Sahil Kapur

Sahil Kapur is TPM's senior congressional reporter and Supreme Court correspondent. His articles have been published in the Huffington Post, The Guardian and The New Republic. Email him at sahil@talkingpointsmemo.com and follow him on Twitter at @sahilkapur.

Articles by Sahil

Democrat Heidi Heitkamp looks poised to defeat Republican Rick Berg to become the next senator from North Dakota.

The race remains tight and has not been called by the networks as of Wednesday morning, but with 93 percent reporting, CNN had Heitkamp ahead by some 3,000 votes.

Berg -- a first term congressman who was elected during the 2010 tea party wave -- could still request a recount.

If she wins, Heitkamp, a former attorney general of the state, would replace Sen. Kent Conrad (D), the chairman of the Budget Committee, who did not seek reelection. Her showing in the bright-red state that Mitt Romney easily carried came as a surprise to many.

Rep. Jeff Flake (R) has defeated Richard Carmona (D) to become the next senator from Arizona, cable networks projected.

The congressman, who has served in the House since 2001, ran as a conservative focused on opposing government spending and earmarks.

He will replace Sen. Jon Kyl (R), the No. 2 Republican in the chamber who did not seek reelection.

Carmona, a physician and former public health official, was long seen as the underdog in the solidly Republican state but mounted a serious challenge for the seat, running close to Flake in numerous polls.

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In a statement provided to TPM Wednesday morning, Rep. Paul Ryan thanked Mitt Romney and said he's looking forward to returning to the House of Representatives as budget chief.

"I am immensely proud of the campaign we ran, and I remain grateful to Governor Romney for the honor of being his running mate," he said. "I look forward to spending some time with my family in the coming days and then continuing my responsibilities as chairman of the House Budget Committee and representative of Wisconsin's First Congressional District."

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) will deliver remarks "on the fiscal cliff and the need for both parties to find common ground and take steps together to help our economy grow and create jobs" this afternoon, according to an advisory from his office.

Democrat Tammy Baldwin defeated Republican Tommy Thompson in a race to become the next senator from Wisconsin.

Fox News and CBS News called the contest Tuesday night for Baldwin, who will become America's the first openly gay senator -- a development that progressives and gay rights advocates immediately praised as the results trickled in.

"Tonight, at the end of a long and hard-fought campaign, we have won a huge victory for Wisconsin's middle class," Baldwin said in her victory speech. "Well, the people's voice was heard tonight, Wisconsin - and come January, your voice will be heard in the United States Senate."

"I am honored, and humbled, and grateful," she said. "And I am ready to get to work."

Both candidates characterized themselves as pragmatic moderates. Baldwin played up Thompson's role as a lobbyist since serving in the Bush administration, while Thompson invoked the goodwill he built up as governor and pledge to fight for Wisconsinites.

Baldwin has served as a congresswoman since 1999.

Thompson is a former governor of the state and top Bush administration health official.

Democrat Tim Kaine defeated Republican George Allen on Tuesday night in a close and widely watched Senate contest in Virginia.

CBS News and NBC called the race for Kaine, a former governor of Virginia and chairman of the Democratic National Committee. He ran as a pragmatic problem-solver in the important swing state and painted Allen as an ideologue wedded to the tea party.

"I've called Tim and congratulated him," Allen told his supporters during his concession speech, as he thanked them. "We still remain friends personally and that's an important thing. I've congratulated him and pledged my support as he takes on the task of [representing the people of Virginia]."

"It has been a long and difficult campaign," he said. "It's also been a joyful one."

Kaine will replace retiring one-term Sen. Jim Webb (D).

Allen is a former Virginia senator and governor.

Democratic Rep. Joe Donnelly defeated Republican State Treasurer Richard Mourdock on Tuesday night to become the next senator from Indiana and likely drive a nail into the coffin of GOP hopes to retake control of the Senate.

Fox News and NBC called the race for Donnelly, who ran as a socially conservative pro-life Democrat and relentlessly characterized Mourdock as an extremist.

The result ends a close and at times dramatic contest, which gained national attention earlier this month when Mourdock stumbled over comments regarding rape in a televised debate.

Mourdock, who defeated longtime Sen. Dick Lugar (R) in the GOP primary, also drew criticism early in the general election for describing compromise as a process where Democrats ought to come around to the Republican worldview. He backed off that approach, but a steady campaign by the three-term Donnelly was enough to sink him.

Democrat Alan Grayson, the liberal firebrand who served one term before losing his seat in the 2010 Republican wave, was elected to the House again on Tuesday night.

He will return to Washington in Jan. to serve among Florida's congressional delegation.

Democratic Rep. Chris Murphy has defeated Republican Linda McMahon to become the next senator from Connecticut.

The Associated Press and CBS News called the race for Murphy on Tuesday night, a result that reflects recent polls that showed the Democrat with a lead.

He will replace Sen. Joe Lieberman (I).

McMahon, the former CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment, ran unsuccessfully for Senate in 2010. She ran as a fiscal conservative but hewed to the left on social issues like abortion.

Her campaign had a tense relationship with members of the press, and this week was caught distributing door-hangers in minority communities asking voters to support her and President Obama.

On Election Day, the McMahon campaign distributed flyers that asked voters to support her and Obama. It proved insufficient to defeat the congressman, who was first elected in 2006.

McMahon spent $50 million on her Senate run this cycle, according to the Center For Responsive Politics.