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Carroll Rodgers of Suitland, Md., cleans the steps on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016, on election day. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

The Republicans retained control of both the House and the Senate


That's it, folks.

Donald Trump and Mike Pence are headed to the White House, the Republicans maintained control of both the House and the Senate, and we here at Circa are signing off for the night. 

What a historic night in U.S. history. 

UPDATE 3:35 a.m. EST:

Let's go through some of the initiatives that were on the ballot today.

As far as campaign finance goes, California, Oregon, South Dakota, and Washington all passed initiatives that deal with the influence of big money in state or county races.

Ranked choice voting was also up on the ballots in Maine and Oregon. RCV will give voters the power to rank candidates in order from favorite to least favorite. 

UPDATE 2:57 a.m. EST:

More Senate news now: 

In Alaska, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) retained her seat. 

The Republicans have now locked down the Executive and Legislative branches of the federal government. 

UPDATE 2:35 a.m. EST:

The Associated Press have just announced they've called the race in Donald Trump's favor.

This means that Republicans only need 50 Senate seats to retain control of the Senate, instead of 51. In the event of a tied vote, Vice President Mike Pence will be the deciding vote. 

The Republicans have now retained control of the Senate. 

UPDATE 1:42 a.m. EST:

One step closer. 

In Missouri, Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) retains his seat. 

UPDATE 1:23 a.m. EST:

And that's all folks. The Republicans have almost officially retained control of the U.S. Senate. 

In Pennsylvania, Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) has retained his seat. 

In Oregon, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) has retained his seat.

And with that Republican victory in Pennsylvania, the Dems' dream of retaking the Senate is dead, as long as Republicans win the Senate races in Louisiana and Alaska, as expected. 

UPDATE 12:29 a.m. EST: Republicans have the 218 seats necessary to hold the House.

The Republicans retained control of both the House and the Senate

WATCH | A Reuters exit poll reported that gun control is up from 2012. Two thirds of Americans are in support of gun control measures today. 

FILE - In this May 31, 2016, file photo, Nevada Democratic Senate candidate Catherine Cortez Masto meets with people at a campaign event at a restaurant in Las Vegas. Masto could be the first Latina while women could have a record number in the Senate, though nowhere near the number of the population at large. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

UPDATE 12:12 a.m. EST: In Senate news, Democratic candidate Catherine Cortez Masto has been elected to the U.S. Senate in Nevada, becoming the first Latina Senator in the history of the chamber. 

UPDATE 12:07 a.m. EST:

As it stands right now, we already know Republicans are set to retain control of the House of Representatives. 

But just how bad will the Democrats lose? At the time of writing, the Republicans lead the Democrats 211 seats to 148 seats. Only 218 seats are needed for control, and the Republicans look set to have that locked up.

There are still key races that could swing to the Democrats. But things are looking bad for the blue. 

UPDATE 11:44 p.m. EST:

And that's pretty much it. The Dems have virtually no way of retaking the Senate now. 

In Wisconsin, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) retains his seat, effectively killing the dream. The Republicans will in all likelihood retain control of the Senate. 

The Republicans retained control of both the House and the Senate

WATCH | Russ Feingold says he doesn't understand what's happening in the country tonight. 

Paul Ryan congratulated Johnson in this tweet. 

FILE - In this June 28, 2016 file photo California Attorney General Kamala Harris appears at a news conference in San Francisco. In the Democrat-against-Democrat Senate race, State Attorney General Kamala Harris entered Monday, Nov. 7, 2016, the last full day of campaigning as the favorite to replace retiring Sen. Barbara Boxer, a liberal icon who is stepping down after nearly a quarter century in the Senate. Her rival for the seat. Rep. Loretta Sanchez of Orange County, planned to make a final appeal for votes in downtown Los Angeles and Anaheim. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)

UPDATE 11:15 p.m. EST:

In historic Senate news, Kamala Harris has won Barbara Boxer's vacant Senate seat in California to become to first Indian-American senator in congressional history. 

UPDATE 11:11 p.m. EST:

Three more Senate races to report: 

In Washington, Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) retains her seat. 

In Idaho, Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID) retains his seat. 

In Hawaii, Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) retains his seat. 

UPDATE 10:57 p.m. EST:

Here's a non-surprise on a night full of surprises. 

