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GOP narrowly retains control of Senate

Hillary Clinton, Carnahan win seats

Senators discuss the China trade bill on the floor of the Senate  

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- It went down to the wire, but the Republican party managed to retain control of the U.S. Senate.

The GOP was pushed over the top by the victory of the Bush-Cheney presidential ticket as well as Senator Conrad Burns' late victory in Montana. Burns defeated businessman Brian Schweitzer, offsetting a similarly late win by Nebraska's Democratic Governor Ben Nelson over Attorney General Don Stenberg.

By race:
Ballot Measures

CNN's Chris Black breaks down the race for open seats in the Senate (November 5)

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The states

The Republicans maintained control despite two historic Senate wins by Democrats -- First Lady Hillary Clinton in New York and the late Mel Carnahan in Missouri.

Missouri Gov. Roger Wilson, a Democrat who replaced Carnahan, has since said he would appoint Carnahan's widow, Jean, to fill Carnahan's seat. Saying her husband's values, vision and ideals are "just too important to let die," Jean Carnahan has agreed to take her late husband's seat.

"It looks like we will be able to hold the majority," Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Mississippi said as the results trickled in.

Top Senate races

With 34 U.S. Senate seats in play, most incumbents ended the night in good shape.

A record-setting 11 women will serve in the U.S. Senate.

Republican John Ensign, a former congressman, defeated Democrat Ed Bernstein in Nevada. With this decision, the Democrats have picked up three open seats: Florida, New Jersey and New York.

Ensign replaces retiring Sen. Richard Bryan, a two-term Democrat.

Hillary Clinton, wife of U.S. President Bill Clinton, captured the open U.S. Senate seat in New York, defeating Republican challenger Rep. Rick Lazio.

Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Lieberman is also now guaranteed a job after election day, no matter how the presidential race plays out.

Lieberman won a third term as the U.S. senator from Connecticut, beating out his Republican challenger, Waterbury Mayor Phillip Giordano.

Democrats picked up the only open Republican Senate seat when Florida Insurance Commissioner Bill Nelson beat out nine-term Congressman Bill McCollum.

In Delaware, William Roth, the powerful chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, was defeated by popular Delaware Gov. Tom Carper. The Democratic Carper has a lengthy political resume, having served five terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, and he is now finishing up his second term as governor.

Robb and Allen
Democratic Sen. Chuck Robb, left, and former Republican Gov. George Allen  

Incumbent Democrat Sen. Chuck Robb of Virginia was defeated by former Gov. George Allen. The race was among the most expensive contests in the Commonwealth's history. The campaign in some ways mirrored the presidential contest: personality counts. The sometimes-aloof Robb stood in contrast with voters to Allen's more personable manner.

Democrats also scored a victory in Georgia, where Sen. Zell Miller came out ahead of Republican former Sen. Mack Mattingly. Miller had been appointed to the seat in July after the death of Republican Sen. Paul Coverdell.

Richard Lugar handily beat his Indiana opponent, attorney David Johnson, to win a fifth term.

And Vermont incumbent Sen. Jim Jeffords beat out two opponents, Democrat Ed Flanagan and Independent Rick Hubbard, to win a third term in the Senate.

Open seats

In Florida, Nelson beat McCollum, one of the prosecutors in the impeachment trial of President Clinton, and independent Willie Logan. While McCollum didn't come under direct fire for his high-profile role in the impeachment, it left the impression that he is a conservative legislator in a state that is becoming more electorally diverse.

In New Jersey, home of the most expensive Senate race in history, Democrat John Corzine defeated Republican Bob Franks. Corzine, a former CEO of Goldman-Sachs, spent nearly $40 million to beat the four-term congressman.

Other races

  • Arizona Republican Sen. John Kyl did not face a Democratic Party challenger in his re-election bid and won handily. He was running against three third-party candidates -- the Green Party's Vance Hansen; Barry Hess, a Libertarian; and William Toel, an independent.

  • California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat, won a second full term. The popular senior senator defeated Congressman Bill Campbell, a Republican from Silicon Valley.

  • In Hawaii, Democratic Sen. Daniel Akaka defeated Republican John Carroll.

  • Maine Sen. Olympia Snowe, a Republican, bested her challenger, Democratic state Sen. Mark Lawrence. Snowe led in statewide polls by more than 50 points and some say Lawrence was only using this race to boost his name recognition as he prepares to mount a 2002 challenge to the state's other Republican Sen. Susan Collins.

  • Maryland Sen. Paul Sarbanes, a Democrat, easily defeated his Republican challenger Paul Rappaport.

  • Massachusetts Sen. Edward Kennedy was elected to his seventh term in the Senate as he faces token opposition from Republican Jack E. Robinson and Libertarian Carla Howell. The Republican Party all but abandoned Robinson after he laid out his entire, foible-laced personal history on the Internet.

  • Mississippi Republican Sen. Trent Lott defeated Democratic challenger Troy Brown. Lott, the Senate majority leader, bested Brown in fund-raising by some $2.5 million and the race was perceived as such a sure thing that no polling was performed.

  • New Mexico Democrat Jeff Bingaman bested his Republican challenger, former Rep. Bill Redmond.

  • North Dakota Sen. Kent Conrad, a Democrat, easily defeated Republican challenger Duane Sand, a young and inexperienced candidate who served in the Navy.

  • Ohio's Mike DeWine became the first Republican senator from that state to win re-election since 1952 after beating Democratic real estate broker Ted Celeste. Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, a Republican, defeated Democratic challenger Ron Klink, a four-term congressman.

  • Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, a Republican, defeated Democratic challenger Ron Klink, a four-term congressman.

  • Rhode Island Republican Sen. Lincoln Chafee won his first full six-year term. Chafee was appointed to fulfill his father's term after his father, John Chafee, died in October 1999. The younger Chafee faced Democrat Bob Weygand, a two-term congressman and former lieutenant governor.

  • Tennessee has trended Republican in recent years, and incumbent Sen. Bill Frist -- the Senate's first physician in some 50 years -- prevailed over Democratic challenger Jeff Clark. Clark, a professor and political consultant, had a hard time gaining momentum.

  • In Texas, Democrat Gene Kelly, a retired Air Force lawyer, has lost to incumbent Republican Kay Bailey Hutchison.

  • Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, a Republican and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, won a fifth term over Democratic state Sen. Scott Howell.

  • Vermont Republican Jeffords defeated Flanagan, the first openly gay Senate candidate of either major party. The issue of gay civil unions has been a factor in this race as it has in other statewide contests.

  • West Virginia Democratic Sen. Robert Byrd won an eighth term after defeating Republican David Gallaher. A few days ago, Byrd became the second-longest serving member of the Senate in U.S. history, behind South Carolina Sen. Strom Thurmond.

  • In Wisconsin, Democratic Sen. Herb Kohl holds a large lead over Republican challenger John Gillespie. Kohl has spent some $3 million of his own money in this race and is considered a safe bet for re-election.

  • WIn Wisconsin, Democratic Sen. Herb Kohl defeated Republican challenger John Gillespie. Kohl has spent some $3 million of his own money in this race and is considered a safe bet for re-election.

  • Wyoming Republican Sen. Craig Thomas won a second term over Democratic challenger Mel Logan, a coal miner.

    In Missouri, Carnahan's widow vows to carry on husband's fight
    November 5, 2000
    Lazio, Clinton trade metaphors, issues in closing weekend of Senate campaign
    November 5, 2000

    U.S. Senate
    Mel Carnahan
    John Ashcroft
    Rick Lazio
    Hillary Clinton

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