House races

House races

First Dem pickup in House

Democrat John Carney won election to Delaware's lone House seat Tuesday, an expected pick-up for the party.

That seat was held by the retiring Rep. Mike Castle (R-Del.) who lost to Christine O'Donnell in the state's Senate GOP primary earlier this year.

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House GOP whip wins reelection

House Republican Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) won reelection, as expected. If Republicans win control of the House, Cantor could become the next majority leader.

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Mario Diaz-Balart wins brother's House seat

Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) won the seat once held by his brother Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R) Tuesday, as was expected. Lincoln Diaz-Balart announced his retirement earlier this year, and his brother opted to run in his district, which leans more Republican.

Also, Rep. Tom Graves (R-Ga.) won reelection Tuesday. He came to Congress earlier this year after winning a special election when Rep. Nathan Deal (R-Ga.) left to run for governor.

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First new member of 112th Congress elected

Republican Todd Rokita has won retiring Rep. Steve Buyer's (R-Ind.). That makes Rokita the first freshman member elected to the 112th Congress.

It also means Indiana's 4th congressional district stays in GOP hands.

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First House results in

Polls have closed in Indiana and GOP Reps. Dan Burton and Mike Pence have been declared the winners in their respective House races.

Neither incumbent faced a tough challenge, so the results are not surprising. Burton survived a tough primary challenge earlier this year.

Other House races to watch in that state: Reps. Baron Hill and Joe Donnelly — both Dems — are in tough reelection campaigns.

The Senate seat that is now in Dem hands is also up for grabs, and Republican Dan Coats is expected to win.

Next round of poll closings is at 7 p.m. ET.

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Endangered Democrat: 'Turnout isn't where we need it to be'

A key endangered Democratic incumbent admitted Tuesday that "turnout isn’t where we need it to be" if he's to win reelection.

Rep. Steve Kagen's (D-Wis.) campaign manager e-mailed supporters to warn them that turnout numbers were flagging and that they needed more voters to make their way to the polls.

"We have just been going over the morning voting numbers — and turnout isn’t where we need it to be in our strong areas," campaign manager Julie Heun wrote in an e-mail. "This race is going to be a squeaker — and every vote will count."

Kagen's facing a tough reelection race in Wisconsin's 8th congressional district against GOP candidate Reid Ribble. Republicans need the seat if they want to pick up the net gain of 39 or more seats they need to win back the House.

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Republicans hope for inroads among Dem groups

Many Republican House candidates are expected to do well at the polls Tuesday with support from traditionally Democratic groups.

In Virginia's 2nd district, Republican Scott Rigell, who's challenging Rep. Glenn Nye (D-Va.), is hoping to make inroads in the African-American community.

Rigell, who owns three car dealerships, calls himself a "salesman" and said he's offended when people tell him he'll only earn a small percentage of the black vote, about 20 percent of the electorate in the district.

It's offensive, Rigell said, because "regardless of how hard I work, regardless of how true and compelling the message is, I won't be able to communicate effectively to persuade more African-Americans to vote for us. And two, I think its offensive to the community itself."

Rigell said his campaign has aggressively targeted African-American voters, who are a traditionally Democratic voting bloc.

"We have got, I think, the most aggressive, comprehensive, genuine effort to reach all of our minority communities, but specifically the African-American community, of any campaign in the country," he said. "I can back that up."

His campaign has a separate field office and separate staff doing minority outreach — 20 percent of his campaign's field budget was devoted to the effort.

Rigell said his involvement in the area's black community predates his run for Congress. "It’s not like, 'Oh, I’m running for office so I’m having this epiphany, I need to really reach out to the African-American community,' because they don’t like that," he said.

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