Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY) has survived a close race, squeezing by former Marine fighter pilot Amy McGrath (D) in a heavily Republican-leaning district that became one of the top Democratic targets in the country.
Barr led McGrath by 51 percent to 48 percent with 94 percent of precincts reporting. The Associated Press has called the race.
McGrath used a viral campaign announcement video to haul in millions of dollars, and out-raised Barr by a huge margin for the campaign after defeating a well-known local Democrat in the primary.
She had a big lead in polls shortly after that primary win, leading Republicans to rush in with millions in early spending to knock her down. That push by the Congressional Leadership Fund, the GOP’s main House super-PAC, helped Barr regain a lead. But in the race’s closing weeks she appeared to be closing in again, making the race look more like a tossup once again.
Heading into election day, Democrats didn’t view this as a must-win for control — strategists in both parties thought this was more like a district that they’d win in a 40-seat wave. But it’s nonetheless a disappointment for Democrats, and a relief for the GOP.