(JTA) — Former Democratic Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold failed in his bid to reclaim his seat in a race that had been projected to go his way.
Republican Sen. Ron Johnson received 51.8 percent of the vote to Feingold’s 45.5 percent.
Feingold called Johnson shortly after 11 p.m. on Tuesday to concede.
“I’m sorry we didn’t get the job done,” he said in a concession speech to supporters, the Wisconsin Star-Tribune reported.
“Obviously something is happening in this country tonight. I don’t understand it completely. I don’t think anybody does,” Feingold said, adding: “This could be one of the most challenging times in the history of our country.”
Feingold was a popular three-term senator swept aside in 2010 by Johnson, a Tea Party candidate.
Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, and Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine all came to Wisconsin in the final week of the race to campaign for Feingold and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
Feingold was endorsed by the J Street, the liberal Jewish Middle East policy lobby, which injected $250,000 into the race in recent weeks.
With three-quarters of the votes counted, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump was ahead of Clinton by some 4 percent.