A State by State Summary of Noteworthy Contests
by Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action
Newly Elected Officials Shown in Color -- Includes Post-Election Developments Due to Official Joining the Obama Adminstration (updated May 24, 2009)

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R)
easily defeated State Sen. Vivian Davis Figures (D) in his bid for a third term.  The 2nd and 5th CD U.S. House seats were open.  Democrats picked up the 2nd CD (Southeast corner, Montgomery) seat held by Rep. Terry Everett (R), as Montgomery Mayor Bobby Bright (D) defeated
State Rep. Jay Love (R) by 50.23% to 49.61% (1,790 votes out of 287,394).  In the 5th CD (Northern AL) seat held by Rep. Robert E. “Bud” Cramer (D), State Sen. Parker Griffith (D) defeated businessman Wayne Parker (R).  Democrats maintained comfortable control of both houses of the state legislature: House 62D, 43R and Senate 21D, 13R, 1v.  Also on the ballot were six referenda.  Alabama's U.S. House delegation goes from 5R, 2D in the 110th Congress to 4R, 3D in the 111th.  Democrats pick up one U.S. House seat.

After serving in the Senate for close to 40 years (appointed Dec. 1968), Sen. Ted Stevens (R) narrowly lost to Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich (D).  Stevens conducted his re-election campaign under daunting circumstances; he was indicted on July 29 for failing to disclose gifts, defeated six challengers in the Aug. 26 primary, and found guilty a federal jury on seven counts on Oct. 27Although Stevens finished Election Night ahead by more than 3,000 votes, there remained "over 90,000 ballots that needed to go through the statutorily mandated review process" (early, absentee and questioned ballots), and on Nov. 18 Begich declared victory, ultimately winning by 3,953 votes (1.25 percentage points) out of 317,723 total.  Rep. Don Young (R), elected in a special election in 1973, faced corruption charges, but defeated two primary challengers and prevailed in the general election over former Democratic House Leader Ethan Berkowitz (D).  In the state legislature, the House remained in Republican hands 22R, 18D while the Senate went from 11R, 9D to a 10R, 10D tie.  Democrats pick up U.S. Senate seat.
Post-Election: On April 8, 2009 U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan voided the guilty verdict against former Sen. Stevens because of mishandling and misconduct by Justice Department prosecutors.
Democrats picked up a House seat in the 1st CD, a large rural district held by Rep. Rick Renzi (R), as State Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D) defeated Sydney Hay (R) by 55.88% to 39.43% with 4.69% going to an independent and a Libertarian.  Republicans slightly strengthened their majorities in both chambers of the state legislature, gaining two seats in the House and one in the Senate.  Arizonans also cast their votes on eight propositions.  The U.S. House delegation, which prior to the 2006 mid-term elections had been 6R, 2D, goes to 5D, 3R for the 111th Congress.  Democrats pick up one U.S. House seat. 
: On Dec. 1, 2008 President-Elect Obama nominated Gov. Janet Napolitano (D) to be Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security; she was confirmed by the Senate on Jan. 20 and resigned the same day and Secretary of State Janice Brewer (R) ascended to the governorship. 

None of the federal representatives faced a major party challenger.  Sen. Mark Pryor (D) easily defeated Rebekah Kennedy (G), obtaining 79% of the vote.  In U.S. House  races, Rep. Berry was unopposed in the 1st CD, and the other three members faced Green challengers who each obtained less than a quarter of the vote.  This peculiar situation extended to the state level; all but one of the 18 State Senators up for re-election was unopposed as were a majority of the State Representatives.  Democrats maintained their strong majorities in both chambers of the state legislature, although Republicans gained three House seats and the Green candidate, Richard Carroll, won in House District 39 (No. Little Rock).  The Senate stays at 27D, 8R and House goes to 71D, 28R, 1G.  Arkansans voted on five ballot measures.

There were two open U.S. House seats.  In the 4th CD (Roseville, Rocklin, Auburn north to OR border) State Sen. Tom McClintock (R) eked out a 1,800-vote (0.60%) win over Charlie Brown (D), the 2006 nominee, in the race to succeed Rep. John Doolittle (R).  In the 52nd CD (part of San Diego County), opened by the retirement of Rep. Duncan Hunter (R), Duncan D. Hunter (R), son of the incumbent, defeated Mike Lumpkin (D) by a comfortable margin.  In a closely watched race, in the 11th CD (east and south of the Bay area) freshman Rep. Jerry McNerney (D) defeated Dean Andal (R) by 55.27% to 44.72%.  Democrats strengthened already strong majorities in both chambers of the state legislature, gaining a Senate seat and three House seats; the post-election balance stood at 26D, 14R and 51D, 29R.  California voters faced 12 ballot measures; after a very expensive campaign the California Marriage Protection Act (Proposition 8) won by a margin of 52.3% to 47.7%, eliminating the right of same sex couples to marry.  The U.S. House delegation remains at 33D, 20R.
Post-Election: On Dec. 19, 2008 President-Elect Obama named Rep. Hilda Solis (D) as his nominee for Secretary of Labor.  Solis was confirmed on and resigned effective Feb. 24, 2009.  The special election was set for May 19, 2009.  Additionally in mid-March 2009 it was reported that President Obama would name Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D) to a State Department position; Tauscher represents the 10th CD (parts of Contra Costa, Alameda, Solano and Sacramento counties).

