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SEATTLE -- U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell has clinched re-election, defeating Republican newcomer Michael Baumgartner to win her third term.

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In early returns Tuesday night, Cantwell led Baumgartner 60 percent to 40 percent.

Cantwell, Washington state's junior senator, led from the start, amassing a war chest worth more than $8 million that dwarfed Baumgartner's effort, which added up to about $1 million.

Baumgartner is a first-term state senator from the Spokane area who previously worked as a foreign policy consultant.

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