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Mitch McConnell defeats Allison Lundergan Grimes early in Kentucky

McConnell took a commanding 55.5 of the vote, netting 150,180 votes to Grimes' 111,851.

By Matt Bradwell
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Mitch McConnell defeats Allison Lundergan Grimes early in Kentucky
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., joined by his wife Elaine Chao, speaks to supporters during his election night rally after retaining his Senate seat, in Louisville, Kentucky. McConnell defeated his Democratic challenger Alison Grimes. UPI/Kevin Dietsch | License Photo

FRANKFORT, Ky., Nov. 4 (UPI) -- After months of campaigning, negative ads and flown-in endorsements, CNN and NBC report Kentucky voters decided Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will keep his job, defeating Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes.

McConnell's lead was so great, CNN felt comfortable calling the vote within minutes of polls closing and NBC quickly followed suit.

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According to NBC News, with 99 percent of precincts reporting, McConnell took a commanding 56.1 percent of the vote, netting 799,037 votes to Grimes' 581,490.

"Just because we have a two-party system doesn't mean we have to be in perpetual conflict," McConnell declared in what may prove to be his first speech as Senate Majority Leader-elect.

"I couldn't be prouder of our candidate than I am tonight," said Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear before presenting Grimes for her concession speech. "She's looking forward and she's going to help me and others lead this state in a progressive fashion."

"While tonight didn't bring us the result we had hoped for, this journey, this fight for you, it was worth it," Grimes said, vowing, "I will continue to fight for the commonwealth of Kentucky each and every day."

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Additional reporting by Jani Actman

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