Rep. Mark Udall (D) defeated former Rep. Bob Schaffer (R) by 52.80% to 42.49% to gain the Senate seat held by retiring Sen. Wayne Allard (R); Bob Kinsey (G) and Douglas "Dayhorse" Campbell (ACP) each gained over 2%.  Democrats also picked up one House seat.  In the 4th CD (eastern third of the state), Betsy Markey (D), a regional director for Sen. Ken Salazar and businesswoman, defeated perennial target Rep. Marilyn Musgrave (R) by 56.20% to 43.80%.  The two open seats remained in their respective parties' hands.  Udall's run opened the 2nd CD (Boulder and areas NW of Denver); entrepreneur Jared Polis (D) defeated Scott Starin (R), an electronics project manager, and two others.  Rep. Tom Tancredo (R)'s retirement opened the 6th CD (central CO south of Denver); Secretary of State Mike Coffman (R) defeated aerospace engineer and consultant Hank Eng (D).  Democrats maintained control of both chambers of the state legislature.  Coloradans also voted in ten amendments and four referenda.  The balance of the U.S. House delegation goes from 4D, 3R in the 110th to 5D, 2R in the 111th Congress.  Democrats pick up U.S. Senate seat and one U.S. House seat. 
: On Dec. 17, 2008 President-Elect Obama named Sen. Ken Salazar (D) as his nominee for Secretary of the Interior.
  On Jan. 3, 2009 Gov. Ritter announced the appointment of Denver Public Schools Superintendent Michael Bennet to succeed Salazar; Bennet was sworn in on Jan. 22.


After 21 years in Congress, Rep. Chris Shays (R), a perennial target in recent years, lost his 4th CD seat (Southern tip of CT...Stamford, Bridgeport) to Jim Himes (D), by 149,345 plus 9,130 votes to 146,854 votes and 3,447 for three others.  Democrats also strengthened their hold on the state legislature, gaining 7 House seats and a Senate seat to go to 114D, 37R and 24D, 12R.  There were also two ballot measures.  Democrats now control of all U.S. House seats in New England and the Connecticut U.S. House delegation is all-Democratic for the 111th Congress.  Democrats pick up one U.S. House seat.

Gov. Ruth Ann Minner (D) was term limited.  Treasurer Jack Markell (D) won the closely fought Sept. 9 Democratic primary over Lt. Gov. John Carney Jr. and defeated retired Superior Court Judge Bill Lee (R) by 67.5% to 32.0% in the general election.  Sen. Joe Biden (D) appeared on the ballot twice, as Sen. Obama's running mate and seeking re-election to a 7th term in the Senate.  He easily defeated commentator and marketing consultant Christine O'Donnell (R)In the state legislature, Democrats gained control of the House chamber, picking up six House seats to secure a 25D, 16R majority, and gained three seats in the Senate to go to 16D, 5R. Post-Election: On Nov. 24, 2008 Gov. Minner announced that longtime Biden associate Ted Kaufman will fill the seat until an election is held in 2010; Kaufman was sworn in on Jan. 16. 

District of Columbia


Three incumbent congressmen (2R, 1D) were defeated.  In the 8th CD (most of Orange County and parts of Osceola, Lake, and Marion Counties), Alan Grayson (D) defeated Rep. Ric Keller (R) by a margin of 52.0% to 48.0%.  In the 24th CD (parts of Brevard, Orange, Seminole, and Volusia Counties), Rep. Tom Feeney (R) lost to realtor and former state Rep. Suzanne Kosmas (D) by 57.2% to 41.1%.  In the 16th CD (stretches from Port Charlotte to Port St. Lucie and includes the border of much of Lake Okeechobee), attorney Tom Rooney (R) trounced Rep. Tim Mahoney (D) after reports of Mahoney's affair broke.  In the 13th CD (Sarasota) rematch, Rep. Vern Buchanan (R) defeated Christine Jennings (D) by a comfortable margin of 55.5% to 37.5% with 7.0% going to two other candidates.  In the race to succeed Rep. Dave Weldon (R) in the 15th CD (Vero Beach to Kissimmee), state Sen. Bill Posey (R) kept the seat in Republican hands, defeating Dr. Stephen Blythe (D) by a margin of 53.1% to 42.0% with 4.9% to two others. Republicans kept their solid majorities in both chambers of the state legislature.  Floridians also voted on seven ballot measures. Democrats' net gain of one U.S. House seat, brings the delegation from 16R, 9D to 15R, 10D for the 111th Congress. Democrats pick up two U.S. House seats; Republicans pick up one U.S. House seat.

