North Carolina Democrat Kay Hagan has knocked Elizabeth Dole -- one of the biggest names in the Republican Party -- out of the U.S. Senate after just one term in office.
The Associated Press called the race for Hagan based on an analysis of voter interviews, conducted for the AP by Edison Media Research and Mitofsky International.
Hagan was a little-known state senator from Greensboro when she entered the race to unseat Dole one year ago. But Democrats eager to reach a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate rushed to her aid with millions of dollars in advertising that tarnished Dole's name and left voters with the impression she was ineffective and out of touch.
The loss for Dole likely ends a political career that included two postings in Republican cabinets and a run for the White House.