Republicans claim control

Posted 11:58 p.m. Nov. 6

by Rati Bishnoi
(U-WIRE) DC BUREAU

(U-WIRE) WASHINGTON–Republicans regained control of the Senate and expanded their majority in the House during this week’s mid-term elections, insuring their party’s control over the White House and Congress.

This Tuesday’s historic events place President George W. Bush in a commanding position in terms of his agenda.

As of Wednesday, Republicans held a 51 to 46 majority in the Senate and a 227 to 203 majority in the house, with one seat held by an Independent and four undecided races left.

Republican Norm Coleman defeated former Vice President Walter F. Mondale, who decided to run for the Senate two weeks ago after incumbent Senator, Paul Wellstone (D-Minn.) died in a plane crash.

In a short address on Wednesday, Mondale said he had, “no regrets at all.”

Republicans also won high profile Senate seats in North Carolina, New Hampshire and Florida, where Bush’s brother Jeb Bush defeated Democrat Bill McBride after a race laden with memories of 2004’s recount.

The election also saw the fall of many traditionally Democratic states to Republicans.

In Maryland, Republican Robert Ehrlich Jr. defeated Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, (D) daughter of Robert F. Kennedy, becoming the first Republican to be elected as governor of that State since 1966. Democratic strongholds Massachusetts and Georgia also fell to Republicans in Senate races.

Democrats claimed victory in New Jersey where Frank R. Lautenberg, a retired Democratic Senator replaced Senator Robert Torricelli after he stepped down because of concerns stemming from an ethics investigation.

Democrats claimed governorships in Illinois, Pennsylvania, Michigan and California, which may prove to be pivotal states during the next presidential election.

Not since 1934, when Franklin Delano Roosevelt was president, has a single political party had control of the White House, Senate and the House.

Equally historic is the election’s break from post-presidential election trends. In past years, the party that has controlled the White House has almost always lost seats in the House in the first midterm election.

Many attribute the Republican sweep to Bush, who has campaigned ferociously for the last two weeks.

“I pin a lot of it on that this is a president who has had very high approval ratings,” Democratic National Committee Chairman Terence McAuliffe told the Associated Press.

Another reason sited by Democrats for the Republican sweep was the financial advantage had by Republicans.

“President Bush and the Republican Party have made history,” White House press secretary Ari Fleischer said.

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