Rand Paul Wins Kentucky; GOP Picks Up Indiana, Holds Ohio
Count it as the first Tea Party victory of the night:
As the polls closed in a half-dozen eastern states, Kentucky and Indiana on Tuesday night, the Tea Party captured its first big victory when Rand Paul won a United States Senate seat in Kentucky. The victory seemed to be a precursor of big gains in Congress for the Republican Party.
In Indiana, former Senator Dan Coats, a Republican who served in the House from 1981 to 1989 and in the Senate for a decade from 1989 to 1999, won the seat long held by Evan Bayh, a Democrat who is retiring. Mr. Coats beat Representative Brad Ellsworth.
And in another sign of Republican strength, in Ohio, the Republican Rob Portman, a former United States representative and budget director for President George W. Bush, won the Senate seat being vacated by George V. Voinovich, a retiring Republican. Mr. Portman defeated the Democratic lieutenant governor, Lee Fisher.
While Mr. Portman’s victory did not represent a pick up for Republicans, it signaled that the party was running strong in a battleground state that had been the focus of intense campaigning in recent days by Democratic leaders.
The early results, and surveys of voters outside polling places, signaled that the elections would recalibrate the balance of power in Washington and in state houses across the nation, as voters distressed over the lingering economic woes, seemed eager to rebuke President Obama and his fellow Democrats. Preliminary surveys of voters showed an electorate broadly concerned about the economy and a wide majority saying that the country was seriously on the wrong track. Most voters also said they disapprove of the way President Obama and members of Congress are doing their jobs.
So far, a good night for the GOP