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Democrats Win US Senate Race in Washington State

Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., walks in front of supporters at a downtown Seattle restaurant, after Republican challenger Dino Rossi had conceded, 4 Nov 2010
Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., walks in front of supporters at a downtown Seattle restaurant, after Republican challenger Dino Rossi had conceded, 4 Nov 2010

Democrats have been able to hold onto one more U.S. Senate seat, as an incumbent in (the northwest) Washington state was able to fend off an election challenge.

Patty Murray was re-elected to a fourth term in a close contest with Republican Dino Rossi.  Rossi conceded defeat late Thursday as the vote tally showed Murray leading by about 51 to 49 percent.  Ballots are still being counted, but Murray's lead of 46,000 votes is considered insurmountable.

Democrats lost six U.S. Senate seats in the midterm elections, but still will maintain control of the chamber with 53 out of the 100 seats, including two held by independents aligned with the party.

Republicans trounced Democrats in the House of Representatives, winning 61 seats previously held by Democrats, and taking control of the chamber.  The new Congress convenes in January.

President Obama has taken some responsibility for his party's losses.  He has invited Republican and Democratic leaders of Congress to meet later this month to discuss ways they can work together.

Mr. Obama said the meeting will focus on what can be done to address urgent economic issues.  He said it is important to move forward because Americans do not want the government to be locked in partisan debate and accomplish nothing.

There is still one unresolved U.S. Senate race that is likely to go to a Republican or someone aligned with the party.  Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska lost her party's nomination to Joe Miller, a candidate backed by the conservative Tea Party movement, and Murkowski ran as a write-in candidate.

Latest results show write-in votes ahead of Miller and Democrat Scott McAdams. However, not all of the write-in votes may be for Murkowski.  The results may not be known for several weeks.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.

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