Democratic Hopes to Take Back the Senate Falter in North Carolina

Republican Richard Burr will remain in office.

Richard BurrJonathan Ernst/Reuters via ZUMA Press

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Two-term incumbent Richard Burr will keep his Senate seat this year, edging past challenger Deborah Ross, a former state representative and director of the state American Civil Liberties Union, by 6 percentage points. Burr’s win means the Republican Party will add a crucial seat to maintain its slim majority in the Senate. Burr currently chairs the Intelligence Committee and has been in office since 2005. 

“Thank you North Carolina! Honored to continue serving as your Senator,” Burr tweeted.

North Carolina was a battleground race this year, with Republicans facing backlash against the state’s transgender bathroom bill and restrictive voting rights laws. Ross emerged as an unexpected challenger to Burr, who was slow to hit the campaign trail while Ross aggressively visited counties across the state. Outside groups, including the National Rifle Association and the Senate Leadership Fund, a Republican super-PAC, have poured more than $50 million into the campaign, making it one of the most expensive senate races in the state’s history. Despite an aggressive campaign from Ross, exit polls show Burr won a decisive majority of votes from Republicans and a little more than half of independent voters. The AP called the race at 10:34 p.m., one of the first North Carolina races to be called.

Burr’s win cements continued Republican leadership in the state, where the GOP has dominated the state House and Senate since 2010.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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