McConnell retains Senate seat


Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), the Senate minority leader, has kept his seat.

McConnell faced a strong late term challenge from Bruce Lunsford, a businessman who targeted McConnell as a Washington insider at a time of economic crisis. His defeat would have been a body blow against Republicans, bringing Democrats closer to a filibuster-busting 60 seats in the Senate.

McConnell, leading 51-49 in ballot counting, would have been the second Senate leader ousted in an election; Republicans successfully targeted Senate majority leader Sen. Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) in 2002

McConnell has a strong pro-Israel record and has been a regular speaker at American Israel Public Affairs Committee forums. He has linked his support for the Iraq war to protecting Israel, a position that is not broadly popular in the Jewish community.

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