Back To Top

Republicans move toward larger House majority

Confident Republicans predicted a hefty House of Representatives majority in Tuesday's midterm elections, capitalizing on dissatisfaction with President Barack Obama and national malaise to push their numbers toward the highest levels in 65 years.
 
Republicans currently control 234 seats and almost certainly will hold more during the final two years of Obama's presidency. They were certain to win the seats of retiring moderate Democrats in Utah, North Carolina and New York while trying to win over Democratic strongholds in Illinois, Minnesota and California.

Guadalupe Portillo (left), a 102-year-old Lincoln Heights resident who became a U.S. citizen last year, casts her vote for the the midterm elections at Montecito Community Center in Los Angeles, Tuesday. (AP-Yonhap)
Guadalupe Portillo (left), a 102-year-old Lincoln Heights resident who became a U.S. citizen last year, casts her vote for the the midterm elections at Montecito Community Center in Los Angeles, Tuesday. (AP-Yonhap)

 
Some two dozen Democratic incumbents were in jeopardy, but just four Republicans faced competitive races. Republican victories in the latest midterm elections in 2010, fueled by the rise of the ultra-conservative tea party, gave the party the advantage in redrawing congressional districts. 
 
The president's party typically loses seats in midterm elections, but Obama's low approval ratings around 40 percent have been a drag on Democrats, along with public unease with the Islamic State group threat, the Ebola outbreak and a lackluster recovery from the 2008 recession. Promising economic signs of a drop in the unemployment rate and cheaper gasoline have failed to help.
 
The election is certain to provide surprises, with Republicans and Democrats pointing to the high number of undecided voters in the closing days. 
 
The Republicans were likely to match the 246 House seats of 1947-1949 when another Democrat, Harry S. Truman, occupied the White House. Democrats still hold the modern-day edge for most seats _ 292 _ in 1979.
 
Republicans purposely lowered expectations at a gain of five to eight seats, but privately some said anything less than a net of a dozen seats would be a disappointment.
 
A solid Republican majority means Speaker John Boehner can afford defections from his increasingly conservative caucus and still get legislation passed. Republicans are counting on partnering with a Republican-led Senate.
 
Obama, whose party lost 63 seats in 2010, would become the two-term president with the most midterm defeats, surpassing Truman's 74.  (AP)
 

MOST POPULAR
LATEST NEWS
padcast
Korea Herald Youtube
subscribe