TODAY | November 07, 2012
>> let's go to nbc's capitol hill correspondent kelly o'donnell who is in columbus, ohio with more on some of the congressional races. kelly, good morning.
>> reporter: good morning, matt. well, democrats did something that at the beginning of this election year seemed unlikely. they held on to control of the senate. they did that despite having to defend 23 of their own seats. they pulled off big wins, big upsets, and the new senate will have more women than ever before. democrats' winning streak started in massachusetts with harvard law professor turned senator-elect elizabeth warren .
>> for every family that has been chipped and squeezed and hammered, we're going to fight for a level playing field and we're going to put people back to work.
>> reporter: warren knocked out republican scott brown who almost three years ago gave the tea party its first big win. his call for bipartisanship fell short.
>> i kept my promise to you to be that independent voice for massachusetts, and i have never ever ever regretted any decision that i made for you.
>> reporter: in high stakes virginia tim kaine , former democratic national party chairman and governor, defeated george allen in the most expensive senate race.
>> our victory tonight proves that it's the number of people who stand with you, not the number of zeros behind a check.
>> reporter: red state defeats for republicans in missouri and indiana after tea party -backed todd akin and richard mourdock each made controversial comments about rape and pregnancy. missouri 's democratic incumbent claire mccaskill gets a second term.
>> i'll continue to be a senator that works across the aisle in a bipartisan way to find the compromises to solve problems for every missouri family, not just the families of those that voted for me.
>> reporter: democrat joe donnelly takes indiana's seat from the gop.
>> i'm not going there as one party senator or the other party's senator. i'm going there as your senator to work for your family.
>> reporter: defeat in connecticut for republican linda mcmahon , the world wrestling executive who spent $100 million of her own money in two failed senate campaigns.
>> i would really rather have won, but we gave it an incredibly, incredibly good fight.
>> reporter: a tough night for former bush administration official tommy thompson .
>> it's not the way i planned it.
>> reporter: but his state, wisconsin, made history, electing its first woman and the nation's first openly gay senator, democrat tammy baldwin .
>> i will stand up for you, and i ask you to work with me to move our state forward.
>> reporter: republicans did take one seat away from democrats in nebraska, with tea party -backed deb fischer .
>> i thank each of you for placing your trust in me. i will not let you down.
>> reporter: and with senator-elect deb fischer she will be 1 of 19 women in the u.s. senate , a record number and voters in connecticut will give us our youngest senator choosing democrat chris murphy , a member of congress right now, and now the democrats will hold on to control. nothing will change on the house side either where republicans will be in charge with lots of work to do. matt?