On Tuesday, Utah Republican Senator Mike Lee defeated independent challenger Evan McMullin for reelection to the Senate in an extremely costly U.S. Senate competitions the state has had in a long time, as reported by Decision Desk HQ.
It will be Lee's 3rd election to the Senate. As of early Wednesday morning, Lee beat out avowed never-Trumper McMullin 56 percent to 41 percent. Although it's true that the Red Wave predicted by pollsters and pundits did not happen, this is positive for the Republican party. Lee stated that the election was “daunting and humbling,” according to the Salt Lake Tribune, also stating:
Utah has spoken loudly and clearly. The values of the Democratic Party have failed us to the point that red states are having none of it.
We’re going to have some opportunity to go on the offensive and make a difference in the lives of individual Americans. We still have so much to do.
The amount of money that is involved during this competition is astonishing:
The unusual competition between the two conservative candidates has drawn national attention and an unprecedented amount of money. Lee has raised nearly double what he did last election cycle, and together, the candidates have spent nearly $16 million trying to beat each other. And according to OpenSecrets, when outside spenders are included, this race has cost north of $35 million.
It was noteworthy because a Utah Senator, failed Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, wouldn’t support Lee despite all other Senate Republican having done so. Lee even appeared on Tucker Carlson Tonight to ask for Romney's backing.
Mitt can add this to his list of failures. Although Republicans appear to be on track to fall short of the most favorable scenario during this election, this is still an important victory.