Big night at the polls for Democrats

tshoop@govexec.com

Democrats are celebrating the surprisingly successful performance of their candidates around the country in yesterday's midterm congressional elections.

Early this morning, major news outlets were projecting that while the GOP would retain control of the Senate, Democrats would gain five seats in the House.

In the Senate, three Democratic seats were expected to fall into Republican hands, while Democrats were expected to take three Republican seats, CNN reported, leaving the Senate with the same split-55 Republican and 45 Democratic seats-as in the 105th Congress.

As recently as a couple of weeks ago, some experts were predicting that the GOP could gain as many as 35 seats in the House. And in the Senate, Republicans had hoped to pick up five seats to gain a filibuster-proof majority.

The House results were particularly stunning. Only once since the Civil War, in 1934, has the President's party managed to gain House seats in midterm elections. Losses have averaged 27 seats, CNN reported.

"Americans had a choice and they chose progress over partisanship," Vice President Al Gore told reporters. "It's a great night for Democrats and a great night for the country."

GOP leaders struggled to put a positive spin on the results.

"This will be the first time in 70 years that Republicans kept control of the House for a third time," said House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., who swept to victory in his own race.

"When you win, you pick up seats, and that's a win in anybody's election," said Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss.

Other key Republicans didn't even try to sugarcoat the results.

"This is a good night for Democrats," William Bennett, former Reagan Administration Education Secretary and Bush Administration drug czar, told ABC News. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, told ABC that Democratic gains in the House were "an astounding thing."

While Republicans retained control of the Senate, they lost two key races. Al D'Amato of New York was upset by Rep. Charles Schumer, and in North Carolina, Lauch Faircloth fell to Democrat John Edwards, a 45-year old attorney.

At the same time, four Democratic Senators fended off stiff challenges: Ernest Hollings of South Carolina, Barbara Boxer of California, Patty Murray of Washington and Russell Feingold of Wisconsin. Sen. Carol Moseley-Braun, D-Ill., lost her seat to Republican challenger Peter Fitzgerald.

Key Senators who won reelection included Minority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., second-ranking Republican Don Nickles of Oklahoma, John McCain, R-Ariz., Arlen Specter, R-Pa., Chris Dodd, D-Conn., Sam Brownback, R-Kan., and Barbara Mikulski, D-Md.

Rep. Jim Bunning, R-Ky., was ahead of Democratic Rep. Scotty Baesler in the race for the Senate seat vacated by Democrat Wendell H. Ford by 5,288 votes out of more than 1.1 million cast with 99 percent reporting, CongressDaily reported. While news organizations declared Bunning the winner, Baesler had yet to concede, and a recount may loom on the horizon. A recount may also be on tap in Nevada, where Democratic Sen. Harry Reid at presstime held only a 783-vote lead over GOP Rep. John Ensign with 94 percent of precincts reporting.

On the House side, incumbents of both parties generally fared well. Easy winners included Government Reform and Oversight Committee Chairman Dan Burton, R-Ind., Judiciary Committee Chairman Henry Hyde, R-Ill., and Minority Leader Richard Gephardt, D-Mo.

This morning, it appeared there would be 223 Republicans, 211 Democrats and one independent in the House that convenes in January, CongressDaily reported.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

    Download
  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

    Download
  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

    Download
  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

    Download
  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.