Balance of power: Democrats’ hope to control Senate fading as GOP retains key seats

Video above: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi confident Democrats will hold the House of RepresentativesThe Balance of Power in Congress is up for grabs in the 2020 election.Every two years, each member of the House of Representatives is up for reelection. That means 435 seats are up for grabs across the country.Senators must be re-elected every six years. This year, 35 U.S. Senate seats are up for reelection.See the latest updates below (all times Eastern):9:12 p.m. WednesdayDemocrat Gary Peters has held onto his Senate seat in Michigan. He has defeated Republican challenger John James, a Black business executive and former combat veteran.The 61-year-old Peters continued Democrats’ dominance of Senate elections in the presidential battleground state. Republicans, who have won just one Senate seat in Michigan since the 1970s, spent heavily to try to unseat Peters in one of their few pickup opportunities.Peters is a low-key former congressman, state lawmaker, lottery commissioner and investment adviser who served in the Navy Reserve. He ran by emphasizing his bipartisan work and by criticizing James’ support for President Donald Trump.1:32 p.m. WednesdayRepublican incumbent Sen. Susan Collins declared victory Wednesday afternoon after she said Democrat Sara Gideon called to concede the race.Collins held a solid 9-point lead in the race since late Tuesday night. This will be Collins’ fifth term in the Senate.Gideon was expected to address the media Wednesday afternoon.The race was one of the most hotly contested and most closely watched Senate races in the country.12:47 p.m. WednesdaySenate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said President Donald Trump’s campaign helped his GOP allies, but it’s still to soon to declare victory as state election officials count ballots.“We’re waiting — whether I’m going to be the majority leader or not,” McConnell said at a press conference in his home state of Kentucky.In a delicate pushback against Trump’s own premature claims of victory over Joe Biden in the presidential race, the GOP leader said: “Claiming you’ve won the election is different from finishing the counting.”McConnell said he felt “pretty good” about the remaining contests. He secured a seventh term in a costly campaign, fending off Democrat Amy McGrath, a former fighter pilot.11:30 a.m. WednesdayThough Democrats seem likely to retain House control, their only gains by midmorning Wednesday were two North Carolina seats vacated by GOP incumbents after a court-ordered remapping made the districts more Democratic. After decades of trying, Republicans defeated 15-term Rep. Collin Peterson from a rural Minnesota district that backed President Donald Trump in 2016 by 31 percentage points, Trump’s biggest margin in any Democratic-held district. Peterson, who chairs the House Agriculture Committee, opposed Trump’s impeachment and is one of the House’s most conservative Democrats. He was defeated by Republican Michelle Fischbach, the former lieutenant governor.In Iowa, GOP state Rep. Ashley Hinson defeated freshman Democratic incumbent Abby Finkenauer to win a hard-fought race for the state’s northeastern congressional seat. Hinson is a former television news anchor.Also losing were freshmen Democrats Debbie Mucarsel-Powell and Donna Shalala, health secretary under President Bill Clinton, in adjacent South Florida districts where Trump seemed to consolidate support among Cuban voters. Others defeated were Democratic freshmen Joe Cunningham of South Carolina, Xochitl Torres Small of New Mexico and Kendra Horn in Oklahoma, who had surprising victories in 2018 in districts Trump carried decisively in 2016.The fight for Torres Small’s seat cost around $35 million, making it one of the country’s most expensive races, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. She was defeated by Yvette Herrell, a former state legislator.Democrats were also disappointed in the Senate, where they nursed fading hopes of winning the majority.5:45 a.m. WednesdayHopes fading for Senate control, Democrats had a disappointing election night as Republicans swatted down an onslaught of challengers and fought to retain their fragile majority. Several races remained undecided into Wednesday and at least one headed to a runoff in January.While Democrats picked up must-win seats in Colorado and Arizona, they suffered a setback in Alabama, and Republicans held their own in one race after another — in South Carolina, Iowa, Texas, Kansas and Montana, dramatically limiting the places where Democrats hoped to make inroads.4:15 a.m. WednesdayDemocrat Rashida Tlaib won reelection in Michigan’s 13th Congressional District. Tlaib was a freshman member of Congress part of the “squad,” along with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts. All four won their bids for reelection.3:25 a.m. WednesdayRepublican Stephanie Bice has won her election bid to represent Oklahoma’s 5th Congressional