As predicted, after polls closed and votes were tallied the Republican Party picked up seats in the Senate and House of Representatives, in addition to gaining two more Governorships. Excluding the races that remain undetermined, Republicans now hold the majority in the Senate by 52-45 and in the House by 242-174. Although Republican gains were predicted, the performance of the GOP in this cycle was even stronger than anticipated. In a year characterized by abysmally low approval ratings for politicians across the board, the GOP’s sweep of elections is noteworthy. GOP control of both Houses of Congress is sure to yield interesting and hopefully productive interaction between the Legislative and Executive branches. There are expectations for increased hearings on government oversight and legislation aimed at halting the implementation of new or strengthened regulations. In the meantime, during the lame duck session it seems likely the Senate Democrats will focus on approving the list of currently stalled Presidential nominations.
The races still being decided include Alaska, Virginia, and Louisiana. While Alaska and Virginia may take a few days to sort out, Louisiana will have a runoff between incumbent Senator Mary Landrieu (D) and challenger Representative Bill Cassidy (R) on December 6.