Thursday, November 9, 2006
Sen. George Allen (R-VA) today conceded the senatorial race to Democrat James Webb, confirming that there would be a Democratic majority in the Senate and the House for the first time in over a decade.
With this win, the Democrats have now gained more seats in Congress than the Republicans did in the 1994 'Republican Revolution' that first brought Conservatives to control of the House and the Senate.
Webb won the Virginia seat by 7200 votes out of 2.37 million, as reported by the Washington Post. When Allen did not request a recount, that ensured a Democratic majority in the Senate.
Rumor said that Allen had hoped to use his Senate seat as a springboard to a run for the Presidency; and more rumors suggested that if Vice President Dick Cheney were forced to resign ("due to ill health") following investigations of laws broken by Bush and Cheney, that Allen had hoped to be appointed in Cheney's stead. With the loss of the Senate seat, Allen's visions of a Presidential run have become impossible.
Webb, who was a decorated Vietnam veteran and an early opponent of the war in Iraq, is quoted (by atrios at http://atrios.blogspot.com/) as saying that he was particularly concerned with issues of economic fairness and social justice:
"[It was reported] that I came to the Democratic party purely on issues regarding the Iraq war. Nothing could be further from the truth.
I think I and a lot of people like me had aligned themselves with the Republican party on national security issues but were always concerned about issues of economic fairness and social justice."
== Sources ==
Matthew Barakat, AP. "Virginia Sen. Allen Concedes Defeat" — ABC News, November 10, 2006
William Roberts. "George Allen Concedes Virginia Senate Race to Democrat Jim Webb" — Bloomberg.com, November 9, 2006