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On historic night, Republicans sweep House Democrats from power

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“We’re witnessing a repudiation of Washington, a repudiation of big government, and a repudiation of politicians who refuse to listen to the people,” said Rep. John Boehner (R) of Ohio, who is expected to be the next Speaker, in an emotional speech in Washington.

“For far too long Washington has been doing what’s best for Washington and not what’s best for the American people, and tonight that begins to change,” he added.

Democrats' last-ditch efforts

Democrats, expecting the tough races typical of a midterm elections for the president’s party, tried to build a financial firewall for incumbents and turn the race into a referendum on GOP failures of the Bush years. They also counted on a strong get-out-the-vote drive, backed by union activists. In the end, it wasn’t enough to beat back a Republican wave.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who had promised her caucus that voters would come to appreciate health-care reform once they understood it, may face a leadership struggle if she opts to stay on as minority leader. In a statement, she praised her caucus for actions to “save the country from the worse economic catastrophe since the Great Depression.”

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