Originally Posted by Botnst
Given the predominant dissatisfaction with the Iraq war, WOT, etc, why didn't the Demos do as well this years as Newt did with Contract for America?
That will be part of the talking-heads discussion, too.
Don't be so quick to count your chickens, as the second tier seats are beginning to fall:
Democrats Sweep New Hampshire's U.S. House Seats
Republicans Face Stiff Challenges Across State
POSTED: 8:24 pm EST November 7, 2006
UPDATED: 12:00 am EST November 8, 2006
Email This Story | Print This Story
MANCHESTER, N.H. -- In what was seen as a strong rejection of President George W. Bush and the strategy in Iraq, New Hampshire voters swept Democrats into power.
Paul Hodes ended U.S. Rep Charlie Bass' six-term career in Congress, beating the Republican incumbent in the 2nd District. U.S. Rep Jeb Bradley conceded to Democratic challenger Carol Shea-Porter after a tight race through the night.
"The people of New Hampshire are ready to move forward in a new direction, for a new tomorrow," Hodes said. "They have voted for change."
Hodes and Shea-Porter took the races as the possibility grew of Democrats taking over the U.S. House. In several races across the country, Democrats picked up seats, although it was not immediately clear if they would gain a majority.
"It's a great night to be a Democrat in New Hampshire," Hodes said. "It's a great night to be a Democrat in the United States of America."
Bass gave his concession speech to a subdued crowd, thanking his supporters and saying he had no regrets.
"I just want to say to the people of New Hampshire -- thank you, thank you, thank you for all the support you've given me over the years," Bass said in an emotional speech. "I don't intend to make this the end of my political career in New Hampshire."
Polls conducted before the election indicated that many voters were placing a high importance on the war in Iraq and the Bush administration. Shea-Porter made Iraq a cornerstone of her campaign.
"We have said all along that we need to work together," Shea-Porter said. "We're in crisis right now, but crisis is also an opportunity."
Shea-Porter conducted a grassroots campaign with little help from the national Democratic Party after early polls showed her as a long shot.
"Of all the things that happened tonight, this was perhaps the biggest surprise, and it's an indication of the scope of this defeat," Republican analyst Tom Rath said.
Bradley said in his concession speech that he and Bass got swept up in the anti-Republican feelings of the time.
"We got caught in a perfect storm," he said. "Change is coming in the wind, and the pendulum will swing one way, and then it will swing back the other way."
The strong Democratic showing was also reflected on a local level, with the possibility of Democrats taking over the state Senate. Democrats won two seats by 11 p.m. and led in four other races. If all those races went to Democrats, the party would have a 14-10 majority in the Senate.
The trend carried over to the New Hampshire House, with Democrats on their way to taking 213 seats. Republicans were trailing with 153 seats.
New Hampshire's Legislature has been in Republican hands since 1911.
"Incumbents in what were thought to be relatively safe Republican districts are losing, and they're losing because of their attachment to the Bush administration," said pollster Andy Smith, of the University of New Hampshire Survey Center.
Democratic Gov. John Lynch easily beat challenger Jim Coburn with 74 percent of the vote, the largest margin of victory ever for a New Hampshire governor.