District in the House, beating incumbent Democratic Rep. Kendra Horn.Democrats are still expected to keep their majority in the House of Representatives.2:53 a.m. WednesdayDemocrat Mark Kelly has won the Arizona Senate seat once held by John McCain. The former astronaut defeated Republican Sen. Martha McSally, who was appointed to the seat after McCain’s death in 2018.It’s the second election night contest in which a Democrat beat a GOP incumbent. The other was in Colorado.The Arizona race was a a special election to finish McCain’s term, so Kelly could be sworn in as early as Nov. 30, when the results are officially certified.Kelly flew combat missions for the Navy during Operation Desert Storm before becoming a test pilot and later an astronaut. He flew four missions to the International Space Station.He is the husband of former Democratic U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in the head and wounded in an attempted assassination during a constituent event in Tucson in 2011.Kelly’s victory gives Democrats both Senate seats in Arizona. He will join Kyrsten Sinema in Washington.1:53 a.m. WednesdayRepublican Steve Daines has won his reelection bid for his Montana Senate seat, fending off a challenge form Democrat Steve Bullock.12:44 a.m. WednesdayRepublican Sen. Joni Ernst has won a second term in Iowa, fending off a competitive challenge from Des Moines real estate developer Theresa Greenfield.Ernst argued that she had been true to her deeply conservative beliefs as both a state legislator and U.S. senator while also trying to portray herself as a senator who crossed party lines on some issues. Ernst serves in Republican leadership and has been an ardent supporter of President Donald Trump.Greenfield often spoke of her childhood roots working in her family’s crop-dusting business and focused on core Democratic issues such as protecting Social Security, increasing job training and expanding health care options.11 p.m. TuesdayRepublican Rep. Roger Marshall has won an open Senate seat in Kansas in a tougher-than-expected race that saw his Democratic opponent far outraise him. Marshall is an obstetrician who has represented western and central Kansas in Congress for two terms. He prevailed against Democratic state Sen. Barbara Bollier. Marshall entered the campaign with the GOP’s traditional advantages in a state that tends to vote for conservatives. Republicans haven’t lost a Senate race in Kansas since 1932. But Bollier, a former Republican, excited Democrats and raised more than $25 million to set a Kansas record that Marshall couldn’t match. Bollier pitched herself as an independent and common-sense centrist, but Marshall portrayed her as too liberal for Kansas. Marshall will succeed retiring four-term Republican Sen. Pat Roberts10:12 p.m. TuesdayFormer college football coach Tommy Tuberville has recaptured a U.S. Senate seat for Republicans by defeating Sen. Doug Jones in Alabama. Jones had widely been considered the Senate’s most endangered Democrat.Republicans had made recapturing the once reliably conservative seat a priority in 2020.Tuberville, who has never held public office and last coached four years ago, aligned himself closely with President Donald Trump and declared in the primary campaign: “God sent us Donald Trump.”Jones had won the seat during a 2017 special election in which GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore was publicly accused of sexual misconduct involving young women decades ago.10 p.m. TuesdaySouth Carolina’s Lindsey Graham secured a fourth term in the Senate, according to the Associated Press, defeating Democratic challenger Jaime Harrison in one of the most expensive Senate races in U.S. history. Graham, who has won his previous general election contests by double-digit margins, admitted while campaigning over the weekend that the race with Harrison had been more challenging than he expected.In October, Harrison became the first-ever U.S. Senate candidate to raise more than $100 million. On Saturday, Graham told The Associated Press that he had “passed the $100 million” mark in terms of his own fundraising.9:45 p.m. TuesdayFormer Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper defeated incumbent Republican Sen. Cory Gardner, according to the Associated Press, marking the first flip of a Senate seat in the 2020 election. Colorado has become reliably Democratic under Trump, and for that reason, Gardner has been seen as one of the most vulnerable Republican senators seeking reelection. Trump embraced Gardner as behind him “100%” in February — an endorsement seized by Hickenlooper in his bid to replace Gardner.Gardner recently had sought to distance himself from Trump, focusing instead on his sponsorship of a wildlands protection bill, now law, and two ethics law violations by Hickenlooper, a popular former two-term governor and Denver mayor. Hickenlooper zeroed in on Gardner’s efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act and Gardner’s vote for Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.

