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Senator Ron Johnson Holds On To Seat, Defeats Russ Feingold

Bonnie Petrie
Senator Ron Johnson delivering in victory speech in Oshkosh.

Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson became the first state Republican to win election to the U.S. Senate during a presidential year, since 1980. On Tuesday, he again defeated former Democrat Senator Russ Feingold in a rematch of Wisconsin's 2010 Senate race. Johnson's win helped Republicans remain in control of the Senate.

The incumbent argued that Feingold did not deserve to be sent back to Washington. Johnson told the Associated Press that he won Tuesday's election because, "I told the truth... I think the good folks of Wisconsin recognized that."

In the wake of his defeat, Feingold said, "This could be one of the most challenging times in the history of the country." He urged his supporters to "be a restrained as you can be."

WUWM's Marti Mikkelson reports on how Election night unfolded at the Feingold party in Middleton.

The race grew personal in waning weeks, with Johnson calling Feingold a liar and phony. Feingold, who was counting on high Democratic turnout for the presidential race, made his pitch to middle- and working-class voters, say they would have no chance with Johnson in office.

Johnson said he will work with Governor Scott Walker and national Republican leaders on a coordinated agenda, "So we really can bring the type of change that voters have asked for now."

Recent Wisconsin polls had called the Senate race a virtual tie. Johnson won by about five percentage points.

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