Republicans are on the cusp of winning the Senate majority after netting five seats overall and defeating two Democratic incumbents in Colorado and Arkansas.
The GOP needs to gain six seats to take the majority, and the party has pickup opportunities on the board in Iowa, Alaska and Virginia, where Sen. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerAdvocates call on top Democrats for 0B in housing investments Democrats draw red lines in spending fight Manchin puts foot down on key climate provision in spending bill MORE (D) is narrowly ahead of Republican Ed Gillespie in a suprisingly tight race.
Republicans have already picked up open seats in West Virginia, South Dakota and Montana, and they held on to a seat in Georgia, with David Perdue defeating surging Democrat Michelle Nunn without having to go to a January runoff.
Vulnerable Kansas Sen. Pat RobertsCharles (Pat) Patrick RobertsBob Dole, Pat Roberts endorse Kansas AG Derek Schmidt for governor Ex-Sen. Cory Gardner joins lobbying firm Senate GOP faces retirement brain drain MORE (R) also held on, beating back a vigorous challenge from Independent Greg Orman.
Several late-closing states will prove crucial. Alaska Sen. Mark BegichMark Peter BegichAlaska Senate race sees cash surge in final stretch Alaska group backing independent candidate appears linked to Democrats Sullivan wins Alaska Senate GOP primary MORE (D) is seeking to hold off Republican Dan Sullivan, and it’s possible a close result in the sparsely populated state will lead to a recount or a very late call well into Wednesday.
Arkansas Sen. Mark PryorMark Lunsford PryorBottom line Everybody wants Joe Manchin Cotton glides to reelection in Arkansas MORE (D) was the first incumbent to fall on Tuesday. Freshman Rep. Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonOvernight Defense & National Security — Milley becomes lightning rod Joint Chiefs Chairman Milley becomes lightning rod on right Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Senate Democrats ding Biden energy proposal MORE (R) handily defeated the centrist lawmaker in a state that has slipped rapidly away from Democrats in recent years.
Colorado Rep. Cory GardnerCory GardnerProtecting the outdoors: Three cheers for America's best idea Ex-Sen. Cory Gardner joins lobbying firm Biden administration reverses Trump changes it says 'undermined' conservation program MORE (R) also knocked off Sen. Mark UdallMark Emery UdallKennedy apologizes for calling Haaland a 'whack job' OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Haaland courts moderates during tense confirmation hearing | GOP's Westerman looks to take on Democrats on climate change | White House urges passage of House public lands package Udalls: Haaland criticism motivated 'by something other than her record' 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 Wellons Moore CapitoOvernight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Senate Democrats ding Biden energy proposal Capito grills EPA nominee on '#ResistCapitalism' tweet GOP senators unveil bill designating Taliban as terrorist organization 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 JohnsonTimothy (Tim) Peter JohnsonCornell to launch new bipartisan publication led by former Rep. Steve Israel Trump faces tough path to Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac overhaul Several hurt when truck runs into minimum wage protesters in Michigan 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 its favor.
Rep. Steve Daines (R) then won the open Democratic-held seat in Montana.
With the early victories, Republicans are on the brink of their goal of Senate control.
Sen. Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnell'Justice for J6' rally puts GOP in awkward spot Republicans keep distance from 'Justice for J6' rally House to act on debt ceiling next week MORE (R-Ky.) 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 might have to wait a bit longer to see whether he can add Senate majority leader to his title, however.
A victor in the fight for the Senate majority may not be named until early Wednesday morning — or perhaps not even until December though. In Louisiana, there will be a runoff in December between Sen. Mary LandrieuMary Loretta LandrieuCassidy wins reelection in Louisiana Bottom line A decade of making a difference: Senate Caucus on Foster Youth MORE (D) and Rep. Bill Cassidy (R). Cassidy is seen to have an edge in the GOP-leaning state.
There was good news for Democrats early on Tuesday too. Polls closed in North Carolina at 7:30 p.m., where Sen. Kay HaganKay Ruthven HaganInfighting grips Nevada Democrats ahead of midterms Democrats, GOP face crowded primaries as party leaders lose control Biden's gun control push poses danger for midterms MORE (D) was clinging to a narrow lead over Republican state Speaker Thom Tillis.
In New Hampshire, Sen. Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenSenate lawmakers let frustration show with Blinken We have a plan that prioritizes Afghanistan's women — we're just not using it Scott Brown's wife files to run for Congress MORE (D) was able to hold the seat from challenger former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown (R), though the Republicans was refusing to concede late Tuesday as the race had tightened after the networks initially called the race for the incumbent.
— Updated at 11:07 p.m.