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Democrat Cal Cunningham concedes to GOP incumbent Sen. Thom Tillis in North Carolina

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The outcome means Republicans are one step closer to keeping control of the Senate

Cal Cunningham (left) and Sen. Thom Tillis (Image source: Fox News video screenshot)

Democrat Cal Cunningham has conceded in his race to unseat Republican Sen. Thom Tillis in North Carolina, placing the GOP one step closer to maintaining control of the upper chamber.

What are the details?

Cunningham, 47, released a statement Tuesday saying that he had called Tillis "to congratulate him on winning re-election to a second term in the U.S. Senate and wished him and his family the best in their continued service in the months and years ahead."

"The voters have spoken and I respect their decision," he continued. "While the results of this election suggest there remain deep political divisions in our state and nation, the more complete story of our country lies in what unites us: our faith and sense of confidence in our democracy, our civic values and common humanity, our shared aspiration to care for one another, and our belief that we live in a country that does exceptional things."

Tillis, 60, issued a statement acknowledging Cunningham's call, saying, "This was a hard-fought campaign and I wish nothing but the best to Cal and his family going forward."

Polls showed Tillis trailing behind Cunningham leading up to the election, but the race tightened in October after Cunningham admitted to exchanging sexually charged texts with a woman who is not his wife. The married father of two children was also hit with allegations of engaging in separate physical affairs with the alleged mistress and another unnamed woman.

Fox News reported that, according to elections policy analyst Andy Jackson of the conservative Civitas Institute, Tillis "had the odds stacked against him," noting that "North Carolina voters are 'brutal' to their incumbent senators, rejecting nearly all modern senators after just one term."

Anything else?

The Associated Press reported that Tillis led Cunningham by more than 95,000 votes in the race, and with it decided, "all eyes turned to Georgia, where two U.S. Senate runoff races in January are likely to determine the balance of the upper chamber."

The outlet pointed out:

With votes still uncounted and the races in North Carolina and Alaska still too early to call Tuesday, the Senate remained tied 48-48. Alaska GOP Sen. Dan Sullivan is favored for another term against Al Gross, an independent running as a Democrat. If the Senate ended up tied 50-50, Democratic Vice President-elect Kamala Harris would wield the tiebreaking vote.

Now that Tillis has kept his seat, Republicans now hold 49 seats in the Senate to the Democrats' 48.

Also, North Carolina's presidential race and several other statewide races have not been called. President Trump leads former Vice President Joe Biden by more than 73,000 votes.

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