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Democratic Senate candidate Jaime Harrison conceded the race to incumbent Sen. Lindsey Graham on Tuesday after fundraising over $100 million during his campaign. Photo: Michael Ciaglo/Getty

Congressional races saw record-shattering fundraising numbers this year, with Democrats pouring money into candidates challenging Republican incumbents.

Why it matters: Democrats heavily invested in these contenders with the hope of flipping the Senate. The races brought in an outpouring of small-dollar donations.

The big picture: Though Democratic campaigns collected many millions of dollars this election cycle, several races in key states have resulted in losses.

What they're saying: "You wasted a lot of money," Graham said in his victory speech Tuesday night after defeating Harrison. “This is the worst return on investment in the history of American politics."

The bottom line: Despite picking up Senate seats in Colorado and Arizona, Democrats' hopes of winning control of the Senate faded as they lost a series of high-profile races.

Go deeper

Democrat Mark Kelly sworn in to U.S. Senate

Photo: Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images

Astronaut Mark Kelly (D) was sworn in to the U.S. Senate on Wednesday after defeating incumbent Sen. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) last month for the seat once held by the late Sen. John McCain.

Why it matters: Kelly's swearing-in by Vice President Mike Pence narrows the Republican majority and moves the Senate balance to 52-48.

Biden plans to ask public to wear masks for first 100 days in office

Joe Biden. Photo: Mark Makela/Gettu Images

President-elect Joe Biden told CNN on Thursday that he plans to ask the American public to wear face masks for the first 100 days of his presidency.

The big picture: Biden also stated he has asked NIAID director Anthony Fauci to stay on in his current role, serve as a chief medical adviser and be part of his COVID-19 response team when he takes office early next year.

What COVID-19 vaccine trials still need to do

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

COVID-19 vaccines are being developed at record speed, but some experts fear the accelerated regulatory process could interfere with ongoing research about the vaccines.

Why it matters: Even after the first COVID-19 vaccines are deployed, scientific questions will remain about how they are working and how to improve them.