According to Bloomberg News, Alaska Senator Ted Stevens - the longest-serving Senate Republican - lost his bid to stay in office as ballot counts two weeks after Election Day gave Democrat Mark Begich - the 46-year-old mayor of Anchorage - an insurmountable lead.
The result means Democrats won at least seven Republican-held seats in the Nov. 4 election. More importantly it means the Democrats are two short of the 60 seats needed to prevent the Republican party from blocking legislation with a filibuster.
Two races are still unresolved. The Minnesota Senate contest is headed for a recount starting today, and Georgia will hold a runoff Dec. 2.
Since the Republicans seem to be chomping-at-the-bit to block almost all the progressive proposals Obama sends to Congress, the 60-vote block is all the more important to achieve. Otherwise the Senate will be deadlocked at a time of dire national crises.