GOP projected to take control of the Senate

Nov 4, 2014 10:46 PM by News Staff

Results of the midterm elections so far suggest the night is shaping up well for Republicans, according to the CBS News decision desk.

The GOP has picked up two key Senate seats previously held by Democrats, in Colorado and Arkansas, and has held onto two key seats in Kansas and Georgia.

The Republican Party needs to pick up six seats in the Senate to take control of the chamber for the first time since 2006. Control of the Senate will be determined by the outcome of nine competitive races: Georgia, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Iowa, Kansas, Alaska, Louisiana, Colorado and Arkansas.

Meanwhile, in Kentucky, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is projected to defeat his Democratic challenger, Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes. Should he win a sixth term in office and Republicans win control of the Senate, McConnell may also become the Senate's next majority leader.

Additionally, the CBS News decision desk now projects that the GOP will keep control of the House, with a 226 to 171 majority.

Most of the competitive governor's races remain hotly contested, even though polls began closing at 7 p.m. ET. But CBS News projects that Republican Scott Walker has won re-election as Wisconsin governor in his third election in the last four years. He was first elected in 2010, and then faced a recall election in 2012 after he moved to strip Wisconsin public workers of their collective bargaining rights. In Georgia, Republican Gov. Nathan Deal is projected to defeat Democrat Jason Carter, the grandson of former President Jimmy Carter.

In Arkansas, the CBS News decision desk is projecting that Republican Rep. Tom Cotton will defeat Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor, giving Republicans their first major Senate pick-up of the night. Republicans are projected to score another major victory in Colorado, where Rep. Cory Gardner is projected to defeat Democratic Sen. Mark Udall.

In a victory for Democrats, incumbent Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire is projected to win re-election, defeating Republican Scott Brown.

2014 Midterm Elections
Tom Cotton projected to defeat Sen. Mark Pryor in Arkansas
Mitch McConnell projected to win Kentucky Senate race
In what's sure to be a relief for Republicans, incumbent GOP Sen. Pat Roberts is projected to defeat his independent challenger Greg Orman. The race became unexpectedly close after the Democratic challenger dropped out of the race, leaving Orman as the main contender against Roberts.

Republican scored another victory in Georgia, where David Perdue is projected to win the Senate race to replace retiring Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss, after a close contest against Democrat Michelle Nunn.

Democrats had high hopes for Nunn, and earlier in the evening, the demographics of the Georgia electorate appeared to be in her favor. About 30 percent of the electorate Tuesday was African-American, the same as in 2012, and they broke 93 percent to 6 percent for Nunn.

The competitive race could have also stemmed from the candidates' efforts to side-step important issues. Half of Georgia voters say that health care reform - on which Nunn has avoided taking a position - has gone too far. Meanwhile, 57 percent of voters favor raising the minimum wage, an issue on which Perdue has not taken a definitive stand.

Over half of Georgia voters disapprove of the job Mr. Obama is doing as president, but at the same time, a substantial 44 percent plurality say that the president did not factor into their vote today. Additionally both Mr. Obama and Republicans in Congress receive negative marks. As many as 59 percent are dissatisfied or angry with Mr. Obama, and 64 percent feel that way about congressional Republicans.

Republicans are projected to pick up three more Senate seats -- as expected -- in Montana, South Dakota and West Virginia. In West Virginia, Republican Rep. Shelley Moore Capito is projected to defeat Democrat Natalie Tennant. Capito and Tennant were vying to replace retiring Sen. Jay Rockefeller, a Democrat. In South Dakota, CBS News is projecting that Republican Mike Rounds will be the next senator from South Dakota, replacing retiring Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson.

In Montana, Republican Steve Daines is projected to defeat Democrat Amanda Curtis in the race to replace incumbent Sen. John Walsh, a Democrat. Walsh dropped his re-election bid after evidence emerged that he plagiarized a paper.

In North Carolina, there is no call yet in the competitive Senate race against Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan and her GOP challenger Thom Tillis.

In Ohio, Republican Gov. John Kasich is projected to win re-election.

Voters who have gone to the polls so far this Election Day are dissatisfied with both President Obama and the Republicans in Congress, exit polling shows. They are also very pessimistic about the economy, with 38 percent saying they are very worried about the economy and another 40 percent saying they are somewhat worried about it. Only 35 percent feel the economy is getting better, while a nearly equal 31 percent say it is getting worse. Nearly two-thirds believe the U.S. economic system favors the wealthy. And half of voters believe the economy will be worse for the next generation.

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