US: Twelve-year Republican dominance of Congress ended

The Mid-term elections have ended the 12-year Republican dominance of Congress.

Democrats won 24 of the 33 Senate seats up for election this year, winning seven million more votes than Republicans. They now narrowly control the Senate, 51 to 49.

In House elections, the Democrats defeated at least 29 Republican incumbents. Normally, around 80% of incumbents keep their seats, fortified by big corporate donations and gerrymandering of the districts. The Democrats so far hold 230 House seats, while the Republicans hold 196.

In House contests, Democrats received about 53% of the two-party vote (many Democrats ran unopposed).

Against the trend, the pro-war Democrat, Joe Lieberman, running as an independent, kept his Senate seat in Connecticut. This was because around 70% of Republican voters voted Lieberman, while his ‘anti-war’ opponent, Ned Lamont, more or less abandoned his anti-war stance.

The Democrats now hold 28 out of 50 state governors. Also against the trend, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Republican candidate in California, was re-elected. After the earlier defeat of his right-wing measures, Arnold apologised and stole the Democrats’ policies.

The Democrats now control both chambers in 23 state legislatures, while the Republicans control 16.

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November 2006