Democrats to retain control of Senate

Democrats will retain control of the Senate next year, having picked up seats in Massachusetts, Indiana and Maine along with holding on to several of their endangered incumbents who were in tough races.

It's a switch from the beginning of the cycle, when the party was seen as in trouble as they were defending more seats than Republicans.

But the recruitment of strong candidates and several gaffes on behalf of GOP challengers helped Democrats keep the upper chamber.

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"When we started this campaign, no one, and I mean no one gave us a chance," said Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee chairwoman Sen. Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayJohnson & Johnson subpoenaed by DOJ and SEC, company says Top Dems blast administration's proposed ObamaCare changes Overnight Health Care — Sponsored by America's 340B Hospitals — Dems blast rulemaking on family planning program | Facebook may remove anti-vaccine content | Medicare proposes coverage for new cancer treatment MORE (D-Wash.) in a statement on Tuesday night. "But we went out and built the best Senate campaigns in the history of the country. We recruited some of the highest quality candidates, including a record number of women. Democrats never let up and now we will retain our majority in the United States Senate." 

National Republican Senatorial Committee chairman Sen. John CornynJohn CornynO’Rourke not ruling out being vice presidential candidate O'Rourke mulling another Senate run as well as presidential bid Texas senator introduces bill to produce coin honoring Bushes MORE (R-Texas) said the results meant the GOP needed to do some soul-searching.

"It’s clear that with our losses in the Presidential race, and a number of key Senate races, we have a period of reflection and recalibration ahead for the Republican Party.  While some will want to blame one wing of the party over the other, the reality is candidates from all corners of our GOP lost tonight.  Clearly we have work to do in the weeks and months ahead," he said in a statement.

He also warned Democrats that "they should not over-read their mandate as reflected by the almost evenly-divided popular vote."

Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidSanders hires veteran progressive operative to manage 2020 bid Constitutional conservatives need to oppose the national emergency Klobuchar: 'I don't remember' conversation with Reid over alleged staff mistreatment MORE (D-Nev.), who will keep his spot in the 113th Congress, extended an olive branch to House Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerCrowley, Shuster moving to K Street On unilateral executive action, Mitch McConnell was right — in 2014 Bill Clinton jokes no one would skip Dingell's funeral: 'Only time' we could get the last word MORE (R-Ohio) and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellFox News has covered Ocasio-Cortez more than any 2020 Dem besides Warren: analysis Durbin after reading Green New Deal: 'What in the heck is this?' Dems think they're beating Trump in emergency declaration battle MORE (R-Ky.).

“I look at the challenges that we have ahead of us and I reach out to my Republican colleagues in the Senate and the House. Let’s come together. We know what the issues are, let’s solve them,” he told a boisterous audience packing the ballroom of the Liaison hotel, where Democratic congressional leaders were spending election night.

They had much to celebrate.

The party had a major victory with Democrat Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenCoast Guard lieutenant arrested, accused of planning domestic terrorism Hillicon Valley: Microsoft reveals new Russian hack attempts | Google failed to disclose hidden microphone | Booker makes late HQ2 bid | Conservative group targets Ocasio-Cortez over Amazon Trump campaign fundraising on Bernie Sanders's M haul MORE's victory in Massachusetts over Republican Sen. Scott Brown. Both parties were heavily invested in the race: Democrats wanted to win back the seat once held by the late-Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), and Republicans desperately wanted to hold it.

Democrats also picked up seats in Indiana and in Maine.

Rep. Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyOvernight Energy: Trump taps ex-oil lobbyist Bernhardt to lead Interior | Bernhardt slams Obama officials for agency's ethics issues | Head of major green group steps down Trump picks ex-oil lobbyist David Bernhardt for Interior secretary EPA's Wheeler faces grilling over rule rollbacks MORE (D-Ind.) beat Republican Richard Mourdock, who defeated longtime Sen. Dick Lugar in the GOP primary. Mourdock hurt himself with controversial comments about his opposition to abortion in cases of rape or incest.

In Maine, Independent candidate Angus KingAngus Stanley KingTexas senator introduces bill to produce coin honoring Bushes Drama hits Senate Intel panel’s Russia inquiry Warner, Burr split on committee findings on collusion MORE won and is expected to caucus with the Democrats, which would turn retiring Sen. Olympia Snowe's (R-Maine) seat blue.

Meanwhile, Sens. Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillMcCaskill: Lindsey Graham 'has lost his mind' Trey Gowdy joins Fox News as a contributor The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Trump AG pick Barr grilled at hearing | Judge rules against census citizenship question | McConnell blocks second House bill to reopen government MORE (D-Mo.) and Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownThe Hill's Morning Report - Can Bernie recapture 2016 magic? Overnight Health Care — Presented by National Taxpayers Union — Trump, Dems open drug price talks | FDA warns against infusing young people's blood | Facebook under scrutiny over health data | Harris says Medicare for all isn't socialism On The Money: Smaller tax refunds put GOP on defensive | Dems question IRS on new tax forms | Warren rolls out universal child care proposal | Illinois governor signs bill for minimum wage MORE (D-Ohio), both top GOP targets, won reelection. McCaskill, who was considered one of the most vulnerable Democrats earlier this year, was boosted by GOP rival Todd Akin's controversial comments on rape.

