Democrats wrested control of the Senate from Republicans with an upset victory in Virginia, giving the party complete domination of Capitol Hill for the first time since 1994. Jim Webb's squeaker win over incumbent Senator George Allen gave Democrats their 51st seat in the 100-seat Senate, an astonishing turnabout. Allen was the sixth Republican incumbent senator defeated in Tuesday's elections. The Senate had teetered at 50 Democrats, 49 Republicans for most of Wednesday, with Virginia hanging in the balance. Webb's victory ended Republican hopes of eking out a 50-50 split, with Vice President Dick Cheney wielding tie-breaking authority. Democrats have also wrested control of the House of Representatives.
The Election has been touted to be a virtual referendum on the Bush administration. The Democrats focussed on voters' anger over the Iraq war during their campaign, while the Republicans stressed their own stance on security. Democrat Nancy Pelosi, who will be the first woman speaker of the house, declared President Bush would have to be accountable. "Today, the American people voted for change and they voted for Democrats to take our country in a new direction. And that is exactly what we intend to do," she said.
Tags: Election Politics Bush