WASHINGTON (AP) -- Former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner has breezed to victory in his bid for the Senate, capturing for Democrats a southern seat long held by Republicans and fueling expectations that Democrats would solidify their now-thin leadership grip over the chamber.
Warner beat another former governor, Republican Jim Gilmore, in the race to replace retiring five-term Sen. John Warner.
The two Warners are not related.
The victory came as Democrats, piggybacking on aggressive Barack Obama voter-registration and get-out-the-vote drives in battleground states, reached for a coveted 60-seat, filibuster-proof Senate majority.
Voters flocked to the polls to fill 35 Senate seats in a year in which both parties said they expected Democratic gains.