By Silla Brush | 9:33 AM ET | Nov. 8, 2006 | Permanent Link
The Democratic Party has waited all year for this moment. Actually, 12 years. At exactly midnight, to chants of "Speaker" and "Nancy," Sens. Chuck Schumer and Harry Reid, joined by Rep. Rahm Emanuel, introduced the next speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi of California, to a giant ballroom of party faithful: "The American people voted for a new direction. That's what we intend to do . ... The campaign is over. Democrats are ready to lead. We're prepared to govern." Pelosi promised the "most honest, most open, and most ethical Congress in history." While Democrats had picked up three Senate seats in the early morning, Schumer said, "We have taken back the House. We are on the edge of taking back the Senate. The night is still young." Along with listing many of the "Six for '06" prioritieschanging college tuition polices, altering energy policies, increasing the minimum wage, etc.Democratic leaders called for a change of course in Iraq: "Mr. President, we need a new direction in Iraq."
By Angie C. Marek | 9:29 AM ET | Nov. 8, 2006 | Permanent Link
The loss of two Republicans in Arizona, including one of the most prominent immigration hawks running this election season, could deliver a powerful message to Republicans who expected immigration to be a silver bullet this election season. Rep. J.D. Hayworth, a six-term Republican who has been one of the most prominent advocates for the border-enforcement immigration-crackdown strategy favored by the most conservative wing of his party, lost his race definitively, earning only 45 percent of the vote to former Tempe Mayor Harry Mitchell's 52 percent. A similar trend occurred in Arizona's District Eight, a cut of the southeastern part of the state that was represented by retiring Republican Rep. Jim Kolbe for the past 22 years. Democrat Gabrielle Giffords, a former state senator, comfortably beat out Randy Graf, a candidate who often emphasized his status as a founding member of the Minuteman border group on the stump. With 89 percent of the precincts reporting, Giffords had 55 percent of the vote to Graf's 41 percent.
By Jessica Moore | 12:08 AM ET | Nov. 8, 2006 | Permanent Link
We're winding down our live coverage for the evening, but we'll be back to bring you more in-depth analysis early tomorrow morning. For night owls who can't wait that long, CNN.com has county-by-county results on Senate, House, and gubernatorial races, while CQPolitics.com and National Journal's Hotline On Call blog are rounding up the results and expert analysis.
By David Butow | 12:03 AM ET | Nov. 8, 2006 | Permanent Link
DAVID BUTOW--REDUX FOR USN&WR
Supporters of New Mexico Senate incumbent Jeff Bingaman listen to speeches at a Democratic Election Night party Albuquerque
According to the AP, Bingaman comfortably secured a fifth term as New Mexico's senator with a victory Tuesday night.
Election 2006 Photo Gallery
Campaign Diary New Mexico
By Steve Coogan | 11:20 PM ET | Nov. 7, 2006 | Permanent Link
The AP and the New York Times are reporting that Hillary Rodham Clinton soundly defeated her Republican challenger on her way to a second term as senator and Eliot Spitzer became the first Democratic governor of New York in 12 years. The AP notes the two victories could propel the Democrats to win every statewide office for the first time since 1942.
By Jessica Moore | 11:09 PM ET | Nov. 7, 2006 | Permanent Link
John W. Mashek writes that Republicans continue to run well in the South, while votes in the Midwest and Northeast tell a drastically different story. The full post is here
By Dan Gilgoff | 11:05 PM ET | Nov. 7, 2006 | Permanent Link
With election results yet to come in for much of the country west of the Mississippi River, Democrats are poised to carry the bulk of congressional contests thought to be tossups between the parties, putting control of the House of Representatives in their grasp. A Senate takeover seems less ensured, with control coming down to a handful of too-close-to call races in Virginia, Missouri, and Tennessee.
By Danielle Knight | 11:00 PM ET | Nov. 7, 2006 | Permanent Link
Sen. Rick Santorum, a staunch conservative seeking a third term, became one of the first Republican senators to fall to the Democrats. Bob Casey Jr., a soft-spoken moderate and son of a popular former governor, became the first Pennsylvania Democrat elected to a full six-year Senate term since 1962.
