Democrats Win House; Senate Remains Undecided
Here's where things stand:
The Democrats regained control of the House last night, as nearly every close race around the country broker their way.
MSNBC projects the Democrats will pick up between 30 and 32 seats, winding up with at least a 231-204 majority. CNN this morning had the Democrats up 227-194, with 14 seats too close to call.
In the Senate, Democrats have picked up seats held by Pennsylvania's Rick Santorum, Ohio's Mike DeWine, Missouri's Jimi Talent and Rhode Island's Lincoln Chafee.
Still to be decided is Montana, where Democrat Jon Tester leads incumbent Conrad Burns by 1,700 votes with 91% of precincts counted. Computer glitches in Yellowstone County have forced a hand-count there.
In Virginia, Democrat Jim Webb has about an 8,000-vote lead over incumbent George Allen, but because the difference is less than 0.5%, the state mandates a recount. (Ironically, this was the rule in Florida in 2000, when Republlicans balked at a state recount of votes cast for George W. Bush and Al Gore.)
If the Democrats hold on to both Montana and Virginia, the party will also take control of the Senate.
Exit polls suggest the unpopular Iraq War, and the Bush Administration's questionable management of the war, was high on people's minds. Also way up there: Republican corruption, from Tom DeLay to Duke Cunningham to Bob Ney to Mark Foley to Curt Weldon.
Funniest moment of the night: Stephen Colbert, on Comedy Central's special Midterm Midtacular, putting up a map of the 1984 presidential race and arguing to Jon Stewart that the Republican near-sweep that year was still relevant.
Most interesting moment: MSNBC's Joe Scarborough, explaining that he comes from a family of Democrats, and that his mother had to lie to his father about voting for John Kennedy in 1960.
Most gratifying moment, present tense: Santorum gave a magnaminous concession speech, calling victor Bob Casey Jr. a "fine man who will do a fine job for Pennsylvania." The key here is that it was a concession speech, in what proved to be a very lopsided race.
Most gratifying moment, past tense: Ohio Democrat Ted Strickland walloped Republican Kenneth Blackwell in the race for governor. Blackwell had an apparent conflict of interest in 2004, when he oversaw the presidential ballots while serving as Secretary of State, and Bush's state chairman. In Florida, Democrat Bill Nelson walloped Republican Katherine Harris in the race for Senate. She had a similar conflict of interest in 2000, as Secretary of State and Bush's state co-chair.