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

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

We focused on jobs and jobs and jobs and people responded well to that, Cantwell told The Associated Press after a victory speech in Seattle. We have a lot to do. A lot of people don't want to see stalemate. We need to get to work on economic issues.

Baumgartner conceded shortly after early results came in. In a statement, he said that he knew beating Cantwell was going to be an uphill battle.

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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