Great GOP Gains in the House

Along with the re-election of George W. Bush and the spectacular net gain of four seats in the Senate, Republicans also appeared to have much to celebrate in the House. With six races for congressional seats undecided on Wednesday morning, the GOP appeared to have a net gain of three-to-five seats–in all likelihood increasing their present majority of 227 seats to 205 for Democrats (with one independent who votes with the Democrats and two vacancies that were sure to be filled by Republicans).

The President’s homestate of Texas fueled a net gain of four, with Republicans running in new districts ousting four Democratic incumbents. In the closely watched contests pitting two sitting Republican House Members against two Democratic incumbents, GOP Reps. Pete Sessions and Randy Neugebaurer emerged triumphant over Democratic Reps. Martin Frost and Charles Stenholm respectively. In Indiana, Democratic Rep. Baron Hill of Indiana-9 was trailing in near-final returns, and Republican businessman Geoff Davis rolled up 55% for the seat of retiring Democratic Rep. Ken Lucas in Kentucky’s 4th District. The race drew national attention because of the Democratic nominee–former American Movie Channel emcee Nick Clooney.

The GOP apparently lost tight races for the seats of retiring Republican Reps. Scott McInnes (Col-3) and Jack Quinn (NY-29). The lone incumbent Republican to be unseated was Rep. Phil Crane, at 73 the longest-serving GOP HOuse Member. Crane was unseated by Democrat Melissa Bean.

Republicans have a chance for further gains depending on how some of the squeakers with uncounted ballots turnout and if the GOP candidate wins the December run-off for the seat of Louisiana Rep. and Democratic Senate hopeful Chris John.