Senate update: Control is still too close to call

Most of the focus this morning is on the presidential election, but several Senate races are undecided as well. What we know so far is that Democrats flipped two Republican seats in Colorado and Arizona while Republicans recaptured Jeff Sessions’ old seat in Alabama.

Republicans were able to retain seats in Iowa, Montana, and South Carolina, where Lindsey Graham survived a race that wasn’t that close after all. In Texas, John Cornyn also handily won re-election. The open Republican seat in Kansas was also retained by the GOP as expected.

Among the races still too close to call are Georgia, Maine, Michigan, and North Carolina. Here is a rundown on those races:

  • Georgia – Republican David Perdue leads Democrat Jon Ossoff by 3.9 points and just over 186,000 votes with 94 percent of precincts reporting. The big question here is whether Perdue can hold a big enough lead to avoid a runoff. He currently has 50.8 percent of the vote.
  • Georgia special election – This race is headed to a runoff as expected. Democrat Raphael Warnock led a crowded field with 31.9 percent of the vote. In second place was Republican Kelly Loeffler with 26.5 percent. Doug Collins finished third with 20.4 percent. Loeffler will likely be favored in the runoff, but if President Trump wins re-election, Democrats will be very motivated to win another Senate seat.
  • Maine – Republican Susan Collins leads by 8.4 percent but only 85 percent of precincts are reporting. There is still a chance for Sara Gideon to make up the 65,000 votes, but Collins looks likely to survive.
  • Michigan – In a real nailbiter, Democrat Gary Peters trails Republican challenger John James by only half a percent, about 26,800 votes with 93 percent of precincts reporting. As the state counts absentee ballots, there is a good chance that Peters will make up the difference but this one will go down to the wire.
  • North Carolina – Republican Thom Tillis leads Democrat Cal Cunningham by 1.8 percent and 96,700 votes with 93 percent reporting. There are many absentee ballots left to count, which could shift the race, but it appears that Cunningham’s adultery scandal may have cost him the election. Character still matters, at least sometimes.

At this point, it looks likely that Republicans will retain control of the Senate. Even though both sides are flipping seats, the net result might be that the balance of power remains unchanged.

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