The Slatest

Hey Look, Kelly Ayotte’s Losing

Sen. Kelly Ayotte, straight-up votin’.

Kayana Szymczak/Getty Images

This was one of those races that by 3 a.m. I had just assumed Democrats had lost hours earlier, but hey look at that: New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte is still trailing her Democratic challenger, Gov. Maggie Hassan, by about 700 votes with all precincts in. Hassan has declared victory, but the race hasn’t been called and Ayotte hasn’t conceded. How about that?

If Hassan holds on through whatever last-minute ballots may be discovered and assorted other lawyering, Democrats would end the night with a net pickup of two Senate seats for a total of 48, if you include the two independents who caucus with Democrats. That sure is something.

Hassan had embraced and campaigned with Hillary Clinton; Ayotte finally cut the cord with Donald Trump, who’d been giving her problems, following the Access Hollywood tape. Both Ayotte and Hassan are popular, and both received more votes in their state than either Trump or Clinton did. That’s just nuts for a down-ballot race. Sheesh. What a rich tapestry of stories, this country. Wouldn’t you say?

See more Slate coverage of the election.