Democrats kept control of the U.S. Senate on Tuesday night, taking over hotly contested Republican seats in Massachusetts and Indiana while holding on to most of those they already had, including in Virginia and Missouri.
While the result was no surprise, Republicans had given themselves an even chance of winning a majority, so the night represented a disappointment for them and was in part the self-inflicted result of internal battles waged in the party.
Had conservative Republican Richard Mourdock not defeated veteran moderate Richard Lugar in Indiana's primary, for example, that seat might have stayed in Republican hands instead of being won by Democrat Joe Donnelly on Tuesday.
Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill, who also won on Tuesday, had been considered a vulnerable Democrat until conservative Todd Akin won the state's primary.
Akin and Mourdock stumbled badly with remarks about abortion that were interpreted as unsympathetic to rape victims.
The election left the Senate somewhat more polarized, with fewer moderates generally, more conservatives among the Republicans and more liberals among the Democrats. FULL POST