(AP) — Resurgent Republicans captured a West Virginia Senate seat long in Democratic hands and bid for control of the Senate and a tighter grip on the House Tuesday in elections shaped by widespread voter discontent with President Barack Obama.
The party’s leader, Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, dispatched Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes in Kentucky after a $78 million campaign of unrelieved negativity.
Rep. Shelley Moore Capito was the GOP winner in West Virginia, the first of her party to make that claim since 1956. Republicans also reached out for relatively easy pickings among Senate seats held by Democrats in South Dakota and Montana, and took aim at Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor in Arkansas.
Republicans needed to gain six seats in all to oust a Democratic Senate majority in place since 2006.