In his bid for a second term, Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R) faced Jim Martin (D), a former State representative and former head of the Georgia Department of Human Resources, and Allen Buckley (L), an attorney and CPA.  Chambliss fell just short of the 50 percent mark on Nov. 4 but won the Dec. 2 runoff.  The closest U.S. House race occured in the 8th CD (Macon), where incumbent Rep. Jim Marshall (D) defeated Rick Goddard (R) by 57.2% to 42.8%. Republicans maintained comfortable control of both chambers of the state legislature.  Georgians also vote on two ballot measures.  The U.S. House delegation remains at 7R, 6D.

Voters reduced Republicans' meager numbers in the state legislature, defeating two Senators and one Representative to take the Democrats' majority to 23D, 2R and 45D, 6R.  They also roundly defeated two ballot measures.

Former Gov. Jim Risch (R) defeated former U.S. Rep. Larry LaRocco (D) in the race to succeed Sen. Larry Craig (R) by 57.7% to 34.1% with the remaining 8.2% going to three other candidates.  Democrats picked up a House seat as Walt Minnick (D), former president and CEO of TJ International, defeated controversial Rep. Bill Sali (R) in the 1st CD (western third of Idaho from Canada to Nevada) by 50.6% to 49.4% (plurality of 4,211 votes).  Republican maintained their strong majorities in both chambers of the state legislature.  Democrats pick up one U.S. House seat.

Illinois saw one of the special elections that started things rolling for the Democrats in 2008.  On March 8, 2008, Bill Foster (D) was elected to succeed former Speaker Dennis Hastert (R) in the 14th CD (northern Ill. west of Chicago).  On Nov. 4, Democrats gained another House seat in the 11th CD (I-80 from south of Chicago to near the Mississippi River) as State Sen. Debbie Halvorson (D) defeated business executive Marty Ozinga (R) in the race to succeed retiring Rep. Jerry Weller (R).  In the 18th CD (central and western Ill.) opened by the retirement of  Rep. Ray LaHood (R), State Rep. Aaron Schock (R) kept the seat in Republican hands, defeating Colleen Callahan (D)Sen. Dick Durbin (D) easily won re-election, defeating Steve Sauerberg, M.D. (R) by 67.8% to 28.5%, with Green, Libertarian and Constitution Party candidates gaining the remaining 3.6%.  The U.S. House delegation goes from 11D, 8R to 12D, 7R the 111th CongressDemocrats pick up one U.S. House seat. 
President-elect Obama named Rep. Rahm Emanuel as his White House chief of staff on Nov. 6; Emanuel resigned effective Jan. 3.  Obama resigned his Senate seat, effective Nov. 16.  Gov. Blagojevich had responsibility for filling the seat.  Blagojevich was arrested on Dec. 9 on corruption charges including conspiring to sell the Senate seat.  Nonetheless on Dec. 30 he announced the appointment of former state Attorney General Roland Burris.  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid initially said that the Democratic Caucus would not seat Burris, but later reversed himself and Burris was sworn in on Jan. 15.  In the 5th CD, the primary special election occurred on March 3, 2009 and Mike Quigley (D) won the general election on April 7.


Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) won a second term by a comfortable margin, defeating former Rep. Jill Long Thompson (D) by 57.84% to 40.04% with 2.12% for the Libertarian candidate.  In a re-match in the 9th CD (south eastern and south central Indiana) Rep. Baron Hill (D) defeated former Rep. Mark Sodrel (R) by 57.77% to 38.41% and 3.82% for the Libertarian, and Democrats also had no trouble holding the 2nd CD and 8th CD seats they had picked up in 2006.  Also, in the 7th CD, Andre Carson (D) who was elected in March 11, 2008 special election to succeed Rep. Julia Carson (D), won the May 6 primary and Nov. 4 general election.  The U.S. House delegation remains at 5D, 4R.

In his bid for a fourth term, Sen. Tom Harkin (D) defeated businessman Christopher Reed (R) by 62.71% to 37.29% (941,665 to 560,006 votes).  All five congressmen were re-elected with comfortable margins. The U.S. House delegation remains at 3D, 2R.


In the 2nd CD freshman Rep. Nancy Boyda (D), one of the Democrats' surprises of 2006, lost her bid for re-election to State Treasurer Lynn Jenkins (R) by 155,532 to 142,013 with 9,763 votes spllit by two other candidates (50.61% to 46.21% and 3.18%).  Sen. Pat Roberts (R) easily won his bid for re-election, defeating former Rep. Jim Slattery (D) by 727,121 to 441,339 with 42,170 votes split by two other candidates.  The balance of the U.S. House delegation reverts to 3R, 1D. Republicans pick up one U.S. House seat. 
: On March 2, 2009 President Obama nominated Gov. Kathleen Sebelius (D) to the position of Secretary of Health and Human Services.  The Senate confirmed Sebelius on April 28 and Lt. Gov. Mark Parkinson was sworn in as governor the same day.

Democrats had hopes of ousting Sen. Mitch McConnell (R), but he prevailed by 953,816 votes to 847,005 votes (53.0% to 47.0%) over Bruce Lunsford (D) to win a fifth term.  In the 2nd CD (Central Kentucky) race to succeed retiring Rep. Ron Lewis (R), S. Brett Guthrie (R) defeated David Boswell (D) by 158,936 votes to 143,379 votes (52.6% to 47.4%).  The U.S. House delegation remains at 4R, 2D.

