Republicans gain hold of Senate after midterms

November 13th, 2014



Republicans reclaimed control of the Senate following the midterm elections on Tuesday, Nov. 4.

A number of key Senatorial races that were predicted to be close contests ended in significant Republican victories. Among those was the battle for Kentucky, featuring Republican Mitch McConnell and Democratic candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes.

According to Politico, McConnell won handily, capturing 56.2 percent of the vote, while Grimes managed 40.7 percent.

Following his victory, McConnell will likely assume the role of Senate majority leader.

Mitch McConnell, Elaine Chao

Another impressive victory for the Republicans occurred in Kansas, where incumbent Pat Roberts fended off independent candidate Greg Orman. In the months leading up to Election Day, many thought that Orman had a legitimate chance to capture Robert’s seat.

According to Politico, Roberts won 53.3 percent of the vote, defeating Orman by a 10-point margin.

While the McConnell and Orman victories are not upsets, the margins of victories were far greater than anticipated. Those were not the only races with results that the pre-election polls didn’t predict.

Perhaps the closest race was the Senatorial contest in Virginia, where incumbent Democrat Mark Warner narrowly defended his seat against Republican Ed Gillespie. According to Politico, Warner captured 49.2 percent of the vote, against Gillespie’s 48.4 percent.

The Virginia election’s close result has some conservatives wondering if there was a liberal bias with the polls.

The election results were not only the result of a low turnout of liberal voters. It is very common for Congress to fall into the hands of the opposite party of a two-term president during his final two years in office.

This happened to Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. It is very rare that one party remains in control of the Senate, the House and the presidency for the duration of office for one president, especially in recent history.

According to CNN, Republicans took Montana, South Dakota, Arkansas, West Virginia and North Carolina from the Democrats.

Such victories have given the Republicans the majority in the Senate with 52 seats secured. Now, they find themselves in control of Congress.

Republican leaders wasted no time in outlining their new agenda. In a Wall Street Journal editorial piece, John Boehner and McConnell revealed that they intend to authorize the Keystone pipeline and expand charter schools, among other ideas.

McConnell has also expressed his desire to cooperate with President Obama and avoid another government shutdown. Whether or not the two sides will be able to work together for the remainder of the Obama administration remains to be seen.

Editor’s Note: Information from CNN and Politico was used in this report.