Carnahan Concedes Missouri, Republicans Control Senate

By Jeff Johnson | July 7, 2008 | 8:20 PM EDT

Capitol Hill ( - Missouri Democrat incumbent Sen. Jean Carnahan has conceded to her Republican opponent, Rep. Jim Talent, effectively returning control of the United States Senate to the Republican Party as soon as Talent is sworn into office.

"Thank you very, very much for waiting out this evening, because it's been a long, long evening, I know, for you," Carnahan told supporters at her campaign's election night headquarters. "I have just called Mr. Talent and conceded this race. I want to congratulate him for his effective, and his victorious campaign."

Talent's victory was coupled with the upset win of Georgia's Saxby Chambliss over Democrat incumbent Sen. Max Cleland. With races in Minnesota, South Dakota and Louisiana still up for grabs, the GOP majority could swell.

That word came as Republicans announced that they are set to gain seats in the House for the first time in decades during a midterm election.

White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said President Bush had broken the historical trend of losing seats during a president's first midterm election. If Republicans do take over the Senate, Fleischer says that will be the "first time in history" such a victory has been won.

Before the election, the House held 222 Republicans, 208 Democrats, 2 Independents, and there were three vacancies. All seats are up for grabs, but only about three-dozen are competitive. So far, 222 Republicans, 194 Democrats, and one Independent have claimed victory.

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