Rout, bloodbath, republican wave. Those are the words being used to describe the defeat Barack Obama’s Democrats have suffered in the US midterm elections 2014.
Republicans needed six seats to win control of the 100-member US Senate, and by late evening they had seven.
The defeat will limit Obama’s political influence and curb his legislative agenda in his last two years in office. At the time of writing, there had been no public reaction from the White House.
GOP (Grand Old Party or Republicans) candidates won in places where Democrats were favoured, like a Senate race in North Carolina; pulled out victories where the going was tough, like a Senate battle in Kansas; and swept a number of governors’ races in states where Democrats were favoured, like Obama’s home state of Illinois. They also strengthened their grip on the House of Representatives, with at least 240 seats.
When the new Congress takes power in January, the GOP will be in charge of both chambers of Congress for the first time since elections in 2006 and by a majority close to historic highs. If they can win more than 246 seats, they would exceed their numbers from 1947-49 Congress during the Truman administration, AP reports.
Republican Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who won a tough re-election battle against Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes, will replace Democrat Harry Reid as Senate majority leader.
Notable local initiatives saw marijuana legalised in Oregon and Washington DC and minimum wages raised in Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska and South Dakota. In a move seen as a victory for pro-choice activists, Colorado rejected a measure which would have amended the state constitution to include unborn babies in the definition of “person” and “child” in the state’s law.