WASHINGTON - Democrats will retain control of the U.S. Senate, despite an opportunity for Republicans with a third of the body being up for election.
Republicans lost seats in Massachusetts and Indiana. And Democrats withstood hard-fought, expensive challenges to seats they have controlled since 2007 in Virginia, Ohio, Wisconsin and Connecticut.
Two GOP hopefuls -- in Missouri and Indiana -- severely damaged their campaigns with controversial remarks about rape and pregnancy.
Missouri incumbent Claire McCaskill withstood a challenge by Todd Akin, who drew harsh condemnation by commenting on what he called "legitimate rape." In Indiana, Democratic Rep. Joe Donnelly edged out tea party-favorite Richard Mourdock, who said that pregnancy resulting from rape is "something God intended."
Democrats held open seats in Virginia, Wisconsin and New Mexico. The only pickup for the Republicans was Nebraska, where Deb Fischer denied former Democratic Sen. Bob Kerrey's bid to return to the Capitol.
Democrats also regained Ted Kennedy's old seat. Elizabeth Warren defeated GOP incumbent Scott Brown.
One Tea party candidate won easily. Ted Cruz of Texas will become the third Hispanic serving in the Senate.
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