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D), seen as the most vulnerable Democratic Senator, defeated State Treasurer John Kennedy (R) by 52.11% to 45.72%.  There was considerable turnover in the House delegation.  In the 1st CD special election to fill the seat held by Bobby Jindal (R), Steve Scalise (R) won in the May 3 general election.  In the 6th CD special election to fill the seat held by retiring Rep. Baker (R), Don Cazayoux (D) was elected in the May 3 general election.  Cazayoux then lost to William "Bill" Cassidy (R) on Nov. 4 by 150,332 votes (48.12%) to 125,886 votes (40.29%) with 36,198 (11.59%) going to Michael Jackson (N).  There were two Dec. 6, 2008 congressional run-offs.  In the 2nd CD, Anh "Joseph" Cao (R) upset scandal-tarred Rep. William Jefferson (D) by 33,132 votes to 31,318 votes (49.54% to 46.83%).  In the  4th CD race to succeed Rep. J. McCrery (R), John Fleming (R) narrowly defeated Paul Carmouche (D) by 44,501 votes to 44,151 votes (48.07% to 47.69%).  The balance of the House delegation for the 111th Congress is 6R, 1D.  Republicans pick up three U.S. House seats.

Sen. Susan Collins (R) won re-election, defeating Rep. Tom Allen (D) by 444,300 votes (61.33%) to 279,510 votes (38.58%) and 620 votes for others.  In the race for the 1st CD seat (southern coastal Maine up to Augusta), Chellie Pingree (D) defeated former state Sen. Charles Summers (R), who also ran for the seat in 2004, by 205,629 votes (54.90%) to 168,930 votes (45.10%) keeping both U.S. House seats in the Democrats' control.

Rep. Wayne Gilchrest (R-1) and Rep. Albert Wynn (D-4) were defeated in the Feb. 12, 2008 primary.  Wynn announced on Mar. 27 that he would resign from Congress in June, and Donna Edwards (D) won election to the seat in the June 17 special election.  In the 1st CD (Eastern Shore), the Republican nominee Andy Harris (R) lost to Frank Kratovil (D) by 2,852 votes, 177,065 (49.1%) to 174,213 (48.3%) and 8,873 (2.5%) to Richard James Davis (L).  The U.S. House delegation goes from 6D, 2R to 7D, 1R in the 111th Congress.   Democrats pick up one U.S. House seat.

Sen. John Kerry (D) defeated Jack Beatty (R) by more than thirty percentage points, and about 3% for Bob Underwood (L).  All ten congressmen, all Democrats, were re-elected by more than two-to-one margins; six had no major party opponent.  Democrats also maintained their overwhelming majorities in both chambers of the General Court, even gaining several seats in the House.  Of the three ballot initiatives voters rejected Question 1 which would have reduced the state personal income tax rate, while approving questions on civil penalties for possession of marijuana and prohibiting dog racing.

Sen. Carl Levin (D) easily defeated Jack Hoogendyk, Jr. (R) by 62.7% to 33.8% with the remainder going to four other candidates.  In the 7th CD (SE MI) state Sen. Mark Schauer (D) defeated freshman Rep. Tim Walberg (R) by 48.78% to 46.47% (7,432 votes out of 322,286).  In the 9th CD (Oakland County) former state Senate and Michigan Lottery Commissioner Gary Peters (D) defeated eight-term Rep. Joe Knollenberg (R) by 52.08% to 42.63% (33,876 votes out of  351,963).  The two Democratic pick-ups give Democrats a majority of 8D, 7R in the House delegation for the 111th Congress.  Democrats pick up two U.S. House seats.

In one of the higher profile Senate races this cycle, Sen. Norm Coleman (R) faced comedian Al Franken (DFL) and former Sen. Dean Barkley of the Independence Party; the outcome remained uncertain for months.  According to the Center for Responsive Politics, this was the most expensive U.S. Senate race of the cycle; the two candidates spent a total of $35.4 million.  Rep. Jim Ramstad (R)'s retirement opened up the 3rd CD (suburban Hennepin County); State Rep. Erik Paulsen (R) held the seat for the GOP, defeating attorney and veteran Ashwin Madia (DFL) and Independence Party candidate David Dillon.  The 6th CD race heated up in October when freshman Rep. Michele Bachmann (R) appeared on MSNBC's 'Hardball" and got into a discussion with Chris Matthews about whether Obama and some members of Congress are "anti-American;" she nonetheless narrowly defeated El Tinklenberg (DFL) by 46.41% to 43.43% and 10.04% for the Independence Party candidate.  The U.S. House delegation remains at 5DFL, 3R.
Post-election: In the U.S. Senate race, after a recount, the State Canvassing Board found on Jan. 5, 2009 that Franken had won by 225 votes (1,212,431 votes to 1,212,206 votes and 437,505 for Barkley).  Coleman challenged the result, seeking a uniform standard in counting votes, and the matter dragged on leaving Minnesota with just one Senator.  On March 31 a three-judge panel issued a ruling seen as unfavorable to Coleman.  Attorneys for Coleman filed an appeal with the state Supreme Court on April 20.
Sen. Roger Wicker (R), appointed by Gov. Barbour in late 2007 following the retirement of Sen. Trent Lott (R), won the special election, defeating former Gov. Ronnie Musgrove (D) by 683,409 (54.96%) to 560,064 (45.04%).  Sen. Thad Cochran (R) easily defeated Erik Fleming (D) by 766,111 (61.44%) to 480,915 (38.56%).  In the 3rd CD, opened by the retirement of Rep. Chip Pickering (R), attorney Gregg Harper (R) defeated cattle market dealer Joel L. Gill (D) by 62.54% to 37.46%.  The U.S. House delegation remains at 3D, 1R.

