From Hope to Nope: Republicans Take Senate

     (CN) – Republicans won control of the Senate Tuesday, picking up seven seats, and gained 13 seats in the House, guaranteeing President Obama a rocky final two years in office.
     Republicans picked up contested Senate seats in North Carolina, Colorado, Iowa, West Virginia, Arkansas, Montana and South Dakota. Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell won a sixth term easily and will become Senate Majority Leader.
     Democrats won virtually none of the races that were expected to be close.
     Republicans will have a 52-47 lead in the Senate – Virginia is too close to call – and a 242 to 174 lead in the House – its largest majority since the Truman administration.
     Republicans trounced Democrats in what were thought to be closely contested governor’s races in Wisconsin, where Scott Walker won in a walk; in Florida, where Rick Scott won re-election; and in Colorado and Iowa, which were expected to be close, but were not.
     Colorado Republican Cory Gardner ousted incumbent Sen. Mark Udall, a potent voice for environmentalists. And in Georgia, a Libertarian candidate could not stop Republican David Perdue from knocking off Michelle Nunn, the daughter of Georgia’s former conservative Democratic Sen. Sam Nunn.
     Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts stood off a challenge from independent Greg Orman.
     In Louisiana, incumbent Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu was forced into a Dec. 6 runoff against Congressman Bill Cassidy.
     Republicans ousted Democratic governors in three states – Maryland, Massachusetts and Illinois – while Democrats booted a Republican governor in only one state, Pennsylvania.
     In a closely watched congressional race in Staten Island, Republican Michael Grimm held onto his seat despite a 20-count indictment that accuses him of underreporting wages and employing illegal workers at a Manhattan restaurant he formerly owned.
     Grimm called the indictment politically motivated. Jury selection for his trial is to begin on Feb. 2, 2015.
     Grimm made headlines again in January when he was shown on camera threatening to throw a reporter off of a balcony.
     Also in New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo kept his office, easily defeating his Republican opponent.
     Overall, it was a resounding shellacking for Democrats.
     Republicans’ failure to get 60 seats in the Senate – a result no one expected – leaves them vulnerable to Democratic filibusters, which will put Democrats into the position the Republicans have taken for the past six years – delaying and fighting off legislation, rather than getting anything done.

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