By Jessica Moore | 10:50 PM ET | Nov. 7, 2006 | Permanent Link
Bonnie Erbe writes about Hopeful House Speaker-to-be Nancy Pelosi's outreach to younger Democrats. The full post is here
By Silla Brush | 10:29 PM ET | Nov. 7, 2006 | Permanent Link
JIM LO SCALZO FOR USN&WR
Rep. Nancy Pelosi addresses supporters at Democratic election night headquarters at the Hyatt in Washington DC.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California said her party is "on the brink of a great Democratic victory." She warned the packed ballroom that they don't know all the results of the election just yet and implored voters to cast their ballots for Democratic candidate Phil Angelides for California governor. Of Rep. Rahm Emanuel, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Pelosi said: "He did a great job of masterminding our strategy." Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio, one of the emcees of the event, said, "The rain, the snow, the sleet, and the voter suppression is not going to stop Democrats this year," to booming applause. Democrats are waving American flags and trying to shout over the "B Street Band," a Bruce Springsteen cover band, who gave a shout out to Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey and his re-election. But for all the cheering, the response to Sen. Joe Lieberman's poll numbers on the two large projection screens was tepid at best. One woman shouted: "Traitor."
Election 2006 Photo Gallery
By Dan Gilgoff | 10:28 PM ET | Nov. 7, 2006 | Permanent Link
The Associated Press and other news outlets may be calling Maryland's Senate race for Democratic candidate Ben Cardin, but Republican Michael Steele won't be conceding anytime soon. "They're basing this on exit polling, but as we've seen in the last two, four, six years, exit polling is not always accurate," says Steele spokesman Doug Heye. "We'd like every vote to be counted." With roughly 400,000 absentee ballots to be counted in Maryland, Heye says not to expect the contest to be resolved anytime soon.
By Jim Lo Scalzo | 10:26 PM ET | Nov. 7, 2006 | Permanent Link
JIM LO SCALZO FOR USN&WR
A crowd gathered at Democratic election night headquarters Washington Hyatt celebrates early election results Tuesday night.
Election 2006 Photo Gallery
By Kent Allen | 10:17 PM ET | Nov. 7, 2006 | Permanent Link
From the Manchester Union-Leader:
BULLETIN: UnionLeader.com has learned that Republican U.S. Rep. Charles Bass is preparing to call Paul Hodes and congratulate the Democrat on his victory.
The race is still undecided in the other New Hampshire congressional race for the seat being defended by Republican Rep. Jeb Bradley.
By Will Sullivan | 10:15 PM ET | Nov. 7, 2006 | Permanent Link
RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman can't seem to catch a break tonight. The RNC chairman suffered through a Fox News interview at the NRCC press room with an echo in his ear and an alarm and phone ringing in the background. Mehlman expressed hope that Republicans would hold the House and Senate, but he was talking an awful lot about bipartisanship. Minutes later, in an interview with CNN's Lou Dobbs, Mehlman praised the chances of Maryland GOP Senate candidate Michael Steele, apparently unaware that the network had called the race for Steele opponent Ben Cardin while he was speaking to Fox.
By Silla Brush | 10:05 PM ET | Nov. 7, 2006 | Permanent Link
Republican Anne Northup, who represents Louisville, Ky., just called to concede to challenger John Yarmuth, according to a Republican campaigner. Her staff thought she had it at around 8 p.m. with the eastern part of the district yet to be counted, but it wasn't to be. With her defeat and the loss of the Indiana Second District seat of Rep. Chris Chocola, House Republicans are starting to realize they have a very long night ahead. Meanwhile, in the campaign to re-elect Rep. Geoff Davis in Kentucky, staffers are optimistic because they had many D.C. Republicans on loan and an upbeat 72-hour turnout. "A lot of House folks became increasingly depressed this past week and the consolation was that they believed Davis had an incredible campaign, and it would be one of the bright spots tonight," says one staffer.