Skip to main content
CNN.com
Search
Home World U.S. Weather Business Sports Analysis Politics Law Tech Science Health Entertainment Offbeat Travel Education Specials Autos I-Reports
WORLD header
News update

Tuesday, November 7

Adjust font size:
Decrease fontDecrease font
Enlarge fontEnlarge font

Editor's Note: The CNN Wire is a running log of the latest news from CNN World Headquarters, reported by CNN's correspondents and producers, and The CNN Wire editors. "Posted" times are Eastern Daylight.

35 soldiers killed in suicide attack in Pakistan

From CNN's Syed Mohsin Naqvi

LAHORE, Pakistan (CNN) -- Thirty-five Pakistani soldiers were killed Wednesday morning in a suicide bombing in a recruit training area in Pakistan's northwest province.

The incident occurred at Dargai, near Mardan, when a man wrapped in a shawl ran into the training area and exploded himself, a Pakistan army spokesman said.

Army sources said several others were wounded, some of them critically. (Posted 2:48 a.m.)

It's Dems 234, GOP 201, plus-minus 4 seats in the House

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- CNN projects Democrats will win approximately 234 House seats in midterm congressional elections, with Republicans holding on to approximately 201 seats.

The final totals could change, plus or minus four seats, depending on recounts, absentee ballots and a runoff that will decide party control of one Texas district seat.(Posted 2:47 a.m.)

Israeli tank shells kills at least 18 Palestinians

GAZA CITY (CNN) -- Poised just outside the northern Gaza town of Beit Hanoun, Israeli tanks fired 10 rounds of shells into the town's center early Wednesday, killing 18 people -- including women and children -- and wounding at least 30, Palestinian Health Ministry officials said.

Israel Defense Forces confirmed they launched artillery shells into Gaza, but said the area where they were fired was not the same area Palestinian officials were reporting. The IDF did not say where they fired the shells.

Israeli military said they targeted an area from where militants had fired eight Qassam rockets earlier.

The tank operation comes one day after IDF announced their withdrawal from Beit Hanoun, six days after moving into the Israeli border city town to root out militants who have been firing rockets into southern Israel. (Posted 2:28 a.m.)

Democrats House takeover triggers leadership contests

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- With Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., poised to become the first woman speaker of the House and Republicans forced to hand over committee gavels to Democrats, the positioning is under way for House leadership positions in both parties.

A House GOP source told CNN's Dana Bash that a battle is brewing between current House Republican Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., for the top GOP leadership post if Speaker Dennis Hastert announces he is stepping aside.

The source said Pence, who has been in Congress only since 2000, is "seriously considering" challenging Boehner. Pence is a leading conservative voice in the House as chairman of the Republican Study Committee, a group of more than 100 Republican congressmen formed to "advance a social and economic conservative agenda."

A Republican source close to Boehner said he would wait until Hastert officially announces his intentions, but "he is expected to stand for leader if Hastert steps aside."

Republican leadership aides have said they did not expect the Hastert to run again for a leadership post when the GOP House members vote, which is expected to take place Nov. 15.

Senior House Democratic sources said a fight is shaping up for the House Democratic leadership post, which is expected to be vacated by Pelosi as she ascends to the speakership.

The sources said House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., and Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., will contend to be the new majority leader.

Based on a review of current committee assignments, seniority and guidance from senior House Democrats, this is a list of likely House committee chairmanships in the upcoming Congress:

Committee on Agriculture -- Chairman: Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minnesota

Committee on Appropriations -- Chairman: Rep. David Obey, D-Wisconsin

Subcommittee on Defense -- Chairman: Rep. John Murtha, D-Pennsylvania

Committee on Armed Services -- Chairman: Rep. Ike Skelton, D-Missouri

Committee on Budget -- Chairman: Rep. John Spratt, D-South Carolina

Committee on Education and the Workforce -- Chairman: Rep. George Miller, D-California

Committee on Energy and Commerce -- Chairman: Rep. John Dingell, D-Michigan

Committee on Financial Services -- Chairman: Rep. Barney Frank, D-Massachusetts

Committee on Government Reform -- Chairman: Rep. Henry Waxman, D-California

Committee on Homeland Security -- Chairman: Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Mississippi

Committee on House Administration -- Chairman: Rep. Juanita Millender-McDonald, D-California

Committee on International Relations -- Chairman: Rep. Tom Lantos, D-California

Committee on the Judiciary -- Chairman: Rep. John Conyers, D-Michigan

Committee on Resources -- Chairman: Rep. Nick Rahall II, D-West Virginia

Committee on Rules -- Chairman: Rep. Louise McIntosh Slaughter, D-New York

Committee on Science -- Chairman: Rep. Bart Gordon, D-Tennessee

Committee on Small Business -- Chairman: Rep. Nydia Velazquez, D-New York

Committee on Standards of Official Conduct -- Chairman: Rep. Howard Berman, D-California

Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure -- Chairman: Rep. James Oberstar, D-Minnesota

Committee on Veterans' Affairs -- Chairman: Rep. Michael Michaud, D-Maine

Committee on Ways and Means -- Chairman: Rep. Charles Rangel, D-New York

Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence -- Chairman: Unknown, but possibly Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Florida or Rep. Silvestre Reyes, D-Texas

--CNN's Mark Preston and Dana Bash contributed to this report. (Posted 2:23 a.m.)

Talent concedes Missouri Senate race

ST. LOUIS (CNN) -- Republican Sen. Jim Talent of Missouri conceded defeat to Democrat Claire McCaskill early Wednesday after a hard-fought race, becoming the fourth Republican to lose a Senate seat in Tuesday's midterm elections.

Talent told volunteers that the loss "was not because of any lack of support," but said "the headwind was just very, very strong this year."

With 89 percent of precincts reporting, McCaskill -- who has served as state auditor since 1998 -- led the freshman senator by about 25,000 votes. CNN projected her the winner about the time Talent conceded.

"Once again, Democrats have claimed Harry Truman's Senate seat for the working people of Missouri," she said.

McCaskill's win leaves Democrats just two seats shy of recapturing the Senate for the first time in four years. Races in Montana and Virginia remained too close to call early Wednesday, with a recount considered likely in Virginia.(Posted 2:22 a.m.)

Voters opting to raise minimum wage, ban same-sex marriage

(CNN) -- Voters in five states Tuesday approved ballot measures raising the minimum wage, joining 18 other states in setting a wage higher than the federal mark of $5.15 per hour, according to CNN projections.

Ohio voters raised the wage to $6.85 per hour, Montana to the higher of $6.15 or the federal wage and Missouri to $6.50. Arizona voters raised the minimum wage to $6.75, and Nevada voters upped the wage to $6.15 if the employer does not provide health benefits.

The Ohio and Missouri measures tie the minimum wage to the Consumer Price Index.

One other state -- Colorado -- was considering a similar measure.

Other hot-button issues on ballot measures include initiatives that would ban same-sex marriage in eight states, restrictions on abortion in three states, marijuana issues in three states and stem-cell research in one state.

Additionally, Arizona voters approved a measure making English the state's official language, while Michigan voters approved an initiative that put limitations on affirmative-action policies at state colleges and universities.

But Arizonans rejected one of the more unusual ballot measures of the year -- a proposal intended to boost voter turnout by awarding a lucky voter $1 million.

Tennessee, South Carolina, Colorado, Idaho, Wisconsin, South Dakota and Virginia voted to ban same-sex marriage, a measure also on the ballot in Arizona. Although the vote was close, Arizona appeared to be on its way to becoming the first state to reject a measure restricting marriage to a man and a woman.

Colorado was also slated to vote on a measure that would create domestic partnerships for same-sex partners.

On abortion, South Dakotans said "no" to an outright ban on the procedure, while California and Oregon voters were considering measures that would require parental notification for minors to get abortions.

Voters in Colorado elected not to legalize marijuana, a question Nevadans were also considering. Voters in South Dakota decided against legalizing use of the drug for medical purposes.

And in Missouri, voters were considering whether to allow stem-cell research. (Posted 1:52 a.m.)

Webb declares victory in Virginia Senate race

ARLINGTON, Va. (CNN) -- Democrat Jim Webb declared victory early Wednesday in his race against incumbent Republican Sen. George Allen, despite a razor-thin margin that made a recount likely.

"I'd like to say that I appreciate what Senator Allen said not long ago when he came on the news and said we all need to respect the democratic process," said Webb, a former Navy secretary. "We all go out and we vote, we argue, we vote -- but also I would like to say that the votes are in, and we won."

Webb was leading Allen by fewer than 2,300 votes early Wednesday, with only a handful of precincts yet to report. Allen had not conceded, telling supporters earlier that "the counting will continue through the night."

Virginia does not conduct automatic recounts in close races, but the apparent loser can request one after the votes have been certified if the margin is less than one percent of the total votes cast.

White House spokesman Tony Snow said a recount was likely.

Allen, once considered a 2008 presidential contender, was plagued by a series of gaffes and miscues in the last weeks of the campaign. But he recalled early Wednesday that he had faced a recount in his first political race, winning by 18 votes, and expressed confidence that he would eventually prevail in this one.

"This has been an interesting election, and the election continues," he said.

The Virginia race has left Democratic leaders "biting our nails," said Sen. Chuck Schumer, the party's Senate campaign chairman.

Webb led early returns, trailed Allen as more boxes came in and pulled ahead by a fraction of a percent as late votes were counted. When he was still behind, he told supporters that the race was likely to remain open for some time.

While many observers had predicted the Democrats would regain control of the House, as they appear to have done for the first time since 1994, regaining the Senate was seen as less likely.

The party needed a net gain of six seats among the 33 at stake Tuesday to reclaim control of the chamber for the first time in four years, and had picked up three Tuesday night. Races in Missouri and Montana remained unsettled early Wednesday, meanwhile. (Posted 1:52 a.m.)

White House strikes conciliatory tone after GOP House defeat

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush will make two calls Wednesday morning, one to outgoing House Speaker Dennis Hastert expressing condolences and the other to congratulate Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California, who is in line to replace Hastert in the job, White House Press Secretary Tony Snow said.

