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Kelly Ayotte Concedes To Maggie Hassan In A Squeaker Of A Race

If both independents continue to caucus as Democrats, the Senate will be split, 50-50

Here's a bright spot in what is otherwise a dismal election outcome. Maggie Hassan has unseated Kelly Ayotte in a hotly-contested Senate race in New Hampshire. Ayotte conceded a couple of hours ago after the final count showed Hassan ahead just over 1,000 votes.

Ayotte conceded the race earlier today.

At a hastily arranged press conference Wednesday morning Hassan was already looking ahead to working with a Republican President and Congress. “It’s up to all of us elected leaders and citizens now to come together and focus on common challenges and our common opportunities,” Hassan said.

She wasn’t waiting for a final tally from Secretary of State Bill Gardner, already seeing the numbers in her favor. By mid-afternoon a slim margin of 1,023 votes had been confirmed turning the senate seat from Republican to Democrat.

“This is less than one percent. It’s one tenth of one percent,” according to Gardner.

There was speculation throughout the day that Ayotte would seek a recount, but just before 5:00 p.m. she conceded the race saying she called Hassan to congratulate her. “This is a critical time for New Hampshire and our country, and now more than ever we need to work together to address our challenges,” Ayotte said in a statement.

Assuming that Senators Bernie Sanders and Angus King continue to caucus with Democrats, the Senate will be evenly split -- 50 to 50, with Mike Pence casting any tiebreakers.

With the pickup in Illinois by Tammy Duckworth and Catherine Cortez Masto and Kamala Harris holding onto Democratic seats, it is at least a glimmer of good news.

Not as good as actually having the majority, but it is at least something.

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