Say Hello to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell: The GOP Has Won Control of the Senate


Gage Skidmore

That's the ballgame: Multiple news organizations are now projecting that Republican Joni Ernst has won the Iowa Senate race, definitively giving Republicans 51 seats in the Senate.

It's officially a Republican Senate, folks, and the margin is likely bigger than one seat. The Associated Press and CNN have already called the North Carolina Senate race for Republican Thom Tillis, giving the GOP at least 52 vote majority in the upper chamber, and possibly more. And there's still a runoff yet to come in the Louisiana Senate race, which is likely end up going to the GOP as well. The results of the Alaska Senate race are also still outstanding. 

This is a seven seat pickup for the GOP for sure, and could end up being a nine-seat win for the party. 

It's looking like a big enough win that MSNBC commentators Chris Matthews and Chuck Todd both just described this election as "a wave." Expect the Dem blame-game to go full-blast starting…well, tonight. 

What this means is that longtime Kentucky Senate veteran Mitch McConnell, who was widely described as in danger of losing his own Senate race even over the last few days, will be the Majority Leader. Republicans will control both chambers of Congress. 

The 52-vote majority, which could end up being even larger, also means that Republicans don't just have control for now—they have a bit of a buffer built in for the 2016 elections, when the map is expected to be much less favorable to the GOP.