Tea Party Wins A Number Of Election Races

I … A tea party-backed South Carolina Republican, state Rep. Nikki Haley, was elected to replace term-limited Gov. Mark Sanford. Haley won over state Sen. Vincent Sheheen.

II …  Catherine Dodge and Lisa Lerer of Bloomberg report that the self-described fiscally conservative Blue Dog House Democrats took a big hit, with defeats of Indiana’s Baron Hill, Florida’s Allen Boyd and North Dakota’s Earl Pomeroy, among others.

Democrats lost five House seats in Ohio, a crucial swing state that has voted for the winner in the last 12 U.S. presidential elections. Obama made his 12th trip to the state on Oct. 31 to stump for Democrats.

Freshmen Representatives Mary Jo Kilroy, John Boccieri, Steve Driehaus all lost to Republican challengers. Two-term incumbents Charlie Wilson and Zack Space also were defeated.

Senate Races

In Ohio’s Senate race, Republican Rob Portman was the winner over Democratic Lieutenant Governor Lee Fisher for the seat vacated by Republican George Voinovich, who is retiring. Portman was the top international trade official under Bush and also served as head of his budget office.

Democratic Senate winners included Joe Manchin in West Virginia, the state’s governor, who takes the seat held by Democrat Robert Byrd until his death in June. Manchin’s victory in an early reporting state dealt a blow to the Republican hopes of gaining a Senate majority.

In Delaware, Democrat Chris Coons beat Tea Party-backed Republican Christine O’Donnell, enabling Democrats to keep the seat once held by Vice President Joe Biden.

In California, Senator Barbara Boxer fended off a challenge from Carly Fiorina, former chief executive officer of Palo Alto, California-based Hewlett-Packard Co.

‘Tough Haul’

“The Senate was going to be a tough haul for us,” Michael Steele, the Republican National Committee chairman, said on MSNBC last night.

In Indiana, former Senator Dan Coats, a Republican, beat Democrat Brad Ellsworth. Coats will replace Democrat Evan Bayh, who is retiring.

In Arkansas, Democratic incumbent Blanche Lincoln was ousted by Republican Representative John Boozman. Lincoln was one of the leading voices in Congress for tougher regulation of Wall Street in the wake of the financial crisis.

Republicans also claimed Obama’s old seat in Illinois, where U.S. Representative Mark Kirk won.

Republican challenger Ron Johnson won election to the U.S. Senate from Wisconsin, defeating Democratic Senator Russ Feingold. And in Pennsylvania, Republican Pat Toomey defeated Democratic Representative Joe Sestak.

Tea Party favorites Rand Paul in Kentucky and Marco Rubio in Florida gave Republicans Senate victories as polls started closing in the U.S. Both open seats were held by Republicans who didn’t seek re-election.

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