Fallout from Tuesday night's election - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Fallout from Tuesday night's election

By Josh Harvison - bio | email

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – Now that Vote 2010 is over, candidates have begun reflecting on what went wrong and what will change in the coming months.

In Arkansas, all seven available state senate seats were voted in favor of the Republican Party. The GOP was also able to nab at least 28 of the 43 available state house seats Tuesday night.

"Arkansas is not unique. All around the country voters have been speaking basically with the same, they've been singing the same tune," said Dr. Richard Wang with Arkansas State University's Political Science Department.

Wang said the GOP was able to change the order of power in Washington. Republicans obtained control of the U.S. House of Representatives and trimmed the Democratic majority in the U.S. Senate.

"This president has two more years in this term. He'll deal with a divided congress, divided government and he'll do well to play nice, find a way with the republican majority in the house," said Wang.

One of the most hotly contested races was in the First Congressional District, in which Republican Rick Crawford defeated Democrat Chad Causey.

"We've never elected a non-Democrat to the First Congressional District. First district have never sent a republican," said Wang. "Republicans two years ago, one election cycle, didn't run anyone against him. This time they got the seat. That's extraordinary."

The First Congressional District seat in the House of Representatives belonged to Congressman Marion Berry for several decades. Causey was Berry's former chief of staff.

"Republicans were successful in nationalizing this race. It wasn't about the first district," said Wang.

Wang said the other closely watched election garnered national attention. Incumbent Senator Blanche Lincoln faced an uphill battle ahead of Tuesday according to many polls. She eventually fell to her Republican challenger, Rep. John Boozman.

"A lot of people were in denial, saying this could never happen. Arkansas will never do this. We would never retire our senior member or representative in the u-s senate," said Wang. "Even the democrats that are in the minority now, they're going to be looking to make concessions to these voters."

Wang said Arkansas will lose some leverage in Washington with this election.

"She's turned around in office. We no longer have that chair beginning in January. Will that matter to the state of Arkansas? You bet," said Wang. "We have a very junior senator representing Arkansas with another junior senator, Mark Pryor. We have very little seniority. No chairmanships of note."

Wednesday, President Obama held a news conference in which he told Americans he will work with members of both parties; however, he recognized the hardships of bipartisanship.

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