Democrat Dianne Feinstein, California's senior U.S. senator, won an easy reelection victory over nonprofit executive Elizabeth Emken, her underfunded, little-known Republican challenger.
Feinstein, 78, was running for her fourth full term against Emken, 49, an autism activist from Danville whose only previous run was a failed primary bid for a congressional seat.
Emken had support, but received little financial help, from the California Republican Party.An autism dad went down in Minnesota. A report from Minnesota Public Radio:
She raised just $677,000 to Feinstein's more than $9.1 million, filings with the federal government show.
In one of the most hotly contested Congressional races in the nation, former U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan, a Democrat, defeated incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Chip Cravaack.
With 94 percent of the precincts reporting by early morning, Nolan led Cravaack by a margin of 55 percent to 45 percent.
In choosing Nolan, voters in Minnesota's 8th District ended Cravaack's bid for a second term, and returned its seat in to Democratic control. Cravaack won the seat two years ago by defeating longtime U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar in a wave of voter discontent that gave Republicans control of the House of Representatives.
Last year, Cravaack's wife and children moved to New Hampshire. Cravaack said his wife left for a job in Boston, and that his autistic son left so he could be closer to her. That sparked a complaint by one autism advocate that Cravaack was trying to win sympathy points.