Gov. Matt Blunt (R) did not seek re-election; Attorney General Jay Nixon (D) defeated Rep. Kenny Hulshof (R) by 1,680,611 (58.4%) to 1,136,364 (39.5%) in the race to succeed him.  Hulshof's run opened the 9th CD in rural Northeast Missouri, where businessman and farmer Blaine Luetkemeyer (R) defeated State Rep. Judy Baker (D). by 161,031 (50.0%) to 152,956 (47.5) and 2.5% for Tamara Millay (L).  The U.S. House delegation remains at 5R, 4D.  Democrats pick up the governorship.

Sen. Max Baucus (D) trounced Bob Kelleher (R) by a more than two to one margin.  In the gubernatorial campaign Schweitzer/Bollinger (D) likewise easily defeated Brown/Daines (R) and Jones/Baker (L).  Democrats also swept all other state offices: Secretary of State, Attorney General, Auditor and Superintendent of Public Instruction.  On the Republican side, Rep. Denny Rehberg (R) won re-election, and the party picked up three seats in the state Senate to gain a majority (from 26D-24R to 27R-23D).  Republicans pick up one legislative chamber.

In the race to succeed Sen. Chuck Hagel (R), former Secretary of Agriculture and governor Mike Johanns (R) defeated ranch hand, Yale graduate, and 2006 congressional candidate Scott Kleeb (D) by 455,854 votes (57.52%) to 317,456 votes (40.06%) and 19,201 (2.42%) for the Libertarian and Green candidates.  In the 2nd CD which Obama carried by 138,809 votes (49.97%) to 135,439 (48.75%), Rep. Lee Terry (R) defeated Jim Esch (D) by 142,473 to 131,901.  The U.S. House delegation remains all Republican.

Democrats made a major effort to oust Rep. Jon Porter (R) in the 3rd CD (significant portions of Clark County); state Sen. Dina Titus (D), the 2006 Democratic gubernatorial nominee, won by 165,912 votes (47.43%) to 147,940 (42.29%) with 29,660 votes (10.29%) going to four other candidates.  The 2nd CD (16 of the state's 17 counties..."the largest non-at-large district in the U.S") featured a rematch between Rep. Dean Heller (R) and Jill Derby (D); Heller won by 51.82% to 41.44%.  The U.S. House delegation goes to 2D, 1R.  Democrats pick up one U.S. House seat.

New Hampshire
In the closely contested U.S. Senate re-match between Sen. John Sununu (R) and former Gov. Jeanne Shaheen (D), Shaheen prevailed by 358,438 (51.59%) to 314,403 (45.25%) with 21,516 (3.10%) going to Ken Blevens (L).  Gov. John Lynch (D) easily won a third term, defeating state Sen. Joe Kenney (R) and Susan M. Newell (L) by 479,042 votes (70.15%) to 188,555 (27.61%) and 14,987 (2.19%).  In the 1st CD (about 1/3 of the state in the Southeast) Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D) won a re-match against former Rep. Jeb Bradley (R), the man she ousted in 2006, by 176,435 votes (51.73%) to 156,338 (45.84%) and 8,100 (2.37%) for the Libertarian.  In the 2nd CD (the rest of the state including Nashua and Concord) Rep. Paul Hodes (D) defeated radio talk show host Jennifer Horn (R) by 188,332 votes (56.40%) to 138,222 (41.40%) and 7,121 votes (2.13%) for the Libertarian.  The U.S. House delegation remains at 2D, 0R.  Democrats pick up U.S. Senate seat.
Post-Election: On Feb. 3, 2009 President Obama announced Sen. Judd Gregg (R) as his (second) choice for Secretary of Commerce; Gregg withdrew from consideration on Feb. 12, 2009.
New Jersey
Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D) defeated former Rep. Dick Zimmer (R) by 1,951,218 votes (56.03%) to 1,461,025 (41.95%) and 70,202 votes (2.02%) for five other candidates.  In the 3rd CD (portions of Burlington, Camden, and Ocean counties), opened by the retirement of Rep. Saxton (R), John Adler (D) defeated Chris Myers (R) by 166,390 (52.08%) votes to 153,122 votes (47.92%), becoming the first Democrat to represent the district since 1882.  In the 7th CD (north central New Jersey), opened by the retirement of Rep. Ferguson (R), Leonard Lance (R) defeated second-time candidate Linda Stender (D) by 148,461 votes (50.22%) to 124,818 votes (42.22%) and 22,349 (7.56%) for others.  The U.S. House delegation goes from 7D, 6R to 8D, 5R in the 111th Congress.  Democrats pick up one U.S. House seat.

