one night

Sen. Joe Biden easily won reelection to seventh term. But now that he's the vice president-elect, the governor of Delaware will appoint someone to fill his seat.






Chambliss ahead, but runoff required

Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss was ahead in the Peach State, leading former state Rep. Jim Martin in a race in which Democrats had fought hard to avenge Chambliss's bitter 2002 win over Vietnam veteran Max Cleland.

Chambliss led Democratic challenger 49.8 to 46.8 percent, but state law requires a candidate to win a majority of votes or faceoff in an unpredictable four-week runoff election. But there are possibly thousands of early and absentee ballots still outstanding that could either spawn a recount or tip the race to Chambliss.

Chambliss led by double digits until this fall, when Martin reached to within most polls’ margin of error and he began making gains by exploiting Chambliss's vote for the $700 billion financial rescue plan, which many Georgia voters disapproved of.





Republican James Risch won the seat left open by Sen. Larry Craig (R).

Risch was leading Democrat Larry Larocco, 58 to 34 percent, with 98 percent of the vote counted. 


Durbin wins 

Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D) easily won reelection for a third term. 





Harkin wins

Sen. Tom Harkin (D) won a fifth term.  



Roberts wins 

Sen. Pat Roberts (R) won a third term.  Democrats haven't won a Senate race in Kansas since 1932.



McConnell beats back tough challenge 

Republican Leader Mitch McConnell won a fifth term, sparing his party a devastating loss on a tough Election Day.

McConnell's win in Kentucky over Democratic challenger Bruce Lunsford makes it harder for Democrats to reach 60 seats in the Senate, which would give them enormous power to push through legislation.

McConnell held 53 percent of the vote over Lunsford. With John McCain's lose in the presidential election, McConnell will likely emerge as the most powerful Republican in Washington as the Senate minority leader.



Landrieu endures in tough race 

Democrats have averted their only possibility of losing a Senate seat, with the narrow victory of Sen. Mary Landrieu in Louisiana over state treasurer John Kennedy.

Landrieu had captured 52 percent of the vote.

National Republican leaders had invested significantly in the race, and last month reversed their decision to pull their spending on Kennedy's behalf. But Landrieu successfully fought back against Kennedy by touting her 12 years in the chamber and her efforts on behalf of the state's oil industry.

Kennedy entered political life as a legal aide to former Gov. Buddy Roemer in 1988, then served as state Cabinet secretary before mounting an unsuccessful bid for state attorney general in 1991. After returning to private practice, in 1996 he was appointed state revenue secretary and in 1999 was elected state treasurer. He has been reelected twice.

Despite a long political life as a Democrat, including an unsuccessful bid for the state’s Senate seat in 2004, Kennedy switched parties to the GOP in August 2007 after courting by Republicans. His win over Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu is one of the few bright spots for Republicans this cycle.



Collins keeps her seat 

Sen. Susan Collins, a centrist Republican from Maine, defeated Democratic Rep. Tom Allen to win a third term.

Collins led consistently in most state polls ahead of Election Day, despite hailing from a Democratic-leaning state.





Kerry wins fifth term 

Sen. John Kerry (D), who was the Democratic presidential candidate in 2004, easily won reelection to a fifth term. 



Levin wins 

Sen. Carl Levin (D) easily won a sixth term. Levin is chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.





Coleman projected winner, but recount likely 

Incumbent Sen. Norm Coleman (R) was projected the winner of a second term in the Senate, but his razor-thin margin of victory is likely to spawn a recount in Minnesota.

Coleman was leading comedian Al Franken (D) by just 757 votes out of about 3 million cast in Minnesota. Wednesday morning, the Associated Press was calling the race for Coleman at about 7:30 a.m. EST, but state law requires an automatic recount if races are decided with less than 0.5 percent -- unless a candidate chooses to waive it.



Wicker survives tight race 

Republican Roger Wicker helped spoil Democrats' chances of capturing 60 Senate seats by winning his special election to replace former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.).

Wicker held a 56 to 44 percent lead over former Democratic Gov. Ronnie Musgrove.

Wicker, a former seven-term House member, was appointed to the seat earlier this year after Lott retired to take a job as a lobbyist. 


