Who had a good election – and who didn't? Our winners and losers from the race

From Donald Trump to David Axelrod's moustache, Kevin Rawlinson picks those who will want to remember 2012, and those who won't
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Winner: Tammy Baldwin

Four years after America elected its first black President, there was a milestone for another minority group as the state of Wisconsin voted the country's first openly gay politician in to the Senate. But Tammy Baldwin did not want her sexuality to become the only issue in what was the most expensive Senate election campaign in the state's history. After beating Republican rival Tommy Thompson, she said: "I didn't run to make history, I ran to make a difference, a difference in the lives of families struggling to find work and pay the bills."

Losers: Tod Akin and Richard Mourdock

Messrs Akin and Mourdock had a foolproof plan to get elected. In the case of Mr Akin, woo the electorate by stating confidently that women cannot get pregnant from something called "legitimate rape"; in that of Mr Mourdock, by insisting that pregnancies could indeed occur from rape and, moreover, were God's plan. Perhaps unsurprisingly, neither worked. Mr Akin failed in his bid to become the next Senator of Missouri, losing by a comfortable margin to the incumbent Senator Claire McCaskill. Despite his insistence that his popularity rose after his own rape comments, Mr Mourdock lost the Indiana race.

Winner: Michele Bachmann

The staunch opponent of same-sex marriage was one the few Tea Party supporters to have any major successes in the elections. The Tea Party caucus founder scored a narrow victory over her rival after losing out on the Republican Party's Presidential nomination in contrast to many of her colleagues in the ultra-conservative movement.

Loser: Linda McMahon

She has been involved in some fights in her time, and the wrestling magnate spent millions on her Senate bid. But it was to no avail as Ms McMahon lost out to Chris Murphy in Connecticut, despite the total bill for the campaign – her second – reportedly reaching more than $40m, much of it her own cash. Ms McMahon, traditionally a Republican, even resorted to producing T-shirts that read: "I support Obama and McMahon", in an apparent attempt to piggyback on the President's campaign.

Winner: David Axelrod's moustache

It may have been a stroke of electoral genius, helping to focus minds in key states. Then again, it may just have been a bit of a laugh when President Obama's advisor David Axelrod promised to shave off his moustache if his man lost in Minnesota, Pennsylvania or Michigan.

Either way, his facial hair will have breathed a sigh of relief when it was announced that it was not for the chop – and neither was its owner's boss.

Loser: Donald Trump

On hearing that his nemesis had been re-elected to office, the coiffeured one blew his top, demanding Americans rise up in revolution on his Twitter profile. Before the full results were in, he claimed that Mitt Romney lost the election, despite having won the most votes – a quirk of the US electoral college system. He didn't. Soon after, Trump tweeted: "More votes equals a loss… revolution!" As yet, there have been no reports of guillotines outside the White House.