Nat'l GOP wins House; Dems keep U.S. Senate
Published: Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Updated: Wednesday, November 3, 2010 06:11
The GOP took control of the House of Representatives in Tuesday's midterm elections by a comfortable margin, but fell short of gaining a majority in the Senate.
In the House, the GOP gained 57 seats across the nation at presstime, 18 more than were needed to gain control.
Republicans upset a number of Democratic incumbents, several of whom had been in power for many years. Rick Boucher of Virginia's 9th Congressional District was a 14-term representative before Republican Morgan Griffith took his seat. In Texas's 17th Congressional District, Republican Bill Flores defeated 10-term Democratic incumbent Chet Edwards.
Current House minority leader John Boehner, who is in line to become the next Speaker of the House, spoke to supporters in Washington, referencing the GOP's new agenda.
"The people's priorities will be our priorities," Boehner said. "The people's agenda will be our agenda. This is our pledge to America, this is our pledge to you."
At press time, the Democrats held 50 Senate seats, while the Republicans held 46, with four still undecided. Before the election, Republicans held 41 seats in the Senate, while Democrats held 59. The GOP needed 10 seats of the 37 at stake in order to gain control of the Senate, and 39 seats for control of the House.
Democratic candidate Chris Coons defeated Republican candidate Christine O'Donnell in the Delaware Senate race. Coons took 56.6 percent of the vote over O'Donnell's 40.0 percent.
In the Delaware House race, Democrat John Carney took the one House seat up for grabs defeating Republican Glen Urquhart. Carney obtained 58.8 percent of the vote over Urquhart's 41 percent.
Republicans took six seats away from the Democrats in the Senate. GOP candidate Pat Toomey took the Pennsylvania race over Democrat Joe Sestak in one of the tightest races of the day. Toomey led with 51 percent of the vote to Sestak's 49.1 percent.
In Arkansas, Republican John Boozman defeated incumbent Democrat Blanche Lincoln, while in Indiana, Republican Dan Coats won over Democrat Brad Ellsworth. In addition, North Dakota Republican John Hoeven beat Democrat Tracy Potter; Republican Ron Johnson took down incumbent Democrat Russ Feingold in Wisconsin; and Republican Mark Kirk defeated Democrat Alexi Giannoulias in Illinois.
Senate majority leader and Democrat Harry Reid held onto his position against Tea Party-backed Sharron Angle in a closely contested Nevada race. Reid has made some colorful remarks over the course of the campaign, including one in September, when he called Coons his "pet." Angle also received backlash for her immigration-centered ads and comments about Hispanics. Reid won 51 percent of the vote, while Angle took 44 percent.
In a year in which unexpected Tea Party upsets ruled the primaries, two of its candidates were successful in the general election. In Kentucky, it was Republican Rand Paul, the son of Rep. Ron Paul, over Democrat Jack Conway, while in Florida, Marco Rubio took the state's vacant Senate seat over Democrat Kendrick Meek and current governor and newly switched Independent Charlie Crist.
Rubio gave a warning to the crowd during his victory speech.
"We make a grave mistake if we believe that tonight these results are somehow an embrace of the Republican Party," Rubio said. "What they are is a second chance—a second chance for Republicans to be what they said they were going to be not so long ago."
In South Carolina, in Republican Jim DeMint's quest for a second term, the incumbent gained 59 percent of the votes, defeating the surprise Democratic nominee Alvin Greene, who had 29.8 percent. DeMint recently came under fire by activists groups for his comments about homosexuals and whether or not they should be allowed to teach in public schools.
Seven Republicans in total were re-elected, including 2008 presidential candidate John McCain in Arizona.
A number of Democratic incumbents kept their seats as well, including Chuck Schumer in New York, Patrick Leahy in Vermont, Barbara Mikulski in Maryland, Ron Wyden in Oregon and Barbara Boxer in California. In addition, Kirsten Gillibrand was re-elected in New York's special Senate election.