Mitch McConnell projected to retain Senate seat over Alison Lundergan Grimes
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY). (AFP)

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) was expected to retain his seat after pulling away from challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes on Tuesday night, NBC News reported.

According to NBC, McConnell won 56 percent of the vote on Tuesday, while Lundergan Grimes amassed the support of 40 percent of the electorate.

The challenge of the state's Secretary of State was, at one point, considered Democrats' best chance to unseat the longtime incumbent McConnell. While Grimes' campaign painted him as a Washington insider who had lost his connection to Kentucky voters, McConnell and the GOP portrayed Grimes as an ideological stand-in for President Barack Obama.

Though she refused to campaign with Obama, Grimes stumbled over this accusation at times; the Lexington Herald-Journal reported that she refused to say whether she voted for him seven times during a seven-day period last month. Between them, the Louisville Courier-Journal reported, Grimes and McConnell's campaigns spent $80 million on this election, making it one of the most expensive in the country.

The final days of the campaign were marked by legal maneuvering after McConnell's campaign released mailers resembling legal materials warning voters about “fraudulent” information from Grimes. But a lawsuit from Grimes' campaign calling them an attempt at voter suppression was struck down by a judge on Monday