Bush will say that "the problems we faced this morning are the same problems we'll face tomorrow: winning the war in Iraq, keeping the economy together, working on renewing "no child left behind" legislation, Snow said.

"She (Pelosi) talked about energy independence, and we want to work on comprehensive immigration reform, some things we can get some action on," Snow said. "It will be interesting politically, a new opportunity to get things done. We're going to get a lot done. On energy, education, those are clearly things we can work on."

Snow also said the president wants to work in a bipartisan way.

"It was encouraging to hear the Democrats say it's time to get rid of partisanship," Snow said. "Bush wants to go back to the Texas model, he's always reached out. He's been trying over the last couple of years with limited success."

But White House officials are also counting on a conservative House, one that is closer to the president's thinking than is Pelosi. Snow noted that "three dozen blue dogs (conservative Democrats) have voted against her on various issues. And it's the conservative Democrats who made real gains."

While Snow said the president wouldn't give up fighting for tax cuts, he conceded that it would be "harder to move some bills." Snow also said Bush would "take the political heat" for continuing to lobby for changes to Social Security.

Snow suggested that, as conditions improve in Iraq, Pelosi and the White House could find common ground. "Winning the war on terror is important to all of us," he said. "A lot of things can happen in a couple of months. Everyone says they want victory. The Democrats are now stakeholders in that, in the future, to finish the job in Iraq."

Snow was cagey about whether personnel changes are imminent, saying he "wouldn't rule anything in or out." He added that it was "reasonable to believe" that some people who have been with the administration for a long time "might be ready to step down," but he would not specify who they might be.

Bush went to bed after hearing news of the House loss and still "having high hopes for the Senate," said Snow, who added that the Virginia race was headed for a recount.

According to Snow, Bush spent much of the evening in his study watching election results on Fox News Channel.

Karl Rove, the administration's chief political strategist, darted in and out of the study to the family room, watching various channels on various television sets, all of which were on, Snow said.

Rove, like Chief of Staff Josh Bolten and Counselor Dan Bartlett, were working their Blackberries and phones throughout the night, Snow added.

Occasionally, the first lady popped in.

The president was constantly asking Rove "What's it look like, how many seats?" Snow said.

Delay house seat goes to Democrat

(CNN) -- CNN projects that Democrat Nick Lampson has won the Texas house district 22 seat vacated by former Republican leader Tom Delay, defeating Republican Shelly Sekula-Gibbs. (Posted 1:46 a.m.)

Democrats take House; Senate control rides on close races in Mo., Va.

(CNN) -- Democrats made gains across the board in Tuesday's midterm elections and seized control of the House for the first time in 12 years, with control of the Senate coming down to three hard-fought contests in Virginia, Missouri and Montana.

Democrats must win all three to secure a majority, and they are leading in all three, although the outcome in Virginia is so close there could be a recount.

With polls now closed in all 50 states, CNN projects that Democrats will pick up at least 21 seats, more than the 15 needed to capture a majority in the House. The result will make Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi the first woman House speaker in U.S. history, although she may face the tricky prospect of managing a majority that's only in the single digits.

"Tonight is a great victory for the American people," Pelosi told cheering supports in Washington. "They voted to take our country in a new direction, and that is exactly what we intend to do."

Democrats picked up 23 Republican-held House seats Tuesday night, but two Democratic seats in Georgia that were targeted by Republicans were still too close to call, which could reduce the overall Democratic gain.

House Majority Leader John Boehner said Republicans were "deeply disappointed in the outcome."

"Our challenge as Republicans is to regain our confidence, our courage and our energy to address the big issues that matter," Boehner said in a statement. "If Republicans stand together and united behind solutions and ideas that move us closer to our common vision of a freer, more prosperous America, I'm confident the American people will return us to the majority in two years."

At the White House, President Bush -- whose anemic approval ratings proved a drag on Republican prospects -- was described as "disappointed" with the House results, although spokesman Tony Fratto said Bush was "still optimistic about the Senate."

The White House has scheduled a news conference Wednesday afternoon where Bush will discuss the outcome of Tuesday's vote.

In addition to their win in the House, Democrats also snatched away six governorships -- enough to give them a majority of governorships nationwide -- as well as three Senate seats.

Sens. Rick Santorum in Pennsylvania, Mike DeWine in Ohio and Lincoln Chafee in Rhode Island were defeated, and Democrats managed to fend off strong Republican challenges to Sen. Bob Menendez in New Jersey and an open seat in Maryland.

However, in order to secure a majority in the Senate, Democrats need to sweep all three hotly contested Senate seats still outstanding in Virginia, Montana and Missouri.

In Virginia, embattled Republican Sen. George Allen and his Democratic challenger, Jim Webb, were locked in a virtual tie, with Webb leading by only about 2,700 votes out of nearly 2.3 million cast.

In Missouri, after leading most of the night, Republican Sen. Jim Talent fell behind his Democratic challenger, State Auditor Claire McCaskill, although less than 20,000 votes separated them, out of more than 1.6 million cast.

In Montana, GOP Sen. Conrad Burns trailed Democratic state Sen. John Tester by 7 points, with about half of the precincts in.

Among the governorships lost by Republicans were New York, Ohio and Massachusetts, all of which they had held for more than a decade, as well as Arkansas and Colorado. Maryland Gov. Bob Ehrlich also went down to defeat at the hands of Democratic Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley.

One bright spot for the GOP came in the biggest gubernatorial prize of the night, California, where actor-turned-politician Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was on his way to an easy win over his Democratic opponent, State Treasurer Phil Angelides.

In Ohio, Democratic Rep. Ted Strickland defeated Republican Secretary of State Ken Blackwell. And in Massachusetts, Democrat Deval Patrick defeated GOP Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey, becoming only the second black governor elected in the United States since Reconstruction.

In New York, Democratic state Attorney General Eliot Spitzer ended 12 years of GOP control of the governorship, trouncing Republican John Fazo.

Incumbent governors won re-election in Alabama, Arizona, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

In Florida, where Republican Gov. Jeb Bush was forced out by term limits, state Attorney General Charlie Crist kept the governorship in GOP hands, defeating Rep. Jim Davis.

A slew of incumbent senators also cruised to victory Tuesday, including Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Tom Carper, D-Del., Bill Nelson, D-Fla., Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, Richard Lugar, R-Ind., Olympia Snowe, R-Maine; Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich. and Trent Lott, R-Miss.

Also winning were Ben Nelson, R-Neb., John Ensign, R-Nev., Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., Kent Conrad, D-N.D., Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., Herb Kohl, D-Wisc., and Craig Thomas, R-Wyo.

In Pennsylvania, Santorum was swept from office by Democrat Bob Casey Jr.; in Ohio, Rep. Sherrod Brown ousted DeWine; and in Rhode Island, Chafee -- who often angered his fellow Republicans by bucking the party line -- lost to Democratic state Attorney General Sheldon Whitehouse.

In Tennessee, former Chattanooga Mayor Bob Corker, a Republican, defeated his Democratic rival, Rep. Harold Ford Jr., who was trying to become the first black candidate ever elected to the Senate from a Southern state.

In Vermont, independent Rep. Bernie Sanders won his state's open Senate seat. He has said he will caucus with Democrats in the Senate, as did the independent he will replace, Sen. Jim Jeffords. Democrats also held an open Senate seat in Minnesota, where Amy Klobuchar defeated Republican Rep. Mark Kennedy.

And in Connecticut, Sen. Joe Lieberman, who was forced to run as an independent after losing the Democratic primary to Ned Lamont, won re-election, defeating both Lamont and Republican Alan Schlesinger.

Exit polls showed that four major issues -- corruption, terrorism, the economy and the war in Iraq -- played a role in Tuesday's voting, with roughly four in 10 voters saying those issues were extremely important to their vote.

And defying the traditional political maxim that "all politics is local," 62 percent of voters said national issues mattered more than local issues when deciding which House candidate to pick.

By a wide margin, voters said they disapproved of the war in Iraq and the job performances of both Congress and President Bush.

The exit polls also showed the polarizing effect the war had on the electorate. Among voters who were against the war, almost nine out of 10 said they chose a Democratic House candidate; those who approved chose the Republican by nearly the same margin. (Posted 1:32 a.m.)

Democrats poised to pick up majority of governorships

(CNN) -- Six governorships changed from Republican to Democratic hands in Tuesday's election, giving Democrats control of a majority of the top state posts for the first time in 12 years.

With polls closed in every state, CNN projected winners in 31 of 36 races. In addition to the six pickups, Democrats retained 15 governorships while Republicans retained 10.

Democrats needed to make a net pickup of four governorships in 36 races to get to the magic number of 26.

CNN projections gave former Clinton Justice Department official Deval Patrick the governorship in Massachusetts, where Republicans have held the seat for 12 years. Patrick will become the Bay State's first black governor and only the second elected nationally since Reconstruction.

Democrats also ended Republican rule over more than 10 years in Ohio, where GOP governors had held the seat for 20 years, and in New York, where Republican Gov. George Pataki retired after 12 years in office.

Democratic Rep. Ted Strickland won the governor's race in Ohio, defeating Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, and Attorney General Eliot Spitzer won the New York contest.

Democrats also picked up the governships of Maryland, where Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley won a close race over incumbent Gov. Robert Ehrlich, and in Arkansas, where Attorney General Mike Beebe defeated former Bush administration official Asa Hutchinson.

In Colorado, Democrat Bill Ritter topped Republican Rep. Bob Beauprez. Both candidates noted Democratic gains, not only in governorships, but also in the Senate and the House.

"Tonight is the night we bring direction back to this country," Ritter said in his acceptance speech. "We bring hope back to this country. Have a country we can all be proud of again."

Beauprez noted that Republicans "have some work to do."

"There's a bit of a wind blowing out there, and it's not necessary a warm, friendly wind," he said in his concession speech. "It's time we take inventory. I still think we are the party of good ideas and leadership."

Democrats are set to hold onto governorships in Arizona, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Maine, New Hampshire, Iowa, Oregon and Wyoming. Republicans were retaining seats in Connecticut, Georgia, Nebraska, South Carolina, Alabama, Vermont, Florida, Hawaii, California and Texas.

