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Democrats take control of the Senate

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  • Greg Cannon
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061109/ap_on_el_se/democrats_senate Democrats take control of the Senate By LIZ SIDOTI and BOB LEWIS, Associated Press Writers 21
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 8, 2006
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      http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061109/ap_on_el_se/democrats_senate

      Democrats take control of the Senate

      By LIZ SIDOTI and BOB LEWIS, Associated Press Writers
      21 minutes ago

      WASHINGTON - Democrats wrested control of the Senate
      from Republicans Wednesday with an upset victory in
      Virginia, giving the party complete domination of
      Capitol Hill for the first time since 1994.

      Jim Webb's squeaker win over incumbent Sen. George
      Allen (news, bio, voting record) gave Democrats their
      51st seat in the Senate, an astonishing turnabout at
      the hands of voters unhappy with Republican scandal
      and unabated violence in Iraq. Allen was the sixth
      Republican incumbent senator defeated in Tuesday's
      elections.

      The Senate had teetered at 50 Democrats, 49
      Republicans for most of Wednesday, with Virginia
      hanging in the balance. Webb's victory ended
      Republican hopes of eking out a 50-50 split, with Vice
      President
      Dick Cheney wielding tie-breaking authority.

      The Associated Press contacted election officials in
      all 134 localities where voting occurred, obtaining
      updated numbers Wednesday. About half the localities
      said they had completed their postelection canvassing
      and nearly all had counted outstanding absentees. Most
      were expected to be finished by Friday.

      The new AP count showed Webb with 1,172,538 votes and
      Allen with 1,165,302, a difference of 7,236. Virginia
      has had two statewide vote recounts in modern history,
      but both resulted in vote changes of no more than a
      few hundred votes.

      An adviser to Allen, speaking on condition of
      anonymity because his boss had not formally decided to
      end the campaign, said the senator wanted to wait
      until most of canvassing was completed before
      announcing his decision, possibly as early as Thursday
      evening.

      The adviser said that Allen was disinclined to request
      a recount if the final vote spread was similar to that
      of election night.

      The victory puts Sen. Harry Reid (news, bio, voting
      record), D-Nev., in line to become Senate majority
      leader. He has led the Democrats since Tom Daschle,
      D-S.D., was defeated two years ago.
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