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Seeing red: Republicans take US Senate, extend lead in House


Sen. Al Franken and Minnesota's five incumbent Democratic U.S. representatives earned relatively swift victories Tuesday night.

But the U.S. Congress they return to will look much different.

The Republican Party seized control of the U.S. Senate, ousting at least seven Democrats from the chamber to take a minimum of 52 of the 100 seats, according to Politico.

Alaska and Virginia were considered too close to call as of Wednesday morning, but no matter the outcome, the Democrats won't have a chance to regain control until 2016 – but Republicans also won't be able to reach the filibuster-proof number of 60 this election cycle either, with Democrats holding at least 43 seats.

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) will likely oust Sen. Harri Reid (D-Nev.) as the Senate majority leader. According to NBC News, Reid said the message voters sent was "clear: they want us to work together," adding he looks forward to working with McConnell.

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The GOP also built on its majority in the U.S. House, ending Tuesday night with at least 242 seats – the party's largest advantage since WWII, CNN says.

The Republican victories leave the GOP in complete control of U.S. Congress, and Democrats with only the executive branch (President Barack Obama). It's the first time Republicans will hold both chambers of Congress since 2006, according to Reuters.

Politically, Obama will now be put in the position of having to sign bills the Democratic Party doesn't agree with, compromise with Congress on a solution, or risk being seen as a president who vetoes repeatedly.

Bloomberg says one of Republicans' first tests for the president will be the Keystone XL pipeline. The GOP has been pushing for passage of the $5.4 billion project for years, and the party now has the votes necessary to get it to Obama's desk.

Bloomberg notes Obama could veto it and Congress would likely be unable to get a two-thirds majority vote in both chambers to override the veto.

Things didn't fall completely the Republicans' way in Minnesota however.

Despite Franken needing a contentious recount in his first election back in 2008, he polled well ahead of his challenger, Republican Mike McFadden, nearly the entire way, and was declared the winner Tuesday within minutes of the polls closing. He and Sen. Amy Klobuchar – who was not on the ballot this year – will be two members of the now-minority Democrats in the Senate.

For the U.S. House, Minnesota stuck with who it knows. Each and every one of the state's U.S. congressmen remained the party it was heading into the midterms– which means DFLers for five districts, and Republicans for the other three.

Within the state's borders however, voters swung toward the Republican Party, giving control of the state House back to the GOP after two years under Democrats' control.

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