The races in Alaska, Idaho, Minnesota, Nevada and Rhode Island are still too close to call.

Unlike controlling the House or Senate, having a majority of governorships has little practical effect, because governors operate independently of each other. However, a switch would give Democrats bragging rights and access to state political organizations that could be helpful in the 2008 presidential election. (Posted 1:29 a.m.)

Webb declares victory in Virginia Senate race

ARLINGTON, Va. (CNN) -- Democrat Jim Webb declared victory in his race against incumbent Republican Sen. George Allen early Wednesday, though a recount in the hotly contested election appeared likely.

"The votes are in, and we won," saiut

d Webb, who led Allen by fewer than 2,300 votes with 99 percent of precincts reporting. (Posted 1:26 a.m.)

Dems declare victory in House

(CNN) -- Democrats took control of the House of Representatives for the first time in 12 years Tuesday, seizing 22 seats from Republicans, CNN projects -- far more than the 15 they required to gain control.

The turnover was a clear signal that dissatisfaction over the Iraq war, the unpopularity of President Bush and a series of Republican scandals played a role in the voting booth.

Those defeated included Rep. Clay Shaw of Florida -- an author of the 1996 welfare reform bill. In 2004, Shaw won re-election with 63 percent of the vote.

"Tonight is a great victory for the American people," said House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, who is poised to become speaker of the House. "Today, the American people voted for change, and they voted for Democrats to take our country in a new direction. And that is exactly what we intend to do."

That particularly applies to the war in Iraq, she said. "'Stay the course' has not made our country safer, has not honored our commitment to our troops, and has not made the region more stable. We cannot continue down this catastrophic path ... the campaign is over. The Democrats are ready to lead."

As speaker, Pelosi would become the first woman in line for the presidency after the vice president.

"We welcome the opportunity to usher in a new era of responsibility in Washington, and there's a lesson I want you to hear ... the American people never lose their zeal for reform and neither can we," said Illinois Congressman Rahm Emanuel, head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. "The old era of irresponsibility is over, and the new era of real reform has just begun."

The victories were not won across the board, however. Republicans were closely watching two seats in Georgia, hoping to stem some of the Democratic tide. Two Democratic incumbents were fighting for seats redrawn by the state legislature to make them more Republican. And in Illinois, Iraq war veteran Tammy Duckworth conceded her highly-contested open seat to Republican Pete Roskam.

"We are deeply disappointed in the outcome, but as Republicans we must recommit ourselves to the principles that brought us to the majority and renew our drive for smaller, more efficient, more accountable government," said House Majority Leader Tom Boehner of Ohio in a statement.

President Bush was told Republicans had lost the House by his chief political strategist, Karl Rove, according to White House spokesman Tony Fratto.

"Obviously, the president is disappointed, with the results," said White House counselor Dan Bartlett, according to Fratto.

But, Fratto said, Bush is "still optimistic about the Senate."

The president, he said, would not be making any calls Tuesday night, because there were still outstanding contested races. Bush did speak with Republican Chair Tom Reynolds, who won re-election in New York, Fratto said.

Bush has scheduled a 1 p.m. Wednesday news conference on the election.

An average of six recent national polls asking which party Americans planned to vote for in their House races showed Republicans trailing Democrats by a double-digit margin, 53 percent to 41 percent.

All 435 seats in the House were up for re-election. Since the Civil War, the party holding the White House has lost an average of 35 seats in midterm elections where sitting presidents had served longer than one term.

To keep the House, Republicans would have had to retain 22 of their vulnerable seats -- more than 60 percent -- at a time when the public mood does not play to their favor.

That task has been made more difficult because five seats that arguably should be in the GOP column have been put in jeopardy by scandals and investigations that have bedeviled the Republican caucus over the past year.

Democrats picked up seats held by former Rep. Bob Ney of Ohio, who resigned Friday after pleading guilty to multiple counts stemming from the long-running probe into disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff. They also picked up the seat held by former Rep. Mark Foley of Florida, who resigned and abandoned his re-election bid amid a sex scandal in September. The two had been expected to be safe seats for Republicans, as was that held by former Rep. Tom DeLay of Texas. Democrats were leading in the race for DeLay's seat.

DeLay, the former House majority leader from Texas, left office to defend himself against state money-laundering charges related to campaign finances, and Foley, after admitting to inappropriate behavior with teenage male congressional pages.

The fallout from the Foley affair has put Rep. Tom Reynolds, the head of the National Republican Congressional Committee, in a tough fight in his western New York district, after he revealed that he had been told about Foley's "overly friendly" e-mails to a page before they became public. Reynolds, however, held onto his seat.

And in suburban Philadelphia, 10-term Rep. Curt Weldon lost to Democrat Joseph Sestak. Weldon was running under a cloud after federal agents searched his daughter's home in mid-October, as part of an investigation into whether he used his position to steer contracts to her lobbying firm. Weldon has denied any wrongdoing.

On the Democratic side, Rep. William Jefferson of New Orleans is also seeking re-election while under investigation for corruption, including revelations by prosecutors that $90,000 in cash was found stashed in his freezer. Jefferson was leading the contest. However, due to Louisiana's unique election process, the seat is expected to stay in Democratic hands.

Tuesday's vote in Louisiana is actually a primary in which Jefferson and his 12 challengers (eight Democrats, three Republicans and a Libertarian) all run in the same race, regardless of party. If no one wins a majority, the top two finishers will meet in a runoff.

Jefferson's strongest challenger is expected to be state Rep. Karen Carter, who received the Democratic Party's formal endorsement over the incumbent, who has denied any wrongdoing.

--CNN's Suzanne Malveaux and Keith Oppenheim contributed to this report. (Posted 1:12 a.m.)

Democrats take House, make gains in Senate, governorships

(CNN) -- Democrats made gains across the board in Tuesday's midterm elections and seized control of the House for the first time in 12 years, although Republicans were still positioned to maintain their majority in the Senate after retaining a crucial open seat in Tennessee.

With polls now closed in all 50 states, CNN projects that Democrats will pick up at least 20 seats, more than the 15 needed to capture a majority in the House. The result will make Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi the first woman House speaker in U.S. history, although she may face the tricky prospect of managing a majority that's only in the single digits.

"Tonight is a great victory for the American people," Pelosi told cheering supports in Washington. "They voted to take our country in a new direction, and that is exactly what we intend to do."

At the White House, President Bush -- whose anemic approval ratings proved a drag on Republican prospects -- was described as "disappointed" with the House results, although spokesman Tony Fratto said Bush was "still optimistic about the Senate."

The White House has scheduled a news conference Wednesday afternoon where Bush will discuss the outcome of Tuesday's vote.

In addition to their win in the House, Democrats also snatched away six governorships -- enough to give them a majority of governorships nationwide -- as well as three Senate seats.

Sens. Rick Santorum in Pennsylvania, Mike DeWine in Ohio and Lincoln Chafee in Rhode Island were defeated, and Democrats managed to fend off strong Republican challenges to Sen. Bob Menendez in New Jersey and an open seat in Maryland.

However, in order to secure a majority in the Senate, Democrats need to sweep all three hotly contested Senate seats still outstanding in Virginia, Montana and Missouri.

In Virginia, embattled Republican Sen. George Allen and his Democratic challenger, Jim Webb, were locked in a virtual tie, with Webb leading by less than 3,000 votes with 99 percent of precincts reporting.

In Missouri, Republican Sen. Jim Talent held a 3-point lead over his Democratic challenger, State Auditor Claire McCaskill, with about 70 percent of the precincts reporting. And in Montana, GOP Sen. Conrad Burns trailed Democratic state Sen. John Tester by 8 points, with less than 40 percent of the precincts in.

In Tennessee, former Chattanooga Mayor Bob Corker, a Republican, defeated his Democratic rival, Rep. Harold Ford Jr., who was trying to become the first black candidate ever elected to the Senate from a Southern state.

Among the governorships lost by Republicans were New York, Ohio and Massachusetts, all of which they had held for more than a decade, as well as Arkansas and Colorado. Maryland Gov. Bob Ehrlich also went down to defeat at the hands of Democratic Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley.

One bright spot for the GOP came in the biggest gubernatorial prize of the night, California, where actor-turned-politician Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was on his way to an easy win over his Democratic opponent, State Treasurer Phil Angelides.

In Ohio, Democratic Rep. Ted Strickland defeated Republican Secretary of State Ken Blackwell. And in Massachusetts, Democrat Deval Patrick defeated GOP Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey, becoming only the second black governor elected in the United States since Reconstruction.

In New York, Democratic state Attorney General Eliot Spitzer ended 12 years of GOP control of the governorship, trouncing Republican John Fazo.

Incumbent governors won re-election in Alabama, Arizona, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

In Florida, where Republican Gov. Jeb Bush was forced out by term limits, state Attorney General Charlie Crist kept the governorship in GOP hands, defeating Rep. Jim Davis.

A slew of incumbent senators also cruised to victory Tuesday, including Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Tom Carper, D-Del., Bill Nelson, D-Fla., Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, Richard Lugar, R-Ind., Olympia Snowe, R-Maine; Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich. and Trent Lott, R-Miss.

Also winning were Ben Nelson, R-Neb., John Ensign, R-Nev., Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., Kent Conrad, D-N.D., Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., Herb Kohl, D-Wisc., and Craig Thomas, R-Wyo.

In Pennsylvania, Santorum was swept from office by Democrat Bob Casey Jr.; in Ohio, Rep. Sherrod Brown ousted DeWine; and in Rhode Island, Chafee -- who often angered his fellow Republicans by bucking the party line -- lost to Democratic state Attorney General Sheldon Whitehouse.

In Vermont, independent Rep. Bernie Sanders won his state's open Senate seat. He has said he will caucus with Democrats in the Senate, as did the independent he will replace, Sen. Jim Jeffords. Democrats also held an open Senate seat in Minnesota, where Amy Klobuchar defeated Republican Rep. Mark Kennedy.

