As it became clear that the House was going to flip, presumptive Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) wasted little time in reaching out to successful Republicans. Early in the evening, Boehner made calls to Rep.-elect Sandy Adams, who beat freshman Rep. Suzanne Kosmas (Fla.) and Rep.-elect Larry Buschon, who won a Democratic open seat in Indiana, according to a GOP aide.
He also reached out to the conservative base, doing a Skype call with tea party activists in Liberty Township, Ohio, which is in his district. They gave him a standing ovation.
“I’ll never let you down,” Boehner told the crowd in signing off.<p>Pennsylvania is proving particularly troublesome for Democrats, with four incumbents losing so far.
Republicans’ strategy to expand the House playing field late in the cycle appears to have been successful. Republican Bill Johnson defeated Rep. Charlie Wilson (D) in the Ohio’s 6th district, a race that only came on the map this fall.<p>As of 11 p.m., Democrats had picked up two GOP-held seats: Delaware’s at-large district and the seat held by Rep. Anh “Joseph” Cao (La.).
The only question that now remains is how large the Republican majority will be in the 112th Congress. Dozens of battleground races have yet to be called, including several contests on the West Coast, where polls are only now closing.
Republicans are well on their way to securing enough seats to take the House majority after a slew of early victories in territory that Democrats needed to hold.
As of 10 p.m., several news outlets were projecting that the House would return to GOP control in the 112th Congress. <p>At Democratic National Committee headquarters, Chairman Tim Kaine told reporters that the House looked ready to flip to Republican control.
“Maybe it is a message from the American public,” he said during a press briefing Tuesday night. “We’ve got a Democrat in the White House, we’ll have maybe a majority of Republican governors, we’ll have a Democratic Senate, a Republican House.”
Losses in the past hour by Democratic veterans such as Reps. Allen Boyd (Fla.), Lincoln Davis (Tenn.) and Chet Edwards (Texas), as well as Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D-N.H.), have added to an early flood of GOP victories on the East Coast, which should give Republicans more than the 39 seats needed to take over the House.
Four hours after the first polls closed, several Great Lakes states will now become the focus of race watchers as Democrats are trying to hold territory such as the open seat in Michigan’s 1st district and the seats of freshman Reps. Mark Schauer and Gary Peters. In Illinois, Democrats hope to pick up the open 10th district, but that victory is likely to be offset by the defeat of Democratic Reps. Debbie Halvorson and Phil Hare.
Democrats got a small bit of good news from Rep. Joe Donnelly’s victory in Indiana. His district had been closely watched early in the night, but Republican officials said privately Tuesday that his seat was always a stretch.
Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., takes a selfie with his cut-out head during the Hoops for Youth 16th annual charity basketball game held at George Washington University's Smith Center, September 8, 2014. The members of Congress team beat the lobbyist team 46-40. Buy photo here.