Royal Oak Tribune

Democrats’ Senate drive halted by Republican­s, though control teeters

- By Lisa Mascaro and Mary Clare Jalonick

WASHINGTON » Democrats had a disappoint­ing night in the battle for Senate control, but it was too soon for Republican­s to take a victory lap Wednesday, although they brushed back multiple challenger­s to protect their now teetering majority.

Key races in North Carolina and Maine remained undecided, and at least one in Georgia was headed to a January runoff. Michigan Sen. Gary Peters narrowly defeated Republican challenger John James.

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.

Election Night delivered a jarring outcome for Democrats who had devised an expanded political map, eager to counter Trump and his party’s grip on the Senate.

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 Democrats’ hopes to make inroads.

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