New Mexico

Democrats won all four federal races.  Rep. Tom Udall (D) garnered 61.33% of the vote (505,128 votes to 318,522) to defeat Rep. Steve Pearce (R) in the race to succeed Sen. Pete Domenici (R).  All three U.S. House seats were open, Rep. Heather Wilson having lost the Senate primary to Pearce.  In the 1st CD (Albuquerque), former Albuquerque Councilman Martin Heinrich (D) defeated Bernalillo County Sheriff Darren White (R) by 166,271 votes (55.65%) to 132,485 (44.35%).  In the 2nd CD (southern half of the state), former Lea County Commissioner Harry Teague (D) defeated business owner, restaurateur, and rancher Ed Tinsley (R) by 129,572 votes (55.96%) to 101,980 (44.04%).  In the 3rd CD (northern half of the state), defeated business owner/contractor Public Regulation Commissioner Ben Ray Luján (D) defeated business owner/contractor Dan East (R) and Carol Miller (I) by 161,292 votes (56.74%) to 86,618 (30.47%) and 36,348 (12.79%).  Democrats gained complete control of the congressional delegation in the 111th Congress.  Democrats pick up U.S. Senate seat and two U.S. House seats. 
: President-Elect Obama announced Gov. Bill Richardson as his choice for Secretary of Commerce on Dec. 3, 2008; Richardson withdrew from consideration on Jan. 4, 2009.

New York
New York had four House seats opened up by retirements (3R and 1D); Democrats picked up two of those seats and also ousted an incumbent.  In the 13th CD seat (Staten Island) held by Rep. Vito Fossella (R), Michael McMahon (D) defeated Bob Straniere (R) and two others by a wide margin for a pick up.  In the 21st CD (Albany area) Paul Tonko (D) easily defeated Jim Buhrmaster (R) to succeed retiring Rep. Michael McNulty (D).  In the 25th CD (Syracuse area) seat opened by Rep. Jim Walsh (R)'s retirement, Dan Maffei (D) defeated Dale Sweetland (R) and Howie Hawkins (G) by 157,375 (54.82%) to 120,217 (41.88%) and 9,483 (3.30%) for a pick up.  Republicans held on to Rep. Tom Reynolds' (R) 26th CD seat (Western NY), as business executive Chris Lee (R) defeated Alice Kryzan (D) by 148,607 (54.97%) to 109,615 (40.55%) and 12,104 votes (4.48%) for another candidate.  Democrats also picked up the 29th CD (Rochester), where second-time candidate Eric Massa (D) defeated freshman Rep. J.R. Kuhl, Jr. (R) by 140,529 (50.97%) to 135,199 votes (49.03%).  The U.S. House delegation goes from 23D, 6R to 26D, 3R for the 111th Congress.  Democrats pick up three U.S. House seats.
Post-election: On Dec. 1, 2008, President-Elect Obama announced Sen. Hillary Clinton (D) as his choice for Secretary of State; Clinton resigned on Jan. 21, 2009 and Gov. Paterson named Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand (D) to fill the seat on Jan. 23.  The 20th CD special election occurred on March 31, 2009; Scott Murphy (D) defeated Assemblyman Jim Tedisco (R).

North Carolina
In the race to succeed term-limited Gov. Bob Easley (D), Lt. Gov. Bev Perdue (D) defeated Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory (R) by 2,146,189 (50.27%) to 2,001,168 (46.88%) and121,584 (2.85%) for Michael Munger (L).  State Sen. Kay Hagan (D) defeated Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R) by 2,249,311 (52.65%) to 1,887,510 (44.18%) and 133,430 (3.12%) for Christopher Cole (L).  In a re-match in the 8th CD Larry Kissel (D) defeated Rep. Robin Hayes (R) by 157,185 votes (55.38%) to 126,634 (44.62%).  The U.S. House delegation goes from 7D, 6R to 8D, 5R in the 111th Congress.  Democrats pick up governorship, U.S. Senate seat and a U.S. House seat.

North Dakota
Gov. John Hoeven and Lt. Gov. Jack Dalrymple (R) were re-elected with more than 74% of the vote, defeating Tim Mathern and Merle Boucher (D-NPL).

