US Senate Election 2012: Dems Keep Majority; Most Women Ever; 1st Gay Senator

Published:11:03 pm EDT, November 6, 2012| Updated:7:02 pm EDT, November 7, 2012|
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US Senate Elections 2012.

The Democrats have held control of the Senate as well as the presidency tonight.

There were 33 Senate races, all of which have now been settled. The contest in North Dakota was the tightest race only ending on Thursday afternoon.

But already history has been made, with Mazie Hirono becoming the first Asian-American to occupy a Senate seat. As well as Tammy Baldwin being the first gay Senator. Not to mention that this election will see a record number of women take their seats in the Senate.

The Dems began the night with a 53-47 advantage in the Senate, if you count Vermont Independent Bernie Sanders and Connecticut Independent Joe Lieberman in their camp. As each race was called we updated the balance of power. Here's how it unfolded:

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7 p.m.

Bernie Sanders wins vermont senate 2012
1. Incumbent Bernie Sanders (I) has been declared the winner in Vermont by AP, defeating Republican John MacGovern in a landslide.

Power Shift: None
Dems 53, GOP 47


8 p.m.
Bill Nelson, US Senate Elections 2012, Florida.

2. Incumbent Bill Nelson (D) has retained his seat fending off the challenge from Republican Connie Mack in Florida.

Power Shift: None
Dems 53, GOP 47



8:30 p.m.

3. Democrat Chris Murphy has defeated Republican Linda McMahon by a 67%-31% margin according CBS. Republican Linda McMahon has invested at least $43.9 million of her own money in the race, according to campaign finance reports. Democrat Chris Murphy spent far less, though he received millions of dollars from outside groups and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Murphy replaces the retiring Joe Lieberman.

Power Shift: None
Dems 53, GOP 47



8:37 p.m

4. Angus King (I) defeats Republican Charlie Summers and Democrat State Sen. Cynthia Dill in Maine. He replaces the retiring Republican Olympia Snowe. It's believed as an Independent he will lean toward the Democrats , certainly at least in the first vote which establishes the majority party. We're giving this one to the Dems.

Power Shift: Dems +1
Dems 54, GOP 46



9:03 p.m

5. Incumbent Bob Menendez (D) has held off the challenge of Republican Joe Kyrillos to retain his Senate seat New Jersey. Menendez has held his seat since 2006.

Power Shift: None
Dems 54, GOP 46



9:10 p.m.

6. In a huge Senate win for the Democrats, challenger Elizabeth Warren (D) has won in Massachusetts defeating the incumbent Scott Brown (R). It was a tight race coming in at 51% to 49% to the Democrat.

Power Shift: Dems +1
Dems 55, GOP 45



9:12 p.m.

7. Incumbent Bob Casey (D) has held his seat in Pennsylvania over the challenger Tom Smith (R) according to NBC. This is Casey's second six year Senate term.

Power Shift: None
Dems 55, GOP 45



9:30 p.m.

8. Incumbent Sherrod Brown (D) from Ohio has retained his Senate seat defeating his challenger Republican Josh Mandel, who is the current state treasurer. This keeps the Democrats in the position of power.

Power Shift: None
Dems 56, GOP 44



9:35 p.m.

9. In Indiana Joe Donnelly (D) has defeated the controversial Republican Richard Mourdock (R) BY 48-46%. Mourdock had created controversy during his campaign by making controversial comments about rape and abortion. The Republican had defeated the incumbent Richard Lugar in the GOP primary.

Power Shift: Dems +1
Dems 55, GOP 45



9:45 p.m.

10. Another victory for the Democrats in Wisconsin, after President Obama was confirmed as carrying the state, Tammy Baldwin (D) has defeated Republican Tommy Thompson for the Senate seat being vacated by the retiring Herb Kohl (D). It has no impact on the balance of power. In doing so she has become the first openly gay senator.

Power Shift: None
Dems 55, GOP 45



9:57 p.m.

11. Incumbent Amy Klobuchar (D) has defeated Republican Rep. Kurt Bills in a race that was never closely contested. Klobuchar's popularity had prevented high-profile Republicans from challenging the former county prosecutor.

Power Shift: None
Dems 55, GOP 45



10:!0 p.m.

12. Incumbent Claire McCaskill (D) successfully defeated the challenger Todd Akin (R) in Missouri. In what was billed as a tight race prior to Akin's "Legitimate Rape" comment, McCaskill ran out a comfortable 55-45% winner.

Power Shift: None
Dems 55, GOP 45



10:24 p.m.

13. Tim Kaine (D) has won the Senate seat being vacated by the retiring Jim Webb (D) in Virginia. He defeated the Republican George Allen.

Power Shift: None
Dems 55, GOP 45



11:04 p.m

14. Republican candidate Deb Fischer is the project winner of the Nebraska senate seat being vacated by the retiring Ben Nelson (D). Fischer defeats Democrat, 1992 Presidential candidate, Bob Kerrey. This is a significant boost to the Republican party in the Senate elections.

Power Shift: Republicans +1
Dems 54, GOP 46



11:15 p.m.

15. Republican Ted Cruz has defeated Paul Sadler (D) in Texas. Cruz is a Cuban-American Tea Party backed candidate. He takes over the seat from retiring Kay Bailey Hutchison (R)

Power Shift: None
Dems 54, GOP 46



11:30 p.m.

