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TN-Sen: Republican Marsha Blackburn defeats Democrat Phil Bredesen

U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) encourages supporters to put bumper stickers on their cars during a get-out-the-vote rally at Henry Horton State Park, Nov. 1 in Chapel Hill, Tennessee. Blackburn beat Phil Bredesen to win a seat formerly held by retiring Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) has defeated former Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen. This Senate seat was one that Democrats were hoping to win in order to chip away at the GOP's majority. Blackburn cruised into an easy victory with more than 62 percent of the vote at the time that the race was called.

Here's what you need to know

Blackburn won the seat that had previously been held by retiring Republican Sen. Bob Corker.

Although Bredesen had a narrow 1 percentage point lead in a Vanderbilt University poll from early October, Blackburn was up 8 points in an Emerson College poll released on Nov. 1.

Blackburn's campaign raised $11.4 million and spent $12 million, according to Federal Election Commission data, while Bredesen raised $10.4 million and spent $15.4 million. $5.5 million of that came from Bredesen himself. The FEC did not list Blackburn as having contributed any money to her own campaign as of Oct. 17.

When he ran for governor, Bredesen had managed to win every single one of Tennessee's 95 counties. Trump himself won 92 of them. Bredesen could also point to high approval ratings during his tenure as governor.

Even Corker seemed to think that Bredesen had a chance in this election. In April, Corker said that he thought Bredesen had “real appeal,” but added “The question is, in a state like ours that is still a red state, is it enough? I don’t know the answer to that.”

Bredesen had received a big name endorsement came from pop singer Taylor Swift.

“As much as I have in the past and would like to continue voting for women in office, I cannot support Marsha Blackburn. Her voting record in Congress appalls and terrifies me,” Swift wrote on Instagram. “I will be voting for Phil Bredesen.”

Blackburn, meanwhile, earned an endorsement from President Donald Trump.

“A vote for Marsha is really a vote for me and everything we stand for. It’s a vote for Make America Great Again,” Trump told supporters at a rally for Blackburn on Oct. 1.

For her part, Blackburn promised those at that rally that she would use her position in the Senate to support Trump's agenda.

“If you want a U.S. senator who is going to stand with the president, build the wall, cut your taxes, and make certain we take care of our men and women in uniform, I’m asking you to stand with me,” she said.

In her victory speech, Blackburn said that she wanted to congratulate “Phil Bredesen and his team...on a hard fought race, and i hope that they know that my door is always open, and that, their supporters, I hope they will work with us on better tomorrows for our children and our grandchildren.”

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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