In the final analysis of Tuesday’s national elections, the Democrats will retain their majority in the Senate and slightly expand their lead. They had a 53-47 margin before the election, and now it is 54- 45, or 55-45 if Independent Angus king caucuses with them, as he most likely will.
The Republicans lost two seats that they likely should have won: in Indiana, where Richard Mourdock lost to Joe Donnelly, and Missouri, where Todd Akin lost to Claire McCaskill. In both of those cases, remarks related to abortion seemed to dog the Republican candidates and contribute to their downfall.
The Democrats also picked up seats in Massachusetts, where Elizabeth Warren defeated Scott Brown, which only meant Massachusetts reverted to form, and Maine, where Angus King replaced ultra-liberal Republican Olympia Snowe. The Republicans picked up a seat in Nebraska, where Tea Party favorite Deb Fischer took over for retiring Democrat Ben Nelson, and Ted Cruz eased to victory in Texas after a tight primary battle with fellow Republican David Dewhurst.
In all the other races where Democrats were expected to win, they did; in Arizona, which leaned GOP, Jeff Flake, the Republican, won. As expected, Democrats Sherrod Brown in Ohio, Robert Casey in Pennsylvania, Jon Tester in Montana, and Bill Nelson in Florida won reelection. Christopher Murphy in Connecticut won the seat held by former Democrat Joe Lieberman, and Heidi Heitkamp barely won the seat held by retiring Democrat Kent Conrad. Tim Kaine won the Democrat seat in Virginia; Tammy Baldwin won the Wisconsin seat held by Democrat Herb Kohl.
Republican Dean Heller kept his seat in Nevada.
In the long run, the Senate’s composition is slightly more Democratic, but there is no significant difference.