Republicans scored big victories on Tuesday and edged closer to taking control of the U.S. Senate in midterms elections that could tip the balance of power away from President Barack Obama for his remaining two years in office.

Voters unhappy with Obama, worried about the economy and weary of partisan gridlock in Washington set Republicans on what could be a course to control of both chambers of Congress for the first time since elections in 2006.

Republican Senate candidates picked up Democratic seats in Montana, Colorado, West Virginia, South Dakota and Arkansas – giving them five out of the six gains they need for a majority in the 100-member chamber.

The outcome of the elections suggested Obama would face a tougher final two years in office, complicated by greater Republican power and influence in Washington.

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