And Democrat Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineDemocrats brush off GOP 'trolling' over Green New Deal Overnight Defense: Trump declares border emergency | .6B in military construction funds to be used for wall | Trump believes Obama would have started war with North Korea | Pentagon delivers aid for Venezuelan migrants Kaine asks Shanahan if military families would be hurt by moving .6B for border wall MORE won in Virginia, defeating former GOP Sen. George Allen, to keep retiring Sen. Jim Webb's (D-Va.) seat. Rep. Martin HeinrichMartin Trevor HeinrichOvernight Defense: Dems aim to block use of defense funds for wall | Watchdog issues new warning on Syria withdrawal | Trump wants to 'watch Iran' from Iraq Senate Dems introduce bill to block Trump from using military funds to build wall Puerto Rico statehood supporters pin hopes on House action MORE (D-N.M.) won his contest, keeping retiring Sen. Jeff Bingaman's (D-N.M.) seat in Democratic hands.

Polls have closed in Montana and North Dakota — where two competitive contests have not been called. But even if the GOP picks up the two states, it would not be enough to hand them control of the upper chamber. Republicans needed a net gain of four seats — since President Obama won reelection — to take control of the upper chamber.

Republican Rep. Rick Berg said late Tuesday night he will not concede the North Dakota Senate race to Democrat Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampOvernight Energy: Trump taps ex-oil lobbyist Bernhardt to lead Interior | Bernhardt slams Obama officials for agency's ethics issues | Head of major green group steps down Trump picks ex-oil lobbyist David Bernhardt for Interior secretary On The Money: Shutdown Day 27 | Trump fires back at Pelosi by canceling her foreign travel | Dems blast 'petty' move | Trump also cancels delegation to Davos | House votes to disapprove of Trump lifting Russia sanction MORE until the state completes its recount process, which would be next Tuesday. The race between the two is tight with Heitkamp up by nearly 3,000 votes with about 98 percent of the state reporting early Wednesday morning.

Democrats also held onto Connecticut's Senate seat and Wisconsin's Senate seat. Rep. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyCongress closer to forcing Trump’s hand on Saudi support House passes bill to end US support for Saudi war in Yemen This week: Border deal remains elusive as shutdown looms MORE (D-Conn.) defeated Republican Linda McMahon, who also lost a Senate bid in 2010. Sen. Joe Lieberman, an Independent who caucuses with Democrats, is retiring. In Wisconsin, Rep. Tammy BaldwinTammy Suzanne BaldwinKlobuchar, O'Rourke visit Wisconsin as 2020 race heats up Dems offer smaller step toward ‘Medicare for all' Overnight Health Care — Sponsored by America's 340B Hospitals — Powerful House committee turns to drug pricing | Utah governor defies voters on Medicaid expansion | Dems want answers on controversial new opioid MORE (D) defeated Republican Tommy Thompson, the popular former governor. Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) is retiring.

And Sen. Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William Nelson2020 party politics in Puerto Rico There is no winning without Latinos as part of your coalition Dem 2020 candidates court Puerto Rico as long nomination contest looms MORE (D-Fla.) won reelection, defeating Republican Rep. Connie Mack.

The Connecticut seat looked more promising for the GOP as the election approached. McMahon ran a strong campaign — much better than her 2010 effort — and was gaining on Murphy in the polls. In Florida, Republicans had hoped for a stronger candidacy from Mack.

Republicans made a strong push for Thompson in Wisconsin, with GOP running mate Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Sanders set to shake up 2020 race McCabe: No one in 'Gang of Eight' objected to FBI probe into Trump Unscripted Trump keeps audience guessing in Rose Garden MORE and Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus campaigning for him. But Thompson faced a tough GOP primary from which he emerged broke and exhausted.

Sen. Bob CaseyRobert (Bob) Patrick CaseyGOP wants to pit Ocasio-Cortez against Democrats in the Senate Biden speaking to Dems on Capitol Hill as 2020 speculation mounts: report GOP senators: Trump should not declare border emergency during State of the Union MORE Jr. (D-Pa.), who faced a tough, last-minute surge from wealthy businessman Tom Smith, also won reelection. Rep. Mazie HironoMazie Keiko HironoFemale Dems see double standard in Klobuchar accusations Trump tweets video mocking Dems not cheering during State of the Union New battle lines in war over Trump’s judicial picks MORE (D-Hawaii) defeated Republican Linda Lingle, holding on to retiring Sen. Daniel Akaka's (D-Hawaii) seat for Democrats.