Video above: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi confident Democrats will hold the House of Representatives

The Balance of Power in Congress is up for grabs in the 2020 election.

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Every two years, each member of the House of Representatives is up for reelection. That means 435 seats are up for grabs across the country.

Senators must be re-elected every six years. This year, 35 U.S. Senate seats are up for reelection.

See the latest updates below (all times Eastern):

9:12 p.m. Wednesday

Democrat Gary Peters has held onto his Senate seat in Michigan. He has defeated Republican challenger John James, a Black business executive and former combat veteran.

The 61-year-old Peters continued Democrats’ dominance of Senate elections in the presidential battleground state. Republicans, who have won just one Senate seat in Michigan since the 1970s, spent heavily to try to unseat Peters in one of their few pickup opportunities.

Peters is a low-key former congressman, state lawmaker, lottery commissioner and investment adviser who served in the Navy Reserve. He ran by emphasizing his bipartisan work and by criticizing James’ support for President Donald Trump.


1:32 p.m. Wednesday

Republican incumbent Sen. Susan Collins declared victory Wednesday afternoon after she said Democrat Sara Gideon called to concede the race.

Collins held a solid 9-point lead in the race since late Tuesday night.

This will be Collins’ fifth term in the Senate.

Gideon was expected to address the media Wednesday afternoon.

The race was one of the most hotly contested and most closely watched Senate races in the country.



12:47 p.m. Wednesday

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said President Donald Trump’s campaign helped his GOP allies, but it’s still to soon to declare victory as state election officials count ballots.

“We’re waiting — whether I’m going to be the majority leader or not,” McConnell said at a press conference in his home state of Kentucky.

In a delicate pushback against Trump’s own premature claims of victory over Joe Biden in the presidential race, the GOP leader said: “Claiming you’ve won the election is different from finishing the counting.”

McConnell said he felt “pretty good” about the remaining contests. He secured a seventh term in a costly campaign, fending off Democrat Amy McGrath, a former fighter pilot.


11:30 a.m. Wednesday

Though Democrats seem likely to retain House control, their only gains by midmorning Wednesday were two North Carolina seats vacated by GOP incumbents after a court-ordered remapping made the districts more Democratic.

After decades of trying, Republicans defeated 15-term Rep. Collin Peterson from a rural Minnesota district that backed President Donald Trump in 2016 by 31 percentage points, Trump’s biggest margin in any Democratic-held district. Peterson, who chairs the House Agriculture Committee, opposed Trump’s impeachment and is one of the House’s most conservative Democrats. He was defeated by Republican Michelle Fischbach, the former lieutenant governor.

In Iowa, GOP state Rep. Ashley Hinson defeated freshman Democratic incumbent Abby Finkenauer to win a hard-fought race for the state’s northeastern congressional seat. Hinson is a former television news anchor.

Also losing were freshmen Democrats Debbie Mucarsel-Powell and Donna Shalala, health secretary under President Bill Clinton, in adjacent South Florida districts where Trump seemed to consolidate support among Cuban voters. Others defeated were Democratic freshmen Joe Cunningham of South Carolina, Xochitl Torres Small of New Mexico and Kendra Horn in Oklahoma, who had surprising victories in 2018 in districts Trump carried decisively in 2016.

The fight for Torres Small’s seat cost around $35 million, making it one of the country’s most expensive races, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. She was defeated by Yvette Herrell, a former state legislator.

Democrats were also disappointed in the Senate, where they nursed fading hopes of winning the majority.


5:45 a.m. Wednesday

Hopes fading for Senate control, Democrats had a disappointing election night as Republicans swatted down an onslaught of challengers and fought to retain their fragile majority. Several races remained undecided into Wednesday and at least one headed to a runoff in January.

While Democrats picked up must-win seats in Colorado and Arizona, they suffered a setback in Alabama, and Republicans held their own in one race after another — in South Carolina, Iowa, Texas, Kansas and Montana, dramatically limiting the places where Democrats hoped to make inroads.


4:15 a.m. Wednesday

Democrat Rashida Tlaib won reelection in Michigan’s 13th Congressional District. Tlaib was a freshman member of Congress part of the “squad,” along with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts. All four won their bids for reelection.


3:25 a.m. Wednesday

Republican Stephanie Bice has won her election bid to represent Oklahoma’s 5th Congressional District in the House, beating incumbent Democratic Rep. Kendra Horn.

