Wednesday, November 03, 2010
G.O.P. Captures House, but Not Senate - NYTimes.com
Republicans captured control of the House of Representatives on Tuesday and expanded their voice in the Senate, riding a wave of voter discontent as they dealt a setback to President Obama just two years after his triumphal victory.
A Republican resurgence, propelled by deep economic worries and a forceful opposition to the Democratic agenda of health care and government spending, delivered defeats to House Democrats from the Northeast to the South and across the Midwest. The tide swept aside dozens of lawmakers, regardless of their seniority or their voting records, upending the balance of power for the second half of Mr. Obama’s term.
But Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the Democratic leader, narrowly prevailed and his party hung onto control by winning hard-fought contests in California, Delaware, Connecticut and West Virginia. Republicans picked up at least six Democratic seats, including the one formerly held by Mr. Obama, and the party will welcome Marco Rubio of Florida and Rand Paul of Kentucky to their ranks, two candidates who were initially shunned by the establishment but beloved by the Tea Party movement.
“The American people’s voice was heard at the ballot box,” said Representative John A. Boehner of Ohio, who is positioned to become the next speaker of the House. “We have real work to do, and this is not the time for celebration.”
The president, who watched the election returns with a small set of advisers at the White House, called Mr. Boehner shortly after midnight to offer his congratulations and to talk about the way forward as Washington prepares for divided government. Republicans won at least 58 seats, not including those from some Western states where ballots were still being counted, surpassing the 52 seats the party won in the sweep of 1994.
The most expensive midterm election campaign in the nation’s history, fueled by a raft of contributions from outside interest groups and millions in donations to candidates in both parties, played out across a wide battleground that stretched from Alaska to Maine. The Republican tide swept into statehouse races, too, with Democrats poised to lose the majority of governorships, particularly those in key presidential swing states, like Ohio, where Gov. Ted Strickland was defeated.