Elizabeth Dole held her head high in Salisbury, telling supporters she was proud to be the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate from North Carolina, proud of what she accomplished and proud of all who backed her.
Kay Hagan held her head high in Greensboro, telling supporters that nobody had any faith a year ago when she got into the race, nobody thought she had a shot at upending Dole, nobody took her seriously.
Today they will. As the returns poured in Tuesday night, it was clear Hagan had not only won, but triumphed.
For Dole, it meant she was going home.
Home, as in Washington, D.C.
For six years she masqueraded as a North Carolinian and might well have pulled it off again had Hagan not unmasked her.
In an election year marked by calls for change, Dole was a natural target.
Yes, Dole grew up in North Carolina but spent most of her adult life in D.C. It was tough for her to join the popular wave of Beltway bashing because she is an ultimate insider.
In 2001, after an accomplished career, she established residency in her hometown of Salisbury so she could run for the Senate.
She then rode into office on the coattails of George Bush and the Republican surge.
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