OSHKOSH -- U.S. Sen Ron Johnson, the first Republican in 36 years to win Wisconsin during a presidential year, called his re-election a great night for Wisconsin and America.
Johnson, who trailed every publicly released poll but one since Dem Russ Feingold got into the race, said he has spoken with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, vice presidential nominee Mike Pence, RNC Chair Reince Priebus and House Speaker Paul Ryan.
“My message has been pretty consistent,” Johnson said. “I believe America has given us a chance, an opportunity to put this nation on the right path. It’s exactly what I intend to do.”
Johnson announced during the campaign he would not seek re-election if he won a second term, and he repeated that pledge Tuesday night to supporters.
“I approach the next six years with a seriousness of purpose,” Johnson said. “We’ve got a shot, we’ve got a chance, we’ve got to put America on the right path.”
Johnson said he will focus on areas of agreement in his next term.
"We all want a safe, prosperous and secure America," Johnson said. "We are concerned about each other. There is no political party with a monopoly on compassion."
Speaking with reporters afterward, Johnson said he was surprised by the result and had a "gracious call" with Feingold and wished him well.
"I thought this might be kind of a late night," he said.
Johnson, who outperformed Donald Trump in the state, said it was his goal to help bolster the GOP nominee.
He noted that that former House Speaker Newt Gingrich told him the only reason Harry Truman won the presidency was because six Senate Dems helped him win their states.
"Quite honestly, that's been my goal ever since," Johnson said. "No matter who the nominee was going to be, I wanted to run a great campaign to help whoever that presidential candidate was also win the state.
"That apparently happened. I'm very proud of that effort."
Johnson said he felt the early turning point was after Labor Day, when he ran ads highlighting initiatives he was involved in to help others.
He said he will continue to work on bolstering national security and working toward tax reform, regulatory reform, reducing energy costs and addressing government waste and abuse.
He also said he is looking forward to confirming judges to the Supreme Court and reaffirmed his call to repeal and replace Obamacare.
"It needs to be repealed. It's done so much damage," Johnson said. "It's been a complete disaster."
Johnson said he would not support removing the 60-vote threshold for legislation to pass the Senate, saying it serves as a check against passions of the moment and was part of the "genius of our founding fathers."
If Trump is elected, he said, he supports an attempt to prosecute Hillary Clinton over her handling of classified emails.
"She needs to be held accountable," Johnson said. "I believe what Secretary Clinton has done is clearly unlawful."
-- By David Wise
Note: This post has been updated with additional content.