Voter anger about the war in Iraq and other national and international issues helped Democrats achieve big gains in Congress and in state offices Tuesday.
Republicans went into the general elections with 229 of the 435 House seats, 55 Senate seats and 28 governorships.
The Democrats have emerged with about 230 House seats and 28 governorships.
At press time, Democrats had clearly won 47 seats and independents had won 2 seats.
In Montana, Democratic Senate candidate Jon Tester had a 49% to 48% lead over the Republican incumbent, Sen. Conrad Burns, with 81% of the state’s precincts reporting, according to MSNBC.com.
In Virginia, Democratic Senate candidate Jim Webb had an 0.07% lead over the Republican incumbent in that race, George Allen, but because the difference in that race is so small, state law will require a recount, officials say.
In Iowa, Democrat Dave Loebsack, a political science professor, defeated Rep. Jim Leach, a veteran Republican who helped write the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999.
Another House member who lost Tuesday was Rep. Nancy Johnson, R-Conn., a lawmaker who has been known for her steadfast support of efforts to improve the United States’ long term care finance system. Johnson’s opponent, Democrat Chris Murphy, previously was chair of the Connecticut General Assembly’s Public Health Committee.
In state races, California voters re-elected Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican who has helped to fight universal health insurance bills and ballot measures in the Golden State. Schwarzenegger’s main challenger was Democrat Phil Angelides.