(CNN) – Republicans may be on the verge of pulling off what was, until now, politically unthinkable: a GOP win in the race to fill longtime liberal lion Ted Kennedy's U.S. Senate seat.
Tuesday's special election is now deadlocked, according to a new poll.
President Barack Obama will campaign in Massachusetts Sunday to try to help save the seat for the Democrats, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said.
A GOP victory in the overwhelmingly Democratic state could give Senate Republicans enough votes to block Obama's health care plan. It could also shatter assumptions about the competitiveness of politics in the progressive northeast.
No Republican has a won a U.S. Senate seat in Massachusetts since 1972.
(CNN) - Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York holds a double digit lead over a potential Democratic challenger, according to a new poll.
Former Rep. Harold Ford Jr. of Tennessee this week announced he's considering a primary challenge to Gillibrand, a former congresswoman from upstate New York who was was named a year ago to replace Sen. Hillary Clinton, who stepped down from her Senate seat after being confirmed as secretary of state. Gillibrand is running this year to serve the final two years of Clinton's term. Ford, a former five-term congressman who narrowly lost a 2006 bid for the Senate in Tennessee, now lives in New York.
A Marist College poll released Friday indicates that Gillibrand leads Ford 43 to 24 percent in a hypothetical Democratic party primary match up, with 33 percent undecided.
"Gillibrand has an early lead, but she still has a lot of ground to cover," says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of Marist Institute for Public Opinion. "She's below 50 percent against Ford, and a third of Democrats is undecided. Her approval rating among Democrats statewide is only 31 percent."
(CNN) - President Barack Obama's making a personal pitch for fellow Democrat Martha Coakley in next Tuesday's Senate election in Massachusetts.
The president is putting out e-mail and Web video in support of Coakley, the Massachusetts attorney general, who's running in the special election to serve the final three years of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy's term. The e-mail and video will be sent out Thursday to the Massachusetts distribution list of Organizing for America, the president's political arm at the Democratic National Committee.
"I am supporting Martha Coakley. As your attorney general, she's taken on Wall Street schemes, insurance company abuses, and big polluters," Obama says in the e-mail. "She'll be your voice, and my ally. And she needs your help."
At stake is the Democrats supermajority in the Senate. If Republican state Sen. Scott Brown wins, the Democrats lose their 60 seat filibuster-proof coalition in the chamber, threatening their chances of passing the health care reform bill Obama hopes to sign into law.
(CNN) – The political fistfight in Massachusetts to fill the last three years of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy's seat is also turning into a big bucks battle.
With five days left until Bay State residents vote in Tuesday's special election, both sides are publicizing the campaign cash they've raised in the past few days.
A Wednesday on-line fundraising pitch by the late senator's widow, Vicki Kennedy, for the Democratic candidate, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, has brought in more than $600,000 as of early Thursday, according to a source close to the campaign.
The campaign of Republican candidate Scott Brown, a state senator, announced Tuesday that a fundraising pitch raised $1.3 million over a 24-hour period.
(CNN) – Democratic congressman Mark Udall has won the U.S. Senate seat in Colorado now held by retiring Republican Sen. Wayne Allard, CNN projects.
If perennially-embattled incumbent Allard hadn't retired, Udall - son of legendary Arizona politician Mo Udall - would still have held the advantage in this traditionally-Republican state. Udall's liberalism on social issues might have cost him in a typical cycle. But Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama's popularity in the state, and the general anti-GOP climate, instead posed insurmountable obstacles for Republican Rep. Bob Schaffer.
Udall was painted as too liberal, and Schaffer too conservative, as both vied for the independent vote in a closely-fought contest. But as the campaign moved into the homestretch, Udall began to pull ahead - and Republicans wrote off Schaffer's chances weeks ago.
NEW YORK (CNN) - Republicans in Pennsylvania hoped to snatch two seats in the House of Representatives from Democrats on Tuesday. Not only did they fail, but the GOP wound up losing one of its own.
In District 3, Rep. Phil English lost his re-election bid to Democrat Kathy Dahlkemper.
Sixteen-term Democrat John Murtha staved off a challenge from Republican challenger William Russell in District 12, even after Murtha called his own constituents "racist" and "redneck." And Republicans eyed the District 11 seat held by Democratic Rep. Paul Kanjorski - and put up Republican Lou Barletta against him - but fell short.
(CNN) - CNN projects Republican Sen. Roger Wicker held on to his seat Tuesday night, winning Mississippi's special Senate election.
Former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott's appointed successor had faced a tough fight from former Democratic Gov. Ronnie Musgrove. Party identification is not included on the ballot in Mississippi, so a projected surge in African-American and Democratic voters was not expected to have the same impact as it did elsewhere.
(CNN) – CNN is projecting that incumbent Mary Landrieu has won re-election in Louisiana.
Landrieu held a dubious distinction this cycle as the only Democratic senator to face a real re-election threat. The two-term senator - whose two victories have been won by razor-thin margins - faced her toughest opponent yet in state Treasurer John Kennedy.
The Democrat-turned-Republican had the support of Louisiana's popular GOP governor, Bobby Jindal, in a state that strongly supported John McCain.
Republicans had poured hundreds of thousand of dollars into ad buys in the state, pointing to last-minute poll numbers that suggested the race was tightening. But the cash-rich Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spent even more, and Landrieu entered Tuesday a heavy favorite.
NEW YORK (CNN) – Florida is seeing some of its House seats switch parties. Thus far, two seats have flipped from Republican to Democratic hands.
In District 8, Republican Congressman Ric Keller has lost his re-election bid to Democrat Alan Grayson.
In District 24, Republican Congressman Tom Feeney was defeated by Democrat Suzanne Kosmas.
But in Florida District 16, the shift went the other way. Democratic Congressman Tim Mahoney lost to Republican challenger Tom Rooney.
(CNN) – CNN projects that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will hold on to his Senate seat - a blow for Democrats looking to capture a filibuster-proof 60-seat majority - and will look to retain his leadership position, despite his party's losses this evening.
Even before McConnell's victory seemed secure, his spokesman Don Stewart told CNN the senator was looking to hold on to his post as Senate Minority Leader.
While there is no known opposition to McConnell keeping his leadership post, it's not uncommon for rank and file members to replace their leaders after suffering significant party losses - as appears to be the case for Senate Republicans tonight.
McConnell sat atop the list of Democratic targets this year. The four-term senator won his last re-election bid with 65 percent of the vote - but the tough climate facing Republican incumbents, coupled with support for the financial bailout unpopular with his constituents, made for a tough race against businessman Bruce Lunsford.
Republicans had said they'd found a winning formula in McConnell's race: Connect Lunsford to Barack Obama, who lost the state to Hillary Clinton by a wide margin during the Democratic primary season, and repeated that showing Tuesday night. Lunsford lost a gubernatorial bid last year, but the Democratic Party had higher hopes for him this time, funding an extensive ad buy in the state (though not as extensive as McConnell: a GOP source said the senator had bought up "every available second" of ad airtime.) The race tightened considerably as Democrats painted McConnell as an advocate of de-regulation - but the incumbent was still favored Tuesday.
House Majority Leader John Boehner of Ohio also said tonight he will seek another term as the top Republican in the House. If Boehner also wins, McConnell and Boehner would be the top elected Republicans in the country.