November 6, 2018

Murphy declared winner in U.S. Senate race

HBJ File Photo
HBJ File Photo
U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) has been re-elected to his second term.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy coasted to re-election Tuesday as record numbers of voters went to the polls in a historic midterm election that will determine which party controls the next Congress.

Just after polls closed in the state at 8 p.m. CNN declared Murphy the winner over his Republican rival, Manchester business owner Matthew Corey.

Murphy campaigned on his record in the Senate, which included approval of a mental health bill and legislation aimed at bolstering reporting of information to a database the FBI uses to screen gun buyers.

The senator largely ignored Corey, focusing his attacks on President Donald Trump instead.

Corey, meanwhile, ran as a Trump loyalist and on his working-class background and experience as a businessman.

Democrats tried to make the midterm a referendum about Trump. Early returns show Democrats leading in some key GOP-controlled U.S. House races. Democrats need to flip 23 seats to win control of that chamber.

Democrats have a tougher path to a control of the U.S. Senate, where Republicans have a 51-49 member majority.

Exit polls showed that Trump and health care were the prime issues that concerned those who went to the polls on Tuesday, followed by the economy and immigration, which the president sought to amplify with a last-minute promise to crack down on migrants, including those traveling in "caravans" from Central America.

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