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Democrats projected to keep control of Senate after Cortez Masto defeats Laxalt in Nevada

Chuck Schumer wins his fifth term to become NY's longest-serving U.S. senator on Nov. 8 in New York City. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
1 of 2 | Chuck Schumer wins his fifth term to become NY's longest-serving U.S. senator on Nov. 8 in New York City. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 12 (UPI) -- Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, a Democrat, defeated Republican Adam Laxalt in a race that will likely allow Democrats to maintain their control of the U.S. Senate.

Cortez Masto was projected by NBC News and CNN to defeat Laxalt, the former attorney general for Nevada, in one of the last unresolved races for the upper chamber.

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She was first elected in 2016 to fill the seat vacated by Sen. Harry Reid and campaigned for reelection on immigration reform and abortion rights.

Even if the Dec. 6 runoff election between Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger Herschel Walker ends in a win for Walker, the Senate would be evenly divided and allow Vice President Kamala Harris to cast the tie-breaking vote for Democrats, CNN noted.

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer praised the win in a short statement on Twitter late Saturday.

"Your Senate Democratic Majority!" Schumer said.

Schumer, speaking in an interview with CNN, said Saturday that he "feels good for the country" after the win.

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"We knew that the condoning of Donald Trump's big lie and saying that the elections were rigged when there's no proof of that at all would hurt Republicans and not help them," Schumer said.

"He had too many of them and their candidates fell into those traps."

Only one seat so far has flipped in the Senate after the 2022 midterm elections. Pennsylvania's Democratic Lt. Gov. John Fetterman defeated Mehmet Oz, the celebrity doctor backed by former President Donald Trump, for a Senate seat in the state.

Democrats were able to hold the Senate in part because Sen. Mark Kelly was also able to hold his seat against a challenge by Trump-backed candidate Blake Masters in a key race in Arizona.

"Thank you, Arizona," Kelly said in a short message to Twitter late Friday.

Kelly, who led polls for months, campaigned for reelection as a moderate who promised to protect abortion rights but broke with President Joe Biden on immigration.

Masters has still not conceded that race and said in a statement Saturday morning that he is "going to make sure that every legal vote is counted."

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Meanwhile, Republicans and Democrats are still vying for control of the U.S. House.

Republicans have held their edge in their bid to control the lower chamber, even as Democrats were projected to win undecided races on Saturday.

Democrat Marie Gluesenkamp Perez has been projected by NBC News and other outlets to defeat Republican Joe Kent to flip a U.S. House seat in Washington.

That seat has been held by Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler since she was first elected in 2010, but lost the Republican primary because of her vote to impeach Trump during his second impeachment proceedings.

Democrats now reportedly have 204 of the 218 seats needed for control of the House, compared to 211 held by Republicans.

Also in Nevada, Democratic lawyer Cisco Aguilar was also projected to defeat Jim Merchant in the race for secretary of state.

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