16. Incumbent Orrin Hatch (R) has won his seventh, and what he says will be his final Senate seat in Utah. He easily defeated his challenger Scott Howell (D).

Power Shift: None
Dems 54, GOP 46



11:48 p.m.

17. Incumbent Bob Corker (R) has retained his Senate seat defeating Mark Clayton (D) in Tennessee. The result was overwhelming as Clayton had been renounced by most in his own party after his anti-gay views came to light following nomination in the state primary.

Power Shift: None
Dems 54, GOP 46

11:55 p.m.

18. Incumbent Roger Wicker (R) has been re-elected to his Senate seat, the 61 year old has held the position since December 2007. Wicker defeated Democratic challenger, 82 year old Albert N. Gore, a former Methodist minister and chaplain for the US Army Special Forces.

Power Shift: None
Dems 54, GOP 46



12:10 a.m.

19. Conservative Jeff Flake (R) has won the race to fill Arizona's empty Senate seat vacated by the retiring John Kyl (R). He defeated Richard Carmona (D). Flake is a six-term Republican congressman. Arizona haven't elected a Democratic senator since Dennis DeConcini in 1995.

Power Shift: None
Dems 54, GOP 46



12:15 a.m.

20. In Washington State Incumbent Maria Cantwell was returned for a third consecutive term by easily defeating Republican challenger Michael Baumgartner (R). Cantwell drew 60% of the initial vote count.

Power Shift: None
Dems 54, GOP 46



12:21 a.m.

21. With 56% of the vote incumbent Debbie Stabenow (D) defeated her challenger Pete Hoekstra (R) in Michigan, the victory was widely judging by exit poll numbers.

Power Shift: None
Dems 54, GOP 46



12:39 a.m.

22. Incumbent Joe Manchin (D) has been re-elected in West Virginia, he defeated the challenger John Raese (R). Manchin had campaigned as an independent voice rather overtly partisan. He disagreed with President Obama over energy and healthcare issues.

Power Shift: None
Dems 54, GOP 46



12:46 a.m.

23. In Wyoming voters chose to send Incumbent John Barrasso (R) back to Capitol Hill after he saw off the challenge of Tim Chestnut (D).

Power Shift: None
Dems 54, GOP 46


01:09 a.m.

24. Martin Heinrich (D) won the New Mexico vacated by Jeff Bingaman (D) who decided to retire. Heinrich defeated Heather Wilson (R). Wilson had previously been associated with Karl Rove's American Crossroads, last week her campaign made a $512,000 ad-buy on local TV to attack Heinrich.

Power Shift: None
Dems 54, GOP 46



01:16 a.m.

25. Incumbent Kirsten Gillibrand (D) has won her first full six year term as Senator in New York, taking over from Hilary Clinton. Gillibrand was declared winner after comfortably defeating Wendy Long (R). Gillibrand was appointed by then Gov. David Paterson in 2009 when Clinton left to become President Obama's Secretary of State.

Power Shift: None
Dems 54, GOP 46



01:21 a.m.

26. Sheldon Whitehouse (D) eased into his second six year term as Senator for Rhode Island. Whitehouse defeated Barry Hinckley (R) without too much stress as the polls had predicted. Whitehouse is a former state Attorney General before his election to the Senate in 2006.

Power Shift: None
Dems 54, GOP 46



01:25 a.m.

27. Incumbent Tom Carper (D) was re-elected in Delaware as Senator. He defeated Kevin Wade (R). Carper hasn't lost an election in the state since becoming treasurer in 1976.

Power Shift: None
Dems 54, GOP 46



01:28 a.m.

28. Another Incumbent Ben Cardin (D) from Maryland was returned as Senator, he defeated Republican Dan Bongino and an independent Rob Sobhani. Cardin has been serving as Senator since 2006.

Power Shift: None
Dems 54, GOP 46



01:35 a.m.

29. Incumbent Dianne Feinstein (D) from California will be heading back to DC after being re-elected over Republican challenger Elizabeth Emken (R). The race was one-sided as Feinstein was better funded and recognized than her challenger.

Power Shift: None
Dems 54, GOP 46



01:46 a.m.

30. Mazie Hirono (D) was today elected as Hawaii's next Senator, and the fist Asian-American to be elected to that position. Hirono, was able to defeat former Gov. Lind Lingle (R). Sitting Democrat Senator, Daniel Akaka, had opted to retire rather than run again.

Power Shift: None
Dems 54, GOP 46



08:13 a.m.

31. Incumbent John Tester (D) retained his seat in Montana, he defeated Denny Rehberg (R). Tester, who was first elected in 2006, made his campaign about agricultural issues with topics ranging from wind farms to the protection of the grey wolf.

Power Shift: None
Dems 54, GOP 46



10:54 a.m.

32. Dean Heller (R) retained the Senate seat in Nevada for the GOP by defeating Shelley Berkley (D). The two were battling over the seat vacated by John Ensign (R) who was forced to resign over allegations of an affair he had while in office.

Power Shift: None
Dems 54, GOP 46

The one state still up for grabs is North Dakota where Heidi Heitkamp (D) holds a razor-thin lead over Rick Berg (R) to replace retiring Democrat Kent Conrad.

01:57 p.m.

Heidi Heitkamp (D) has held on to her narrow lead over Rick Berg (R) in the North Dakota race to replace Kent Conrad (D) who is retiring. The race is so tight that Berg can request a recount, just 3000 votes separate the two.

Power Shift: None
Dems 54, GOP 46

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