WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans are off to a good start on election night with a victory by GOP Senate leader Mitch McConnell.

McConnell won a sixth term in Washington, with his eyes on the larger prize of GOP control of the Senate. He beat back a challenge from Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes.

The party also held two seats in South Carolina as Senators Tim Scott and Lindsey Graham easily won their elections.

Scott made history in becoming the first African-American elected statewide in South Carolina since Reconstruction, winning the race to finish the final two years of the term of Jim DeMint, who resigned from the Senate in 2012.

Republicans need a net gain of six seats to wrest control of the Senate from Democrats. Thirty-six seats are up.