For Democrats, It's a Solid Northeast
Looking for an early read on how Democrats won the House? Look no further than the consolidation of the Northeast, where Democrats have won at least nine Republican-held seats.
Take New Hampshire. In the only state switched its support to the Democratic presidential candidate in 2004 after supporting President George W. Bush in 2000, Democrats defeated Reps. Jeb Bradley (R-01) and Charlie Bass (R02).
Bass was on many watch lists as his numbers collapsed late in the campaign. But Bradley was on NO ONE's radar screen. Democrat Carol Shea-Porter (D) upset the national Democrats' pick in the primary thanks to a strong anti-war message but was not seen as a real threat to Bradley.
Pennsylvania proved similarly disastrous for Republicans. Republican Reps. Curt Weldon, Don Sherwood and Melissa Hart were defeated. Two other Pennsylvania Republicans appear to be headed for defeat as well -- Jim Gerlach and Mike Fitzpatrick.
In New York, Democrat Michael Arcuri won the open 24th District seat, John Hall defeated Rep. Sue Kelly in the 19th District, and attorney Kirsten Gillibrand (D) defeated Rep. John Sweeney (R) in the 20th District.
In Connecticut, Rep. Nancy Johnson, who has held the 5th District since 1982, lost her seat. One GOP bright spot was in Connecticut's 4th District, where Rep. Chris Shays won reelection. Connecticut's 2nd District race is too close to call; Rep. Rob Simmons is trailing his Democratic challenger by 200 votes.
In many ways, the consolidation of the Northeast by Democrats mirrors similar gains made in the South by Republicans when they took the House in 1994. In '94, a lot of moderate and conservative Democrats who had This year people like Rep. Nancy Johnson, who has held Connecticut's 5th District since 1982, and Rep. Clay Shaw (R), who had held Florida's 22nd District since 1980, both were defeated.
Here's the full list of GOP House districts picked up by Democrats (as of 3 a.m. ET Wednesday):
November 8, 2006; 3:10 AM ET
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