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Democrats Pick Up Seats in Kentucky and Indiana

Kentucky Rep. Anne Northup (R) has lost her bid for reelection in the Louisville-area 3rd District, a sign that Democrats are well-positioned to make considerable House gains tonight.

Northup withstood a series of Democratic challenges since she won her seat in 1996. Despite the fact that challenger John Yarmuth was a less-experienced candidate than past Democratic opponents, Northup was unable to overcome a Democratic wind blowing in her face. Republican strategists also blamed her defeat on a decision to run positive ads in the final week of the campaign.

Over in Indiana, Democrat Joe Donnelly -- as expected -- has defeated Rep. Chris Chocola (R) -- giving Democrats a two-seat gain in the state and a three-seat gain nationwide. The last seat in Indiana to watch is the 9th district where former Rep. Baron Hill (D) holds a slim lead over Rep. Mike Sodrel (R). A Democratic sweep in Indiana would almost certainy signal the loss of a Republican House majority.

Northup's and Chocola's losses bring the current total Democratic gain in the House to three seats; earlier in the evening Rep. John Hostettler (R-Ind.) lost his reelection race to Vanderburgh County Sheriff Brad Ellsworth (D).

Senate Democrats have also picked up two seats as Sens. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) and Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) have come up short. Democrats also have held on to the New Jersey Senate seat where news outlets are projecting that Sen. Bob Menendez (D) has won reelection over state Sen. Tom Kean Jr. (R). Hennepin County Attorney Amy Klobuchar (D) has held the seat of retiring Minnesota Sen. Mark Dayton (D). Klobuchar beat Rep. Mark Kennedy (R).

In gubernatorial races, Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D) has defeated wealthy businessman Dick DeVos (R). DeVos was seen as one of Republicans' best chances for a pickup but Granholm ran a very competent campaign and took advantage of a strong national wave.

By Chris Cillizza  |  November 7, 2006; 9:31 PM ET
Categories:  House  
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