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.

____

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE 2020 SENATE RACES:

Control of the Senate is a razor-close proposition in the election as Republicans fight to retain their majority against Democratic candidates who are challenging President Donald Trump’s allies across a vast political map.

Read more:

— Senate majority outcome may take weeks or more

— Trump, Biden cede stage to voters for Election Day verdict

HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS GOING ON:

12:30 a.m. Wednesday

Democratic Rep. Ben Ray Luján has won the Senate race in New Mexico to succeed retiring Democratic Sen. Tom Udall.

The six-term congressman from northern New Mexico defeated Republican Mark Ronchetti, a former television meteorologist, and Libertarian Bob Walsh.

Luján is the fourth-ranking Democrat in the House. His move to the Senate marks a resurgence of Latino political leadership in a state with the largest share of Hispanic residents.

His campaign emphasized support for Affordable Care Act consumer health protections and highlighted President Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

11:30 p.m.

Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith has been reelected in Mississippi, winning her first full term.

In a repeat of a 2018 special election, Hyde-Smith defeated Democrat Mike Espy as she tied herself closely to President Donald Trump. Hyde-Smith is the only woman to have represented Mississippi in the House or Senate.

Espy, a former U.S. agriculture secretary, said Republican policies had failed to help many Mississippians, particularly those who need health care. He was was vying to become Mississippi’s first Black senator since Reconstruction.

11:20 p.m.

In Georgia, Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler and Democrat Raphael Warnock have advanced to a Jan. 5 runoff in the special election for Loeffler’s Senate seat.

They’re the top two finishers in a crowded field that also included Republican Rep. Doug Collins. But no candidate was able to get the 50% threshold needed in order to win outright.

Loeffler, a wealthy businesswoman, was appointed last year to replace retiring Sen. Johnny Isakson. Warnock is pastor of the Atlanta church where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. preached. Warnock is trying to become Georgia’s first Black U.S. senator.

11:20 p.m.

Republican Bill Cassidy has won a second term representing Louisiana in the Senate, avoiding a runoff. The lawmaker from Baton Rouge defeated 14 challengers, including Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins.

Democrats had hoped Perkins could stop Louisiana’s streak of sending Republicans to the Senate. But Cassidy had the power of incumbency, millions of dollars in campaign cash and the endorsement of President Donald Trump.

Cassidy is a doctor who tested positive for the coronavirus in August. He did little in-person campaigning and participated in no debates with his opponents. He instead relied on TV advertising and social media campaigns

11 p.m.

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,

11 p.m.

Democrat Jeff Merkley has won his third Senate term in Oregon.

Merkley easily defeated Republican Jo Rae Perkins. She drew national headlines this year for her support of a wide ranging and baseless internet conspiracy theory QAnon.

Merkley is one of the most liberal members of the Senate, and he has been outspoken about climate change. He has pushed legislation that aims to eliminate carbon emissions by 2050.

Merkley considered running for president in 2020 but chose to run for reelection to the Senate instead. He was the only senator to endorse Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Democratic presidential primaries.

11 p.m.

Idaho Republican Sen. Jim Risch has cruised to reelection, defeating Democrat challenger Paulette Jordan.

Risch is the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a strong supporter of President Donald Trump. Risch served in the Legislature before he was elected lieutenant governor in 2002 and senator in 2008.

Jordan, a member of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe and a former state legislator, also unsuccessfully ran for Idaho governor in 2018 against then-Lt. Gov. Brad Little.

Idaho remains one of the strongest Republican states, with the GOP holding every statewide office and the vast majority of the Legislature.

10:20 p.m.

Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas has defeated Democrat MJ Hegar in his hardest-fought reelection battle in almost two decades.

Cornyn held an edge in polls and fundraising for most of the race but was still forced into mounting an unusually aggressive defense as Democrats poured millions of dollars into Hegar’s race.

Hegar is a former Air Force helicopter pilot who narrowly lost a U.S. House race two years ago. She called Cornyn a “spineless bootlicker” beholden to Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Cornyn’s victory came in the face of uncommon headwinds for Republicans in Texas.

10:15 p.m.

Former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville has recaptured a Senate seat for Republicans by defeating Democratic Sen. Doug Jones in Alabama.

Jones had widely been considered the Senate’s most endangered Democrat, and Republicans had made winning the once reliably conservative seat a priority in 2020.

Tuberville has never held public office. He aligned himself closely with President Donald Trump and declared in the primary campaign that “God sent us” the president.

Jones 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. In the Senate, he often voted with Democrats and was criticized by Tuberville for his vote to convict Trump in the Senate impeachment trial this year.

10 p.m.

Republican Lindsey Graham of South Carolina has secured a fourth term in the Senate, defeating Democrat Jamie Harrison.

Some polling in the campaign’s closing weeks showed a head-to-head race, and Harrison’s massive fundraising broke records. But Graham mustered support across South Carolina, where all statewide offices are held by Republicans and support for President Donald Trump remains strong.

Harrison portrayed Graham as too willing to acquiesce to Trump. Graham maintained that he felt it in his constituents’ best interests that he align with the president, who has remained popular in South Carolina.

If Harrison had won, South Carolina would have been the first state in U.S. history to be simultaneously represented by two Black senators.

9:45 p.m.

Democrat John Hickenlooper has defeated Republican Sen. Cory Gardner in Colorado. It’s the first seat that the Democrats have picked up on election night.

Colorado is a state that’s shifted strongly to the left since Gardner’s election to the Senate in 2014.

Hickenlooper is a popular former two-term governor who repeatedly tied Gardner to President Donald Trump during the race.

Gardner promoted his work on a sweeping public lands bill, a national suicide prevention hotline he launched and various federal dollars he secured for Colorado. But he avoided criticism of the president and struggled to distinguish himself from Trump’s words and policies.

Democrats have won every statewide race since Gardner’s election, with the exception of a board of regents position in 2016.

9:05 p.m.

Republican Cynthia Lummis, a former congresswoman, has won an open Senate seat in Wyoming.

Lummis beat University of Wyoming ecology professor and climate activist Merav Ben-David to claim the seat held by Republican Sen. Mike Enzi, who’s retiring after four terms.

Lummis was heavily favored to win in the GOP-dominated state after raising and spending far more money than her Democratic opponent.

A former state treasurer and state legislator, Lummis comes from a prominent Cheyenne ranching family and has been well-known in Wyoming politics for over 30 years. She was Wyoming’s lone congresswoman from 2009-2017, when she stepped down to attend to family business matters following her husband’s death.

9:05 p.m.

Nebraska Republican Ben Sasse has been reelected to the Senate, beating Democrat Chris Janicek.

Sasse, a former university president, benefitted from an overwhelming Republican advantage in Nebraska despite his criticism of President Donald Trump.

He said last month that Trump has “flirted with white supremacists,” mocks Christian evangelicals in private, and “kisses dictators’ butts.” Trump lashed back on Twitter, calling Sasse “an embarrassment.”

Still, Sasse was a…



Source link