Live updates: Democrats fight to take control of the Senate

Greg Nash

Democrats are vying to take back control of the Senate for the first time since 2014, when they lost the chamber in a Tea Party wave. 

Democrats entered the night feeling bullish about their chances heading, but Republicans are performing better than expected. Of the nearly 30 races called as of Wednesday morning, only two vulnerable incumbents have been ousted — one Democrat and one Republican.

The Hill is also tracking House races here, and the fight for the White House here.  Track live coverage of the Senate races below.

Key races remain close, injecting uncertainty majority battle

3:30 a.m.  
The Hill is wrapping up its live coverage of the Senate fight. 
With several key Senate races still in limbo as of 3 a.m. Wednesday, the battle for the majority could be poised to drag on for days if not weeks. 
Based on the races that have called, both Republicans and Democrats both hold 47 Senate seats. Votes are still being tallied in five seats and the special election in Georgia, where Sen. Kelly Loeffler is trying to hold on, is going to a January 5 run off.
Of the five seats that have not yet been called four are controlled Republicans: Alaska, Georgia, North Carolina and Maine. One, Michigan, is currently held by Democratic Sen. Gary Peters. 
Check back at for updates on those races throughout Wednesday and the days ahead. 
Kelly flips Arizona Senate seat 
3:17 a.m. 
Democratic Senate nominee Mark Kelly won the Arizona Senate race, with the Associated Press calling the race after 2 a.m. eastern time on Wednesday. 
Kelly’s victory gives Democrats their second pick up of the cycle and underscores just how far the once red states shifted into purple territory. 
Kelly defeated Sen. Martha McSally. McSally initially ran for Senate in 2018, but lost. She was then appointed to the state’s other seat. 
Daines fends off upset in Montana 
1:56 a.m. 
GOP Sen. Steve Daines held off an upset in Montana early Wednesday morning, winning a second term to the Senate. 
Daines was running against Montana Gov. Steve Bullock in a red state that has populist leanings that Democrats were hoping would make it ripe to be flipped into their column. 
Bullock took an early lead in the polls on Tuesday night, but Daines and Trump ultimately shot up to the front as votes came in. The Associated Press called the race for Daines just before 2 a.m. Wednesday. 
Ernst wins in Iowa

12:41 a.m.

GOP Sen. Joni Ernst won reelection in Iowa early Wednesday morning, beating back a Democratic attempt to flip her seat.

Ernst’s victory underscores the narrowing path Democrats have to winning back control of the Senate, despite high hopes going into Election Day.

Ernst defeated Theresa Greenfield, with the Associated Press calling the race at 12:37 a.m. eastern time.

