Election 2006,  George Allen,  James Webb,  Politics

Election 2006 Watch: James Webb Beats George Allen – Democrats Take Control of the United States Senate


AP: Democrats Take Control of the Senate

Democrats wrested control of the Senate from Republicans Wednesday 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 Sen. George Allen gave Democrats their 51st seat in the Senate, an astonishing turnabout at the hands of voters unhappy with Republican scandal and unabated violence in Iraq. Allen was the sixth Republican incumbent senator defeated in Tuesday’s elections.

The Senate breakdown will be 49-49-2 with the two independents voting with the Democrats.

Just as Flap predicted – A DEBACLE

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.

The Associated Press contacted election officials in all 134 localities where voting occurred, obtaining updated numbers Wednesday. About half the localities said they had completed their postelection canvassing and nearly all had counted outstanding absentees. Most were expected to be finished by Friday.

The new AP count showed Webb with 1,172,538 votes and Allen with 1,165,302, a difference of 7,236. Virginia has had two statewide vote recounts in modern history, but both resulted in vote changes of no more than a few hundred votes.

An adviser to Allen, speaking on condition of anonymity because his boss had not formally decided to end the campaign, said the senator wanted to wait until most of canvassing was completed before announcing his decision, possibly as early as Thursday evening.

The adviser said that Allen was disinclined to request a recount if the final vote spread was similar to that of election night.

The victory puts Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., in line to become Senate majority leader. He has led the Democrats since Tom Daschle, D-S.D., was defeated two years ago.

The Macaca Flap killed George Allen and the GOP’s control of the United States Senate.

This Democrat Party majority may not be so easy to defend in 2008 – where the attention now goes.

The Dems up for re-election in ’08 include Max Baucus in Montana, Tim Johnson in South Dakota, Mary Landrieu in Louisiana, Mark Pryor in Arkansas, Tom Harkin in Iowa, and Jay Rockefeller in West Virginia. (Other “safe” Democrats include Slow Joe Biden, Dick Durbin, Carl Levin, John Kerry, Frank Lautenber, and Rhode Island’s Jack Reed.) Baucus, Johnson, Landrieu, Pryor, Harkin and Rockefeller all must have begun worrying about the burden they will have to carry in ’08. The first order of business for the GOP will be recruitment of great challengers for these races.

Time to get busy and recruit some good candidates.

Any bets that James Webb will be Hillary’s vice presidential running mate in 2008?

Stay tuned….

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