Montana Sen. Jon Tester prevails despite battering by Trump

Montana Sen. Jon Tester prevails despite battering by Trump
Democrat Jon Tester hangs on to Montanas senate seat but Arizona victor will not be named for DAYS
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The contentious race for Georgia governor has Republican Brian Kemp and Democrat Stacey Abrams battling to the last minute. The race was still deemed too close to call with 97 percent of the votes in and a 75,000-vote difference between Kemp and Abrams, according to Fox News’ projections.

INDIANA – REPUBLICAN GAIN: Mike Braun (Republican) beats incumbent Joe Donnelly (Democrat) 52.8 to 43.1

“Tonight we have closed a gap between yesterday and tomorrow, but we still have a few more miles to go,” she said. “Across our state, folks are opening up the dreams of voters in absentee ballots, and we believe our chance for a stronger Georgia is just within reach.

MISSOURI – REPUBLICAN GAIN: Josh Hawley (Republican) beats incumbent Heidi Heitkamp (Democrat) 51.9 to 44.9

Trump has weighed in heavily in the race, backing Rosendale. He made four trips to the state to campaign for Rosendale and blamed Tester for derailing the nomination of White House doctor Ronny Jackson to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

NORTH DAKOTA – REPUBLICAN GAIN: Kevin Cramer (Republican) beats incumbent Heidi Heitkamp (Democrat) 54.7 to 45.3

WEST VIRGINIA – DEMOCRAT HOLD: Incumbent Joe Manchin (Democrat) beats Patrick Morrisey (Republican) 49.5 to 46.3

The historic race between Republican Rep. Martha McSally and Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema is still too close to call. The two female lawmakers are vying in a state that has never elected a woman to the Senate before.

FLORIDA –  OUTCOME STILL UNKNOWN: Rick Scott (Republican) is ahead of incumbent Bill Nelson (Democrat) 50.2 to 49.8 but is demanding a recount 

Democrats got one piece of late good news in the Senate Wednesday as Montanas Jon Tester was projected to win by 49.3 to 47.8 per cent against Republican Matt Rosendale.

The surprise outcome came after hours of counting and represents a break in the pattern of red-state Democrats who voted against Brett Kavanaugh falling. 

But in Arizona it could be days before a nail-bitingly close senate race for the open seat vacated by Republican Jeff Flake is known.

Tester has continued to highlight his life as a grain farmer and even the three fingers he lost in a meat grinder as a child. The approach had worked for him in the 2006 and 2012 elections.

Martha McSally, the Republican candidate was on 49.3 per cent and Kyrsten Sinema on 48.4 per cent but absentee ballots are still to be counted and the process is expected to take days, with legal challenges almost inevitable.

And in Mississippi there will be a runoff election for the seat vacated by retiring Republican Thad Cochran, who had stood down over ill health.

“This is a race between myself and Matt Rosendale, make no mistake about it. Matt Rosendale doesn’t know what the hell is going on in Montana. That’s why he doesn’t talk about the issues he believes in, because he doesn’t know them,” Tester told The Hill in an interview last week.

Under state rules the winning candidate has to achieve a 50 per cent knockout but two rival Republicans split the vote. 

Tester became a particular target for Trump after the senator in April derailed the president's first-choice for Veterans Affairs secretary, Ronny Jackson, with allegations of drunken behavior, overprescribing prescription drugs and fostering a hostile work environment.

Officially-endorsed Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith only reached 41.5 per cent of the vote, with unofficial Republican Chris McDaniel taking 16.4 per cent, while the Democrats Mike Espy was on 40.6 per cent.

The runoff election will be held on November 27 – five days after Thanksgiving – with Hyde-Smith taking on McDaniel.

And to top the uncertainty, Floridas Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson is demanding a recount in his race against Republican Rick Scott, claiming it is within  

That makes the final make-up of the Senate unclear, with Republicans already on a majority with 51 seats but with the potential to extend that to 54 by the end of November.

Montana Sen. Jon Tester is projected to win his reelection bid in a tight race against Republican challenger Matt Rosendale, the Associated Press reported.

Testers victory is one of the few bright spots for Democrats in red states – and he is the only one to survive a concerted effort by Trump to unseat him. 

Trump had visited the state to campaign against the incumbent, who now has a third term despite the president taking Montana by 20 points in 2016.

Jackson denied the allegations, which have been referred to the Pentagon's Inspector General for investigation.

Trump had said he wanted to make Tester pay at the polls for helping derail Ronny Jackson, his nominee to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs and the personal doctor who gave him .

Tester is the top Democrat on the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee and had revealed a string of allegations of misconduct by Jackson, a serving rear admiral who Trump had praised. The allegations were denied by Jackson and remain unresolved.

Winner: Jon Tester hung on despite a concerted effort by Trump to unseat him because of his role in stopping Ronny Jackson, his personal doctor turned nominee to run Veterans Affairs