Republican candidates make gains in US mid-term elections

03 November 2010 01:42  [Source: ICIS news]

WASHINGTON (ICIS)--Republican candidates appear to be making US election gains that were forecast by recent polling, with vote victories in bellwether congressional districts that suggest significant losses for Democrat allies of President Barack Obama.

In early election returns from key contests in the eastern half of the US where voting places have already closed, Republican candidates for the House of Representatives apparently were making inroads.

In the 9th Congressional District of Indiana, Republican candidate Todd Young was leading Democrat incumbent Baron Hill by 54% to 41% with about half of the votes counted.

That lead is seen as significant because in the latest Real Politics polling averages, Hill had been favoured by 2% over Young.

Republicans also appeared poised to take bellwether contests in Virginia, where Republican challenger Robert Hurt was leading incumbent Democrat Congressman Tom Perriello 52% to 46% in the 5th District with more than three-fourths of the vote counted.

That contest was considered crucial to Democrat hopes of retaining their majority control in the House. 

President Barack Obama had visited the district as recently as last Friday (29 October) in an effort to shore up support for Perriello, who had backed Obama in House votes on major policy issues.

Also in Virginia, Republican challenger Keith Fimian was leading Democrat incumbent Congressman Gerry Connolly by 50-48% in early returns. But only 30% of the vote had been tallied, and the race could go either way.

In a more clear-cut early result, Republican candidate Morgan Griffith was leading incumbent Democrat Congressman Rich Boucher by 51% to 47% in the contest for Virginia’s 9th District House seat with almost 90% of the votes counted.

Analysts had forecast that a defeat for Perriello and losses for either Connolly or Boucher in Virginia’s congressional contests would indicate major gains for Republicans in the House as the full election night results played out.

Gains by Republicans in the House and Senate had been forecast for weeks, with Republicans expected to win majority control in the House and likely to gain near parity with Democrats in the Senate.

If Republicans do win a majority in either chamber, it would signal major and generally favourable changes in major policy and legislative issues of key concern to US petrochemical, chemical and resins producers along with a broad spectrum of general manufacturing and business interests.

Final results of the nationwide polling were not likely before midday on Wednesday.

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By: Joe Kamalick
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