Democrats win control of Senate, AP reports
- Democrats win control of Senate, AP reports
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A Democratic takeover of the Senate is appearing
likely after an ongoing canvass of votes in Virginia produced no
significant changes in the outcome of the hard-fought race led by
Democratic challenger Jim Webb, sources told CNN Wednesday.
Wednesday night, with Webb leading Republican Sen. George Allen by
about 7,200 votes and the canvass about half complete, The Associated
Press declared Webb the winner.
CNN does not declare a winner when race results are less than 1
percent and the potential loser may request a recount vote. (Full
A source close to Allen also told CNN that the senator "has no
intention of dragging this out."
Meanwhile, a Webb aide told CNN that he plans a formal news conference
Thursday morning to declare victory.
A victory by Webb would put the new Senate lineup at 49 Democrats, 49
Republicans and two independents -- Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Joe
Lieberman of Connecticut -- who have said they would caucus with the
That would give the Democrats the 51 votes they need to claim a
majority for the first time since 2002.
A source close to Allen told CNN that the initial state review will be
finished Thursday, because it is "wrapping up sooner rather than
later" with very little dent in Webb's lead.
While stopping just short of saying Allen will concede, the source
said it is a "daunting proposition" for the senator to overcome Webb's
President Bush and Democratic leaders Wednesday were talking up a new
era of cooperation -- but warned neither would roll over for the other.
As control of the House moves to the Democrats, Bush said immigration
and minimum wage measures were areas of common ground to discuss when
he meets Democratic speaker-to-be Nancy Pelosi Thursday.
"We can work together over the next two years," the president said.
But he added: "She's not going to abandon her principles, and I'm not
going to abandon mine. But I do believe we have an opportunity to find
some common ground to move forward on."
Pelosi, in line to be first female Speaker of the House, told CNN:
"Democrats are ready to lead, prepared to govern and absolutely
willing to work in a bipartisan way." (Pelosi's ambitions on breaking
the marble ceiling 12:45 Video)
She has previously said a Democratic-led Congress will not be a rubber
stamp for the White House. On Wednesday, she said she hopes there will
be cooperation with congressional investigations -- part of the
checks-and-balances system built into the Constitution.
Pelosi early Wednesday repeated a call for Defense Secretary Donald
Rumsfeld to go, and just hours later the president announced his loyal
aide was resigning -- a decision Bush said was made before the election.
"The president got the message, thank heavens," Pelosi said. "I think
it signals a new change, I hope for the better, in Iraq."
Bush nominated Robert Gates to fill Rumsfeld's vacancy. Gates is an
ex-CIA chief who also worked on the Iraq Study Group, a bipartisan
panel that is making recommendations to Bush on how to proceed in
Iraq. (Full story)
If the Virginia result is confirmed, Democrats will take over the
Senate and the House of Representatives in January, and Bush said he
would work with whomever was in charge. ( Watch to see what Bush's
first bipartisan act was after the election -- 2:44)
Bush admitted he was disappointed with Tuesday's results and took his
share of responsibility as party leader.
But he looked forward rather than back. "The message yesterday was
clear: The American people want their leaders in Washington to set
aside partisan differences, conduct ourselves in an ethical manner and
work together to address the challenges facing our nation."
The Iraq question
Pelosi, who voted against invading Iraq, said the Democrats' victory
meant the American people were calling for a "new direction."
And she was adamant about a new direction for the war in Iraq. "This
is something that we must work on together with the president. We know
that 'stay the course' is not working," she said.
Bush countered by saying his leadership style will not change.
"I'm still going to try to speak plainly about what I think are the
important priorities of the country, and winning this war on terror is
by far the most important priority," he said.
"And making sure this economy continues to grow is an important
priority. And making sure our children have a good education is an
Bush also called House Speaker Dennis Hastert to thank him for his
hard work. Hastert is not expected to seek a leadership role in the
new Congress. (Read latest House story)
# With more voters than ever using electronic voting machines,
scattered glitches reported across the country prompted officials to
extend voting hours in some areas. (Full story)
# Six governorships changed from Republican to Democratic hands
Tuesday, giving Democrats control of a majority of the top state posts
for the first time in 12 years. (Governor races)
# Also appearing on state ballots were dozens of referendums, some
dealing with issues such as same-sex marriage and abortion. (Ballot
CNN's John King, Dana Bash and Ed Henry contributed to this report.
- not to mention Tom Delay....
--- Ram Lau <ramlau@...> wrote:
> After this election, you won't have Conrad Burns and
> George Allen to
> kick around anymore.