Senate Election Results
Although Democrats lost and Republicans won six Senate seats, Democrat will still hold 53 Senate seats (including two Independents who caucus with Democrats) to 47 occupied by Republicans in the 112th Congress which takes office in January 2011. This will be Democrats's third consecutive Senate majority, which is a remarkable achievement.
Senate Democrat's majority of 53 seats to 47 seats is the third largest Senate majority in the last 12 years, and a much higher majority than Republican President George W. Bush's party held in 6 out of his 8 years in the White House.
The six Senate seats Republicans won and Democrats lost were in Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, North Dakota, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
For state-by-state results and insider analysis, see 2010 U.S. Senate Election Results - The Winners and Losers.
Governorship Election Results
Democratic losses in gubernatorial races were both more widespread and devastating than in Senate contests.
Democrats won only 12 of the 36 finalized gubernatorial races, and lost 12 governorships that they previously held, in Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
Democrats also picked up, and Republicans lost, 4 gubernatorial seats in California, Connecticut, Hawaii and Vermont. One race, Minnesota, remains uncalled and will likely be recounted.
Liberal losses in 2010 gubernatorial elections are particularly catastrophic for Democrats for several reasons:
- Governors in place in 2011-2012 will be responsible for working with state legislatures or citizen committees to redraw Congressional districts in response to the 2010 census.
- Governors are largely responsible for implementing White House policies at the state level.
- Presidential candidates are more often groomed and selected from among governors than from Congress.
For state-by-state results and insider analysis, see 2010 Governors' Races Results - The Winners and Losers.
House of Representatives Election Results
Nowhere was the Democrats' 2010 electoral downfall felt more acutely than in U.S. House of Representatives' results: Democrats lost and Republicans gained 61 seats. And Republicans firmly wrenched House control from the Democrats and Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Interestingly, 22 of the House Democrats who lost their election bids were centrist, pro-corporate Blue Dog Democrats. Further, four Blue Dog Democrats retired, and two Blue Dogs ran for the U.S. Senate and lost their races.
Thus, the Blue Dog Democrats, who famously fought Speaker Pelosi's agenda in the 111th Congress, had their membership decimated by the 2010 elections, from more than 50 to only 23 remaining members.
In vivid contrast, no Black Caucus members, and very few Progressive or Latino Caucus members, lost their House reelection bids.
As a result, House Democrats in the 112th Congress will be more progressive and more supportive of the Democratic party and Nancy Pelosi's agenda than any House of Representatives in recent memory.
As President Obama commented, Democrats took a "shellacking" in the 2010 election cycle. But the news is not all bad for progressives, by any means. And Democrats still firmly control both the White House and U.S. Senate.
I have no doubt that, if unemployment decreases over the next few years, and if Congressional Republicans continue their overbearing bully-tactics and refusal to govern with any modicum of responsibility, that in 2012, Democrats can easily erase Republican gains. And regain full control of D.C. politics.