Democrats gaining in the Senate

November 5th, 2008 - 9:08 am ICT by IANS  

Barack ObamaWashington, Nov 5 (DPA) Three Democrats have won Senate seats in elections Tuesday that had previously been held by Republicans, an outcome that could help increase their control in the upper chamber of Congress, television network projections showed.Former Democratic Virginia governor Mark Warner defeated a former Republican governor, James Gilmore, to take the seat occupied by Republican Senator John Warner, television network projections showed. Senator Warner, who is not related to the newly-elected senator, is retiring.

In a more troubling sign for the Republicans, Democratic challenger Kay Hagan has defeated Republican Senator Elizabeth Dole in North Carolina, while John Sununu, a Republican senator, appeared to have been ousted by Democratic challenger Jeanne Shaheen.

Heading into the election, the Democrats controlled the 100-seat Senate 51-49 and the House of Representatives with a 236 to 199 majority. Democrats were optimistic that President George W. Bush’s unpopularity would boost their strength in Congress.

All 435 seats in the House are up for grabs, while about one-third of the Senate is standing for election.

Senator Joe Biden, Barack Obama’s vice presidential candidate, handily won re-election in Delaware. If Obama wins the election, Biden would have to vacate his seat, but he would likely be replaced by a Democrat appointed by the state’s governor.

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