The full moon rises behind the US Capitol Dome in Washington .
(photo credit: REUTERS)
WASHINGTON – The Republican Party won control of the US Senate for the first time since 2006, picking up at least six seats in the 2014 midterm elections to unify both houses of Congress.
The result pits an undivided legislature against a White House in opposition just two years before a general election, when control over the Senate will once again be contested, as well as the presidency.
Republican champions of election night included Tom Cotton of Arkansas, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Mike Rounds of South Dakota , Steve Daines of Montana , David Perdue of Georgia, and Cory Gardner of Colorado, all of whom won their first elections to the upper chamber.
Cotton, who defeated incumbent Sen. Mark Pryor, will be the youngest member of the chamber at age 37, and Capito will be the first woman to represent her state in the Senate.
Republicans maintained tight control over the House of Representatives, a less contested body in this midterm year. Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) is now expected to lead his caucus as Senate majority leader. McConnell won his reelection comfortably on Tuesday.
In one key race in the bellwether state of New Hampshire, incumbent Sen. Jeanne Shaheen was reelected in a crucial victory for the Democrats.
But in a disappointment for President Barack Obama’s party, junior Sen. Kay Hagan (D-North Carolina) lost her seat to Republican challenger Thom Tillis.
And in Iowa, Republican Tea Party candidate Joni Ernst surged to victory in one of the evening’s tightest races.
In gubernatorial races, incumbent Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) beat former Florida governor Charlie Crist – once a Republican and now a Democrat, in a race that came down to the wire. In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) won reelection, easily defeating his Republican challenger Rob Astorino .