One bright spot for the GOP was in Nebraska, where Republican Deb FischerDebra (Deb) Strobel Fischer
College professor accused of vandalizing Nebraska GOP lawmaker's campaign signs Why Democrats are pushing for a new nuclear policy Trade official warns senators of obstacles to quick China deal MORE beat former Sen. Bob Kerrey (D-Neb.), taking retiring Sen. Ben Nelson's (D-Neb.) seat for her party. Also Rep. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeTrump suggests Heller lost reelection bid because he was 'hostile' during 2016 presidential campaign Live coverage: Trump delivers State of the Union Sasse’s jabs at Trump spark talk of primary challenger MORE (R-Ariz.) defeated Democrat Richard Carmona in a tough race to keep retiring Sen. Jon Kyl's (R-Ariz.) seat. And Sen. Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerTrump suggests Heller lost reelection bid because he was 'hostile' during 2016 presidential campaign Trump picks ex-oil lobbyist David Bernhardt for Interior secretary Oregon Dem top recipient of 2018 marijuana industry money, study finds MORE (R-Neb.) won against Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.).

Sens. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinGabbard cites ‘concerns’ about ‘vagueness’ of Green New Deal Democrats brush off GOP 'trolling' over Green New Deal Senate confirms Trump pick William Barr as new attorney general MORE (D-W.V.), Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump escalates fight with NY Times The Hill's Morning Report - Can Bernie recapture 2016 magic? Bipartisan Senators reintroduce legislation to slap new sanctions on Russia MORE (D-Md.), Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperDems slam EPA plan for fighting drinking water contaminants EPA to announce PFAS chemical regulation plans by end of year Overnight Energy: Zinke joins Trump-tied lobbying firm | Senators highlight threat from invasive species | Top Republican calls for Green New Deal vote in House MORE (D-Del.), Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseDemocrats brush off GOP 'trolling' over Green New Deal GOP Green New Deal stunt is a great deal for Democrats Pence met with silence after mentioning Trump in Munich speech MORE (D-R.I.), Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharSanders on Trump insult: Crazy that president 'is a racist, a sexist, a xenophobe and a fraud' Trump revives 'Crazy Bernie' nickname one day after Sanders enters race Betting against Bernie? Dems assess the risk MORE (Minn.), Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandCongress needs to bring family and medical leave policies into the 21st century Trump campaign fundraising on Bernie Sanders's M haul Gillibrand tells Iowan ‘ranch girl’ that pizza is on her next time MORE (N.Y.),  Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinFeinstein says she thinks Biden will run after meeting with him Trump judicial nominee Neomi Rao seeks to clarify past remarks on date rape Bottom Line MORE (Calif.), Maria CantwellMaria Elaine CantwellSenate votes to extend key funding mechanism for parks White House poised to take action on AI, 5G Overnight Energy: States press Trump on pollution rules | EPA puts climate skeptic on science board | Senate tees up vote on federal lands bill MORE (Wash.), Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezWilliam Barr is right man for the times This week: Trump delivers State of the Union amid wall fight BuzzFeed story has more to say about media than the president MORE (N.J.), and Debbie StabenowDeborah (Debbie) Ann StabenowLand conservation tax incentives should inspire charitable giving, not loopholes Four names emerge for UN position: report Democrats brush off GOP 'trolling' over Green New Deal MORE (Mich.) all won reelection, as did Republican Sens. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerSasse’s jabs at Trump spark talk of primary challenger RNC votes to give Trump 'undivided support' ahead of 2020 Sen. Risch has unique chance to guide Trump on foreign policy MORE (Tenn.), Roger WickerRoger Frederick WickerTrump signs executive order to boost AI technology Hillicon Valley: Feds looking into Bezos claims about National Enquirer | Amazon reconsidering New York City HQ2 move | Sprint sues AT&T over 5G marketing claims Senate to hold hearing on potential privacy bill MORE (Miss.), Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchOrrin Hatch Foundation seeking million in taxpayer money to fund new center in his honor Mitch McConnell has shown the nation his version of power grab Overnight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — Utah Senate votes to scale back Medicaid expansion | Virginia abortion bill reignites debate | Grassley invites drug execs to testify | Conservative groups push back on e-cig crackdown MORE (Utah) and John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoDems slam EPA plan for fighting drinking water contaminants Overnight Energy: Zinke joins Trump-tied lobbying firm | Senators highlight threat from invasive species | Top Republican calls for Green New Deal vote in House Senators highlight threat from invasive species MORE (Wyo.).

Republican candidate Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzO’Rourke not ruling out being vice presidential candidate CNN ripped for hiring former Republican operative as political editor: 'WTF?!?!' The Hill's Morning Report - Can Bernie recapture 2016 magic? MORE, a Tea Party favorite, won a Texas Senate seat.

— This story was originally posted at 8:12 p.m. and last updated at 3:24 a.m.