There is simply too much at stake to become complacent.
Democrats take control of House, CNN projects - CNN.com
POSTED: 12:28 a.m. EST, November 8, 2006
Read the entire story at: http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/11/07/election.main/index.html
-- Democrats will take control of the House of Representatives for the first time since the 1994 Republican Revolution, CNN projects.Summarized by Copernic Summarizer
Democratic challengers have also picked up three seats in the Senate, CNN projects.
They would need to win three of four competitive races where winners have not yet been projected to win control of the chamber.
Results are still too close to call in Missouri, Montana, Tennessee and Virginia.
Democrats will have a net gain of at least 15 seats to take the House when all votes are counted, CNN projects.
"Tonight is a great victory for the American people," said Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California, set to be the first female speaker of the House.
She said Democrats now had a mandate to make changes.
The projected result means that President Bush for the first time faces the prospect of working with a Democratic-controlled House.
By a wide margin, voters said in national exit polls that they disapproved of the job performances of both Congress and the president.
Illinois Rep. Rahm Emanuel, head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, called the vote "a resounding and unmistakable message of change and new direction for America."
"We extend the hand of cooperation to the president, our colleagues across the aisle," Emanuel said.
"We will work with you when we agree; we will challenge you when we don't."
The Democratic pickups in the House included the Florida seat vacated by Mark Foley after his cybersex scandal and the Ohio seat vacated by Bob Ney after his guilty plea to charges related to the Jack Abramoff lobbying probe.
Still too close to call were two Democratic-held districts in Georgia that were redrawn by the GOP-controlled state Legislature to make them more Republican-friendly.
With more voters than ever using electronic voting machines, scattered glitches reported across the country have prompted officials to extend voting hours in some areas.
Polls also suggested the Republican grip on the Senate was safer.
Thirty-three Senate seats were at stake, but only nine races were considered competitive.
In one of the most closely watched races, in Virginia, incumbent Republican Sen.
George Allen held a razor-thin lead over former Navy Secretary Jim Webb.
George Allen and his Democratic challenger, Jim Webb, were locked in a virtual tie, separated by fewer than 3,000 votes with 99 percent of precincts reporting.
"We are right now biting our nails about Virginia, which is neck-and-neck," Sen.
Chuck Schumer, the chairman of the Democrats' Senate campaign effort, told supporters.
Democratic senator-turned-independent candidate Joe Lieberman will win the Connecticut Senate race, CNN projects.
Both he and newly elected independent Bernie Sanders in Vermont have said they will caucus with the Democrats.
Democratic challenger Sheldon Whitehouse will win the Rhode Island Senate race, defeating Republican incumbent Lincoln Chafee, CNN projects.
Rick Santorum, the chamber's third-ranking Republican, has conceded to Bob Casey Jr.
Defying the traditional political maxim that "all politics is local," 62 percent of voters said in exit polls that national issues mattered more than local issues when deciding which House candidate to pick.
The exit polls showed that 42 percent of voters called corruption an extremely important issue in their choices at the polls, followed by terrorism at 40 percent, the economy at 39 percent and the war in Iraq at 37 percent.
Those figures mirror Bush's job approval among voters, with 58 percent saying they disapprove of the president's performance and only 41 percent approve.
Democrats have also snatched away six governorships -- enough to give them a majority of governorships nationwide for the first time since they were last considered a dominant force in Congress.