And in Connecticut, Sen. Joe Lieberman, who was forced to run as an independent after losing the Democratic primary to Ned Lamont, won re-election, defeating both Lamont and Republican Alan Schlesinger.

Exit polls showed that four major issues -- corruption, terrorism, the economy and the war in Iraq -- played a role in Tuesday's voting, with roughly four in 10 voters saying those issues were extremely important to their vote.

And defying the traditional political maxim that "all politics is local," 62 percent of voters said national issues mattered more than local issues when deciding which House candidate to pick.

By a wide margin, voters said they disapproved of the war in Iraq and the job performances of both Congress and President Bush.

The exit polls also showed the polarizing effect the war had on the electorate. Among voters who were against the war, almost nine out of 10 said they chose a Democratic House candidate; those who approved chose the Republican by nearly the same margin. (Posted 1:08 a.m.)

Various voting problems reported across the country

By Cable News Network

Several voting problems are being reported Tuesday in the crucial midterm elections. CNN first learned of some of the problems in "iReport" submissions from CNN viewers. Here's a breakdown of the problems by state: Colorado

Denver District court has denied a request from lawyers for the state's Democratic Party for a two-hour extension for voting in Denver County.

Denver District Court Judge Sheila Rappaport made that ruling Tuesday afternoon.

Brian Mason of the Colorado Democratic Party said there were "severe problems when the polls opened this morning in Denver. ... The poll books -- which show registered voters -- were not ready."

He said many voters waited in long lines as a result and many left without voting because the sites ran out of provisional ballots, which are used in case of such an emergency. There have also been problems with laptop computers to verify voter registration. Florida

Voting was delayed for about 90 minutes in Deerfield Beach, according to Broward County Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes, after a poll worker used the same activator to "turn on" machines for two precincts sharing the same location. Each precinct is supposed to have its own activator. New electronic machines and new activators were brought in.

In Volusia County, according to Jenny Nash, with the Florida secretary of state's office, the county elections supervisor confirmed that the wrong ballots were given to 10 voters. Nash said those voters "have no recourse and cannot vote again," adding, "once your ballot is counted, that's it. "

Separately, eight of 170 Diebold optical scanners in Volusia County had memory problems for an hour Tuesday morning, according to Nash. She said the ballots have been stored in an emergency bin and will be scanned later by poll workers. Georgia

Polls at one precinct in DeKalb County, Georgia, in suburban Atlanta will stayed open one hour later. Election officials say polling officials failed to follow procedure when voting machines failed to show they were fully charged. According to election officials, voting was delayed about and hour and some people left without voting. In Clayton County, one remained opened for an extra half hour, until 730 p.m. because the poll official didn't have the key to the building Tuesday morning, according to the secretary of state's office.

Illinois

A judge in Kane County ordered all 223 precincts in the county to stay open an extra 90 minutes tonight, until 9:30pm ET, according to Jay Bennett of the Kane County Clerk's office. She say problems were primarily in 17 precincts in the northern part of Kane County, but the judge decided to keep all the polling places open. The county was using an electronic voting system called eSlate, first used in the March primary.

The clerk's office in Cook County said two suburban precincts will stay open for an extra hour because they opened an hour late for undisclosed reasons. One precinct is in Cicero and the other in Bloom Township near Chicago Heights. Indiana

Two LaPorte County precincts that were supposed to close at 7 p.m. CT have extending voting hours, according to Jen Fanger of the Indiana secretary of state's office. One will remain open an extra half hour, until 7:30 p.m., and the other will remain open for an extra hour, until 8 p.m. because of problems with human error. Two precincts in Tippecano County remained open until 6:30 p.m. ET. They were both originally supposed to close at 6 p.m.

The polls in Delaware County will remain open an extra two hours and 40 minutes, until 8:40 p.m. ET, because of a computer error with electronic voting machines. The extension was approved by the 5th Circuit Court of Delaware County after local election officials filed to keep the polls open longer, according to Phil Nichols of the Delaware County Board of Elections in Muncie.

The problem delayed the opening time for more than 70 precincts.

"The company that made the machines said the PIN numbers were wrong on the cards needed to activate the machines and we are attempting as best we can to rectify a situation that would otherwise prohibit people from voting," Judge Wayne Lennington of the 5th Circuit Court told CNN. "I really believe the company let us down in a big way."

Lennington said he had spoken to an official with MicroVote General Corp. earlier in the day.

The Delaware County Board of Elections has voted to file a complaint against MicroVote for the delays, Nichols said.

The polls in the rest of the state will close at the scheduled time, with the last polling stations shutting down at 7 p.m. ET.

In Marion County, paper ballots had to be used in more than 100 precincts because touch screens on electronic voting machines weren't working, according to election officials. Kentucky

An unnamed poll worker at a Jefferson County polling location was arrested and charged with assault Tuesday after a scuffle, according to authorities. The poll worker allegedly choked a voter and pushed him out the door of a polling location. Apparently, the poll worker insisted that the man vote on judicial races. He allegedly refused to vote on that portion of the ballot because of limited knowledge about those races, said Les Fugate of the Kentucky Board of Elections. Maryland

Democratic election workers at two polling places in Prince George's County showed CNN copies of a brochure that contained a sample ballot, supposedly with Democratic candidates indicated but actually with Xs next to two Republican candidates, incumbent Robert Ehrlich for governor and Lt. Governor Michael Steele for senator.

They also featured pictures of three prominent African-American Maryland politicians -- county executive Jack Johnson, his predecessor, Wayne Curry, and former NAACP President Kweisi Mfume. On the front of the brochure it said, "Ehrlich-Steele Democrats Official Voter Guide." At the bottom of the brochure, small type stated, "Paid and authorized by Bob Ehrlich for Maryland Committee Inc." and "Paid and Authorized by Steele for Maryland Inc."

Shareese DeLeaver, press secretary for the Ehrlich campaign, said she did not think the brochure was a "dirty trick" because the governor has been on similar brochures in the past. She said it was simply an example of how people could support local Democratic candidates for lower offices and still support Ehrlich and Steele. She said that the Democrats' complaints shows how they "underestimate the intelligence of the Maryland electorate."

David Paulson, communications director for the Maryland Democratic Party, told CNN the party had asked for an injunction to put a stop to the distribution of brochures labeled "Ehrlich-Steele Democrats" but it was denied. (See Maryland - Fliers) Missouri

Five counties -- Jasper, Pemiscot, Jefferson, Dunklin and Polk-- ran out of ballots, according to Stacie Temple of the Secretary of State's office. Election officials made photocopies of ballots, which Temple says is an acceptable thing to do for election authorities, and will have to hand-count the votes and add them in. Depending on the numbers, this could cause delays in returns for those counties.

Earlier, St. Louis County Election Board Chairman John Diehl on Tuesday called judges at two precincts to remind them of rules regarding acceptable forms of voter identification.

Diehl said he received reports from a monitoring group that workers at two polling places were asking voters specifically for photo ID. The Missouri Supreme Court declared state photo ID laws unconstitutional in a ruling on Oct. 16. New Jersey

The office of the New Jersey Republican Committee said that four affidavits have been filed by Republican voters who say that they weren't able to vote for Republican Senate candidate Tom Kean because the Sequoia voting machines they were using were already programmed to vote for Democrat Bob Menendez, according to NJRC Counsel Mark Sheridan.

Sheridan said that all of the problems came out of Democratic jurisdictions and that "voters have been thrown out when they try to make claims." He went on to say, "It would be too much of a coincidence for it to happen in the same polling places."

Michelle Schaffer at Sequoia told CNN, "We have been in close communication with the New Jersey attorney general's office, and we are not aware of any issues that are problematic, nor have they raised any to ask us about. "

She added, "Things are going well. "

A handful of polling locations in Camden County have experienced problems with Sequoia electronic voting machines, according to Phyllis Pearl, the Camden County superintendent of elections.

She said 35 of the county's 700 machines had printer or mechanical malfunctions. Nine of the machines have been replaced because of mechanical problems, and three districts had to switch temporarily to emergency ballots as a result of the malfunctions.

There are also reports of electronic voting machine malfunctions in Montclair and Union counties. The polling locations have issued paper ballots in some cases and have had voting machines replaced. New Mexico

There was a ballot shortage at two precincts in Bernalillo County, according to Ray Baray, New Mexico's deputy secretary of state. In one of those precincts, just 150 ballots were delivered for 2,000 registered voters. Baray said that for about two hours Tuesday, people were unable to vote because of the shortage. He said he suspects the ballots came up short because some dropped a zero in the number of ballots to be sent.

He said the state has no idea how many people left without voting.

In response, Republican incumbent Rep. Heather Wilson wrote a letter to the Committee on House Administration saying, "Under the constitutional authority granted to the House, I am requesting that the Committee on House Administration dispatch observers to the First District of New Mexico to monitor this election and ensure full compliance with federal law."

Deputy Secretary of State Ray Baray's office released a statement saying, "There was an administrative error on the county's part that resulted in a shortage of ballots in two precincts. Our understanding is that this has been corrected as of 2 p.m. today when the Bernalillo County Clerk had more ballots printed and delivered to the affected precincts."

New York

The Supreme Court of Albany County has ordered that all paper ballots in that county -- including absentee, military, affidavit, emergency and optical scanned -- be impounded, which means they can't be opened or counted until Monday.

This is a pre-emptive move in case races are tight, which means that for those races, final results won't be known for days. Local law enforcement officers will be responsible for securing the paper ballots. The decision is a result of a suit that was filed on behalf of both the New York Democratic and Republican parties. North Carolina

One polling place in Durham County stayed open an hour late Tuesday, closing at 8:30 p.m. ET Tuesday, according to Ms. Johnnie McLean of the North Carolina Board of elections. She said the polling place opened fifty minutes late because a poll worker forgot the key to the building. Ohio

Federal Judge Dan Polster ruled to keep the polls at 16 polling sites in Cuyahoga County open and extra hour-and-a-half until 9pm ET. The Ohio Democratic Party had filed a lawsuit with the United States District Court, Northern District of Ohio, to keep the polls open longer, ensure ballot security and make sure ballots are accurately counted. The suit cites numerous problems -- late poll openings, machine problems and confusion over the state's identification laws -- at Cuyahoga County polling locations.

