NBC News: Republicans maintain control of the Senate as Ted Cruz wins Texas
Republicans maintained control of the Senate Tuesday as Sen. Ted Cruz won reelection against Democratic challenger Beto O'Rourke in one of the most closely watched races in the country, NBC News projects.
Cruz held off a strong challenge from O'Rourke, the 45-year-old congressman from El Paso. O'Rourke's unique campaign style and wildly successful fundraising — he raised more than $70 million in his bid for Senate — made the race highly watched, even as the Democrat trailed in the polls.
Democrats have not won a statewide election in Texas since 1994.
With 79 percent of the vote tallied, Cruz was leading O'Rourke 51 percent to 48.4 percent.
ICYMI: Democrats win back House, GOP keeps Senate — and other top takeaways
Thank you so much for tuning in to our election night live blog. We saw a lot happen, but we are still waiting on results in a number of races.
Here are some of the top takeaways:
- NBC projects that the Democrats have won a majority in the House of Representatives. Republicans will remain in control of the Senate, and grew their majority by several seats.
- Powered by a suburban revolt against Trump, Democrats reclaimed a majority in the House, and scored a string of upsets in doing so. By 6:30 a.m. ET on Wednesday, the party had picked up 28 seats in the House, more than the 23 needed to take the majority, with many West Coast results still outstanding. Fourteen seats remained uncalled.
- Republicans successfully defended Senate seats in Texas and Tennessee, while also picking up seats in Indiana, Missouri and North Dakota. After an overnight nailbiter, Democratic Sen. Jon Tester won re-election in Montana, NBC News projected Wednesday.
- In gubernatorial races, Democrats made some key gains even as Andrew Gillum in Florida was defeated and Stacey Abrams in Georgia was trailing. Democrats won in Wisconsin — defeating Trump ally and former Republican presidential candidate Scott Walker — as well as Illinois, Minnesota, Colorado and Nevada.
- There were many historic firsts.
- A record number of women were elected to the House of Representatives. As of early Wednesday, at least 95 women had won seats, breaking the current session's record of 84 women.
But by 2:04 p.m. ET Wednesday, there were still several races without outcomes because they remained "too close to call." They include:
In the Alaska gubernatorial race, which was considered "too early to call" in the early hours of the morning Wednesday, Republican Mike Dunleavy is the apparent winner, NBC News projects. In the Connecticut gubernatorial race, which was considered "too close to call" overnight, Democrat Ned Lamont is the apparent winner, NBC News projects.
Thanks again for joining us, and don't forget check back with NBCNews.com for updated coverage.
NBC News: Jon Tester wins in Montana Senate race
Two-term Democratic incumbent Sen. Jon Tester is the apparent winner in the Montana Senate race, NBC News projects Wednesday, defeating Republican challenger Matt Rosendale.
The projection came Wednesday afternoon, most than 12 hours after polls closed in state closed. Tester and Rosendale, the Republican state auditor, had been locked in a neck-and-neck race.
With 99 percent of the votes in the state tallied, Tester led Rosendale 49.1 percent to 48 percent with Libertarian Party candidate Rick Breckenridge getting 2.9 percent.
President Donald Trump had campaigned hard in the state against Tester — he held a rally for Rosendale just days before Election Day — hitting the incumbent for his involvement in thwarting the nomination of his choice to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs, White House physician Ronny Jackson.
Nevada voters scrap 'pink tax' on tampons, sanitary napkins
Nevada's "pink tax" on feminine hygiene products has been repealed, NBC News projected early Wednesday.
Voters were asked whether tampons and sanitary napkins should be exempt from sales and use tax.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that opponents said the exemption could result in the loss of $900,000 to $1.3 million in sales-tax revenue each year.
Fourteen other states do not subject feminine hygiene products to a sales tax, according to the Tax Foundation, an independent tax policy nonprofit.
Scott Walker loses bid for third term as Wisconsin's governor
Former Republican presidential candidate and Trump ally Scott Walker was defeated in his bid for a third term as Wisconsin's governor.
NBC News declared Democrat Tony Evers as the apparent winner at 3:30 a.m. ET.
Speaking of his race, Walker last week said that "whether it was Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama or now Donald Trump" any president's first midterm election is "tough."
A NBC/Marist poll published on Oct. 11 found that 45 percent of likely voters in Wisconsin approved of Trump's job performance, while 50 percent disapproved. Trump narrowly won the state in 2016.
NBC News: Rosen beats Heller in Nevada Senate race
Democrat Rep. Jacky Rosen has defeated Republican incumbent Sen. Dean Heller in the Nevada Senate race, NBC News projects.
With 93 percent of the Silver State's vote tallied, Rosen, a congresswoman representing the state's 3rd Congressional District, was leading Heller 50 percent to 45.8 percent.
Rosen's win would mark the only pick-up of a Republican-held Senate seat by a Democratic candidate in the 2018 midterm elections.
