Democrats on the edge of Senate control

It's not over until it's over, but it's almost over.


Tim Grieve
November 8, 2006 8:19PM (UTC)

It's not over until it's over. It's not over until it's over. It's not over until it's over. But at 3 a.m. on the morning after the election, it looks a lot like it's almost over now.

The Democrats have held on to their Senate seats in Maryland and New Jersey. They have defeated Republican Sen. Rick Santorum in Pennsylvania, Republican Sen. Lincoln Chafee in Rhode Island, Republican Sen. Mike DeWine in Ohio and Republican Sen. Jim Talent in Missouri. They're still counting votes in Montana, but with around 80 percent of the precincts in now, Democrat Jon Tester is leading Republican Sen. Conrad Burns by two percentage points.

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And then there's Virginia. The race there is still close -- Fox News still claims that it's "essentially tied" -- but Jim Webb's lead over George Allen is at about 7,000 votes now, and DSCC Chairman Chuck Schumer says it's going to get larger when absentee ballots from Fairfax County are counted.

We may not know about Montana for a few hours. We may not know about Virginia for a few weeks. But if Schumer is right and if Tester holds on to win, the Democrats will have taken control of not just the House of Representatives -- where they now seem poised to pick up more than two dozen seats -- but of the Senate, too.

In the days before a very different election night two years ago, Bruce Springsteen said that the country we "carry in our hearts is waiting." It has waited longer than it should have, through corruption, through Katrina, through a war that should never have begun. Some of what has happened can never be undone; some of it will take years to fix. But for the first time in a long time, we can feel the beginnings of a new day rising.


Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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