RepublicansThe Republicans have won control of the Senate in the US mid-term elections, increasing their powers in the final two years of President Barack Obama’s reign. 


  • The Republican party increased grip on House of Representatives
  • Early results indicated a number of both Democratic and Republican Senate incumbents held onto their seats
  • Many analysts had predicted a Republican victory as Mr Obama’s popularity rate failed to climb much above 40%, despite recent improvements in the economy
  • A control of the Senate gives the Republicans the power to shut down Mr Obama’s policies in the last two years of his term
  • New Senate leader and President Obama have however pledged to work together


The BBC reports that the Republican also increased their grip on the House of Representatives and now controls both chambers of Congress.

It is the first time that they are gaining control since 2006.

A Republican Senator, Mitch McConnell, who retained his seat in Kentucky, said the result was a vote against “a government people can no longer trust”.

President Obama was expected to hold a press conference later on Wednesday.

The Democrats, however, held onto the key Senate seat of New Hampshire.

At stake

Up for election were a third of the 100-seat Senate, all 435 members of the House of Representatives, 36 out of 50 state governors, and countless state and local offices.


Earlier projections showed Republicans had retained seats in Mississippi, Alabama, Maine, South Carolina, Oklahoma and Tennessee.

Democrats had retained seats in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Delaware and New Jersey.

Early projections indicated the Republicans will increase their control over the House.

In the gubernatorial elections, Democrat Tom Wolf looked to unseat the Republican incumbent Tom Corbett. In Arkansas, Republican Asa Hutchinson defeated Democrat Mike Ross.

Republican incumbents retained their seats in Ohio, Tennessee and Alabama.

Obama’s unpopularity

President Barack Obama’s approval ratings have fallen to the lowest they have been since he was elected

Throughout the campaign, the Democrats battled to stay ahead as President Barack Obama’s approval ratings fell to the lowest they have been since he was elected.

Many analysts predicted a Republican victory as Mr Obama’s popularity rate had failed to climb much above 40%, despite recent improvements in the economy.

“This is a referendum on the president,” Republican senator and potential 2016 presidential candidate Rand Paul told NBC’s Meet the Press at the weekend.

But Democrats say their proven ability to rally their supporters ahead of elections could still give them the advantage.

As the Republicans already have a convincing hold over the lower House of Representatives, a win in the Senate gives them the power to shut down Mr Obama’s policies in the last two years of his term.

Pledge to work together

However, the US Senate’s new Republican leader and President Barack Obama have both promised to end the political gridlock that has so frustrated American voters.

Incoming Senate leader Mitch McConnell said he would make the ineffective Senate function and pass bills.

Mr Obama said he was “eager to work with the new Congress to make the next two years as productive as possible”.

The election campaign was characterised by widespread frustration expressed by voters about the inability of Congress to work together.

To the Americans who voted for change, the president said: “I hear you.”

“We’re going to go back to work and actually pass legislation”

He told a White House news conference that both parties must address those concerns, but he admitted that as president he had a “unique responsibility to try to make this town work”.

On Friday, he will host a meeting at the White House with Democratic and Republican leaders.

“We can surely find ways to work together,” Mr Obama said. “It’s time for us to take care of business.”

But he warned he would act on his own to reduce deportations and improve border security – action he had delayed until after the election, to the fury of some Latino voters.

Earlier on Wednesday, Mr McConnell pledged to make the Senate more productive.

“The Senate in the last few years basically doesn’t do anything,” he said. “We’re going to go back to work and actually pass legislation.”

He also vowed to “work together” with Mr Obama on issues where they can agree, such as trade agreements and tax reform.

Working within a two-party political system did not mean “we have to live in perpetual conflict”, he added.


About US elections

Elections in the United States are being held throughout 2014, with the general elections scheduled for Tuesday, November 4, 2014. During this midterm election year, all 435 seats in the United States House of Representatives and 33 of the 100 seats in the United States Senate were contested; along with 38 state and territorial governorships, 46 state legislatures (except Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey and Virginia), four territorial legislatures and numerous state and local races.


The federal mid-term election became the most expensive in history with total spending reaching $3.7 billion, including outside spending.


Unlike some other elections, the 2014 election has lacked a “dominant national theme,” with no one issue standing above the others. Some of the major issues of the election included income inequality, net neutrality, the effects of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (commonly referred to as “Obamacare”), and immigration.

The environment was also a major issue in the election. Although it generated much debate in early 2014, the Keystone Pipeline ultimately received little attention in the election, with environmentalists instead focused on fighting climate change and supporting the EPA’s proposed regulations on greenhouse gas emissions.

According to the political commentator Stuart Rothenberg, foreign policy crises in the Middle East, Ukraine, and Russia likely hurt the Democratic Party’s chances in 2014.

Allegations of misconduct

In Chicago, election judges said they received automated phone calls between October and November 3 with apparently false instructions about voting or required training, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

In Pontiac, Michigan, the local Democrats cited reports of voter harassment and intimidation by Republicans over questioning legally-cast ballots with election workers repeatedly having had to ask them to step aside, while a clerk even called police for help.

Source: Wikipedia




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