The anti-incumbent wave didn't quite reach California, where Democrat Barbara Boxer won a fourth term in the Senate after a bruising campaign in which Republican Carly Fiorina unsuccessfully tried to pin the state's economic woes on policies supported by her opponent.
Fox News called the race for Boxer, a powerful liberal voice in the Senate, shortly after polls closed in California Tuesday night.
The win means Democrats will retain control of the Senate.
"This is my 11th straight election victory and what a sweet one it is," Boxer said at a victory party in Hollywood.
In what may have been the senator's toughest race yet, the candidates ran neck-and-neck for weeks until polls showed the incumbent pulling away in the final few days.
The Republican did not concede, saying she wanted to wait until all the votes are counted.
Fiorina, the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, played up her business acumen and outsider status while portraying Boxer as a Washington establishment figure who would continue to grow the government and prolong the lingering national recession. The Republican repeatedly linked her opponent to the agenda of President Obama, earning support from the tea party and the business community.
But Boxer, 69, was able to use Fiorina's often tumultuous tenure at HP against her, casting the ex-CEO as a corporate fat cat who pulled the trigger on massive layoffs and sent jobs overseas. "Outsourcing jobs, out for herself," intoned one Boxer ad.
The senator did not shy away from Obama, crediting him and the Democratic Congress for passing the $814 billion economic stimulus bill, avoiding a depression and saving thousands of jobs in California. Obama appeared in Boxer's television ads and made campaign stops for the senator.
Fiorina, 56, apparently failed to win over independents and centrist Democrats -- a necessity for Republican candidates in a famously liberal state. She sunk an estimated $7 million of her own money into the campaign and benefited from big donations by a number of national conservative groups seeking to elect Republicans. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce spent a reported $4.5 million in backing Fiorina.
The race turned catty early in the summer, when Fiorina was caught on a live microphone mocking Boxer's hair style as "so yesterday."
Fiorina was temporarily sidelined from the campaign trail in the race's final week when she was hospitalized for an infection related to reconstructive surgery after breast cancer.