Cochran glides to reelection

Sen. Thad Cochran easily won a sixth term with 62 percent of the vote. 



 Baucus gets sixth term

Sen. Max Baucus (D)  won a sixth term. Baucus is chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.



Johanns coasts to victory 

Former governor and U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns won his bid for a U.S. Senate's seat from Nebraska, coasting to victory over Democratic challenger Scott Kleeb.

Johanns seemed on a path to win with 93 percent of precincts reporting and holding a commanding 58 to 40 percent lead.

Johanns will replace the retiring Sen. Chuck Hagel. Johanns resigned as President Bush's Secretary of Agriculture in September 2007 to pursue the Senate bid.





Shaheen ousts Sununu 

Former Gov. Jeanne Shaheen (D) has won her rematch with Sen. John Sununu (R) after falling to him in 2002. 

Shaheen has long been a staple of Granite State politics, having served in the state Senate in the early 1990s and then as the state's first female governor from 1997 to 2003. As governor, she championed abortion rights, statewide kindergarten programs and the expansion of children's health insurance.  



Lautenberg wins again 

Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D) won reelection to a fourth term. 



Udall wins New Mexico open  seat

Democratic Rep. Tom Udall won easily in his bid to succeed retiring Republican Sen. Pete Domenici of New Mexico.

Udall was the projected winner over Rep. Steve Pearce (R-N.M.) in a race that Republican strategists in Washington wrote off months ago. 

The National Republican Senatorial Committee held off from advertising in New Mexico to focus its television spending on higher priorities, such as Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Carolina and Oregon. 

Udall, a 10-year veteran of the House, is the nephew of the late Rep. Morris "Mo" Udall (D-Ariz.), one of the founding fathers of the modern environmental conservation movement. He is the son of Stewart Udall, who served as Secretary of the Interior under Presidents Kennedy and Johnson.

Udall is expected to join his cousin Democratic Rep.  Mark Udall, who is favored to win the open Senate seat in Colorado.

Tom Udall decided initially against running for the  Senate so that he could keep his seat on the powerful House Appropriations Committee. He changed his mind after Democratic officials and grassroots supporters urged him to reconsider.





Hagen bounces Dole after nasty campaign

Democratic challenger Kay Hagan defeated Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R) to become North Carolina’s second female senator.

The five-term state senator emerged from a crowded Democratic primary field to upset Dole in the traditionally Republican state.  The race turned into one of the nation's nastiest in the final days, with Dole questioning Hagan's religious faith in an ad that prompted Hagan to personally respond in her own ad.

As a state senator, Hagan co-chaired the powerful Appropriations Committee.







Inhofe keeps seat

Sen. James Inhofe (R) won reelection to a fourth term. 



Gordon in the lead, but too close to call

With 74-percent of the precincts reporting, Oregon Republican Gordon Smith led his Democratic challenger, Jeff Merkley, by 12,950 votes, but the race remains too close to call.







Graham wins another term 

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R), who campaigned vigorously for John McCain's presidential run, won reelection to a second term.





Alexander coasts to reelection 

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R) easily won a second term.

Alexander, who is the Senate GOP Conference Chairman, served as governor of Tennessee from 1979 to 1987, was secretary of Education under President George H.W. Bush, and ran for president in 1996 and 2000.









Warner starts night off for Dems

Mark Warner, the former governor of Virginia, easily won the state’s open Senate seat, a pickup for Democrats who hope to significantly increase their majority.

Warner defeated Republican Jim Gilmore, also a former governor, in the fight for the seat held by retiring Sen. John Warner (R), a five-term senator and one of the chamber’s most respected voices on foreign policy.

Mark Warner, who is not related to John Warner, is a rising star in the Democratic Party. Having toyed with mounting a presidential bid in 2008, the former Virginia governor later decided instead to run for the Senate.





Rockefeller glides to another term

Sen. Jay Rockefeller won reelection to serve a fifth term.





Enzi, Barrasso both win reelection 

Sen. Mike Enzi (R) won a third term with 76 percent of the vote.

Sen. John Barrasso (R) won his first full term, netting 74 percent in a special election. Barrasso was appointed by Gov. Dave Freudenthal (D) in 2007 to fill the vacancy created by the death of Sen. Craig Thomas (R)



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