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Sasse coasts to reelection in Nebraska

Sasse coasts to reelection in Nebraska
© Greg Nash

GOP Sen. Ben SasseBen SasseTrump transition order follows chorus of GOP criticism The Memo: Trump election loss roils right Whoopi Goldberg blasts Republicans not speaking against Trump: 'This is an attempted coup' MORE (Neb.) is projected to win a second term on Tuesday night, easily defeating two Democratic candidates.

The Associated Press called the race at 9:01 p.m. ET.

Sasse, 48, won the red state despite recent high-profile spats with President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump rages against '60 Minutes' for interview with Krebs Cornyn spox: Neera Tanden has 'no chance' of being confirmed as Biden's OMB pick Pa. lawmaker was informed of positive coronavirus test while meeting with Trump: report MORE, whom he didn’t support in 2016. Sasse didn’t join Trump's reelection committee this cycle. 

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Sasse, who is viewed as a potential 2024 presidential candidate, largely scaled back his criticism of Trump until he won his Senate primary in May, avoiding a nasty intraparty fight that many political handicappers had predicted at the start of the cycle. 

But since then, he’s had headline-grabbing fights with the leader of his party, who is popular in Nebraska. Sasse criticized a round of executive orders in August, called the first presidential debate a “shitshow” and railed against him during a constituent call, including saying that Trump “flirted with white supremacists” and “sells out” allies. 

Sasse’s remarks prompted public backlash from Trump, who called the GOP senator a “a liability to the Republican Party, and an embarrassment.” But Sasse was on a glide path once he entered the general election with his race rated as a “safe” Republican seat. 

There was some drama on the Democratic side. Democratic nominee Chris Janicek lost the party's support after he faced allegations about sending sexually inappropriate text messages to a female staffer and The New York Times reported that he used racist slurs at a party roughly 20 years ago. The Nebraska Democratic Party called on Janicek to withdraw after the text messages surfaced, but Janicek refused.

The party instead threw its support behind write-in candidate Preston Love Jr.