In the 1st CD (Cincinnati), State House Minority Whip Steve Driehaus (D) managed to dislodge Rep. Steve Chabot (R), winning by 155,455 votes (52.47%) to 140,683 (47.48% ).  Three House seats were open due to retirements.  The 7th CD seat (south of Columbus) held by Rep. David Hobson (R), first elected in 1990, stayed in Republican hands as State Sen. Steve Austria (R) defeated attorney Sharen Neuhardt (D) by 58.22% to 41.78%.  In the 15th CD seat (Columbus) held by Rep. Deborah Pryce (R), first elected in 1992, State Sen. Steve Stivers (R) and Franklin County Commissioner Mary Jo Kilroy (D), the '06 nominee, ended up in a too-close-to-call race (both were invited to freshman orientation in Congress) that was finally settled on Dec. 7; Kilroy defeated Stivers by 139,584 votes (45.94%) to 137,272 (45.18%).  In the 16th CD seat (Northeastern Ohio including Canton) held by Rep. Ralph Regula (R), first elected in 1972, John Boccieri (D) defeated State Sen. State Sen. Kirk Schuring (R) by 55.36% to 44.64%.  Also interesting was the race in the 2nd CD (Cincinnati area) where Rep. Jean Schmidt (R) again defeated Victoria Wulsin (D), by a margin of 44.83% to 37.46% with 17.7% going to David Krikorian (I).  In addition to these seats, the 11th CD (Cleveland) opened due to the passing of Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D) on Aug. 20.  Democratic officials selected Warrensville Heights Mayor Marcia Fudge (D) to appear on the Nov. 4 ballot; Fudge also won the Oct. 14 Democratic primary and a Nov. 18 special election.  The House delegation goes from 11R, 7D to 10D, 8R for the 111th CongressDemocrats pick up three U.S. House seats.

Sen. Jim Inhofe (R), first elected in 1994 and re-elected in 1996 and 2002, defeated state Sen. Andrew Rice (D) of Oklahoma City by 763,375 (56.68%) to 527,736 (39.18%) and 55,708 (4.14%) for an Independent candidate.  All five congressmen were re-elected with comfortable margins (minimum share of the vote 65.89%); the balance of the U.S. House delegation remains 4R, 1D.

Sen. Gordon Smith (R) lost to Oregon House Speaker Jeff Merkley (D) in his bid for re-election.  Merkley obtained 864,392 votes (48.90%) to 805,159 (45.55%) for Smith, 92,565 (5.24%) for Dave Brownlow (C) and 5,388 misc..  In the 5th CD (central coast; Marion and Clackamas Cos.) seat opened up by Rep. Darlene Hooley (D)'s retirement, State Sen. Kurt Schrader (D) defeated business executive Mike Erickson (R), the 2006 nominee, by 181,577 votes to 128,297 and 24,800 to four other candidates and misc.  The U.S. House delegation remains at 4D, 1R.  Democrats pick up U.S. Senate seat.

In a surprise in the 5th CD (Erie area), Kathy Dahlkemper (D) defeated Rep. Phil English (R).  In the race to succeed retiring Rep. John Peterson (R), Glenn Thompson (R) defeated Mark McCracken (D), gaining 56.7% of the vote.  The race in 11th CD (NE PA – most of Luzerne County, more than half of Lackawanna County, and all of Carbon, Columbia and Monroe counties) drew a lot of attention; Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D), first elected in 1984, defeated Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta (R) by 146,379 (51.6%) to 137,151 (48.4%).  In the 6th CD Rep. Jim Gerlach (R) had another close race, defeating Bob Roggio (D) by 179,423 (52.1%) to 164,952 (47.9%).  The 12th CD (SW corner of PA; Johnstown) became competitive late in the campaign due to Rep. John Murtha (D)'s remarks in mid-October that "no question that western Pennsylvania is a racist area;" Murtha defeated retired U.S. Army Lt. Colonel Bill Russell (R) with 57.9% of the vote.  The House delegation for the 111th Congress is 12D, 7R. 
Democrats pick up one U.S. House seat.

Rhode Island
Sen. Jack Reed (D) easily defeated Bob Tingle (R), gaining 73.4% of the vote; both congressmen were re-elected with over two-thirds of the vote.  Democrats increased already overwhelming majorities in the state legislature, going from 61D, 14R in the House and 33D, 5R in the Senate to 69D, 6R in the House and 33D, 4R, 1I in the Senate.

South Carolina
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R) defeated Bob Conley (D), an engineer and commercial pilot, by 57.5% to 42.3%.  All six U.S. House members were re-elected; the House delegate remains at 4R, 2D.

South Dakota
Sen. Tim Johnson (D), first elected in 1996, defeated Assistant House Majority Leader Joel Dykstra (R) by 62.5% to 37.5%, and Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D) defeated Chris Lien (R) by 67.6% to 32.4%.

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R) defeated attorney and former Tennessee Democratic Party chairman Bob Tuke (D), by a more than two-to-one margin 1,579,477 votes to 767,236 and 77,872 for six others.  In the solidly Republican 1st CD (Northeast tip of Tennessee) first term Rep. David Davis (R) lost the primary to Johnson City Mayor Phil Roe (R); Roe went on to a resounding win over ETSU administrator and instructor Rob Russell (D).  The U.S. House delegation remains unchanged at 5R, 4D.  In the state legislature, Republicans won a majority of seats in both houses for the first time since 1869.

