US08: Summary of results part 2 – Congress

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The Senate

The Democrats have picked up at least six Senate seats:

  • Virginia
  • North Carolina
  • New Hampshire
  • Colorado
  • New Mexico
  • Oregon, which was only declared today after a close count.

Three other races could end up going to the Democrat. In Alaska, despite the polls, convicted felon Ted Stevens was re-elected, 48% to 47%. However, Stevens may well resign or be expelled if his appeal fails. After Senator Frank Murkowski was elected as Governor of Alaska in 2002, he appointed his daughter Lisa to fill the senatorial vacancy. In response, a referendum passed in 2004, which means that future Senate vacancies will remain vacant prior to a special election. This would give Democrat Mark Begich a second chance to take the seat, although you would have to think that, if he couldn’t win against convicted felon Stevens, he would fall short against a fresh-faced Republican candidate.

In Georgia, late counting pushed Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss just below 50%, thus triggering a runoff election under Georgia election law. This runoff against his Democratic opponent will take place in December. In Minnesota, comedian Al Franken fell 477 votes short of defeating Senator Norm Coleman, and a recount has been automatically triggered, in a race of almost 2.9 million votes. It is very easy to see a scenaro where the seat could flip.

So as it stands, the Democrats hold 57 seats (inc. 2 independents), the Republicans 41 (including Ted Stevens), one seat going to a recount and one seat going to a runoff election.

House of Representatives

I haven’t been paying close enough attention to break down all of the results in the House of Representatives, however I can say a few brief things. The AP has currently given 254 seats to the Democrats, 173 seats to the Republicans, and 8 seats still too close to call. This is in comparison with the 233-202 split at the 2006 election, although the Democrats gained three Republican seats in special elections earlier this year.

It appears that four Democrats have been defeated. This includes the scandal-plagued congressman who succeeded the even-moreso-scandal-plagued Mark Foley in 2006, the Democrat who won Tom Delay’s seat when his Republican opponent needed to run a write-in campaign, and a Democrat elected in a special election in a conservative Louisiana district. In other news, the sole remaining Republican in New England, Chris Shays, was defeated in his Connecticut district.

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