Early Tuesday morning, Republican Rep. Jean Schmidt had trouble casting her paper ballot via a scanner in Loveland, northeast of Cincinnati.

Schmidt spokesman Matt Perin said elections officials put her ballot in a lock box and said they'd manually enter her vote later.

"I feel confident that the system in place will take care of it. I sure hope my vote counts," Schmidt said, laughing. Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Secretary of Commonwealth Pedro Cortes told CNN that his office received a letter from the state GOP committee saying it had information that voters were having trouble with vote "flipping" (trying to vote for one candidate but the other name appearing instead).

Cortes said his office contacted each county where this was supposedly happening. He found those allegations are unsubstantiated, saying if there were errors, they were voter error. When asked if he was going to impound the machines, he responded that "there was no need to do it," adding that he had no authority to impound them.

He said this would typically be done by court order. He added that these are heavily Republican-dominated counties, with Republican judges, none of whom have corroborated these allegations. Cortes said his department will conduct a careful review of these issues as part of their post-election analysis. "If there is any validation we'll act appropriately."

Earlier, election officials announced that polls in Lancaster and Lebanon counties were to remain open an extra hour, until 9 p.m. ET, because of software glitches. And election officials in Lebanon County said ballots cast after 8 p.m. will be on paper and will be counted Tuesday night.

Cortes also told CNN 10 of Allegheny County's 1,314 polling places did not open on time. The late openings are attributable to human error, he said.

In Allentown, Police Chief Ron Manescu said Michael Young was charged with criminal mischief and tampering with voting machines under state law. Manescu said Young walked in to a polling site, showed identification, went into the booth and began to beat the voting machine with a paperweight in the shape of a cat. Poll workers called the police, who found Young seated and "hanging his head" upon arrival. Young is awaiting arraignment; bail has not yet been set. Rhode Island

Three electronic voting machines in West Warwick malfunctioned early in the day and were quickly repaired or repalced, said Bob Kando, executive director of the Rhode Island Board of Elections.

South Carolina

A judge ordered four polling precincts in Lancaster County to stay open an additional hour because voting did not start promptly at 7 a.m. Tuesday for various reasons, according to the state's Secretary of State's office. The polling officials should have offered voters a paper ballot because the electronic voting was not up and running. They did not offer the voters that option. Utah

Utah County experienced encoder problems early Tuesday morning at some polling places. Voters were allowed to vote provisionally until the problem was solved, at about 9:15 a.m., according to Joe Demma, the chief of staff to the lieutenant governor. Utah County contains Provo, one of the state's largest cities. Virginia

The FBI is conducting a preliminary investigation into allegations that some voters in eight counties in Virginia received deceptive calls prior to the midterm elections, law enforcement sources told CNN. (See VA - Deceptive Calls)

Separately, Jean Jensen of the Board of Elections said the board will notify both political parties that two Edge voting machines -- one in Isle of Wight and another in Rockingham County -- have "locked up." For some reason, officials cannot tally votes from those machines, the board said. Technical experts cannot work on them until morning. Washington

Polls in this northwestern state had to deal with problems because of recent bad weather, road closings and flooding. According to the state's Elections Director, Nick Handy, two polling places in Eastern King Co. (Seattle) were closed and relocated to temporary sites nearby. Handy says for the handful of voters physically blocked by road closures, the state has devised ways for them to either fax or electronically transmit their ballot to the auditors, which state law allows for. Washington is predominantly a vote-by-mail state and that has minimized the impact of a severe storm. Wisconsin

A circuit court judge ordered one polling station in Madison, Wisconsin, to stay open until 9 p.m. CT. Earlier, there had been a threat at that location and the voting equipment had been moved outside and across the street for voters. (Posted 1:07 a.m.)

Voters opting to raise minimum wage, ban same-sex marriage

(CNN) -- Voters in five states Tuesday approved ballot measures raising the minimum wage, joining 18 other states in setting a wage higher than the federal mark of $5.15 per hour, according to CNN projections.

Ohio voters raised the wage to $6.85 per hour, Montana to the higher of $6.15 or the federal wage and Missouri to $6.50. Arizona voters raised the minimum wage to $6.75, and Nevada voters upped the wage to $6.15 if the employer does not provide health benefits.

The Ohio and Missouri measures tie the minimum wage to the Consumer Price Index.

One other state -- Colorado -- was considering a similar measure.

Other hot-button issues on ballot measures include initiatives that would ban same-sex marriage in eight states, restrictions on abortion in three states, marijuana issues in three states and stem-cell research in one state.

Additionally, Arizona voters approved a measure making English the state's official language, while Michigan voters approved an initiative that put limitations on affirmative-action policies at state colleges and universities.

But Arizonans rejected one of the more unusual ballot measures of the year -- a proposal intended to boost voter turnout by awarding a lucky voter $1 million.

Tennessee, South Carolina, Wisconsin and Virginia voted to ban same-sex marriage, a measure also on the ballot in Colorado, Idaho, Arizona and South Dakota. Colorado was also slated to vote on a measure that would create domestic partnerships for same-sex partners.

On abortion, South Dakotans said "no" to an outright ban on the procedure, while California and Oregon voters were considering measures that would require parental notification for minors to get abortions.

Voters in Colorado and Nevada were choosing whether to legalize marijuana, while voters in South Dakota were deciding whether to allow use of the drug for medical purposes.

And in Missouri, voters were considering whether to allow stem-cell research. (Posted 1:05 a.m.)

Democrats 'biting our nails' over Virginia Senate seat after 3 pickups

(CNN) -- Democratic challengers wrested at least three Senate seats from Republicans in Tuesday's midterm elections, with a closely watched Virginia race balanced on the edge of a knife as Democrats fought to reclaim control of the chamber.

Democrats trailed their Republican opponents in two states, Tennessee and Missouri, early Wednesday, but led in Montana. And in the Virginia contest between Republican Sen. George Allen and his Democratic opponent, former Navy Secretary Jim Webb, a recount appeared likely as Webb led Allen by fewer than 2,400 votes out of more than 2.4 million cast.

The Virginia race has left Democratic leaders "biting our nails," said Sen. Chuck Schumer, the party's Senate campaign chairman. Webb told his supporters late Tuesday that many votes remained to be counted in Democratic-leaning precincts, and a recount appeared likely.

Webb led early returns, trailed Allen as more boxes came in and pulled ahead by a fraction of a percent as late votes were counted. When he was still behind, he warned supporters that the race was likely to remain open for some time.

"It's going to take a while, but at some point very soon, I think we're going to be on top," he said.

Allen, once considered a 2008 presidential contender, was plagued by a series of gaffes and miscues in the last weeks of the campaign. But he said that he faced a recount in his first political race, winning by 18 votes, and reassured supporters that "the counting will continue through the night."

"It seems like every time there's a new e-mail, there's more votes coming in," he said.

While many observers had predicted the Democrats would regain control of the House, as they appear to have done for the first time since 1994, regaining the Senate was seen as less likely. The party needed a net gain of six seats among the 33 at stake Tuesday to reclaim control of the chamber for the first time in four years.

Democrats have hammered GOP lawmakers in both houses this year, tying them to the sagging approval ratings for President Bush and the increasing unpopularity of the war in Iraq. Earlier, Schumer told reporters that Democrats were feeling "very, very good" about Tuesday's elections.

"What it looks like from one end of America to the other is that the election is a referendum on George Bush, the rubber-stamp Congress, and the need for a change in direction," Schumer said.

Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, the No. 3 Republican in the Senate, fell to his Democratic opponent, Bob Casey Jr. In Ohio, Democratic congressman Sherrod Brown toppled two-term incumbent Mike DeWine. And in Rhode Island, GOP maverick Lincoln Chafee, an opponent of the war in Iraq who said he did not vote for President Bush's re-election, fell to Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse.

"This just was a little too steep of a mountain to climb, but it was not for want of people helping us climb it," said Santorum, an outspoken opponent of abortion and same-sex marriage who once suggested that striking down sodomy laws would lead to the legalization of "man-on-dog" sex. "Thank you so very much for your dedication to beliefs in a cause that will not end with tonight."

In Missouri, freshman Republican Sen. Jim Talent led Democratic State Auditor Claire McCaskill by a 50-46 margin with 64 percent of the state's precincts reporting. And in Tennessee, CNN projects that former Chattanooga Mayor Bob Corker will beat Democratic U.S. Rep. Harold Ford, whom he led by a 51-48 percent with 90 percent of that state's vote counted.

The last remaining race was in Montana, where state Sen. Jon Tester led GOP incumbent Conrad Burns by a 55-43 percent margin with 22 percent of the votes cast.

Meanwhile, Democrats claimed victory in two other states where they now hold seats.

In New Jersey, Sen. Robert Menendez won a full term against Republican Thomas Kean Jr., the son of the former governor and chairman of the 9/11 commission. Menendez had been dogged by questions about his personal finances since his appointment in 2005, but told supporters Tuesday night that he would be "a voice that will make you proud."

And in Maryland, Rep. Ben Cardin claimed victory with a 52-47 percent lead over Republican Lt. Gov. Michael Steele for the seat now held by retiring Democrat Paul Sarbanes. But with about a quarter of the vote still out, Steele has refused to concede and urged supporters to "hang tough" and prepare for a long night.

"I'm asking you to hang in there with me tonight because we've got more counting to do," he said. "We've got more precincts to come in, and there are 200,000 absentee ballots out there that need to be counted."

Meanwhile, in Connecticut, incumbent Sen. Joseph Lieberman won a new term as an independent against Ned Lamont, the man who beat him in the Democratic primary in August. Lamont conceded defeat after trailing Lieberman by a 50-39 margin with about 75 percent of boxes reporting.

"I thank the people of Connecticut, who tonight have given me, once again, the honor of being their senator -- and in doing so, chose progress over partisanship; problem solving over polarization; and the mainstream over the extreme," said Lieberman, the Democrats' vice presidential nominee in 2000.