Georgia Senate race going to January runoff 
11:14 p.m. 
The Georgia special election is heading to an early January run off after no candidate won a majority Tuesday night. 
Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R) and Democratic challenger the Rev. Raphael Warnock are are expected to advance to a run-off election after they had more than 28 percent of the vote on Tuesday night. 
If neither party wins outright control of the Senate on election night, the Georgia race could help determine who controls the chamber next year. 
GOP holds onto Kansas seat 
11:12 p.m. 
Rep. Roger Marshall won the open Kansas Senate race, keeping the seat in Republican hands. 
GOP Sen. Pat Roberts is retiring at the end of the year, putting the seat up for grabs. 
The race was closer than expected throughout the final stretch, and Democrats viewed it as a state they could potentially flip if there was a wave. But Marshall defeated Barbara Bollier, a Kansas state senator, former state representative and doctor. 
GOP flips Alabama Senate seat 
10:29 p.m. 
Republicans defeated Democratic Sen. Doug Jones (Ala.), handing them their first pickup of the night. 
Jones, who won the seat during a 2017 special election, was widely viewed as likely to lose the seat in the ruby red state of Alabama to former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville. 
Republicans viewed Alabama as their best pickup opportunity of the 12 seats being defended by Democrats. 
Graham fends off upset in South Carolina
10:25 p.m. 
GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham won reelection in South Carolina on Tuesday night, fending off an upset from Democratic nominee Jaime Harrison. 
Graham, who is a close ally of President Trump, found himself locked in a closer-than-expected race as Harrison broke fundraising records, leading the GOP senator to warn that he was getting “killed” financially. 
But the Associated Press called the race for Graham shortly before 10 p.m. ET.
Hickenlooper wins in Colorado, handing Democrats first seat flip
9:41 p.m. 
Former Gov. John Hickenlooper ousted GOP Sen. Cory Gardner (Colo.) on Tuesday night, handing Democrats a key victory
Hickenlooper’s defeat of Gardner gives Democrats their first seat flip of the night. If Democratic nominee Joe Biden wins the White House, Democrats need a net pickup of three seats, or four seats for an outright majority. 
Democrats lost the Colorado seat in 2014 when Gardner defeated then-Sen. Mark Udall (Colo.). But Gardner, one of two GOP senators running in states carried by Hillary Clinton in 2016, was viewed as the most vulnerable Republican senator on the ballot. 
Sasse wins reelection 
9:26 p.m. 
Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) easily won reelection in the red state of Nebraska. 
Sasse, viewed as a potential 2024 presidential contender, won despite recent high-profile spats with President Trump, most of which took place after the GOP senator won the state’s primary. 
Cornyn wins in Texas
9:26 p.m. 
Sen. John Cornyn (R) won reelection in Texas, a red state that Democrats are hoping to one day move into their column. 
Cornyn, an adviser to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), defeated Democratic nominee MJ Hegar.
Democrats haven’t won a Senate race in Texas in a decades but they believe the demographics of the state are making it increasingly competitive.
Rounds wins in South Dakota
9:26 p.m. 
Sen. Mike Rounds (R) easily won reelection in South Dakota on Tuesday night, defeating Democrat Daniel Ahlers, a small-business owner who was a member of the South Dakota state legislature.
No. 2 Democrat wins in Illinois 
8:52 p.m.
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) easily won reelection to the Senate on Tuesday night in Illinois.
Durbin, currently the minority whip, is expected to run for the party’s No. 2 spot if Democrats win back the Senate majority.
Cotton wins in Arkansas
8:52 p.m.
Sen. Tom Cotton (R) easily won reelection in the deep-red state of Arkansas. 
Cotton is viewed as a potential contender for the party’s 2024 presidential nomination. Cotton, who first won in 2014 when he ousted then-Sen. Mark Pryor, didn’t have a Democratic opponent this cycle. 
Coons wins in Deleware 
8:52 p.m. 
Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), a close ally of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, won reelection in Delaware. 
Inhofe wins in Oklahoma 
8:20 p.m.
Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) won reelection on Tuesday night, with The Associated Press calling the race at 8 p.m. EST immediately after polls closed. 
Inhofe defeated Democratic challenger Abby Broyles, a 30-year-old attorney and television news reporter.
Reed wins in Rhode Island
8:20 p.m.
Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) easily won reelection defeating Republican challenger Allen Waters, a political newcomer who lost the support of Rhode Island’s Republican Party in June after reports surfaced that he was arrested in 2019 for an alleged domestic incident.

