Elections 2020: Here's What Happened in Key Races Haaretz Is Watching

Georgia, Florida and South Carolina saw important victories in races with implications for Israel and American Jews

Clockwise from top left:  Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Lindsey Graham, Laura Loomer, Mark Kelly, Marjorie Taylor Greene and Ted Deutch.
Clockwise from top left: Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Lindsey Graham, Laura Loomer, Mark Kelly, Marjorie Taylor Greene and Ted Deutch.Credit: AFP / Reuters / AP

As votes in the U.S. election are being counted Republicans currently hold a 46-44 majority in the U.S. Senate, leaving Democrats within striking distance of reclaiming a Senate majority for the first time since 2014.

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Mark Kelly speaks to supporters at a Volunteer Launch on November 3, 2020 in Scottsdale, Arizona.Credit: Courtney Pedroza - AFP

Here are the five Senate races Haaretz monitored on Election Night.

Democrat Max Rose may have lost New York's 11th District

Democratic Congressman Max Rose may be losing his seat in New York’s 11th district, according to early votes in the race tallied on Tuesday night.

Preliminary results, which only include in-person early voting and Election Day voting, give Republican State Assemblywoman and Staten Island native Nicole Malliotakis a lead with 58.3 percent of the ballots, while Rose stands at 41.9 percent.

U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham at a rally in North Charleston, South Carolina, October 16, 2020.Credit: LOGAN CYRUS - AFP

The race is among the most highly contested in the country. The 11th Congressional District, historically a conservative bastion covering Staten Island and South Brooklyn. In the 2016 presidential election, for instance, Donald Trump received close to 60 percent of the islanders’ vote.

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Democrat Mark Kelly headed for Arizona Senate win, flipping key state

Mark Kelly, who was once stationed in Houston with fellow astronaut Ilan Ramon — the Israeli folk hero who died in the space shuttle Columbia disaster in 2003 — is headed for the U.S. Senate, after successfully flipping a Republican seat to the Democratic column in a key state.

Kelly, a former pilot and astronaut, secured the vote in Arizona which is viewed as increasingly crucial to Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden's chances for victory on election night, as President Donald Trump dominated in several other swing states, while Biden held strong there.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) and Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.)Credit: REUTERS/Tom Brenner and Kevin Dietsch/REUTERS

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Republican Netanyahu ally Lindsey Graham reelected to U.S. senate

One of the most fiercely contested races in the United States Senate ended in a decisive victory for South Carolina incumbent Republican Lindsey Graham.

Graham held off a tough challenge from Democrat Jaime Harrison, in a contest that shattered fundraising records. Tens of millions of dollars poured into Harrison’s campaign from Democratic donors hoping to unseat one of President Trump’s most powerful allies in the legislature and make progress in the effort to flip the Senate to a Democratic majority.

But with nearly half the vote counted in South Carolina, Graham had pulled far ahead of Harrison, with 55 percent to Harrison’s 43 percent.

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Republican U.S. House candidate Marjorie Taylor Greene speaks at a news conference in Dallas, GeorgiaCredit: ELIJAH NOUVELAGE/ REUTERS

Two prominent Jewish Democrats win reelection in Florida

Two prominent Jewish Democratic representatives in Congress comfortably won their reelection as returns came in early in traditionally Democratic parts of South Florida.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz is heading to an eighth term in the House of Representatives on behalf of the Florida’s 23rd district, defeating Republican candidate Carla Spalding. Early returns showed Wasserman Schultz ahead at 61 percent to 39 percent.

Rep. Ted Deutch also easily kept his seat in Florida’s 22nd congressional district, which includes parts of Broward and Palm Beach counties, defeating Republican challenger James Pruden, with initial returns showing Deutch ahead 63 percent to 37 percent.

Both members of congress represent districts with a substantial Jewish population.

Laura Loomer holds up a sign across the street from a rally organized by Women's March N.Y.C., January 19, 2019.Credit: Kathy Willens,AP

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Republican QAnon supporter Taylor Greene wins race in Georgia

Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Republican candidate from Georgia who has espoused the antisemitic QAnon conspiracy theory and employed racist rhetoric prior to and during her congressional campaign, has been elected to the House of Representatives.

Greene, a first-time candidate, easily cruised to victory in her heavily Republican district, defeating Democratic rival Kevin Van Ausdal, with 78 percent of the vote to Van Ausdal’s 21 percent.

The Georgia Republican was one of the most controversial candidates in the 2020 race, with a history of support for the unsubstantiated QAnon conspiracy theory that employs multiple antisemitic tropes. The theory alleges that U.S. President Donald Trump is at war with a cabal of Satan-worshipping international elites, in league with the “deep state,” the Democratic Party and the media that aspires to control the U.S. government.

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Far-right Jewish activist Loomer loses race in Trump's home district

Far-right Jewish activist Laura Loomer lost her bid, as expected, on Tuesday night to unseat veteran Democratic Congresswoman Lois Frankel in Florida’s 21st Congressional District - U.S. President Donald Trump’s home district which includes Palm Beach. Frankel beat Loomer 59% to 39% with 90% of the vote counted.

Loomer, 27, emerged over the past two years as one of the most provocative far-right online personalities of the Trump era and succeeded in outraising Frankel, taking in more than $2 million in donations.

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