Though re-elected as an independent, Lieberman has said he will caucus with Democrats in the new Congress.

The Republican candidate, Alan Schlesinger, was drawing just 10 percent of the vote as many Republican voters supported Lieberman, a staunch supporter of the war in Iraq. According to CNN exit polls, Republicans voted for Lieberman over Schlesinger, 70 percent to 21 percent, while independents went for Lieberman over Lamont by a 52-to-38 percent margin.

Most other incumbents cruised to re-election Tuesday, including possible Democratic presidential contender and former first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton. New York voters sent her back to the Senate for a second term by a better than 2-to-1 margin with 79 percent of precincts counted.

"I hope we're going to have some new Democratic members of Congress before today is over, and I'm hoping I'm going to be in the Democratic majority," she said.

In Florida, Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson will win a second term by defeating Rep. Katherine Harris, who was Florida's secretary of state during the presidential recount of 2000. In Utah, veteran GOP Sen. Orrin Hatch won a new term, while Democrat Edward Kennedy claimed his eighth full term in Massachusetts.

In Maine, Republican Olympia Snowe won a third term, while West Virginia Democrat Robert Byrd, 88, already the chamber's longest-serving member, will claim a ninth term by beating Republican challenger John Raese.

And in Vermont, independent Rep. Bernie Sanders has beaten Republican nominee Richard Tarrant. Sanders, the socialist former mayor of Burlington, has pledged to caucus with the Democrats; he replaces retiring independent Sen. Jim Jeffords, a former Republican who handed control of the Senate to Democrats in 2001 by leaving the GOP. (Posted 1:04 a.m.)

Dems declare victory in House

(CNN) -- Democrats took control of the House of Representatives for the first time in 12 years Tuesday, seizing 22 seats from Republicans, CNN projects -- far more than the 15 they required to gain control.

The turnover was a clear signal that dissatisfaction over the Iraq war, the unpopularity of President Bush and a series of Republican scandals played a role in the voting booth.

Those defeated included Rep. Clay Shaw of Florida -- an author of the 1996 welfare reform bill. In 2004, Shaw won re-election with 63 percent of the vote.

"Tonight is a great victory for the American people," said House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, who is poised to become speaker of the House. "Today, the American people voted for change, and they voted for Democrats to take our country in a new direction. And that is exactly what we intend to do."

That particularly applies to the war in Iraq, she said. "'Stay the course' has not made our country safer, has not honored our commitment to our troops, and has not made the region more stable. We cannot continue down this catastrophic path ... the campaign is over. The Democrats are ready to lead."

As speaker, Pelosi would become the first woman in line for the presidency after the vice president. She would be followed by Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia, who held on to his Senate seat.

"We welcome the opportunity to usher in a new era of responsibility in Washington, and there's a lesson I want you to hear ... the American people never lose their zeal for reform and neither can we," said Illinois Congressman Rahm Emanuel, head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. "The old era of irresponsibility is over, and the new era of real reform has just begun."

The victories were not won across the board, however. Republicans were closely watching two seats in Georgia, hoping to stem some of the Democratic tide. Two Democratic incumbents were fighting for seats redrawn by the state legislature to make them more Republican. And in Illinois, Iraq war veteran Tammy Duckworth conceded her highly-contested open seat to Republican Pete Roskam.

"We are deeply disappointed in the outcome, but as Republicans we must recommit ourselves to the principles that brought us to the majority and renew our drive for smaller, more efficient, more accountable government," said House Majority Leader Tom Boehner of Ohio in a statement.

President Bush was told Republicans had lost the House by his chief political strategist, Karl Rove, according to White House spokesman Tony Fratto.

"Obviously, the president is disappointed, with the results," said White House counselor Dan Bartlett, according to Fratto.

But, Fratto said, Bush is "still optimistic about the Senate."

The president, he said, would not be making any calls Tuesday night, because there were still outstanding contested races. Bush did speak with Republican Chair Tom Reynolds, who won re-election in New York, Fratto said.

Bush has scheduled a 1 p.m. Wednesday news conference on the election.

An average of six recent national polls asking which party Americans planned to vote for in their House races showed Republicans trailing Democrats by a double-digit margin, 53 percent to 41 percent.

All 435 seats in the House were up for re-election. Since the Civil War, the party holding the White House has lost an average of 35 seats in midterm elections where sitting presidents had served longer than one term.

To keep the House, Republicans would have had to retain 22 of their vulnerable seats -- more than 60 percent -- at a time when the public mood does not play to their favor.

That task has been made more difficult because five seats that arguably should be in the GOP column have been put in jeopardy by scandals and investigations that have bedeviled the Republican caucus over the past year.

Democrats picked up seats held by former Rep. Bob Ney of Ohio, who resigned Friday after pleading guilty to multiple counts stemming from the long-running probe into disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff. They also picked up the seat held by former Rep. Mark Foley of Florida, who resigned and abandoned his re-election bid amid a sex scandal in September. The two had been expected to be safe seats for Republicans, as was that held by former Rep. Tom DeLay of Texas. Democrats were leading in the race for DeLay's seat.

DeLay, the former House majority leader from Texas, left office to defend himself against state money-laundering charges related to campaign finances, and Foley, after admitting to inappropriate behavior with teenage male congressional pages.

The fallout from the Foley affair has put Rep. Tom Reynolds, the head of the National Republican Congressional Committee, in a tough fight in his western New York district, after he revealed that he had been told about Foley's "overly friendly" e-mails to a page before they became public. Reynolds, however, held onto his seat.

And in suburban Philadelphia, 10-term Rep. Curt Weldon lost to Democrat Joseph Sestak. Weldon was running under a cloud after federal agents searched his daughter's home in mid-October, as part of an investigation into whether he used his position to steer contracts to her lobbying firm. Weldon has denied any wrongdoing.

On the Democratic side, Rep. William Jefferson of New Orleans is also seeking re-election while under investigation for corruption, including revelations by prosecutors that $90,000 in cash was found stashed in his freezer. Jefferson was leading the contest. However, due to Louisiana's unique election process, the seat is expected to stay in Democratic hands.

Tuesday's vote in Louisiana is actually a primary in which Jefferson and his 12 challengers (eight Democrats, three Republicans and a Libertarian) all run in the same race, regardless of party. If no one wins a majority, the top two finishers will meet in a runoff.

Jefferson's strongest challenger is expected to be state Rep. Karen Carter, who received the Democratic Party's formal endorsement over the incumbent, who has denied any wrongdoing.

--CNN's Suzanne Malveaux and Keith Oppenheim contributed to this report. (Posted 1 a.m.)

Voters opting to raise minimum wage, ban same-sex marriage

(CNN) -- Voters in four states Tuesday approved ballot measures raising the minimum wage, joining 18 other states in setting a minimum wage above the federal mark of $5.15 per hour, according to CNN projections.

Ohio voters raised the wage to $6.85 per hour, Montana to the higher of $6.15 or the federal wage and Missouri to $6.50. Arizona voters raised the minimum wage to $6.75.

The Ohio and Missouri measures tie the minimum wage to the Consumer Price Index.

Two other states -- Colorado and Nevada -- were considering similar measures.(Posted 12:47 a.m.)

Democrats take House, make gains in Senate, governorships

(CNN) -- Democrats made gains across the board in Tuesday's midterm elections and seized control of the House for the first time in 12 years, although Republicans were still positioned to maintain their majority in the Senate.

With polls now closed in every state except Alaska, CNN projects that Democrats will pick up at least 18 seats, more than the 15 they needed to capture a majority in the House. The result will make Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi the first woman House speaker in U.S. history.

"Tonight is a great victory for the American people," Pelosi told cheering supports in Washington. "They voted to take our country in a new direction, and that is exactly what we intend to do."

At the White House, President Bush -- whose anemic approval ratings proved a drag on Republican prospects -- was described as "disappointed" with the House results, although spokesman Tony Fratto said Bush was "still optimistic about the Senate."

The White House has scheduled a news conference Wednesday afternoon where Bush will discuss the outcome of Tuesday's vote.

In addition to their win in the House, Democrats also snatched away six governorships -- enough to give them a majority of governorships nationwide -- as well as three Senate seats.

Sens. Rick Santorum in Pennsylvania, Mike DeWine in Ohio and Lincoln Chafee in Rhode Island were defeated, and Democrats managed to fend off strong Republican challenges to Sen. Bob Menendez in New Jersey and an open seat in Maryland.

However, Democratic prospects remained unclear in hotly contested Senate races in Virginia, Tennessee and Missouri, at least two of which they need to win to pull off the six-seat gain needed to secure a majority in the upper chamber.

In Virginia, embattled Republican Sen. George Allen and his Democratic challenger, Jim Webb, were locked in a virtual tie, with Webb leading by less than 3,000 votes with 99 percent of precincts reporting. In Tennessee, former Chattanooga Mayor Bob Corker held a 3-point lead over his Democratic rival, Rep. Harold Ford Jr., with about 95 percent of the precincts reporting.

In Missouri, Republican Sen. Jim Talent also led his Democratic challenger, State Auditor Claire McCaskill, with nearly two-third of the precincts reporting. However, in Montana, GOP Sen. Conrad Burns trailed Democratic state Sen. John Tester with a little more than a quarter of the precincts in.

Among the governorships lost by Republicans were New York, Ohio and Massachusetts, all of which they had held for more than a decade, as well as Arkansas and Colorado. Maryland Gov. Bob Ehrlich also went down to defeat at the hands of Democratic Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley.

One bright spot for the GOP came in the biggest gubernatorial prize of the night, California, where actor-turned-politician Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was projected to defeat his Democratic opponent, State Treasurer Phil Angelides.

In Ohio, Democratic Rep. Ted Strickland defeated Republican Secretary of State Ken Blackwell. In Massachusetts, Democrat Deval Patrick defeated GOP Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey, becoming only the second black governor elected in the United States since Reconstruction.

In New York, Democratic state Attorney General Eliot Spitzer ended 12 years of GOP control of the governorship, trouncing Republican John Fazo.

