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US Election 2020: Democrats’ hopes of gaining control of Senate fade

Democrats are rapidly losing hope of gaining control of the US Senate after underperforming in key states.

Controlling the Senate would have allowed them to either obstruct or push through the next president’s agenda.

The party had high hopes of gaining the four necessary seats in Congress’s upper chamber, but many Republican incumbents held their seats.

The Democrats are projected to retain their majority in the lower chamber, the House, but with some key losses.

With many votes still to be counted, the final outcome for both houses may not be known for some time.

Among the disappointments for the Democrats was the fight for the seat in Maine, where Republican incumbent Susan Collins staved off a fierce challenge from Democrat Sara Gideon.

However, the night did see a number of firsts – including the first black openly LGBTQ people ever elected to Congress and the first openly transgender state senator.

This year’s congressional election is running alongside the battle for the White House between Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger Joe Biden.

The Democrats had hoped to flip the Republicans’ 53-47 majority in the Senate – giving them the power to obstruct the plans of a second-term President Trump or push through the agenda of a first-term President Biden.

Of the 35 Senate seats up for grabs, 23 were Republican-held and 12 were Democrat.

Senators serve six-year terms, and every two years a third of the seats are up for re-election. Democrats have not had control of the Senate for six years.

Who are the winners and losers?
Maine Democrats had high hopes of unseating Susan Collins, the 67-year-old moderate Republican who had been trailing her Democrat rival in the polls for months.

But Susan Gideon, 48, conceded defeat in a call to Ms Collins on Wednesday afternoon.

So far, Democrats have managed a net gain of one seat in the Senate election.

Democratic former governor John Hickenlooper won a key Colorado seat from the Republican incumbent Cory Gardner.

Mr Hickenlooper, who stood for the Democratic nomination for president, was governor of Colorado for two terms from 2011 until last year. His rival was considered particularly vulnerable because of his allegiance to President Trump.

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