The balance of power was likely to shift by no more than a seat or two, if at all. Neither record-low job approval ratings nor an avalanche of campaign spending appeared able to shake the dynamic that made the last Congress the most partisan since the Civil War.
"That's the sort of sad state of affairs: You're not going to have much change in Congress," said
Republicans had high hopes of wresting control of the Senate from Democrats, as
Democrats had nearly two dozen seats to defend, twice as many as Republicans, who needed four seats to tip the 53-47 balance — or three if
But the decision by Republican leaders to stay out of the primary process ceded the field to
Republicans also lost their marquee race in Massachusetts, where Sen.
At the same time, Democratic candidates held their own in key swing states. In Ohio, one of the most liberal Democrats, Sen.
In Wisconsin, Democrat
However, Montana's Democratic Sen.
One critical battleground, Virginia, was a race between two political giants,
With the once-broad playing field narrowed, the chance for a wholesale makeover in the Senate, and with it a mandate for governing, slipped away from the Republicans.
Conservative Republican Senate candidates
Missouri's Democratic Sen.
One key GOP-held seat was in Nevada, where Sen.
The Republican strongholds of Nebraska and North Dakota had been considered easy flips to the GOP column with the retirement of Democratic senators.
In Nebraska, former Democratic Sen. Bob Kerrey, once the governor, was unable to make a comeback against Republican Deb Fischer, a
A record number of women ran for the Senate. Hawaii's Democratic Rep.
Perhaps one race brought the most uncertainty: In Maine, the independent former governor, Angus King, has declined to say which party he would caucus with, although he is expected to join Democrats. On Tuesday, he claimed the seat held by retiring Republican Sen.