United States - Midterm elections

Republicans win House, while Democrats hold onto Senate

Advertising at an election rally in Las Vegas
Advertising at an election rally in Las Vegas Reuters/Rick Wilking

In a US midterm elections rout of Barack Obama's Democrats, Republicans have captured the House of Representatives and made gains in the Senate, where the president's party kept a narrow lead. Obama suffered a significant personal blow when Republican Mark Kirk of Illinois won the Senate seat he vacated for the White House.

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Up for election were all 435 seats in the lower house, 37 of the 100 Senate seats, and the governorships of 37 of the 50 states.

Propelled by the conservative Tea Party coalition, and a wave of economic discontent, the Republicans took six Senate seats from the Democrats.

Florida Republican Marco Rubio and Kentucky Republican Rand Paul became the first Tea Party-backed candidates to win Senate seats.

Meanwhile possession of the House has set up the Republicans to block Obama’s initiatives.

Republican John Boehner is likely take over the role as House Speaker, and has already received a phone call from Obama who says he hopes to "find common ground" with him.

Speaking after his reelection, Boehner vowed to cut spending and reduce the size of government.

While the Republicans picked up major wins in governor mansions, the Democrats took back California and held onto New York.

The Republican tide included the second Indian-American governor, in South Carolina, and the first female Hispanic governor, in New Mexico, among 10 total gains.

The loss of so many governorships was a big blow to Obama, as it could allow some Republican winners to redraw voting districts along party lines.

Democrats will hold onto control of the state legislature, local media projected based on early results. 

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