Accessibility links

Breaking News

Republicans Add a Senator, Rule US Congress

Republican U.S. Representative Bill Cassidy addresses supporters with his wife Laura after winning the runoff election for U.S. Senate against Democrat Mary Landrieu in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Dec. 6, 2014.

Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu of the southern U.S. state of Louisiana has been defeated in her effort to win a fourth term, losing to her Republican opponent in a runoff. That nearly completes the Republican landslide victory in the November elections, placing Republicans fully in charge of Congress for the last two years of President Barack Obama's tenure.

When the new Congress convenes next month, Republicans will hold at least 246 seats in the House compared to 188 for Democrats, and control 54 of the 100 Senate seats; a commanding majority that matches the post-World War II high under the administration of President Harry Truman - like Obama, a Democrat.

One House race in Arizona is still outstanding, awaiting results of a recount in a very close race.

The Republican Party has been able to capitalize on the low popularity of President Obama. In the Louisiana race, Landrieu's opponent, Bill Cassidy, focused on Landrieu's voting record that supported the president.

"On November 4th, the American people sent a message," he said. "They sent a message that they did not like the direction our country was going in. Now you, in this room, our state is the exclamation mark on that message. We echo that, that we want our country to go in a conservative direction where the patient has the power, not a bureaucrat; where we have no shame in using America's natural resources to create better jobs for working families; and where we the people, and not the federal government."

Landrieu's loss also means there will be no Democratic senators in Congress from the several states of what is known as the Deep South.

Democrats did manage to win three Republican-held seats in California, Florida and Nebraska.

President Obama, the country's first African American president, is now the two-term president with the most mid-term defeats.