GOP hangs on to House, Dems likely to keep Senate
By DAN MIHALOPOULOS Staff Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org November 6, 2012 9:40PM
Democrat Joe Donnelly, joined by his wife Jill, thanks supporters after winning the U.S. Senate race against Republican Richard Mourdock at an election night celebration in Indianapolis, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Updated: December 8, 2012 6:16AM
Newly re-elected President Barack Obama again will have to deal with a divided Congress in his second term, as Republicans held onto control of the House in Tuesday’s election and Democrats appeared likely to retain a small majority in the Senate.
The Republican Party was projected to keep possession of a majority of the 435 House seats, all of which were up for election Tuesday. The party entered the day with a 249-193 advantage, meaning Democrats needed to gain 25 seats to rebound from losing the House two years ago.
The Democratic Party came into the election with a narrow edge in the Senate and appeared poised to hold on to its majority, even as 23 Democrats and 10 Republican senators were up for re-election.
The president’s party swept races for seats representing Massachusetts, Indiana and Missouri, where Republican Sen. Todd Akin drew scorn after suggesting that rape couldn’t lead to pregnancy. Incumbent Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill repelled Akin’s challenge.
In Indiana, Democratic Rep. Joe Donnelly defeated Republican Richard Mourdock for the seat that was long held by Republican Sen. Richard Lugar. Donnelly and Mourdock had been running neck and neck, according to pre-election polls — until Mourdock said pregnancy caused by rape “is something that God intended to happen.”
In Massachusetts, Democrat Elizabeth Warren unseated Republican Sen. Scott Brown to reclaim the Senate seat that had been held for decades by the late Ted Kennedy.
Longtime Democratic Rep. Luis Gutierrez of Chicago said he wasn’t fazed to hear that his party was positioned to remain in the minority in the House. “It was an uphill battle to take the House back,” Gutierrez said.
He said it would be enough for him if the Democratic numbers in the House grow and if his party’s majority in the Illinois congressional delegation increased.
“I’m delighted [Tammy] Duckworth and [Bill] Foster will be joining us,” he said of Democratic congressional candidates in hotly contested races in the Chicago suburbs.