Democratic U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton and her
husband, former President Bill Clinton are cheered by supporters after her
acceptance speech at the New York State midterm election night celebration
in New York November 7, 2006.
WASHINGTON - Resurgent Democrats
toppled Republican senators in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Rhode Island and gained
ground in the House Tuesday, challenging for control of Congress in midterm
elections shaped by an unpopular war in Iraq and scandal at home.
Aided by public dissatisfaction with President Bush, Democrats won
gubernatorial races in New York, Ohio and Massachusetts for the first time in
more than a decade.
Charlie Crist was a bright spot for Republicans, keeping the Florida
governorship now held by the president's brother Jeb in GOP hands.
"We are on the brink of a great Democratic victory," said House Minority
Leader Nancy Pelosi of California, -- in line to become the first woman speaker
in history if her party wins control -- as the returns rolled in.
With the polls still open in the West, Republican Party chairman Ken Mehlman
conceded nothing about the House. "I think we will hold control of the Senate,"
In a comeback unlike any other, Sen. Joe Lieberman won a new term in
Connecticut -- dispatching Democrat Ned Lamont and thus winning when it counted
most against the man who had prevailed in a summertime primary. Lieberman, a
supporter of Bush's war policy, ran as an independent, but will side with the
Democrats when he returns to Washington.
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton coasted to a second Democratic term in New York,
winning roughly 70 percent of the vote in a warm-up to a possible run for the
White House in 2008.
Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania became the first Republican senator to
fall to the Democrats, losing his seat after two conservative terms to Bob Casey
Jr., the state treasurer.
In Ohio, Sen. Mike DeWine lost to Rep. Sherrod Brown, a liberal seven-term
Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, the most liberal Republican in the Senate and
an opponent of the war, fell not long afterward to Sheldon Whitehouse, former
state attorney general.
Indiana was particularly cruel to House Republicans. Reps. John Hostettler,
Chris Chocola and Mike Sodrel all lost in a state where Republican Gov. Mitch
Daniels' unpopularity compounded the dissatisfaction with Bush.
Republican Rep. Nancy Johnson lost in her bid for a 13th term in Connecticut,
and Anne Northup fell in Kentucky after 10 years in the House.