GOP Sen. Steve Daines wins re-election in Montana, AP projects

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Republican Sen. Steve Daines has defeated Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock in Montana’s race for the U.S. Senate, AP projects.

Why it matters: It’s a major loss for Democrats in their efforts to flip the Senate blue. Polls consistently showed Bullock and Daines as neck-and-neck, with Cook Political Report rating the race as a toss up.

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The big picture: The race between Daines and Bullock was the most expensive Senate competition in Montana’s history, per the Missoula Current.

  • Bullock is a moderate Democrat whose bid for his party’s presidential nomination floundered earlier this cycle. The governor was elected in 2012 and reaches his term limit this year.
  • Daines, however, is a steady Republican vote that sides consistently with President Trump. He was first elected to the Senate in 2014.
Data: AP; Chart: Naema Ahmed, Andrew Witherspoon, Danielle Alberti/Axios