Democrats keep control of U.S. House, but hopes to take Senate dim

By Dan McCaleb | The Center Square

Democrats appear set to retain control of the U.S. House after Tuesday’s election, but their hopes of flipping the Senate dimmed as votes still were being counted in several close races across the country.

Heading into Election Day, Republicans held a 53-47 majority in the Senate. Democrats needed to flip four seats to regain control of the senior chamber, three if Joe Biden won the presidency. The race between Biden and President Donald Trump remains too close to call as a handful of battleground states were still counting millions of mail-in ballots.

As of Wednesday morning, Democrats flipped two seats, but Republicans flipped one of their own.

In Colorado, former Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper defeated incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, according to unofficial totals.

And in Arizona, Democrat Mark Kelly was called the winner over incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Martha McSally, though McSally has not conceded.

In Alabama, former Auburn football coach and Republican Tommy Tuberville defeated Democratic incembent U.S. Sen. Doug Jones.

Democrats spent tens of millions of dollars to try to unseat Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in Kentucky and Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Lyndsey Graham in South Carolina, but both Republican incumbents easily won reelection.

And efforts to unseat Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins in Maine were slipping as Collins held a 35,000 vote advantage over Democratic challenger Sara Gideon into Wednesday morning with 30 percent of precincts still to be counted.

As of Wednesday morning, Republicans and Democrats each claimed 47 seats, but Republicans were favored in a majority of the uncalled six races with hundreds of thousands of votes still to be counted.