The votes are in, and it seems Tommy Tuberville has done his part to help Republicans keep a majority in the Senate. The former Auburn University football coach has secured a victory in Alabama over Democratic incumbent Doug Jones, the Associated Press reports.
Tuberville was the favorite to win in Alabama, with FiveThirtyEight giving him an 87% chance of flipping the seat after beating former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions in the primary.
The race was called for Tuberville shortly after the polls closed, with Tuberville holding 61% of the vote, according to NBC News.
President Donald Trump endorsed Tuberville in the primary against his former attorney general, who the president blamed for not defending him against Russia collusion accusations.
Can Republicans keep the Senate?
Tuberville was considered an essential win for Republicans to keep their Senate majority, which currently stands at 53 over Democrats’ 47 Senate seats, due to several other difficult races.
As of Wednesday, the fate of the majority in the upper chamber is still up in the air as several races have not yet been called. Of races that have been called, the Senate is currently set to have 48 Republicans and 46 Democrats.
Races currently too close to call include GOP incumbents David Perdue (GA) and Thom Tillis (NC). Republicans lead in both of those races as of Wednesday afternoon.
Another Georgia Senate seat is projected to be a runoff because no candidate got more than 50% of the vote, and will likely not be decided until Jan. 5, Fox News reports.
A tough road
Republicans need to pick up at least three more seats to maintain a majority if former Vice President Joe Biden prevails in the presidential race, and two if President Donald Trump wins. This is because a Vice President Kamala Harris would break a 50–50 tie for Democrats if they prevail in the Senate, while Pence would be a tie-breaker for the GOP.
A Republican Senate would be absolutely necessary as a check on Biden, especially if Democrats still have a majority in the House. If both houses of Congress and the presidency are Democrat, the left would be able to make major, long-lasting institutional changes to the country.
Packing the Supreme Court, getting rid of the filibuster, open borders, and high taxes would be just a few of the actions a government entirely dominated by Democrats could take.
Heading into the election, odds-makers only gave Republicans a 25% chance of keeping a majority in the chamber. It now looks like their chances are considerably better than that.