Dems Win Big
November 8, 2006
by Andrew Davis and Amy Wooten
Democrats won control of the U.S. House and have appeared to also grab the majority in the
Senate, while Illinois Democrats came out mostly on top.
After a heated and undecided battle that continued throughout election night, Todd Stroger
declared victory in the race for Cook County Board President Wednesday afternoon. Stroger and
Republican Tony Peraica competed in one of the hardest-fought and unusual contests in recent
Incumbent Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich held onto his post by defeating Judy Baar Topinka, the
state’s Treasurer, and Green Party candidate Rich Whitney.
And on the state anti-gay marriage referendums, the only bright spot appears to have come from
The National Front
The eyes of the nation were focused on several U.S. Congressional races—including three
House races in Illinois—because Democrats were hopeful that they would at least regain control
of the House, if not the Senate. In fact, the contests in the 6th, 8th and 10th Congressional district
were deemed so important that everyone from Bill Clinton and Barack Obama to George W. and
Laura Bush came to stump for their party’s respective candidates.
Democrats needed a net gain of 15 seats to take control of the House—and more than
succeeded, gaining an estimated 27 slots. In doing so, Nancy Pelosi is expected to become the
first-ever female Speaker of the House. Republican control of Congress was on the line at a time
when many voters were affected by the Iraq War and the behavior in the nation’s capital (
including the fallout regarding the Rep. Mark Foley scandal).
Chicago political consultant Mike Bauer—who was in Washington, D.C., on election night—said
that the mood in the city was “phenomenal and ecstatic. Voters absolutely made their statement.”
When asked about Pelosi’s top priorities, Bauer told Windy City Times that they would involve
“raising the minimum wage and having affordable healthcare.”
In other big news, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld announced