Incumbent governors won re-election in Alabama, Arizona, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

In Florida, where Republican Gov. Jeb Bush was forced out by term limits, state Attorney General Charlie Crist kept the governorship in GOP hands, defeating Rep. Jim Davis.

A slew of incumbent also senators cruised to victory Tuesday, including Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Tom Carper, D-Del., Bill Nelson, D-Fla., Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, Richard Lugar, R-Ind., Olympia Snowe, R-Maine; Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich. and Trent Lott, R-Miss.

Also winning were Ben Nelson, R-Neb., John Ensign, R-Nev., Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., Kent Conrad, D-N.D., Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., Herb Kohl, D-Wisc., and Craig Thomas, R-Wyo.

In Pennsylvania, Santorum was swept from office by Democrat Bob Casey Jr.; in Ohio, Rep. Sherrod Brown ousted GOP Sen. Mike DeWine; and in Rhode Island, Chafee -- who often angered his fellow Republicans by bucking the party line -- lost to Democratic state Attorney General Sheldon Whitehouse.

In Vermont, independent Rep. Bernie Sanders won his state's open Senate seat. He has said he will caucus with Democrats in the Senate, as did the independent he would replace, Sen. Jim Jeffords. Democrats also held an open Senate seat in Minnesota, Democrat Amy Klobuchar defeated Republican Rep. Mark Kennedy.

And in Connecticut, Sen. Joe Lieberman, who was forced to run as an independent after losing the Democratic primary to Ned Lamont, will win re-election, defeating both Lamont and Republican Alan Schlesinger.

Exit polls showed that four major issues -- corruption, terrorism, the economy and the war in Iraq -- played a role in Tuesday's voting, with roughly four in 10 voters saying those issues were extremely important to their vote.

And defying the traditional political maxim that "all politics is local," 62 percent of voters said national issues mattered more than local issues when deciding which House candidate to pick.

By a wide margin, voters said they disapproved of the war in Iraq and the job performances of both Congress and President Bush.

The exit polls also showed the polarizing effect the war had on the electorate. Among voters who were against the war, almost nine out of 10 said they chose a Democratic House candidate; those who approved chose the Republican by nearly the same margin. (Posted 12:46 a.m.)

CNN projects Corker win in Tennessee; Republicans hold onto Senate seat

(CNN) -- CNN projects Republican candidate Bob Corker will win the Tennessee Senate race, defeating Democratic Rep. Harold Ford Jr. He'll fill the open seat now held by retiring Republican Bill Frist, the Senate majority leader. (Posted 12:44 a.m.)

CNN projects Oregon governor

(CNN) -- CNN projects that incumbent Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski, a Democrat, will be re-elected, defeating Republican Ron. Saxton. (Posted 12:35 a.m.)

CNN projects California governor

(CNN) -- CNN projects that Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will be re-elected, defeating Democrat Phil Angelides. (Posted 12:21 a.m.)

CNN projects Nevada minimum wage

(CNN) -- CNN projects that Nevada voters will approve a mandatory minimum wage constitutional amendment, which would set the wage at $6.15 if the employer does not provide health benefits. In all, six states have approved minimum wage ballot measures in the 2006 election. (Posted 12:20 a.m.)

CNN projects Sens. Kyl, Ensign re-elected in Arizona, Nevada

(CNN) -- CNN projects Republican incumbent Jon Kyl will win the Arizona Senate race, defeating Democratic challenger Jim Pederson.

CNN also projects Republican incumbent John Ensign will win the Nevada Senate race, defeating Democratic challenger Jack Carter, the son of former President Jimmy Carter. (Posted 11:52 p.m.)

CNN projects Hawaii governor

(CNN) -- CNN projects that Republican Gov. Linda Lingle will win re-election in Hawaii, defeating Democrat Randall Iwase. (Posted 11:18 p.m.)

Voters opting to raise minimum wage, ban same-sex marriage

(CNN) -- Voters in three states Tuesday approved ballot measures raising the minimum wage, joining 18 other states in setting a wage higher than the federal mark of $5.15 per hour, according to CNN projections.

Ohio voters raised the wage to $6.85 per hour, Montana to the higher of $6.15 or the federal wage and Missouri to $6.50.

The Ohio and Missouri measures tie the minimum wage to the Consumer Price Index.

Three other states -- Arizona, Colorado and Nevada -- were considering similar measures.

Other hot-button issues on ballot measures include initiatives that would ban same-sex marriage in seven states, restrictions on abortion in three states, marijuana issues in three states and stem-cell research in one state.

Additionally, Arizona voters approved a measure making English the state's official language, while Michigan voters approved an initiative that put limitations on affirmative-action policies at all state colleges and universities.

In early returns, voters in Tennessee and Virginia voted to ban same-sex marriage, a measure also on the ballot in Colorado, Idaho, South Carolina, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Colorado voters were also slated to vote on a measure that would create domestic partnerships for same-sex partners.

On abortion, California and Oregon voters were considering measures that would require parental notification in order for minors to get abortions, while South Dakota voters were considering an outright ban on the procedure.

Voters in Colorado and Nevada were choosing whether to legalize marijuana, while voters in South Dakota were deciding whether to allow use of the drug for medical purposes.

And in Missouri, voters were considering whether to allow stem-cell research. (Posted 11:16 p.m.)

Dems pick up seats in Pa., Fla., Conn.

(CNN) -- CNN projects Democrat Christopher Carney will win Pennsylvania's 10th District, defeating Republican Rep. Don Sherwood.

CNN projects Democrat Tim Mahoney will win Florida's 16th District, defeating Republican Joe Negron. The seat was left open by the resignation of former Rep. Mark Foley.

CNN projects Democrat Chris Murphy wins Connecticut's 5th District, defeating Republican incumbent Rep. Nancy Johnson.

That brings to 10 the number of Democratic pickups in the House. (Posted

CNN projects Feinstein, Akaka re-elected in Calif., Hawaii Senate races

(CNN) -- CNN projects Democratic incumbent Dianne Feinstein will win the California Senate race, defeating Republican challenger Richard Mountjoy.

CNN also projects Democratic incumbent Daniel Akaka will win the Hawaii Senate race, defeating Republican challenger Cynthia Thielen.

CNN projects Michigan affirmative action

(CNN) -- CNN projects that Michigan voters have approved an amendment to the state constitution which would limit affirmative action policies at the University of Michigan and other state universities.

The language would prohibit those schools "from discriminating against or granting preferential treatment on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin."

In 2003, the Supreme Court ruled narrowly in favor of affirmative action policies at the University of Michigan.

Dems score seventh House pickup in N.C.

(CNN) -- CNN projects Democrat and former NFL quarterback Heath Shuler will win in North Carolina's 11th district, defeating GOP incumbent Rep. Charles Taylor.

The pickup is the seventh for Democrats in the House.

CNN projects Arkansas governor

(CNN) -- CNN projects Democrat Mike Beebe will be elected Arkansas governor, defeating Republican Asa Hutchinson. This is a Democratic pickup because Republican Gov. Mike Hukabee is leaving office because of term limits. (Posted 10:48 p.m.)

Democrats win sixth pickup in Pa.

(CNN) -- CNN projects Democrat Joseph Sestak will win Pennsylvania's 7th District, defeating Republican incumbent Rep. Curt Weldon.

The pickup is the sixth for Democrats in the House. (Posted 10:55 p.m.)

Isolated reports of voting snafus in the Show-Me State From CNN Producer Alex Walker

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Isolated reports of balloting problems cropped up in the Show-Me State Tuesday, mainly in St. Louis County, the largest jurisdiction in the state.

Officials here told CNN that 25 "roving technicians," hired by the election board, have been in high-gear all day, troubleshooting human and machine errors.

"We have 440 poll locations, 3,500 poll workers and 2,200 pieces of equipment," said election board chairman John Diehl. "When you have those kinds of numbers, you're bound to have glitches."

Diehl confirmed a report early Tuesday that voters at one polling location in Normandy Township were turned away during the first hour of voting, but said the problem was corrected quickly. An optical scan machine -- which reads hand-marked ballots -- was not working, and voters were told to return later.

"If that machine is not working, poll workers are trained to instruct voters to use the iVotronic touch-screens or to drop their paper ballots into the optical scanner's emergency bin to be processed later," Diehl said. "For whatever reason, this particular judge did not explain the other options ... They should have never turned a voter away."

Denise Lieberman of the Election Protection Coalition, a voter advocacy group, told the election board of the situation, and said that St. Louis County had major problems all day.

Lieberman said she heard from voters through her organization's hotline (866-OUR-VOTE), and that callers reported voter ID confusion at two polling stations in the county: Christ the King Church on Big Bend Boulevard and Nathaniel Hawthorne Elementary School on North Hanley Road.

"We had reports that poll workers were asking for photo ID at both locations," Lieberman said. "At Hawthorne Elementary, callers said that there were also signs indicating that a signature ID was required."

Election board officials would not confirm those reports, but Diehl said his staff phoned the judges at those precincts to remind them of the requirements.

Last month, the Missouri Supreme Court ruled that photo and signature ID requirements were unconstitutional.

"I can't confirm everything that an individual poll worker says to an individual voter, but we did call those precincts to counsel them on the rules," Diehl said. "I am not aware of any voter being denied the right to vote over a photo ID issue."

Registered voters in Missouri need only one of the following: any ID issued by the state, an agency of the state, or local election authority of the state; any federal ID; a university, vocational or technical school ID from any institution of higher education located within the state; a copy of a utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, government check or other government document that contains the voter's name and address; or a driver's license or state identification card issued by another state.

Diehl said he had expected the kinds of incidents reported by Lieberman and other voter advocates, but said the elections board was not aware of any systemic voting problems in St. Louis County.

CNN received at least one report of delays in the City of St. Louis, with poll workers having trouble booting up e-voting machines in the first hour of voting at the Barr Branch Public Library in Ward 6.

"The election judges didn't know how to get them going, and were not getting a response from election officials," said voter Michael Lane in an e-mail to CNN. "I don't know if they eventually started working, but the line began to back up as people waited to receive a paper ballot." (Posted 10:44 p.m.)

