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The 2010 Congressional Election

An Overview


The 2010 election was held on Tuesday, Nov. 2, with at least 36 of the 100 seats in the Senate being contested and all U.S. House seats up for election.  After sweeping victories, Republicans will control at least 239 seats in the House of Representatives in the next Congress, eliminating a previous Democratic majority.  In the Senate, the Democratic majority will remain with a 53-46 advantage. 

The U.S. Senate

Seal of U.S. Senate

After the 2010 midterm elections, Democrats will hold 53 seats to the Republicans' 47.  The final race was decided on Nov. 17, with Alaska's incumbent senator and write-in candidate Lisa Murkowski defeating Republican Joe Miller.  Murkowski, who ran as an independent after losing the Republican primary to Miller, will likely rejoin the Republican caucus.

Read More: 2010 Senate Races at a Glance
Read More: Complete List of Winners & Analysis
Read More: The 7 Most Important Senate Races

The U.S. House of Representatives

Seal of U.S. House of Representatives

Republicans scored sweeping victories in the House of Representatives in the 2010 midterms.  While a handful of races have yet to be officially called, there will be at least a 60-member swing, tipping the balance of power toward the GOP.  Republicans will hold at least 239 seats to the Democrats' 188, ending four years of a Democratic majority.

Read More: Likely Voters and Unlikely Scenarios

Gubernatorial Races

Getty Images

Republicans also performed well in the 2010 gubernatorial races, winning 23 campaigns to the Democrats' 12.  Independent Lincoln Chaffee, a former Republican senator, won as an independent in Rhode Island.

Read More: The 6 Most Important Gubernatorial Races

Balance of Power

Which party controls Congress? Which the White House? The answer reveals the "balance of power" between the two branches of government that have elected officials. Contrary to popular belief, most of the time in modern political history Congress and the President have been at odds; that is, the same political party has not typically controlled the White House, the Senate, and the House of Representatives. Only 10 times since 1945 have both branches of Congress and the Presidency been controlled by the same party.

Read More: Visual Guide: Which Party Controls Congress, The White House?

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