Republicans retain US Senate

WASHINGTON - Republicans on Tuesday dealt a hammer blow to Democratic efforts to take back the US Senate, as the candidate endorsed by President Donald Trump, businessman Mike Braun, defeated incumbent Senator Joe Donnelly, networks projected. 

Donnelly was one of five Democratic senators up for re-election in states that Trump won by a sizeable margin in 2016.

Indiana is a Rust Belt state that has tended to lean conservative, and Donnelly ran - unsuccessfully – as a moderate Democrat.

The projected win gives Republicans 43 seats, in their quest to maintain their majority. 

Currently, they have a 51-49 advantage.