Republicans Win One of the Most Expensive Senate Races in History

Trump supporter Pat Toomey is victorious in Pennsylvania.

Pat Toomey and John McCain. Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Newscom via ZUMA


Republican Sen. Pat Toomey has defeated Democrat Katie McGinty in Pennsylvania’s down-to-the-wire Senate race, dealing an additional blow to the Democrats’ push to retake the Senate.

The Associated Press called the race shortly after 1 a.m. Wednesday morning, with Toomey holding a less than a 2-point lead and 99 percent of precincts reporting.

The race between Toomey and McGinty has been one of the closest races this cycle and, with more than $162 million in spending, one of the most expensive Senate contests in history. The race has been bruising for the incumbent, who quickly went on the defensive in an effort to distance himself from Donald Trump. As the race came to a close, Toomey used footage of President Barack Obama praising the Republican senator’s role in sponsoring a bipartisan compromise for expanding background checks on gun sales in an ad to play up his bipartisan bona fides. Obama criticized Toomey for the ad and for his refusal to take a stand on the presidential race, releasing a statement saying the incumbent senator was “trying instead to have it both ways by telling different people what he thinks they want to hear.”

Shortly before polls closed this evening, Toomey revealed he had voted for Trump, who was leading by a slim margin in Pennsylvania when the race was called for Toomey. Trump has now officially been declared the winner in the state.

This post has been updated.

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  • PR Lockhart

    P.R. Lockhart is an editorial fellow in Mother Jones' DC bureau. Email her at prlockhart@motherjones.com.