As an epic US election draws to a close Tuesday, a number of lesser political battles take place between Jewish candidates for the Senate. Just three of the 13 Jewish senators in office are running for reelection, and two of them, in New Jersey and Minnesota, are up against Jewish opponents.
In Minnesota, Republican Senator Norm Coleman faces comedian Al Franken, whose role in the late-night series 'Saturday Night Live' made him famous. Franken, slightly ahead in polls, is a Democrat.
In New Jersey Democrat Frank R. Lautenberg, 84, is said to have defeated Republican Dick Zimmer in polls, while in Michigan the Democratic Jewish candidate, Carl Levin, is expected to emerge victorious over his non-Jewish opponent.
There are currently 29 Jewish legislators expected to join the US House of Representatives in January, and many others are in the running throughout the country.
The Democratic Party is preparing to greatly increase its influence in the Senate and Congress. A major battle is being waged over the Senate, where the party currently has just a slim majority of 49-51.
According to the polls, the Democrats will have a majority of 60 seats after the elections Tuesday, which will enable them to pass bills without filibuster-riddled debates.