Election 2010: Republicans net 60 House seats, 6 Senate seats and 7 governorships
The dust has -- mostly -- settled on the 2010 midterm election with Republicans claiming across-the-board victories in House, Senate and gubernatorial contests. Here's a look at where things stand.
1. In the House, Republicans have gained 60 seats so far with 11 Democratic districts -- Kentucky's 6th, Georgia's 2nd, Illinois's 8th, Michigan's 9th, Texas's 27th, Arizona's 7th and 8th, New York's 25th, California's 11th and 20th and Washington's 2nd -- too close too call. Most projections put the total GOP gain in the mid-60s although several of the uncalled contests are almost certainly headed for recounts.
The Republican House victory was vast and complete as GOP candidates bested not only Democratic incumbents who won their seats in 2006 or 2008 -- two great elections for Democrats -- but also long-serving incumbents such as Reps. John Spratt (S.C.), Ike Skelton (Mo.), Rick Boucher (Va.) and Jim Oberstar (Minn.).
Geographically, Republicans crushed Democrats in the Rust Belt -- picking up five seats in Ohio, five seats in Pennsylvania, three seats (with a fourth up in the air) in Illinois and two seats (with a third too close too call) in Michigan.
The group most ravaged by losses last night were the 48 Democrats who represented districts Arizona Sen. John McCain (R) won in 2008. Of those 48 members, a whopping 36 -- 75 percent! -- were defeated while 10 held on to win. Two Democrats in McCain districts -- Kentucky Rep. Ben Chandler and Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords -- are in tight races that have yet to be called by the Associated Press.
Historically, the Republican gains mark the biggest midterm election seat swap since 1938 when Democrats lost 71 House seats. It has already eclipsed the 1994 Republican tidal wave in which the GOP netted 52 seats.
2. In the Senate, Republicans made solid gains but will remain in the minority when the 112th Congress convenes.
The GOP gained six seats -- Illinois, Pennsylvania, North Dakota, Arkansas, Indiana and Wisconsin -- on Tuesday night, with races in Alaska, Colorado and Washington still not called. Colorado and Washington are the remaining potential pickup opportunities for the GOP.
In Colorado, appointed Sen. Michael Bennet (D) led Weld County prosecutor Ken Buck (R) by 5,000 votes with 87 percent of precincts reporting. In Washington, Sen. Patty Murray (D) held a 50.5 percent to 49.5 percent edge over former state Sen. Dino Rossi (R) with 62 percent of precincts reporting. And, in Alaska, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) appeared to be on her way to making history as the first write-in candidate to be elected to the Senate since Strom Thurmond in 1954.
Democrats nixed any notion of a new GOP majority relatively early in the night, when West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin (D) won the seat of the late Sen. Robert C. Byrd (D-W.Va.) and Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal (D) claimed the seat of retiring Sen. Chris Dodd (D). California Sen. Barbara Boxer's (D) victory ensured Democrats would retain the majority.
Democrats also won a major symbolic victory in Nevada as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) defeated former state assemblywoman Sharron Angle (R).
The highlights of the night for the GOP were wins by Illinois Rep. Mark Kirk and former Pennsylvania representative Pat Toomey, who both emerged victorious in very close contests.
Republicans did not lose a single Senate seat they currently control.
3. In governors' races, Republicans have netted seven seats with seven other races in Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maine, Minnesota, Oregon and Vermont not yet called.
Republicans, as expected, won back governorships from Democrats in GOP strongholds such as Tennessee, Kansas, Oklahoma and Wyoming while also claiming pickups in big population states like Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan.
In New Mexico, Susana Martinez's win marked not only a Republican takeover but also a bit of history as she became the first Hispanic woman of either party to be elected governor of a state.
Democrats got good news in California and Hawaii, where they picked off seats currently held by Republicans.
Independent Lincoln Chafee won in Rhode Island, where Gov. Don Carcieri (R) was term-limited out of office.
The largest prize still uncalled is Florida where wealthy businessman Rick Scott (R) holds a 48.8 percent to 47.8 percent lead over state Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink (D) with 99 percent of precincts reporting.
In the other uncalled races, Democrats held narrow edges in Illinois, Minnesota and Vermont while Republicans led in Connecticut, Maine and Oregon.
4. Republican gains weren't restricted to the House, Senate and governors races Tuesday. They also made some major strides in all-important state legislative races.
By the end of the night, the GOP had won at least 19 state legislative bodies from Democrats, including both chambers in Alabama and Wisconsin, the Michigan House, the Ohio House and the Pennsylvania House.
Thanks to their showings in those races and the governors races, Republicans now control all three levels of the redistricting process -- the state House, state Senate and governor's seat -- in Alabama, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Indiana. Pennsylvania, Michigan and Ohio are all slated to lose seats in the 2011 reapportionment process, making control of the redistricting process critically important.
Republicans won both the state House and Senate in Minnesota and Maine, as well, but the Minnesota governor's race is still undecided, and Maine, despite the GOP controlling all three legs of the process, puts the process in the hands of a nonpartisan commission.
Republicans also stood a chance at complete control of the process in Florida, where GOP gubernatorial candidate Rick Scott held a lead but was not yet declared the winner. But the state also passed a ballot measure that would hand over the redistricting process to a nonpartisan commission.
Republicans also grew their slim majority in the Texas House, which, when combined with Gov. Rick Perry's (R) reelection, helps them maintain all three elements of the process in that state. Texas is set to gain three or four U.S. House seats in reapportionment -- the most of any state.
Republicans had hope early Wednesday of taking the New York state Senate as well. Democrats won the Empire State governor's race and control the state House by a wide margin.
5. Still can't get enough of the election? Neither can we!
Sign on at 11 a.m. this morning for our post-election "Live Fix" chat -- an hour's worth of sifting through the results of a historic night in politics.
We'll be running on caffeine and cookies so it should be an interested 60 minutes! You can submit questions in advance or just follow along in real time.
With Aaron Blake
| November 3, 2010; 8:24 AM ET
Categories: Morning Fix
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