Republican Sen. John McCain has been reelected to the Senate in his state in Arizona

McCain of course ran against then Sen. Barack Obama as the Republican candidate for president. Wonder where his head is tonight. 

In Colorado, Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) is expected to retain his seat. 

Some on Twitter are comparing McCain's run in 2008 to Trump's today. 

UPDATE 10:32 p.m. EST:

The Associated Press has now called the race for the Senate seat in North Carolina as well. 

Standing Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) has retained his seat in the Senate. This was another state that Democrats were hoping they might take. The dream of retaking the Senate might be all but dead for blue voters. 

UPDATE 10:27 p.m. EST: The Hill is calling the North Carolina Senate race for Burr.

UPDATE 10:24 p.m. EST:

In important House news, Republican Rep. Barbara Comstock is expected to retain her seat in Virginia's 10th congressional district. 

We mentioned earlier that this race would be a might good indicator of how Democrats would perform in wealthy, affluent districts. If that's true, this night is about to get a lot longer for Democrats watching the House. 

Her win is being met with some surprise, but not much. 

UPDATE 10:12 p.m. EST: CNN catches up to the rest of us. 

UPDATE 10:08 p.m. EST:

More Senate race results to report: 

In Utah, Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) retains his seat. 

In Iowa, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) retains his seat. 

Again, both seats were expected to go to red candidates. Republicans lead Democrats 44 to 41 in terms of Senate seats with many key races still reporting votes. 

The GOP congratulated Grassley on his win via Twitter.

And Lee tweeted this out following his victory. 

In House race projections, Democrats aren't doing too poorly. 

Despite the GOP shoring up control of the House of Representatives, many key races that still could go either way have yet to report in. 

Republicans lead Democrats in the House 143 seats to 96 seats. 

UPDATE 9:53 p.m. EST: Colorado has voted in favor of legalizing assisted suicide. 

The Republicans retained control of both the House and the Senate

WATCH | Sen. Rob Portman promises the new POTUS will not affect his work. 

UPDATE 9:43 p.m. EST:

Speaker Paul Ryan has been reelected to his seat in Wisconsin's first congressional district. 

Much has been made about whether or not Ryan will remain speaker if reelected. The Republican, however, remains unfazed, telling reporters earlier today that he "feels good where he is." 

Ryan's victory speech was missing one key element. 

The Republicans retained control of both the House and the Senate

WATCH | Marco Rubio speaks after his reelection to the U.S. Senate.

UPDATE 9:23 p.m. EST:

More Senate updates. Woop woop! 

In Arkansas, Sen. John Boozman (R-AR) retains his seat.  

In Georgia, Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA) retains his seat. 

The Republicans retained control of both the House and the Senate

WATCH | A record number of women are running for Congress this year. 

UPDATE 9:08 p.m. EST:

Loads of Senate news now. All of these victors are incumbents. 

In South Dakota, Sen. John Thune (R-SD) retains his seat. 

In North Dakota, Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND) retains his seat. 

In Kansas, Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS) retains his seat. 

In New York, Sen. Charles "Chuck" Schumer (D-NY) retains his seat. 

The Republicans retained control of both the House and the Senate

WATCH | Sen. Chuck Schumer says he's a lucky man. 

UPDATE 9:02 p.m. EST:

In other news, Florida's amendment on medical marijuana was approved, reports the Miami Herald.

The amendment insets language into Florida's constitution that allows people with serious afflictions like cancer, HIV/AIDS, epilepsy and others to use marijuana if prescribed by a doctor.  

UPDATE 8:54 p.m. EST:

An important update now. This time it's a non-race specific one. 

According to Breakingnews.com, Republicans are on track to retain control of the House of Representatives. 

This news might be disappointing to Democrats, but certainly unsurprising. Tonight was always more about damage control than it was about retaking the chamber. 

UPDATE 8:46 p.m. EST:

In important House projection news, former Democratic Florida Gov. Charlie Crist has picked up a seat in the state's 13th district. That means the seat changes hands to the Dems. 

Republicans, however, still lead their Democratic rivals in House seats 62 to 32 at the time of writing. 

UPDATE 8:38 p.m. EST:

More Senate updates now, this time from the Associated Press

In Indiana, Rep. Todd Young (R-IN) wins a seat in the Senate. 

In Alabama, Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) is expected to retain his seat. 