CNN projects Florida governor

(CNN) -- CNN projects Republican Charlie Crist will be elected Florida governor, succeeding Republican Gov. Jeb Bush, defeating Democrat Jim Davis. (Posted 10:43 p.m.)

CNN projects 'no' on Ohio slot machines

(CNN) -- CNN projects that a proposal to allow slot machines at nine different locations in Ohio, including seven at existing race tracks, will be defeated. Thirty per cent of the revenue would have been directed towards educational programs. (Posted 10:40 p.m.)

Democrat takes open Ohio seat for fifth pickup

(CNN) -- CNN projects Democrat Zack Space will take the open seat in Ohio's 18th district, defeating Republican Joy Padgett. This represents the fifth pick-up by Democrats in the House.

The seat was formerly held by Rep. Bob Ney, who resigned Friday following his guilty plea to multiple counts stemming from the long-running probe into disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff. (Posted 10:39 p.m.)

CNN projects Vermont governor

(CNN) -- CNN projects that Republican Gov. Jim Douglas of Vermont will win re-election, defeating Democrat Scudder Parker. (Posted 10:37 p.m.)

CNN projects Maine governor

(CNN) -- CNN projects that incumbent Democratic Gov. John Baldacci of Maine will win re-election, defeating Republican Chandler Woodcock. (Posted 10:25 p.m.)

CNN projects Wisconsin governor

(CNN) -- CNN projects Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle will be re-elected in Wisconsin, defeating Republican Rep. Mark Green. (Posted 10:25 p.m.)

CNN projects Hatch to win new Senate term in Utah

(CNN) -- CNN projects Republican incumbent Orrin Hatch will win the Utah Senate race, defeating Democratic challenger Pete Ashdown. (Posted 10:07 p.m.)

CNN projects Montana minimum wage initiative

(CNN) -- CNN projects that voters in Montana have approved a ballot measure that will legally raise the minimum wage. It would raise the minimum wage to $6.15 per hour or the federal minimum wage, whichever is higher.

Montana is the third state tonight to adopt a similar ballot measure. Earlier, voters in Ohio and Missouri approved mandated minimum wage increases. (Posted 10:07 p.m.)

CNN projects GOP incumbent Lott to win Mississippi Senate race

(CNN) -- CNN projects Republican incumbent and former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott will win his bid for a fourth term, defeating Democratic challenger Erik Fleming. (Posted 9:52 p.m.)

CNN projects Kansas governor

(CNN) CNN projects incumbent Democratic Gov. Kathleen Sebelius will win re-election in Kansas, defeating Republican Jim Barnett. (Posted 9:49 p.m.)

CNN projects Oklahoma, South Carolina governor

(CNN) -- CNN projects incumbent Democratic Gov. Brad Henry will win re-election, defeating the Republican, Rep. Ernest Istook.

CNN also projects that incumbent Gov. Mark Sanford, Republican of South Carolina, will defeat Democrat Tommy Moore. (Posted 9:47 p.m.)

Democrats win third pickup in Indiana, CNN projects

(CNN) -- CNN projects Democrat Joe Donnelly will win Indiana's 2nd district -- defeating Republican incumbent Rep. Chris Chocola. The race was a rematch of a 2004 contest. The pickup is the third for Democrats. (Posted 9:39 p.m.)

CNN projects Maryland governor

(CNN) -- CNN projects that Democrat Martin O'Malley, the mayor of Baltimore, will defeat Maryland Gov. Robert Erlich, the incumbent Republican. This is a pick-up for the Democrats, the fourth on the night.

Democrats need a net pick-up of four governorships to take over a majority of the state posts. Heading into the balloting, five GOP-held seats were considered likely to switch, and races for six others are down to the wire.

By contrast, just four Democrat-held governorships appear to be within possible Republican reach, and two of those were leaning Democratic. (Posted 9:39 p.m.)

CNN projects Democratic win in Rhode Island Senate Race

(CNN) -- CNN projects Democratic challenger Sheldon Whitehouse will win the Rhode Island Senate race, defeating Republican incumbent Lincoln Chafee. The pickup is the third of six the Democrats need to reclaim control of the Senate from the GOP. (Posted 9:29 p.m.)

CNN projects Texas, Illinois, Wyoming governors

(CNN) -- CNN projects that Republican incumbent Gov. Rick Perry of Texas will win re-election, defeating three other candidates, including the singer/musician "Kinky Friedman."

In Wyoming, CNN projects that incumbent Gov. Dave Freudenthal, a Democrat, will defeat Republican Ray Hunkins.

And in Illinois, CNN projects incumbent Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich will win re-election, defeating Republican Judy Baar Topinka. (Posted 9:27 p.m.)

Democrat picks up seat in Kentucky, CNN projects

(CNN) -- CNN projects Democrat John Yarmouth will win in the 3rd district of Kentucky, defeating Republican incumbent Representative Anne Northup.

That seat represents a pickup for the Democrats. (Posted 9:26 p.m.)

Cardin holds Maryland Senate seat for Democrats, CNN projects

(CNN) -- CNN projects Democratic Rep. Ben Cardin will win the Maryland Senate race, defeating Republican Lt. Gov. Michael Steele. Cardin will fill the seat now held by retiring Democrat Paul Sarbanes. (Posted 9:22 p.m.)

Incumbent Lieberman wins Connecticut Senate race, CNN projects

(CNN) -- Democratic senator-turned-independent candidate Joe Lieberman will win the Connecticut Senate race, defeating the Democratic nominee, Ned Lamont, and Republican candidate Alan Schlesinger, CNN projects.

Lieberman ran as an independent after losing the Democratic primary to Lamont. (Posted 9:15 p.m.)

Dems hold open Senate seat in Minn., incumbents re-elected in 8 states, CNN projects

(CNN) -- CNN projects Democrat Amy Klobuchar will win the Minnesota Senate race, defeating Republican Rep. Mark Kennedy and holding the seat now held by Sen. Mark Dayton for the Democrats, CNN projects.

CNN projects Democratic incumbent and former first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton will win the New York Senate race, defeating Republican challenger John Spencer.

CNN projects Democratic incumbent Debbie Stabenow will win the Michigan Senate race, defeating Republican challenger Mike Bouchard.

CNN also projects Democratic incumbent Jeff Bingaman will win the New Mexico Senate race, defeating Republican challenger Allen McCulloch.

CNN projects Democratic incumbent Kent Conrad will win the North Dakota Senate race, defeating Republican challenger Dwight Grotberg.

CNN projects Democratic incumbent Ben Nelson will win the Nebraska Senate race, defeating Republican challenger Peter Ricketts.

CNN projects incumbent Democrat Herb Kohl will win the Wisconsin Senate race, defeating Republican challenger Robert Lorge.

CNN projects Republican incumbent Kay Bailey Hutchison will win the Texas Senate race, defeating Democratic challenger Barbara Ann Radnofsky.

And CNN projects Republican incumbent Craig Thomas will win the Wyoming Senate race, defeating Democratic challenger Dale Groutage. (Posted 9:06 p.m.)

Casey to oust Santorum in Pennsylvania Senate race, CNN projects

(CNN) -- Democratic challenger Bob Casey Jr. will defeat Republican incumbent Rick Santorum, the third-ranking Republican in the Senate, in Pennsylvania, CNN projects.

This is the second pick-up of the night for Democrats, who hope to gain six seats to win control of the chamber for the first time in four years. (Posted 9:04 p.m.)

CNN projects Arizona English language ballot initiative

(CNN) -- CNN projects that Arizona voters will approve a measure making English the official language of the state. Among other things, it would reduce dual-language printed material for circulation. (Posted 9:03 p.m.)

CNN projects Democratic Senate pickup in Ohio

(CNN) -- CNN projects Democratic challenger Sherrod Brown will win the Ohio Senate race, defeating Republican incumbent Mike DeWine.

This is the first pick-up of the night for Democrats, who hope to gain six seats to win control of the Senate. (Posted 8:51 p.m.)

CNN projects Menendez to beat Kean in New Jersey Senate race

(CNN) -- CNN projects Democratic incumbent Bob Menendez will win the New Jersey Senate race, defeating Republican challenger Tom Kean Jr. (Posted 8:36 p.m.)

Democratic challenger to win in Indiana, CNN projects

(CNN) -- CNN projects Democratic challenger Brad Ellsworth will win Indiana's 8th Congressional District, defeating Republican incumbent Rep. John Hostettler.

That seat represents a pick-up for the Democrats. (Posted 8:25 p.m.)

CNN projects: Missouri minimum wage amendment

(CNN) -- CNN projects that an amendment to the Missouri State Constitution that would raise the minimum wage to $6.50 per hour has been passed. It mandates that the state wage match the federal minimum wage and is indexed annually to the Consumer Price Index.

Earlier, CNN projected that Ohio voters would approve a raise in the minimum wage to $6.85 per hour. (Posted 8:22 p.m.)

Maryland governor's campaign says fliers no 'dirty trick'

BALTIMORE (CNN) -- The campaign of Maryland's Republican governor, Robert Ehrlich, took responsibility Tuesday for a flier that some voters complained was an attempt to falsely suggest Ehrlich and another candidate are Democrats.

The flier, marked "Ehrlich-Steele Democrats Official Voter Guide," included a sample ballot that showed "X" marks next to numerous Democratic candidates as well as Ehrlich and Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, a Republican who is running for senator.

Some of the fliers included pictures of Ehrlich with Democrats Kweisi Mfume and Prince George's County Executive Jack Johnson, both of whom had endorsed Ehrlich's Democratic opponent, Mayor Martin O'Malley. (Posted 8:18 p.m.)


Advertisement

Advertisement

Career Builder.com
Quick Job Search
  More Options
International Edition
CNN TV CNN International Headline News Transcripts Advertise with Us About Us Contact Us
Search
© 2007 Cable News Network.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us. Site Map.
SERVICES » E-mails RSSRSS Feed PodcastsRadio News Icon CNNtoGo CNN Pipeline
Offsite Icon External sites open in new window; not endorsed by CNN.com
Pipeline Icon Pay service with live and archived video. Learn more