Dems hold Senate, expect little compromise ahead
Democrats will keep their majority in the Senate and managed to pick off three seats from Republicans in Maine, Massachusetts, and Indiana that were critical to the GOPs effort to regain control.
Momentum for Republican candidates stagnated in Missouri and Indiana after the nominees were embroiled in abortion issues. Indiana’s Republican Richard Mourdock, who successfully unseated incumbent Dick Lugar, was criticized for his beliefs against abortion in the cases of rape or incest. Democrat Rep. Joe Donnelly defeated Mourdock.
Sen. Patty Murray who chairs the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, said Donnelly “will stand up to extremism and forge compromise in a place that badly needs it.”
There has been little compromise in the Senate in the last two years, and with Republicans maintaining control of the House, it is not expected to improve when the new session begins in January.
The Senate failed to pass a budget in the last congressional session, and essentially put a hold on nearly all legislation submitted to the chamber from the Republican-held House.
Democrats led by Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada have been unwilling to renew the Bush era tax cuts, and have not been cooperative on passing other major legislation including a Farm Bill that stalled just weeks before the election.
With President Barack Obama winning reelection, political observers expect gridlock to continue.
Other winners tonight include Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Joe Manchin (D-W.V.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Tom Carper (D-Del), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Kristen Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), Timothy Kaine (D-Va.), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and John Barrasso (R-Wyo.).
In Missouri, Republican Todd Akin was caught up in controversy over comments he made about “legitimate rape.” Democrat Claire McCaskill defeated Akin.
However, Republicans are expected to save a seat in Arizona that Democrats were hoping to wrest away from the GOP. Rep. Jeff Flake defeated Democrat Richard Carmona, who served as former President George W. Bush’s surgeon general.
In Massachusetts, Democrat Elizabeth Warren defeated incumbent Republican Scott Brown who originally won the seat in the Democratic stronghold after Sen. Ted Kennedy died.
Republicans lost their seat in Maine to former Gov. Angus King, who ran as an Independent but is expected to caucus with the Democrats.
Republicans kept their safe Texas seat with the election of Ted Cruz, who defeated Democrat Paul Sadler.
Republican Dean Heller is running ahead of the vote count in Nevada against Democrat Shelley Berkley, and Republican Deb Fischer is expected to win over Democrat Bob Kerrey in Nebraska. In North Dakota, Democrat Heidi Heitkamp is leading over Republican Rick Berg.