Indiana will sting a bit, as some Democrats were hoping former Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) could beat Young and help retake the Senate. Again, their options are getting slimmer. 

The Republicans retained control of both the House and the Senate

WATCH | Evan Bayh admits defeat in race against Todd Young. 

UPDATE 8:24 p.m. EST:

Elsewhere in the House races, Republicans continue to beat out their Democratic rivals. 

According to CNN projections at the time of writing, 45 Republicans have been elected to the House while only 21 Democrats have been elected. 

No key races have been called in the House quite yet. 

UPDATE 8:21 p.m. EST:


This time it's Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) who picks up a seat in the Senate. She downs Republican incumbent Sen. Mark Kirk, according to CBS News

And with that, the Democrats pick an essential seat in their quest to retake the U.S. Senate. They currently hold 40 seats in the Senate while the Republicans hold 35 at the time of writing. 

The Republicans retained control of both the House and the Senate

WATCH | Tammy Duckworth holds out hope that history will be made tonight. 

Duckworth tweeted out her thanks on social media. 

UPDATE 8:13 p.m. EST:

BOOM! We have our first key-race projection.

Former presidential candidate and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is being projected to be reelected, according to the Associated Press

Florida might have been a win for Dems looking to retake the Senate. Now they'll have to look for those four or five seats elsewhere. 

UPDATE 8:06 p.m. EST:

In Oklahoma, Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) has been reelected. 

In Maryland, Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) has switched chambers in Congress and is now one of his state's senators. 

And finally in Connecticut, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) has been reelected.  

So far, none of the Senate races that have been safely projected tonight have been truly contested. 

UPDATE 8:01 p.m. EST:

It's all House projections right now. They are just flooding in. 

We here at Circa are going to switch gears and begin paying closer attention to the key races in both the Senate and the House as the poll numbers continue to roll in. 

UPDATE 7:54 p.m. EST:

In Florida 03, Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) is expected to retain his seat. 

In Florida 06, Rep. Ron Desantis (R-FL) is expected to retain his seat.

In Virginia 01, Rep. Rob Wittman (R-VA) is expected to retain his seat.

In Florida 20, Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL) is expected to retain his seat.

UPDATE 7:49 p.m. EST:

In Kentucky 03, Rep. John Yarmuth (D-VA) is expected to retain his seat. 

In Kentucky 06, Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY) is expected to retain his seat. 

In Virginia 03, Rep. Robert Scott (D-VA) is expected to retain his seat.

In Vermont 01, Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) is expected to retain his seat.  

In Kentucky 01, James Comer (R-KY) is expected to win. 

UPDATE 7:41 p.m. EST:

As far as the Senate goes:

In Ohio, Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) is expected to retain his seat. 

And in the House: 

In Virginia 06, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) is expected to retain his seat. 

In Virginia 09, Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-VA is expected to retain his seat. 

UPDATE 7:36 p.m. EST:

More Florida House-race projections from CNN now:

In Florida 10, Val Demings (D-FL) is expected to win. 

In Florida 21, Rep. Lois Frankel (D-FL) retains her seat. 

In Florida 17, Tom Rooney (R-FL) is expected to win.

In Florida 05, Al Lawson (D-FL) is expected to win. 

In Florida 19, Francis Rooney (R-FL) is expected to win.  

UPDATE 7:21 p.m. EST:

The first CNN projections are in! 

In Vermont, Sen. Patrick Leahy  (D-VT) retains his seat. 

In Kentucky, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) retains his seat. 

In South Carolina, Sen. Tim Scott retains his seat. 

None of these three seats were expected to be up for grabs as all senators were incumbents. 

On the House front: 

In Florida 04, John Rutherford (R-FL) is expected to win. 

In Florida 11, Rep. Daniel Webster (R-FL) retains his seat.

In Florida 24, Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL) retains her seat. 

In Kentucky 04, Rep. Thomas Massie (R-FL) retains his seat. 

Welcome to the Senate/House election main bar here on Circa!  Our job here is to keep you fine readers up to date on exactly who in Congress gets elected and when (despite the fact that most eyes tonight will be on the presidential race).

We're like the plucky, underdog sports team you're not paying attention to, but should. Why? Well despite the fact that one presidential candidate is promising to build a wall, and another is promising debt-free college, they won't be able to do too much too fast if Congress is controlled by the opposing party.  

Why care at all about Congress? 

