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Posted: November 06, 2018

The Latest: Vermont's Sanders cruises to 3rd Senate term

Incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., leaves her polling place after voting Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, in Kirkwood, Mo. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., leaves her polling place after voting Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, in Kirkwood, Mo. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

The Associated Press

WASHINGTON —

The Latest on U.S. Senate elections (all times local):

7:00 p.m.

Vermont's Bernie Sanders has cruised to re-election for his third term in the Senate, easily outpacing eight candidates.

Sanders, the independent who has long been one of the state's most popular politicians, spent little time campaigning ahead of Tuesday's election.

Sanders has faced few serious opponents since he was first elected to the state's lone seat in the House in 1990. He moved up to the Senate in 2006.

The Republican candidate, Lawrence Zupan, a Manchester real estate broker with experience in international trade, campaigned against what he felt was big government and social welfare programs. But his candidacy never gained traction and his campaign drew little attention.

Rather than focusing on his re-election, Sanders traveled the country to support Democratic candidates and an array of policy issues.

____

6:30 p.m.

Beyonce has endorsed Texas Democratic Senate hopeful Beto O'Rourke over Republican incumbent Ted Cruz in the final hours before her home state's polls close.

The native Houstonian released a series of Instagram posts with a black and white "Beto" cap partially covering her face on Tuesday afternoon.

O'Rourke himself then retweeted one of the pictures under the caption "Thank you, Beyonce."

An El Paso congressman, O'Rourke is trying to become the first Democrat to win statewide office in Texas since 1994. He's drawn the admiration of many celebrities, including Texas country music icon Willie Nelson.

Cruz dismisses his opponent's upset-minded campaign as too liberal for Texas since O'Rourke supports universal health care and impeaching President Donald Trump.

___

2 p.m.

Republicans are aiming to retain Senate control in Tuesday's voting.

Democrats' longshot prospects for capturing a Senate majority are pinned on hopes of their supporters surging to the polls. Democrats and some independents have been motivated by Trump's anti-immigration rhetoric and policies and his efforts to dismantle health care protections enacted under President Barack Obama.

The Democrats have history on their side: 2002 was the only midterm election in the past three decades when the party holding the White House gained Senate seats.

Republicans have a narrow 51-49 majority. Democrats need to gain two Senate seats to win a majority. But they and their two independent allies are defending 26 of the 35 seats in play. Those 26 seats include 10 in states that Trump won in 2016.


Related

AP Photo/Jeff Roberson

The Latest: Vermont's Sanders cruises to 3rd Senate term

AP Photo/Jeff Roberson

The Latest: Vermont's Sanders cruises to 3rd Senate term

Incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., leaves her polling place after voting Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, in Kirkwood, Mo.

AP Photo/Jeff Roberson

The Latest: Crazy in Love? Beyonce endorses O'Rourke

AP Photo/Jeff Roberson

The Latest: Crazy in Love? Beyonce endorses O'Rourke

Incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., leaves her polling place after voting Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, in Kirkwood, Mo.

AP Photo/Jeff Roberson

The Latest: Crazy in Love? Beyonce endorses O'Rourke

AP Photo/Jeff Roberson

The Latest: Crazy in Love? Beyonce endorses O'Rourke

Incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., leaves her polling place after voting Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, in Kirkwood, Mo.

AP Photo/Jeff Roberson

The Latest: Crazy in Love? Beyonce endorses O'Rourke

AP Photo/Jeff Roberson

The Latest: Crazy in Love? Beyonce endorses O'Rourke

Incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., leaves her polling place after voting Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, in Kirkwood, Mo.

AP Photo/Jeff Roberson

The Latest: Crazy in Love? Beyonce endorses O'Rourke

AP Photo/Jeff Roberson

The Latest: Crazy in Love? Beyonce endorses O'Rourke

Incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., leaves her polling place after voting Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, in Kirkwood, Mo.

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