Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Republicans seize control of Senate after winning most of Tuesday's close races

"Republicans scored a stunning electoral rout in the midterm elections, taking control of the U.S. Senate after a bitter campaign in which anger at Washington gridlock was turned against a president who took office promising to transcend it," David Fahrentold reports for The Washington Post.

"By early Wednesday, Republican candidates had won at least 10 of the day’s 13 closely contested Senate races," Fahrentold writes. "They took seats held by Democrats in Iowa, Colorado, Arkansas, Montana, South Dakota, West Virginia and North Carolina—more than enough to seize control of the Senate for the first time since 2007." Republicans also added at least 10 seats in the House. (Post map: To see updates click here)
Republicans credit much of their success to the public's dislike of President Obama, Fahrentold writes. "Nearly 6 in 10 voters said they were 'dissatisfied' or 'angry' at the Obama administration, the polls showed. A similar proportion felt the same about GOP leaders in Congress, Republican National Committee Chairman ­Reince Priebus said Tuesday on MSNBC, “People see a Washington that isn’t working, and the person at the head of it all is the president.”

In what was anticipated to be a close race, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) had an easier time than expected earning his sixth term, garnering 56.2 percent of the votes to oust Democratic challenger Alison Lundergran Grimes, who received 40.7 percent of the vote. McConnell's victory, coupled with Republicans taking control of the Senate means McConnell will most likely be elevated to Senate Majority Leader.

In Kansas, the "Democratic surge that was supposed to end Republican control never happened," John Eligon reports for The New York Times. "Gov. Sam Brownback and Sen. Pat Roberts survived unusually close races to keep their seats on Tuesday, fortifying their party’s political grip on this plains state."

"Roberts, 78, who has served in Washington for more than three decades, fought back a chorus of anti-incumbent and anti-Washington sentiment," Eligon writes. Roberts, the ranking member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, received 53.2 percent of the vote, beating out Independent Greg Orman, who received 42.5 percent of the vote.

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