Republicans take Senate, seizing full control of Congress; largest majority since WWII

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A Republican tide ripped the Senate away from Democrats Tuesday, giving the GOP full control of Congress and the power to pin down President Barack Obama during his last two years in office.

The thumping win upends the balance of power between the White House and Capitol Hill only six years after Obama’s Democrats swept to power and marginalized Republicans in a rush to reform health care, Wall Street and pass a huge stimulus package.

Now, it’s Democrats who will take the back seat on Capitol Hill, relying mostly on the power of the filibuster to stymie Republicans and keep Obama’s legacy intact.

“For too long, this administration has tried to tell the American people what is good for them and then blame somebody else when their policies didn’t work out,” Mitch McConnell, who is expected to become the next Senate majority leader, said in a victory speech.

In the House, the GOP now has 242 seats, its largest majority since World War II.

Speaker John Boehner, celebrating a widened majority, said he is “humbled by the responsibility the American people have placed with us.”

“But this is not a time for celebration,” he said. “It’s time for government to start getting results and implementing solutions to the challenges facing our country, starting with our still-struggling economy.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who has controlled the Senate since 2007, congratulated Republicans on their victory.

“The message from voters is clear: they want us to work together,” Reid said. “I look forward to working with Senator McConnell to get things done for the middle class.”

But there was silence from the White House after Tuesday’s results became clear.

Obama will make a public statement Wednesday on an election many will see as a repudiation of his presidency, and he will host bipartisan leaders on Friday to try to chart a way forward.

Repub house senate 2014

Democratic Losses Pile Up

Democratic fears of a rout came true, as party candidates struggled to defend seats won in the 2008 Obama wave in conservative territory, and couldn’t get out from under an unpopular president limping through his second term.

The losses in Coloradoand Iowa will sting especially hard, as those two states enjoyed a fabled place in Obama’s world, as drivers of the president’s unlikely bid for the White House in 2008.

The GOP also piled up wins in Montana, South Dakota, Arkansas, West Virginia and North Carolina — all seats that had been in Democratic hands — to surpass their magic number of six net gains.

With seats still to be decided in Virginia, Alaska and Louisiana –where there will be a runoff in December — the GOP currently has 52 seats in the Senate.

Republican numbers stood up when the GOP managed to hold on to seats in Kansas and Georgia which had threatened to fall from their grasp and complicate the Senate math.

It was a night of almost unrelenting misery for Democrats:

–In Iowa, Iraq war veteran Joni Ernst became the first woman elected to Congress from her state, after turning around her Republican campaign with an ad in which she boasted about castrating hogs.

–In North Carolina, Democrat Kay Hagan was felled by Thom Tillis, who repeatedly pummeled her for standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Obama.

–Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor lost Tom Cotton, who, like Ernst, is an Iraq war veteran. Pryor’s loss comes despite former president Bill Clinton’s efforts to save him in his beloved home state.

–Democrats thought they had Colorado, with its mix of young voters, Hispanics and students locked down for a generation. But Sen. Mark Udall tumbled to charismatic challenger Cory Gardner who shook off claims he was anti-women.

–Virginia Democratic Sen. Mark Warner is having a tougher ride than expected against Republican challenger Ed Gillespie in a state Democrats had thought was reliably theirs after Obama won it twice.

A rare ray of hope for Democrats came in New Hampshire, whereSenator Jeanne Shaheen bested challenger Scott Brown. And Pennsylvania’s governor’s mansion reverted back to Democrats when Tom Wolf unseated Republican Gov. Tom Corbett in a marquee race.

Governors

Two other Republican governors meanwhile won reelection and stirred buzz for their own 2016 White House prospects — John Kasich in swing state Ohio, and conservative Republican Scott Walker in Wisconsin.

In New Mexico, Republican Gov. Susana Martinez, often mentioned as a possible GOP vice presidential pick, strolled to reelection.

Maryland — a traditionally Democratic state — elected Republican Larry Hogan as governor. And Illinois, Obama’s home state, ousted its Democratic governor.

Republicans will now look with some optimism on the 2016 presidential election.

But Democrats will console themselves with a more favorable Senate map in two years time and the belief that shifting demographics and an unresolved war between the Republican grassroots and the party establishment will make the next presidential race a tough climb for the GOP.

CNN’s Eric Bradner, Miguel Marquez, Pamela Brown, Nick Valencia, Paul Vercammen, Mary Kay Mallonnee and Ashley Killough contributed to this story.

15 comments

    • Bob

      Moot question John. Now both houses of congress will work together. The democrats can thank Obama for their defeat.

  • Bob

    You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time. – Abraham Lincoln

  • Bob

    Anybody remember Obama’s comment To GOP: “They Can Come For The Ride, But They Have To Sit In BackTime”? Well now it’s time for Harry Reid to take his seat in the back of the bus.

  • Rainy Y (@wobykyxyco)

    The last thing this country needed was more Democrats in office. I’m glad their on their way out.

    Obama has crippled the US economy. He is a dope and has no clue what he is doing internationally and domestically. Illegals are pouring in and our economy is in shambles. Large corporations are laying off in record numbers. Most Americans can’t afford to buy houses despite the low interest rates. The labor participation rate is awful.

    Everybody I know is either out of work or under-employed. I haven’t had a raise in years despite all my expenses increasing from year to year. My health insurance is up to $450/month from just $200/month. My car insurance is currently only $25/month (from Insurance Panda) and renter’s only $15/month (from Eagle)…both private enterprise… but who knows when Obama will try to step in and socialize those?

    With everything Obama touched in shambles, Barry needs a new job… and the United States needs non-Democrats in office!

  • nick in NC

    Not accurate on the ‘largest since WW2’, in 1972 Jimmy Carter had a super majority in both houses. 292 house seats were democrat and 61 Senate seats.

    That may be the largest since WW2 for the Republicans, but not a inclusionary statement.

    In 2016, the democrats are defending 10 senate seats and the republicans will be defending 23.
    Democrats will need 3 seats to take the control back and luckily for them, there are 7 seats of those 23 are in blue states. Being a presidential election year, anything can happen.

  • nick in NC

    yes….

    Gas is down to $2.87 per gallon here this morning from a staggering $4.16 six years ago.
    (obama fast-tracked oil drilling and exploration in SD ).
    Un-employment dropped to a low 6%
    National deficit down began at $1.413 trillion and now at $483 billion.
    and what do we have to show for these savings, no war and health care for millions that couldn’t qualify for it or afford it.

    yeah, get those democrats out. We need war, high gas prices and more corporate welfare and ta cuts for the ultra rich.

    • Bob

      Where in the world did you come up with your bogus numbers for our national debt Nick. Don’t know who you’re trying to kid but even the democrats in Utah are smarter than that.

    • Bob

      We passed $17,922,328,250,690 in national debt some time back Nick. Your ignorance represents the thinking of folks who vote for liberals and their fuzzy math.

  • Bob

    Unions spent big and lost big on the mid-term elections and that doesn’t sit well with union members who saw $80 million of their dollars go down the drain. Thank goodness for governors like Scott Walker who won re-election.

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