The 2006 congressional elections are history….and, they made history! The Democrat Party gained control of the House of Representatives for the first time since 1994 and they also got control of the U.S. Senate by winning the necessary seats. While the final votes are still being counted, i.e., the absentee and provisional ballots, the final configuration of the number of House seats for the two major parties is not yet determined. It looks like that the Democrats will have in the end 233 members and the Republican will have 202, a swing of 31 in favor of the Democrats that puts them in charge of the House of Representatives! They needed to gain 15 seats to become the majority party and they won 31, a clear majority. Source
In the Senate, the Democrats and the Republicans each had 49 seats but with the two so called ‘Independent’ senators, the Democrats will control the Senate. Joe Lieberman of
Connecticut was a Democrat Senator before he was defeated in the primaries and he ran as an independent and won. The other independent is Bernie Sanders of Vermont, he was a congressman before this election and is considered a Socialist, i.e., to the ‘left’ of most Democrats.
Without an accurate count of the total votes cast in all 435 House races (over 58 million votes were cast in the 33 Senatorial races), based on precedent, it can be safely assumed that about 70 million Americans voted for candidates running for a House seat. Accepting the premise that Democrats and Republicans voted for members of their respective parties, the 15 percent of Moderates amounted to approximately ten million voters. This is where it becomes interesting:
Remember, the Democrats needed to take fifteen congressional districts away from the Republicans in order to gain control of the House of Representatives. A closer look at the thirty-one individual races where Democrats won seats formerly held by Republicans brings out an incredible fact: 18 of those 31 races were decided by a total combined vote count of under 130,000 votes in favor of Democrats! That is very close to say the least. Had they gone the other way, the Republicans would have maintained control of the House of Representatives. Again, assuming that these 130,000 votes were cast by Moderates and that about ten million swing voters cast ballots, this is only 1.3 percent of this group, definitely a very minor change in the overall picture.
In the Senate, the race was even closer. The vote differential in Montana was 2,847 in favor of the Democrat candidate Tester over incumbent Burns and in
Virginia, the difference were 7,231 votes for Democrat Webb over the Republican incumbent Allen. Combined, a vote swing of 10,078 would have given the Republicans 51 seats in the Senate and therefore control of that chamber. Again, assuming that these votes were cast by Moderates, the percentile is even smaller than in the House races (10,078 out of approximately 8.75 million votes equals a tenth of one percent), a very miniscule difference!
In the coming weeks and months all 2006 election results will be finalized and it will validate the overall outcome as we know it now with the possibility of only minor adjustments. But that does not matter! This year’s election was a close one and we think we demonstrated that above.
One thing should therefore be understood and accepted by us all: This was not a landslide nor was it a blue wave (the color we attribute to Democrats) or whatever else the Democrats want to call it. Any time control of the U.S. Senate or the House of Representatives changes, it is historic.
Common sense and logical thinking tells us that we should not accept things at face value when presented by the media. It will remain to be seen what the change in Congress will bring us and we might very well be in for interesting times in the next two years.
This article and others on Back to Common Sense are designed to provoke further thought and investigation. It is not the intent for the articles to be politically biased. Sources are referenced in each article to encourage readers to delve into the supporting material. We welcome all readers to participate with their point of view either in support or contrary with additional information sources.