GOP gains spread out across the country.
In New England, where House Republicans had been driven to the point of extinction, GOP candidates won back two seats. Republicans swept both House seats and the Senate race in New Hampshire. Former Rep. Charlie Bass (R) of New Hampshire took back the seat he lost when Democrats took back the House in 2006. New England has not had a GOP representative in the House for the last four years.
But Democrats defended their lock of delegations in Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont, Delaware and Rhode Island. Rep. Barney Frank (D), who led the drive for Wall Street reform in the House, loaned his campaign $200,000 when it appeared that the race might be tightening. He won with a comfortable margin, 54 to 43 percent over Republican Sean Bielat.
In the South, white Democrats were battered, including longtime incumbents. Maverick Rep. Gene Taylor, who voted against his party’s health-care reform, climate-change, and financial-regulation bills – and even against Pelosi as Speaker – was not spared. He conceded defeat to GOP state Rep. Steven Palazzo.
Freshman who backed their leadership on tough votes were especially hard-hit.