Democrats are still expected to keep their majority in the House of Representatives.


2:53 a.m. Wednesday

Democrat Mark Kelly has won the Arizona Senate seat once held by John McCain.

The former astronaut defeated Republican Sen. Martha McSally, who was appointed to the seat after McCain’s death in 2018.

It’s the second election night contest in which a Democrat beat a GOP incumbent. The other was in Colorado.

The Arizona race was a a special election to finish McCain’s term, so Kelly could be sworn in as early as Nov. 30, when the results are officially certified.

Kelly flew combat missions for the Navy during Operation Desert Storm before becoming a test pilot and later an astronaut. He flew four missions to the International Space Station.

He is the husband of former Democratic U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in the head and wounded in an attempted assassination during a constituent event in Tucson in 2011.

Kelly’s victory gives Democrats both Senate seats in Arizona. He will join Kyrsten Sinema in Washington.


1:53 a.m. Wednesday

Republican Steve Daines has won his reelection bid for his Montana Senate seat, fending off a challenge form Democrat Steve Bullock.


12:44 a.m. Wednesday

Republican Sen. Joni Ernst has won a second term in Iowa, fending off a competitive challenge from Des Moines real estate developer Theresa Greenfield.

Ernst argued that she had been true to her deeply conservative beliefs as both a state legislator and U.S. senator while also trying to portray herself as a senator who crossed party lines on some issues. Ernst serves in Republican leadership and has been an ardent supporter of President Donald Trump.

Greenfield often spoke of her childhood roots working in her family’s crop-dusting business and focused on core Democratic issues such as protecting Social Security, increasing job training and expanding health care options.


11 p.m. Tuesday

Republican Rep. Roger Marshall has won an open Senate seat in Kansas in a tougher-than-expected race that saw his Democratic opponent far outraise him.

Marshall is an obstetrician who has represented western and central Kansas in Congress for two terms. He prevailed against Democratic state Sen. Barbara Bollier.

Marshall entered the campaign with the GOP’s traditional advantages in a state that tends to vote for conservatives. Republicans haven’t lost a Senate race in Kansas since 1932. But Bollier, a former Republican, excited Democrats and raised more than $25 million to set a Kansas record that Marshall couldn’t match.

Bollier pitched herself as an independent and common-sense centrist, but Marshall portrayed her as too liberal for Kansas.

Marshall will succeed retiring four-term Republican Sen. Pat Roberts


10:12 p.m. Tuesday

Former college football coach Tommy Tuberville has recaptured a U.S. Senate seat for Republicans by defeating Sen. Doug Jones in Alabama. Jones had widely been considered the Senate’s most endangered Democrat.

Republicans had made recapturing the once reliably conservative seat a priority in 2020.

Tuberville, who has never held public office and last coached four years ago, aligned himself closely with President Donald Trump and declared in the primary campaign: “God sent us Donald Trump.”

Jones had won the seat during a 2017 special election in which GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore was publicly accused of sexual misconduct involving young women decades ago.


10 p.m. Tuesday

South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham secured a fourth term in the Senate, according to the Associated Press, defeating Democratic challenger Jaime Harrison in one of the most expensive Senate races in U.S. history.

Graham, who has won his previous general election contests by double-digit margins, admitted while campaigning over the weekend that the race with Harrison had been more challenging than he expected.

In October, Harrison became the first-ever U.S. Senate candidate to raise more than $100 million. On Saturday, Graham told The Associated Press that he had “passed the $100 million” mark in terms of his own fundraising.


9:45 p.m. Tuesday

Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper defeated incumbent Republican Sen. Cory Gardner, according to the Associated Press, marking the first flip of a Senate seat in the 2020 election.

Colorado has become reliably Democratic under Trump, and for that reason, Gardner has been seen as one of the most vulnerable Republican senators seeking reelection. Trump embraced Gardner as behind him “100%” in February — an endorsement seized by Hickenlooper in his bid to replace Gardner.

Gardner recently had sought to distance himself from Trump, focusing instead on his sponsorship of a wildlands protection bill, now law, and two ethics law violations by Hickenlooper, a popular former two-term governor and Denver mayor. Hickenlooper zeroed in on Gardner’s efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act and Gardner’s vote for Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.