Let's go over it a little more in detail. The congressional races are so important here because there's a chance that the Democrats might regain control of the Senate, which would be huge after six years of Republican control. 

If the Dems control the Senate, and Clinton is president, that means that her life is a lot easier. If Donald Trump is president, that means his life is a whole lot more difficult.


But wait, what about the House? 

The Dems would love to take the House of Representatives, that is, if it were up for grabs. It's looking like the Republicans should have an easy time retaining the House. 

Most of the eyes tonight will be on the Senate, as it's the government chamber that's most likely to change hands between parties. 

Are there any House races to watch out for?

Well of course there are! In Virginia, the race for Republican Rep. Barbara Comstock's seat is tight. Real estate executive LuAnne Bennett is still fighting, and many political pundits are saying this race is a bellwether (trend-setter) for just how good or bad a night House Democrats are in for. 

If Dems can win wealthy, educated districts like this, they could cut Republican numbers in the chamber significantly.

Alright, how do the Dems take the Senate?

Right now, the Democrats control 36 seats in the Senate, and the Republicans control 30. There are 34 seats up for reelection. Of those 34, 26 are expected to stay firmly red or blue. That leaves eight seats up for grabs.

The Dems only need four seats to get a majority in the Senate. But wait, isn't 36 + 4 = 50? Don't you need 51 to hold a majority? Generally yes, but in the case of a tie on a Senate vote, the vice president breaks the tie. If Clinton is elected, Kaine will be that vote. 

Here's a look at Circa's favorite election stories before you cast your vote and tune out

WATCH | Your friend (and mine) Circa political reporter Emily Atkin explains what's at stake in these key races, races that could determine which party controls the chamber in 2017. 

The Republicans retained control of both the House and the Senate

WATCH | Don't believe Emily? Listen to Republican vice-presidential candidate Mike Pence discuss the importance of Republicans retaining the House and Senate. 

Screen Shot 2016-11-08 at 1.40.37 PM.png

And in case you're more of a visual learner, here's a graphic outlining how states with incumbent U.S. senators are leaning in the run-up to Election Day. 

For more, check out Graphiq.

Let's take a look at some key Senate races. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid is stepping down from his seat in Nevada and the race for his successor is neck-and-neck. Republican Rep. Joe Heck is squaring off against former State Attorney General Cortez Masto.

An Emerson poll has Masto up by one point.

If elected, Masto would be the first ever Latina senator. 


Former presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio is up for reelection in Florida. However, the Republican faces stiff competition from Democratic Rep. Patrick Murphy. 

Rubio is ahead in the race, but the polls have marked it at various margins. A Gravis poll released Monday has him ahead by one point. A Quinnipiac poll released Monday has him ahead by seven points. 

The Republicans retained control of both the House and the Senate

WATCH | Rep. Patrick Murphy discusses his race in Florida. 


This one's a doozy. Despite the fact that Trump's probably going to take this state with ease, the Senate race is super close. 

Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander is running against sitting Sen. Roy Blunt, and it's dead even despite a recent Emerson poll that lists Kander as ahead by one point. 

If there ever was a Senate race that might keep you on the edge of your seat, this might be it. 


WATCH | Jason Kander is all smiles as he arrives to cast his vote. 

North Carolina

North Carolina is another state whose Senate race is close.  

Incumbent Republican Sen. Richard Burr was up by a healthy margin over Democratic rival Deborah Ross, a former executive director of the North Carolina ACLU. However, new polls released yesterday from the New York Times, Quinnipiac, and Gravis, have Burr up one point, tied, and up one point, respectively. 


The race for retiring Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer's vacant seat is less about the Democrats controlling the Senate and more about history being made. Both people running for the seat, California Attorney General Kamala Harris and Rep. Loretta Sanchez, are Democrats. 

Either way, the seat will be blue. But if Harris wins, she will be the first Indian-American Senator in the history of the United States Congress. Which is pretty darn cool. 


Legalizing marijuana is a theme this election cycle. Arizona, Maine, Nevada, and Massachusetts are all voting on measures that would legalize possession of small amounts of the drug for people over 21. Arkansas, Florida, Montana, and North Dakota. are voting to legalize medical marijuana. 

While some may see this as letting the stoners win, it's important to remember that if fewer people are arrested for possession of weed, fewer people do jail time.

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