Grassley Comes Out Ahead In Iowa’s Senate Race, Networks Project

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, whose panel is responsible for vetting judicial appointments, arrives for a hearing shortly after President Barack Obama announced Judge Merrick Garland as his nominee to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, March 16, 2016. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., repeated his steadfast opposition to holding confirmation hearing in the Judiciary Committee in President Obama’s last months in the White House and made it clear in a speech on the floor that the GOP-led Senate will not consider President Barack Obama's nominee, Merrick Garland, but will wait until after the next president is in place.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) is projected to retain his Senate seat in Iowa, according to AP and Fox News.

By the end of election season, Grassley was widely expected to retain his seat in the Senate. A Grassley loss would have seriously jeopardized Republicans’ chances of maintaining their majority.

AP first called Grassley as winner of the U.S. Senate race at 10 p.m., just after Iowa’s polls closed at the same time. Fox News followed shortly after.

Grassley, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, has been in the Senate since 1981.

The incumbent senator’s job approval ratings dipped in popularity after Senate Republicans announced they would refuse to consider President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee. Grassley has since stated the Senate will not “stonewall” Hillary Clinton’s Supreme Court nominee should she be elected to the Oval Office.

In the final hours of the election, Grassley pushed FBI Director James Comey for details regarding the FBI’s continued investigation into Clinton’s private email server, claiming Comey did not provide enough context for the agency’s decision.

Grassley has been a fierce critic of Clinton’s use of a private email server during her time as secretary of state, calling for the FBI’s full disclosure of information gathered during its investigation.

The incumbent led a majority of polls of the U.S. Senate race in Iowa, leading on TPM’s PollTracker Average on Tuesday, 56.5 to 36.1.

Days before Iowa voters cast their ballots, Grassley polled 16 points ahead in a Loras College poll, and 18 points ahead of Democratic challenger Patty Judge in a Quinnipiac poll.