Sen. John Cornyn (R) defeated State Rep. Rick Noriega (D) and in his bid for a second term by 54.82% to 42.83% and 2.34% for Yvonne Schick (L). Rep. Nick Lampson (D) lost to attorney Pete Olson (R) in the 22nd CD (seat formerly held by Tom DeLay) by 52.42% to 45.35% and 2.21% for the Libertarian.  Another interesting race occurred in the 17th CD (Waco, College Station ...64% Republican), where Rep. Chet Edwards (D) defeated businessman Rob Curnock (R) by 52.98% to 45.50%.  The House delegation in the 111th Congress goes to 20R, 12D.  Republicans pick up one U.S. House seat.

Gov. Jon Huntsman (R) was re-elected to a second term, gaining 77.6% of the vote to defeat economic and management consultant Bob Springmeyer (D) and a Libertarian.  In the 3rd CD (Central and West Utah) Rep. Chris Cannon (R) lost the primary to Jason Chaffetz (R).  Chaffetz, who managed Huntsman's 2004 campaign for governor, served as his chief of staff and runs a corporate communications and marketing firm, defeated journalist and professor Bennion Spencer (D) by a wide margin in the general election.

Gov. Jim Douglas (R) defeated Anthony Pollina (I) and House Speaker Gaye Symington (D) by 170,492 votes (53.4%) to 69,791 (21.8%) for Pollina and 69,534 (21.7%) for Symington to win a fourth two-year term.

Former Gov. Mark Warner (D) easily defeated former Gov. Jim Gilmore (R) in the race to succeed retiring Sen. John Warner (R).  In the 11th CD (No. Virginia) Gerry Connolly (D), chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, defeated Keith Fimian (R), chairman and founder of U.S. Inspect, to succeed retiring Rep. Tom Davis (R).  Surprises occurred in the 2nd CD (Virginia Beach), where Glenn Nye (D) defeated Rep. Thelma Drake (R), and in the 5th CD (Charlottesville south to Danville), where Tom Perriello (D) defeated Rep. Virgil Goode (R) in one of the closest races in the country.  These gains take the House delegation from 8R, 3D to 6D, 5R for the 111th Congress.  Finally, in a hard-fought rematch in the 10th CD (northernmost VA), Rep. Frank Wolf (R) again defeated Judy Feder (D).  The U.S. House delegation goes from 8R, 3D to 6D, 5R in the 111th Congress.  Democrats pick up U.S. Senate seat and three U.S. House seats.

In a rematch of 2004's closely fought gubernatorial campaign, Gov. Chris Gregoire (D) defeated businessman and former State Senator Dino Rossi (R) by 53.24% to 46.76%.  Another rematch occurred in the 8th CD (Bellevue), where Rep. Dave Reichert (R) won a third term by again defeating Darcy Burner (D), this time by a margin of 52.78% to 47.22%.  Voters rejected a transportation measure, but approved measures on lethal prescriptions for terminally ill adults and on long-term care services.  In the state legislature, Democrats maintained their strong majorities in both chambers.  The U.S. House delegation remains at 6D, 3R.

West Virginia

Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D) easily defeated Jay Wolfe (R), who also ran against him in 2002.  All three U.S. House members were re-elected; the closest race occurred in the 2nd CD, where Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R) defeated Elizabeth Anne Barth (D) by 57.07% to 42.93%.  In the 1st CD, Rep. Alan Mollohan (D) ran unopposed.  In the gubernatorial race Gov. Joe Manchin (D) garnered 69.82% of the vote, easily defeating former State Sen. Russ Weeks (R) and Jesse Johnson (M).  Democrats also swept the other statewide offices; they regained the Secretary of State position, and, in the closest of the races, Attorney General Darrell V. McGraw, Jr. held on to win by less that one percent.  Democrats maintained strong majorities in both chambers of the Legislature, gaining seats in the Senate (from 23D, 11R to 28D, 6R); and losing one seat in the House (from 72D, 28R to 71D, 29R).

In a closely contested re-match in the 8th CD (Green Bay), freshman Rep. Steve Kagen (D) defeated 2006 nominee former Assembly Speaker John Gard (R), gaining about 54% of the vote.  The other seven members of the House delegation were re-elected with over 60% of the vote.  Democrats gained control of the Assembly for the first time in 14 years, giving them both Houses of the Legislature.  The U.S. House delegation remains at 5D, 3R.  Democrats pick up one legislative chamber.


Wyoming saw a busy election season.  The two Senate races proved to be very lopsided, as both Republican incumbents garnered over 70 percent of the vote.  Sen. Mike Enzi (R) defeated Christopher Rothfuss (D), and appointed Sen. John Barrasso (R) defeated attorney Nick Carter (D).  In the at-large congressional race, an open seat due to the retirement of Rep. Barbara Cubin (R), former Wyoming State Treasurer Cynthia Lummis (R) defeated financial entrepreneur Gary Trauner (D), the 2006 nominee, and David Herbert (L) by 52.62% to 42.81% and 4.42%.  Republicans maintained their solid control of both chambers of the state legislature.  Voters approved two constitutional amendments, one on the oath of office and one on initiative petition signatures.

Copyright © 2008, 2009 Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action.