Tuesday, 06 November 2012

Obama Reelected, Democrats Keep Senate, GOP Keeps House

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President Obama's was reelected by the Electoral College after Tuesday's election, also winning the popular vote by around 2.6 million votes. President Obama won more than 300 electoral votes, far more than the 270 needed for reelection.

Democrats picked up several seats to strengthen their control of the U.S. Senate, as Republicans lost Senate seats in Massachusetts, Maine, and Indiana. In Massachusetts, radical leftist Harvard Professor Elizabeth Warren ousted liberal Republican Scott Brown, who had been elected in a special election to fill the seat left by the death of longtime Senator Ted Kennedy in early 2010 as the Tea Party fervor reached its zenith. But with the larger voter turnout in the presidential election, Brown fell to Warren by a 53-47 percent margin. Brown had fallen behind in polls in recent weeks against Warren, and Democrats had assumed it would be their most likely pick-up in a race where Democrats had more Senate seats to defend.

In Maine, former independent Governor Angus King defeated Republican and Democratic challengers to fill the seat being vacated by the retiring liberal Republican Olympia Snowe by a margin of 53-31 percent over Maine Secretary of State Charlie Summers. King is expected to caucus with Senate Democrats, essentially amounting to a Democratic pick-up in the Senate. 

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Democrats also picked up the seat of retiring Republican Senator Richard Lugar, where Democratic Congressman Joe Donnelly defeated state Treasurer Richard Mourdock by a 50-44 percent margin. Mourdock won the primary with Tea Party support but was criticized later in the campaign by members of his own party as well as Democrats for saying that "life is a gift from God, and I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen."

In the House of Representatives, Republicans retained control of the House. One factor leading to the Republican victory in the House was that several acolytes of retiring libertarian-leaning Representative Ron Paul have been elected as Republicans to the House of Representatives. Freshman Michigan Republican Justin Amash  won reelection to Michigan's third congressional district. In Michigan's 11th congressional district, retired high school teacher Kerry Bentivolio won in his race to serve in the next Congress. Bentivolio had already won a special election to serve out the term of Republican Thaddeus McCotter, who resigned his seat earlier this year. And MIT-trained scientist Thomas Massie was easily elected by Kentucky's 4th congressional district. All three had been endorsed by Ron Paul.

Photo of President Obama at University of Colorado Boulder, April 24, 2012: AP Images