Sen. Dan SullivanDaniel Scott SullivanGOP senators unveil bill designating Taliban as terrorist organization More Republicans call on Biden to designate Taliban as terrorist group Overnight Energy: Judge blocks permits for Alaska oil project MORE (R) on Wednesday was projected to have won a second term representing Alaska, securing 50 seats in the Senate for Republicans in the next Congress.
CNN and NBC News both called the race shortly before 10 a.m. EST.
The projection confirms that control of the Senate will come down to two Jan. 5 runoffs in Georgia, one between Sen. Kelly LoefflerKelly LoefflerWarnock picks up major abortion rights group's endorsement in reelection bid Trump endorses Hershel Walker for Georgia Senate seat Herschel Walker's entrance shakes up Georgia Senate race MORE (R) and the Rev. Raphael Warnock (D) and the other between Sen. David PerdueDavid PerdueGOP sees Biden crises as boon for midterm recruitment Trump campaign, RNC refund donors another .8 million in 2021: NYT Loeffler meets with McConnell amid speculation of another Senate run MORE (R) and Jon Ossoff (D).
The loss marked another state where Democrats failed to unseat Republicans in seats seen as closely contested. Sens. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsWelcome to ground zero of climate chaos A tale of two chambers: Trump's power holds in House, wanes in Senate Bipartisan blip: Infrastructure deal is last of its kind without systemic change MORE (R-Maine), Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstGOP senators unveil bill designating Taliban as terrorist organization More Republicans call on Biden to designate Taliban as terrorist group Top Republican: General told senators he opposed Afghanistan withdrawal MORE (R-Iowa) and Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisGOP senators unveil bill designating Taliban as terrorist organization Without major changes, more Americans could be victims of online crime How to fix the semiconductor chip shortage (it's more than manufacturing) MORE (R-N.C.) all won reelection in states highly targeted by Democrats.
Sullivan defeated Al Gross, an independent who was backed by national Democrats in their effort to flip the seat. Gross is a former orthopedic surgeon and commercial fisherman and is the son of former Alaska Attorney General Avrum Gross (D).
Polls had consistently shown Sullivan narrowly leading in the race, but outside groups poured millions of dollars in the lead-up to Election Day as some surveys showed the race would be competitive.
Throughout the campaign, Sullivan swatted away attacks that he was tied too closely to President TrumpDonald TrumpOhio Republican who voted to impeach Trump says he won't seek reelection Youngkin breaks with Trump on whether Democrats will cheat in the Virginia governor's race Trump endorses challenger in Michigan AG race MORE, an argument Democrats hoped would influence voters in a state that prizes its independent tilt. He excoriated Gross for what he said were exaggerated claims to independence and close ties to Democrats.
As recently as Tuesday, Gross tweeted that more than 100,000 ballots were outstanding in the race, adding “we can win this.”
More than 100,000 ballots left to count. 30% of the vote not counted out there! We can win this. #AlwaysAlaska— Dr. Al Gross (@DrAlGrossAK) November 11, 2020
“I want to congratulate my fellow Marine, Senator Dan Sullivan on his victory. Alaskans know Dan as a man who always puts service before self and who has championed the unique needs of his state in Washington,” National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Sen. Todd YoungTodd Christopher YoungHow to fix the semiconductor chip shortage (it's more than manufacturing) Senate Democrats try to defuse GOP budget drama The 19 GOP senators who voted for the T infrastructure bill MORE (R-Ind.) said in a statement. “The state will be well served with another six years of his representation.”
Media outlets also called Alaska for President Trump shortly after the call was made for Sullivan.
Updated at 10:19 a.m.