GOP likely to hold both houses of Congress

Democrats will pick up some Senate seats, but not enough to take control.

By Anthony York

Published November 8, 2000 6:46AM (EST)

As the race for the White House goes down to the wire, it appears as though Republicans will hold on to control of both houses of Congress. Though many races remain too close to call, some Republican pick-ups in the East have made it clear that Dennis Hastert will remain speaker of the House next year. In the Senate, Democrats seem poised to make gains, but will apparently fall short of their goal of taking the reins of the upper chamber.

However, when the next Congress is seated, a bit of history will be made. For one, there will be at least three more women in the Senate -- including a senator-elect from New York by the name of Clinton. The late Mel Carnahan won a tight Senate race in Missouri, so his widow, Jean, will likely take his seat for the Democrats. In Michigan, Rep. Debbie Stabenow defeated Republican Spencer Abraham. The race in Washington, where Democrat Maria Cantwell is challenging incumbent Sen. Slade Gorton, is still too close to call Wednesday morning.

In the House a couple of races remain too close to call. Democrats swept all five competitive races in California, ousting impeachment manager Jim Rogan in the process, but Golden State gains don't appear to be enough to take the speaker's gavel out of Republican hands.

[Winners in boldface; * indicates incumbent. (R) or (D) after state or district indicates which party currently holds the seat.]

Hot Senate races:

Delaware (R), *William Roth (R) vs. Tom Carper (D)

Florida (R), Bill McCollum (R) vs. Bill Nelson (D)

Michigan (R), Debbie Stabenow (D) vs. *Spencer Abraham (R)

Minnesota (R), *Rod Grams (R) vs. Mark Dayton (D)

Missouri (R), *John Ashcroft (R) vs. Mel Carnahan (D)

Montana (R), *Conrad Burns (R) vs. Brian Schweitzer (D)

Nevada (D), John Ensign (R) vs. Ed Bernstein (D)

New Jersey (D), John Corzine (D) vs. Bob Franks (R)

New York (D), Rick Lazio (R) vs. Hillary Clinton (D)

Rhode Island (R), *Lincoln Chafee (R) vs. Robert Weygand (D)

Virginia (D), *Chuck Robb (D) vs. George Allen (R)

Washington (R), *Slade Gorton (R) vs. Maria Cantwell (D)

Hot House races:


4th: (R) *Jay Dickey (R) vs. Michael Ross (D)


15th: (R) Mike Honda (D) vs. Jim Cunneen (R)

20th: (D) *Cal Dooley (D) vs. Rich Rodriguez (R)
This moderate agrarian district with a large Latino population sees a reversal of traditional roles. Dooley, a fourth-generation farmer, has been endorsed by the United Farm Workers while Rodriguez, the son of a farmworker, has the backing of the Farm Bureau.

27th: (R) *Jim Rogan (R) vs. Adam Schiff (D)
There was perhaps no House race in the country that President Clinton more wanted the Democrats to win.

36th: (R) *Steve Kuykendall (R) vs. Jane Harman (D)
After a two-year hiatus used to launch an unsuccessful bid for California governor, former Rep. Jane Harman wants her seat in Congress back. But to get it, she'll have to get by the moderate incumbent, Steve Kuykendall.

49th: (R) *Brian Billbray (R) vs. Susan Davis (D)


6th: (R) *Thomas Tancredo (R) vs. Ken Toltz (D)


2nd: *Sam Gejdenson (D) vs. Robert Simmons (R)

5th: Mark Nielsen (R) vs. *James Maloney (D)


8th: Ric Keller (R) vs. Linda Chapin (D)

12th: Adam Putnam (R) vs. Mike Stedem (D)

22nd: *Clay Shaw (R) vs. Elaine Bloom (D)


15th: (R) Tim Johnson (R) vs. Mike Kelleher (D)

10th: (R) Mark Kirk (R) vs. Beth Gash (D)


3rd: (D) Phil Kline (R) vs. *Dennis Moore (D)


3rd: (R) Eleanor Jordon (D) vs. *Ann Northrup (R)

6th: (R) Scotty Baesler (D) vs. Ernest Fletcher (R)


8th: Dianne Byrum (D) vs. Mike Rogers (R)


4th: (VACANT) Betty McCollum (D) vs. Linda Runbeck (R)
Minnesota prepares to send its first woman to Congress in 40 years.


6th: (D) Steve Danner (D) vs. Sam Graves (R)
Former state Sen. Steve Danner wants his mother's job. Rep. Pat Danner retired late this year and her son stepped up to succeed her. But first, he'll have to get past state Sen. Sam Graves, and polls show that is anything but a sure thing.


4th: (D) Dunnica Ott Lampton (R) vs. *Clifford Shows (D)


(At large) (R) Dennis Rehberg (R) vs. Nancy Keenan (D)


1st: (D) *Shelley Berkley (D) vs. Chris Porter (R)

New Jersey:

7th: (R) Mike Ferguson (R) vs. Maryanne Connelly (D)

12th: (D) *Rush Holt (D) vs. Dick Zimmer

New Mexico:

1st: (D) *Jeff Bingaman (D) vs. Bill Redmond (R)

New York:

1st: (D) Felix Grucci (R) vs. Regina Seltzer (D)
Rep. Michael Forbes shocked Congress last year after switching to the Democratic Party. But Forbes was stunned when Regina Seltzer beat him in the primary by a paltry 35 votes. This seat now stands to go back to where it once was: the Republican column.

2nd: (R) Joan Johnson (R) vs. Steve Israel (D)
This race to succeed Rep. Rick Lazio, who is running against Hillary Clinton for the U.S. Senate, is turning expensive and nasty. Both candidates have commercials running on their behalf in the expensive New York media market. If Johnson is elected, she will become the first black Republican woman in Congress.

North Carolina:

8th: (R) Mike Taylor (D) vs. *Robert Hayes (R)


2nd: (R) Andy Ewing (R) vs. Brad Carson (D)
With Republican Rep. Tom Coburn sticking to his self-imposed term limits pledge, this race represents one of the best opportunities for a Democratic pickup.


4th: (D) Terry Van Horne (D) vs. Melissa Hart (R)

10th: (R) Pat Casey (D) vs. *Donald Sherwood (R)

13th: (D) Stewart Greenleaf (R) vs. *Joseph Hoeffel (D)

15th: (R) Edward O'Brien (D) vs. Patrick Toomey (R)


2nd: (R) Jim Matheson (D) vs. Derek Smith (R)


2nd: (D) Edward Schrock (R) vs. Jody Wagner (D)


1st: (D) *Jay Inslee (D) vs. Dan McDonald (R)

2nd: (R) John Koster (R) vs. Rick Larsen (D)

West Virginia:

2nd: (D) Jim Humphreys (D) vs. Shelley Capito (R)


2nd: (D) *Tammy Baldwin (D) vs. John Sharpless (R)

Anthony York

Anthony York is Salon's Washington correspondent.

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