CNN projection: Braun elected to US Senate

CNN projects that Indiana voters will elect Republican Mike Braun to the US Senate, defeating incumbent Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly .

Posted: Nov 7, 2018 10:40 AM
Updated: Nov 7, 2018 10:57 AM

Republican Mike Braun will defeat Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly in Indiana, CNN projects, giving Republicans a major pick-up to bolster their Senate majority in a state President Donald Trump won handily two years earlier.

First elected to the Senate in 2012, Donnelly spent his first six years aware he'd be among the top Republican targets in his bid for re-election.

Donnelly had won the seat in 2012 with a healthy dose of luck, following a series of Republican errors. A tea party primary had purged six-term Republican Sen. Richard Lugar, replacing him on the ballot with controversial state treasurer Richard Mourdock. Then, Mourdock stumbled just two weeks from Election Day, calling pregnancies resulting from rape "something that God intended to happen" -- a comment that led then-presidential nominee Mitt Romney to distance himself from Mourdock and all but cemented Donnelly's victory.

Trump's 19 percentage point victory in Indiana underscored just how difficult the state would be for a Democrat to hold in 2018.

And two Republican congressmen, Todd Rokita and Luke Messer, spent years angling to run against Donnelly.

But Braun, a little-known former state representative and owner of an auto parts distributorship with millions of his own dollars to spend, ran a masterful primary campaign. He offered himself as a straight-talking alternative and cast Messer and Rokita as ambitious politicians who even looked alike. For a television ad, he carried around cardboard cutouts of the two and asked voters if they knew which one was which.

Outspending both of his opponents, Braun won the primary.

The general election turned into a battle over trade, with both candidates accusing the other of outsourcing jobs and wages.

Republicans attempted to brand Donnelly as "Mexico Joe" after The Associated Press reported that Donnelly owned stock in a business that had a factory in Mexico. Donnelly sold the stock. Braun, meanwhile, was attacked for sourcing many of the auto parts his business sells from China.

Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, the former Indiana governor, each made several visits to the state to campaign for Braun. Trump branded Donnelly "Sleepy Joe."

Donnelly sought to portray himself as a centrist, often praising Trump and highlighting moments at which he had broken from Democratic leadership in the Senate.

Braun, meanwhile, leaned into Indiana's Republican-heavy makeup, airing ads attacking Donnelly for voting against Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination and for endorsing Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 587049

Reported Deaths: 9287
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion810691296
Lake44121665
Allen31797541
Hamilton28178303
St. Joseph26684369
Elkhart24057340
Vanderburgh18519213
Tippecanoe17305121
Johnson14398284
Porter14342159
Hendricks13793241
Madison10509212
Vigo10432171
Clark10151129
Monroe9029108
Delaware8782129
LaPorte8721153
Kosciusko784677
Howard7834137
Warrick636790
Hancock633297
Bartholomew624294
Floyd6098105
Wayne5903156
Grant5799109
Dubois541670
Boone531467
Morgan512388
Marshall492484
Henry491164
Cass469060
Noble458757
Dearborn454544
Jackson413145
Shelby401178
Lawrence379475
Clinton363639
Gibson355056
DeKalb336363
Montgomery333851
Harrison326042
Knox325439
Miami308243
Steuben304940
Adams294435
Whitley292325
Wabash291645
Ripley290845
Putnam282447
Huntington281257
Jasper280733
White265738
Daviess260772
Jefferson248538
Fayette241348
Decatur241282
Greene232460
Posey230026
Wells228547
LaGrange223461
Clay216432
Scott216437
Randolph207540
Jennings191335
Sullivan188531
Spencer179917
Fountain178625
Washington175018
Starke170741
Jay162021
Fulton158829
Owen157837
Carroll151315
Orange150533
Rush148118
Perry145327
Vermillion144333
Franklin142533
Parke12788
Tipton127332
Pike113125
Blackford107022
Pulaski94637
Newton89020
Brown85530
Benton84110
Crawford7479
Martin69213
Warren6537
Switzerland6175
Union6063
Ohio4647
Unassigned0374

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 821507

Reported Deaths: 10135
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin96935704
Cuyahoga81526972
Hamilton60913438
Montgomery41445399
Summit33096726
Lucas29981591
Butler29513227
Stark24608400
Warren18792139
Lorain17916207
Mahoning16710335
Lake15255135
Clermont15053104
Delaware1374277
Licking12595132
Trumbull12352301
Fairfield1211380
Greene11532132
Medina11033165
Clark10557264
Wood9901154
Allen9481126
Portage8802105
Miami880173
Richland8748116
Marion7305113
Tuscarawas7095174
Columbiana7047124
Pickaway699850
Wayne6729162
Muskingum665342
Erie5866117
Hancock537090
Ross526087
Scioto514862
Geauga478255
Darke456089
Ashtabula437268
Union429228
Lawrence428951
Mercer423387
Sandusky419062
Seneca411755
Auglaize410959
Huron409138
Shelby408521
Jefferson400466
Belmont392840
Washington367940
Putnam363672
Athens36229
Madison337928
Knox334922
Ashland329138
Fulton324243
Defiance317078
Crawford311968
Preble310034
Brown294419
Logan291829
Ottawa280534
Clinton278143
Williams268966
Highland261318
Jackson255243
Guernsey239425
Champaign239227
Fayette224529
Morrow22194
Perry220517
Holmes217562
Henry208847
Hardin203032
Coshocton197120
Van Wert196244
Wyandot189949
Gallia189126
Adams165515
Pike163416
Hocking161923
Carroll148016
Paulding139021
Noble117540
Meigs102421
Monroe95227
Harrison8578
Morgan78227
Vinton65613
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Cloudy
30° wxIcon
Hi: 31° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 21°
Angola
Cloudy
28° wxIcon
Hi: 30° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 28°
Huntington
Cloudy
28° wxIcon
Hi: 29° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 20°
Fort Wayne
Cloudy
30° wxIcon
Hi: 33° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 21°
Lima
Cloudy
30° wxIcon
Hi: 34° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 21°
Seasonal Monday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events