Dems Take Over House, Senate Still Up for Grabs

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In one of the most decisive elections in years, Democrats changed the power balance in the House of Representatives, governor seats and potentially the Senate.

Early this morning several key Senate races were still too close to call, including Virginia's race between GOP Sen. George Allen and his challenger Jim Webb. Lawyers were brought in to watch the final vote counting, meaning the final numbers may not be known for days.

Another close race still looms between Montana's GOP incumbent Sen. Conrad Burns and his challenger Jon Tester. Burns was a strong advocate of national agricultural disaster aid funding and fought House Republicans and the White House on the issue.

Democrats needed to take six seats in the House and have already picked up four. One was by Democratic challenger Claire McCaskill over incumbent Sen. Jim Talent in Missouri. Talent pushed hard this year for passage of the Water and Resources Development Act for lock and dam modernization on the Upper Mississippi River.

Another Senate seat was between GOP Sen. Mike DeWine to declared anti-trade candidate Sherrod Brown in Ohio.

Democrats easily regain House

In the House, Democrats literally switched the table on Republicans. Heading into the election, Republicans controlled 233 seats compared to the Democrats' 201. Wednesday morning projections indicated Democrats controlled 234 to the Republicans' 201, picking up the one independent seat in addition to all of the Republican seats' advantage.

Democrats won some of those seats by playing the moderate/social conservative card. New House Majority leader Nancy Pelosi said she vowed to bridge partisan divides. And with the more conservative Democrats she'll need to unite factions of her party.

Californian Rep. Richard Pombo, Chairman of the House Resources Committee and member of the House Agriculture Committee, was dethroned in his House race. Environmental groups including the Sierra Club targeted his seat and poured thousands of dollars into his opponent Jerry McNerney's campaign. Pombo had a desire to alter the Endangered Species Act.

In another close call, Republicans fourth leader in power Ohio Rep. Deborah Pryce squeaked in a victory over her challenger Mary Jo Kilroy, one of the few close races that swung in the direction of Republicans.

Check back for more coverage on the elections as the day continues.

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