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Democrats’ path to Senate leadership looks increasingly unlikely

CBS News on Tuesday projected that Alaska Senator Dan Sullivan had won reelection, bringing the Republican Senate seat total to 50. This Democrats’ path to a majority in the Senate looks increasingly unlikely, with two runoff elections in Georgia in January set to determine the partisan balance of the chamber.

In Georgia’s special election for incumbent Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler’s seat, she advanced to a runoff along with Democrat Raphael Warnock. In Georgia, incumbent Republican Senator David Perdue’s vote share dipped below 50%, meaning that he will face Democratic challenger in the upcoming runoff election. The runoff will be on January 5.

Democrats have picked up two seats held by Republicans, in Colorado and Arizona, but Republicans had picked up one Democratic-held seat in Alabama.

In many high-profile races, Democrats had significantly outraised Republicans, especially in Maine, Arizona and South Carolina, where all three challengers had shattered the previous fundraising record for a three-month period. 

Republicans held onto seats in Maine, Montana, Texas, South Carolina, North Carolina and Iowa that Democrats had hoped to flip.

The balance of the next Senate so far is 50 to 48. Democrats would need to win both the Georgia races to reach a 50-50 split, and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris would break any tie.

Democrats had also hoped to expand their House majority as well, but they had not gained seats they had aggressively targeted.

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