Republicans kept control of both U.S. Congressional houses in
Tuesday’s election, gaining at least two seats in the Senate and
five in the House of Representatives.
By 11:15 p.m. Mountain time, Republicans had won the required 51
Senate and 218 House seats to clinch the majority.
Close Senate races in Oklahoma and Florida went to Republican
candidates, as did House seats in Georgia, Kentucky and Texas.
CSU political science professor John Straayer said he is not
surprised by the national outcomes. Gerrymandering in Pennsylvania
and redistricting in Texas helped Republicans hold onto the House,
Straayer said some of the newer Republican senators are
extremely conservative, which could increase partisanship.
“The parties are becoming more and more ideologically divided,”
Straayer said. “I don’t hold out a lot of hope for any bipartisan
Political science professor Robert Lawrence also predicted that
Republicans would gain a small lead in both houses.
Lawrence said if President George W. Bush is reelected, he will
have some support in Congress, but it will be difficult to win over
some of the moderate GOP members from the northeastern states.
While the open Colorado Senate seat went to Democrat Ken
Salazar, it was not enough to help the party gain a foothold.
However, both Lawrence and Straayer said the close balance
between the parties could lead to a slower political process and
the possibility of filibusters loom large, especially regarding
potential Supreme Court appointees.