Republicans win majority in Senate

AT THE BEGINNING OF THE NEXT TERM, CURRENT SENATE MINORITY LEADER SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL R-KY. WILL BECOME the Senate Majority leader.

The Republican Party has gained control over the United States Senate in the 2014 midterm elections. Victories in North Carolina, Colorado, Iowa, West Virginia, Arkansas, Montana, and South Dakota have secured control of both the Senate and the House for Republicans. A significant event of this round of elections was Republican Senator Mitch McConnell’s re-election in Kentucky. McConnell, now Senate majority leader, bested his democratic challenger, Alison Grimes, in a tight race. Addressing the change in the political landscape, McConnell stated that he “doesn’t expect the President to wake up tomorrow and view the world any differently … We have an obligation to work together on issues where we can agree.” Additionally, Democrats held onto New Hampshire, where Democrat Jeanne Shaheen bested former Massachusetts Republican Senator Scott Brown. Finally, Republican Tim Scott became the first black senator elected from the south since Reconstruction.

The Grand Old Party has also strengthened its hold in the House of Representatives, expanding its 234-seat majority. Mia Love replaced Democratic Representative Jim Matheson and became the first black female Republican elected to Congress. Republican Elise Stefanik became the youngest woman ever to serve in Congress. Congress will have 100 female members for the first time. Republicans also won 24 out of the 26 gubernatorial elections, a net gain of two seats. The GOP won in some deep blue states such as Maryland, Massachusetts, and Illinois. In Pennsylvania, Democrat Tom Wolf defeated the incumbent governor Republican Tom Corbett—the first instance in which a sitting governor has been defeated in the state.

Many progressive measures fared well in ballot initiatives. Voters approved legislation legalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use in Washington, D.C. and Oregon. Minimum wage was raised in Arkansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota.

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