Booker wins in New Jersey

8:20 p.m.
Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), who made a failed bid for his party’s presidential nomination, won reelection on Tuesday night. 
Booker was considered a safe bet for reelection and defeated Republican challenger Rik Mehta, with The Associated Press calling the race at 8 p.m. EST.
Shaheen wins in New Hampshire
8:20 p.m.
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) won a third term in the Senate, according to a projection from The Associated Press, defeating army veteran and political newcomer Corky Messner.
Markey wins in Massachusetts 
8:20 p.m.
Sen. Ed Markey (D) easily won reelection in Massachusetts on Tuesday night, months after he fended off a primary challenge from Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-Mass.). 
Markey is projected to defeat Republican nominee Kevin O’Connor, an attorney, and win a second full term in the Senate. Markey was on a glide path in the deep blue state after the early September primary fight. 
McConnell wins reelection
8:05 p.m. 
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is projected to win a seventh term. 
McConnell is expected to run again for GOP leader, though with control of the Senate still in limbo it remains unclear if he would be majority or minority leader. McConnell has been GOP leader since 2007 and majority leader since 2015. 
McConnell defeated Democratic nominee Amy McGrath. Democrats had hoped McConnell’s high disapproval numbers in the state and a recent statewide gubernatorial win would make the GOP leader vulnerable to an ousting. 
But McConnell was viewed as the front-runner, with AP calling the race at 8:01 p.m. 
Polls close in swath of states
8:01 p.m. 
Polls are closing in several Senate states at 8 p.m., even as many races remain too close to call. 
Polls are closing in part or all of more than 20 states, as well as Washington, D.C.
Those include Alabama, where Republicans view Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.) as their best shot at flipping a seat currently held by Democrats. 
Polls are also closing in part of Michigan, Texas and Kansas. Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) is trying to win reelection in Michigan, GOP Sen. John Cornyn is running in Texas and Republicans are trying to hold onto retiring Sen. Pat Roberts’s seat in Kansas. 
Polls are also closing in Maine, where Democrats are hoping to oust GOP Sen. Susan Collins with Democratic nominee Sara Gideon. 
Capito wins in West Virginia
7:35 p.m. 
GOP Sen. Shelley Moore Capito is projected to win reelection in West Virginia on Tuesday night. The Associated Press called the race for Capito at 7:30 p.m., just as polls closed. 
West Virginia has moved increasingly into the Republican column in recent years and Capito was expected to easily win her race. 
Most polls close in North Carolina
7:35 p.m. 
Most polls are closing in North Carolina, where Democrats are hoping to unseat Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.). 
Most polls in the state are closing at 7:30 p.m., but election results could be slower after hours at four polling locations in the state were extended. 
In addition to North Carolina, polls closed in Ohio and West Virginia. 
Warner wins in Virginia 
7:14 p.m. 
Democratic Sen. Mark Warner easily won reelection in Virginia on Tuesday night. 
The Associated Press called the race for Warner at 7:01 p.m., a minute after polls closed in Virginia at 7 p.m. 
The smooth path for Warner is a 180 from 2014, where Warner barely fended off an upset from former chairman of the Republican National Committee Ed Gillespie in a closer-than-expected election night.
Polls close in first key races
7 p.m. 
Polls are closing in several states at 7 p.m., including some races that could determine which party controls the majority.
Polls are closing statewide in Georgia, South Carolina, Virginia and Vermont. 
South Carolina and Georgia are considered two states to watch as Democrats try to flip GOP-controlled seats in their quest to win back the majority. 
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) is trying to fend off an upset from Democratic nominee Jaime Harrison in South Carolina. 
Meanwhile, GOP Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler are on the ballot in Georgia, where strategists are watching to see if one or both races goes to a Jan. 5 runoff. 
Democratic Sen. Mark Warner is on the ballot in Virginia, but expected to easily win reelection. 
Polls are also closing at 7 p.m. in the parts of Kentucky and Indiana in the Central time zone, as well as the part of Florida is in the Eastern time zone.
First polls close
6 p.m.
The first polls of the night are closing at 6 p.m. in parts of Indiana and Kentucky, in a start of what could be a weeks-long wait to find out which party controls the Senate majority. 

Polls are closing in parts of the state in the Eastern time zone, while parts of the states in the Central time zone won’t close until 7 p.m. EST. 

Indiana doesn’t have a Senate seat up this cycle, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is vying for his seventh Senate term in Kentucky as he runs against Democratic nominee Amy McGrath. 
Tags 2020 election 2020 Senate races battle for Senate majority Ben Sasse Chris Coons Cory Booker Cory Gardner Dick Durbin Donald Trump doug jones Ed Markey Gary Peters Hillary Clinton Jack Reed James Inhofe Jeanne Shaheen Joe Biden Joe Kennedy John Cornyn John Hickenlooper Joni Ernst Kamala Harris Kelly Loeffler Lindsey Graham Mark Pryor Mark Udall Mark Warner Martha McSally Mike Rounds Mitch McConnell Pat Roberts Roger Marshall Senate races Shelley Moore Capito Steve Bullock Steve Daines Susan Collins Thom Tillis Tom Cotton

The Hill has removed its comment section, as there are many other forums for readers to participate in the conversation. We invite you to join the discussion on Facebook and Twitter.

Most Popular

Load more


See all Video