Moments before NBC News called the race, Heller called Rosen to concede. Rosen then declared victory in a speech in Las Vegas, tell cheering supporters that she loved them, too, before vowing to get to work.
NBC News: Wisconsin gubernatorial race too close to call
The Wisconsin gubernatorial race between incumbent Republican two-term Gov. Scott Walker and Democratic challenger Tony Evers is too close to call, according to NBC News.
With 93 percent of the vote in the Badger State tallied, Evers, the state schools superintendent, was leading Walker 49.1 percent to 48.9 percent.
Under a bill signed into law by Walker in 2017, any candidate in an election where more than 4,000 votes were cast can demand a recount if he or she lost by 1 percentage point or less.
Nelson to deliver 'full statement' tomorrow, campaign says
Three-term Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida, trailing Republican challenger Rick Scott by more than 55,000 votes as of 12:50 a.m. ET, will make a "full statement tomorrow," a campaign spokesperson said early Wednesday.
“This is obviously not the result Senator Nelson's campaign has worked hard for," the spokesperson said. "The senator will be making a full statement tomorrow to thank all those who rallied for his cause."
Moments earlier, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement that President Donald Trump had made congratulatory calls to winning Republican Senate candidates, including Scott.
The race is too close to call, according to an NBC News projection.
With 99 percent of the vote tallied, Scott, the outgoing GOP governor, had 50.3 percent of the vote, while Nelson had 49.7 percent. However, Florida has a mandatory recount rule if candidates are within 0.5 percent of each other.
If Scott wins, it would add to the GOP's growing cushion in the Senate. Republicans had, as of 12:30 a.m. ET, successfully held several seats they were defending (including in Tennessee and Texas) and picked up two other seats held by Democrats in Indiana and Missouri.
Mitt Romney in victory speech remembers slain Utah Mayor Maj. Brent Taylor
In his victory speech Tuesday, Mitt Romney remembered the Utah mayor who was killed last week while serving with the National Guard in Afghanistan.
Romney, the Republican presidential nominee in 2012 and the former governor of Massachusetts, defeated Democrat Jenny Wilson to win election to the Senate, NBC News projected.
"Now quite seriously, an unfathomable price in patriot blood was paid to give us the right to vote. This week that price was paid again," he told supporters. "Major Brett Taylor — husband, father of seven and mayor of North Ogden - gave the last full measure of devotion for freedom’s cause."
"In his last post on Facebook he quoted President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who said this: 'In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed. It must be achieved,'" Romney said. "Thank you, Major Taylor, and thank you to all of those who serve our country in the cause of freedom."
Taylor, 39, the mayor of North Ogden, was killed Saturday in an apparent "insider attack" while serving with his unit in Kabul, which is helping to train Afghan defense forces.
Michigan goes green
Michigan voters on Tuesday approved legalized marijuana for recreational use, NBC News projected, as 58 percent of the state's residents chose "yes" on "Proposal 1," with 55.7 percent of the vote tallied.
Michigan already had a sizable medical marijuana industry, but Tuesday's vote means residents 21 and older can now consume the drug and grow up to 12 plants for personal use.
The state will also be able to issue licenses for dispensaries and other marijuana-related businesses, with taxes on the businesses projected to bring in $112 million to $275 million a year, according to estimates collected by The Detroit Free Press.
Michigan becomes the 10th state to legalize recreational marijuana.
NBC News: Republican Josh Hawley defeats Sen. Claire McCaskill in Missouri
Republican Josh Hawley, Missouri’s attorney general, defeated Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill, NBC News projects.
McCaskill swept into office with a little less than 50 percent of the vote in 2006's Democratic wave, but this year faced a tough challenger in Hawley in the state that had been trending toward Republicans.
McCaskill was the first member of Congress to endorse Hillary Clinton for president in 2016 and has built a reputation for defending Democratic policies.
Hawley's win is a Republican pickup as the GOP retains control of the Senate.
Mississippi special Senate election heads to runoff, NBC News projects
The Senate special election in Mississippi between Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith, Democrat Mike Espy and two other candidates will head to a Nov. 27 runoff, NBC News projects.
Hyde-Smith and Espy will advance to the runoff.
Under Mississippi state rules, if no candidate gets 50 percent of the vote, the top two head to a one-on-one runoff.
With 80 percent of the vote in the state tallied, Espy, a former U.S. secretary of agriculture, led appointed-incumbent Hyde-Smith with 41.2 percent to her 40.4 percent.
Republican Chris McDaniel had 16.9 percent, while Democrat Tobey Bartee had 1.5 percent.
Hyde-Smith was appointed in April to the Senate seat that being vacated by Thad Cochran, who resigned due to poor health.
The special Senate election is different from the state's other Senate race, which saw Republican Roger Wicker win re-election Tuesday night.