Election Returns 2020: Who Will Win Control of the Senate? - Rolling Stone
Home Politics Politics News

Live Updates: Who Will Win Control of the Senate?

Democratic hopes of taking back the chamber are dwindling — but the outcome may not be decided until January

UNITED STATES - JULY 28: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., conducts a news conference after the Senate Republican Policy luncheon in Hart Building on Tuesday, July 28, 2020. Mark Meadows, White House chief of staff, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, attended the lunch. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via AP Images)

The Democrats need to win three seats in the Senate (four if Trump wins) to take control of the chamber and oust Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/AP Images

Control of the Senate will come down to Georgia.

The math is not complicated. In the current Senate, Republicans hold a three-seat advantage, 53-47. With Biden as president elect (and Kamala Harris set to preside as Senate tie-breaker) Democrats need a net gain of three seats to control the chamber. 

The election has been rough for Democrats and Republicans now control at least 50 seats. Democratic wins in Arizona and Colorado, and a loss in Alabama, Democrats have only netted one seat so far. The party failed to capture top contests in Maine, Iowa, North Carolina, and Montana. Can Democrats still pick up two seats?

It’s possible because of the Peach State, where both senate contests now appear to be headed for runoff elections, to be held on January 5th. 

Here’s where the 16 races we were following on election night stand:


Georgia 1
Republican incumbent Sen. David Perdue has a narrow lead over Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff. But his share of the vote appears to be just below 50 percent, putting this contest on the path to a runoff. Perdue’s campaign manager acknowledged this reality putting out a statement saying his candidate was “excited for overtime.” (An Associated Press projection made the Perdue/Ossoff runoff official Friday night.)

Georgia 2
Tuesday night’s election functioned as a primary for this special election, created by the retirement of GOP Sen. Johnny Isakson late last year. Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler, the appointed incumbent, now will face off with Democrat Rev. Raphael Warnock, according to projections by the AP.



Former NASA astronaut (and husband to former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords) Mark Kelly has defeated the appointed incumbent Sen. Martha McSallywho has the dubious distinction of losing before Arizona voters in 2018 and 2020. (Projection by the Associated Press.)

Former Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper has defeated GOP incumbent Sen. Cory Gardner, according to a projection by the AP.


Democratic incumbent Sen. Doug Jones has lost his seat to former college football coach Tommy Tuberville, according to a projection by the AP.


Incumbent Democrat Sen. Gary Peters narrowly beat out GOP challenger John James, a charismatic Army vet, according to an AP projection.


GOP incumbent Sen. Dan Sullivan beat out doctor and commercial fisherman Al Gross, according to an AP projection. Track results here.

GOP incumbent Sen. Joni Ernst has defeated Democrat Theresa Greenfield, according to an AP projection.

This was an open race to replace retiring GOP Sen. Pat Roberts. Republican Rep. Roger Marshall, a Kansas congressman, has defeated Democrat Barbara Bollier, according to a projection by the AP.

Republican incumbent Mitch McConnell has defeated lavishly funded challenger Amy McGrath, according to a projection by the AP.

GOP stalwart Sen. Susan Collins appears to have clung on to win a fifth term. Challenger Sara Gideon has conceded.

Democrat Mike Espy has lost to incumbent GOP Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, according to a projection by the AP.

Outgoing Democratic Governor Steve Bullock, who briefly ran for the Democratic presidential nomination, has lost to incumbent Republican Sen. Steve Daines, according to a projection by AP.

North Carolina
A week after election day, Democrat Cal Cunningham, a lawyer and Army Reserve officer, conceded to Republican incumbent Sen. Thom Tillis.

South Carolina
Republican incumbent Lindsey Graham has held on to his seat and defeated Democrat Jamie Harrison, according to a projection by the AP.  

Republican incumbent John Cornyn has claimed victory in Texas, where his Democratic opponent MJ Hegar has reportedly conceded.

Holding the powerful to account isn’t cheap. Support Rolling Stone’s award-winning political coverage with a digital subscription. Click here to subscribe.

In This Article: 2020 election, Mitch McConnell, Senate


Powered by
Arrow Created with Sketch. Calendar Created with Sketch. Path Created with Sketch. Shape Created with Sketch. Plus Created with Sketch. minus Created with Sketch.