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Control of Congress Up for Grabs

Part 1: The House Races
 More of this Feature
• Part 2: Senate Races 
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For a U.S. president to be really successful, a good working relationship with Congress is imperative. That relationship tends to be rarely good or working when the opposite party controls the majority in Congress. Just ask Bill Clinton.

As of today, Democratic President Clinton sees the both House and Senate controlled by a narrow majority of Republicans.

House: 222 Republicans - 209 Democrats - 2 Independents (2 Seats are Vacant)
Senate: 54 Republicans - 46 Democrats

This year -- on November 7, 2000 -- all 435 seats in the House of Representatives will be up for election along with 34 Senate seats.

The House Races
The party in the majority controls the Speaker of the House position and chairmanships of all committees. The GOP's slim majority assures that the battle for House control will be a major issue in Election 2000.

The Democrats need pick up only six seats take control of the House for the first time since 1994. But that may be tough, since incumbents are up in all but a 18 races. In those races, 13 seats were held by Republicans -- 5 by Democrats.

Democrats are particularly hopeful that strong polling candidates will pick up seats in four states where republican incumbents are not running. The seats include John Kasich's in Ohio, John Porter's in Illinois, Bill McCollum's in Florida and Bob Franks' in New Jersey.

Republicans look to pick up seats in Virginia, Pennsylvania and Michigan where Democratic incumbents Owen Pickett, Ron Klink and Debbie Stabenow are not running. (Klink and Stabenow are running for U.S. Senate)

There are even some races in which incumbents could fall. Don Sherwood, R-Pennsylvania, and Jim Maloney, D-Connecticut, are facing tough re-matches this year. Other possible incumbent losers include Jay Dickey, R-Arkansas, Mike Forbes, D-New York, Jim Rogan, R-California, and freshman Rush Holt, D-New Jersey.

While Democrats appear to have the better opportunities to pick up seats on Election Night, overall control of the House remains, like the fight for the White House, too close to call.

Graph showing majority control of House and Senate since 1973
From US Liberals Guide Lisa Tolin.

Next page > The Senate Races > Page 1, 2

 

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