The results are in for most of the midterm election contests around the country, with Republicans taking control of the House of Representatives and making major gains in the Senate. The shakeup was the largest party turnover in 70 years and forces both sides of the aisle to work together to pass legislation.
House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio), who will likely take over the Speaker of the House post from Democrat Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), grew emotional as he spoke of his party's victories on Tuesday night. Boehner's counterpart in the Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), survived a tough contest against Tea Party-backed Republican candidate Sharron Angle. Reid pledged in his victory speech that he would work with the Republican-controlled House to "get things done."
Some races are still undecided; Alaska's senate race, which featured ousted Republican incumbent Lisa Murkowski as a write-in candidate, has yet to declare a winner, while a Washington State senate contest remained too close to call.
In their election-night speeches, victorious candidates across the country pledged to "get to work" and "turn the page on American politics." They will all have a chance to do so when they are officially sworn into their new positions in January 2011.
Note: The first 6 minutes and 19 seconds of this video recaps the election results across the country, while the rest is a discussion about those results with NewsHour Political Director David Chalian.
"We have come to take our government back!" - Rand Paul, (R-Ky.), Senator-elect
"We have got to end the threats of the excessive government regulation and the huge out-of-control role that Washington has begun to play." - Pat Toomey, (R-Pa.), Senator-Elect
"The founding fathers, in their wisdom, said that the House of Representatives is going to be different than the Senate. And the only way you can get things done today in the Senate and in 1789 in the Senate was with compromise. You have to work together." - Senator Harry Reid (D-Nev.)
1. What are the two bodies in the legislative branch of U.S. government?
2. What are midterm elections?
3. Who won in the midterm elections in your area?
1. Do you think the House and the Senate are going to be able to work together to pass legislation after this election? Why or why not?
2. Why do you think so many candidates in this election won on a platform of "changing Washington" and "shaking up government?" What do you think people are most unhappy with?
3. Do you think the elected representatives will be able to keep the promises they made in their election-night speeches? Why or why not?
4. How could having a divided legislature hurt President Obama's agenda? How could it help him?