Ed Rendell’s victory in the Pennsylvania governor’s race Tuesday was one of the few highlights for the Democratic Party on election night.
The GOP regained control of the Senate and won more seats in the House, establishing Republican control of national politics for at least the next two years.
Sophomore anthropology major Jesse Martin painted a grim picture of what was in store for the country.
“[In] the next two years [the Republicans] will further eliminate civil liberties and continue to enrich the top one percent,” he said, “the only good thing that will come from this…is that it will scar Americans enough to make them not vote for the fascist Republicans again.”
Rendell’s win left him more hopeful, though not without reservations.
“Rendell is going to make a better governor than Fisher,” he said, “but I am a little dissappointed in some of his policies.”
Martin explained that he did not get the impression that Rendell would be forceful in reforming government.
He said that Rendell seemed to be saying that we “need to tlak about reforms” not that “I will make these changes.”
Rendell, who is the first Philadlephia resident elected governor since 1916, promised during his campaign to increase the state’s contribution to education to 50 percent while lowering the property tax burden for state residents.
When he visited Temple on Oct. 16, Rendell also spoke about the need to keep Pennsylvania college graduates in the state.
“We need to take bright young people and make sure that they start their businesses here,” he said, “because we are losing our young people.”
Rendell defeated Republican state Attorney General Mike Fisher.
With 96 percent of precincts reporting Wednesday, Rendell had garnered 53 percent of the vote to Fisher’s 44 percent.
The other three percent went to Libertarian Party candidate Ken V. Krawchuck and Green Party hopeful Michael Morrill.
In the national Congressional races, Republicans achieved an electoral rarity: they gained seats in Congress in a midterm election.
It is rare for the party of a President to gain seats in Congress in the middle of his term.
President Bush’s two weeks of stumping for Republican candidates is being credited by both Democratic and Republican leaders as a key factor in the legislative victories.
The Congressional election failed to capture the attention of many Temple students, including political science major Sara Piersimoni.
Piersimoni, a resident of New York, did not vote in this election because problems with her absentee ballot last year has convinced her that “it is too much of a hassle.”
As of Wednesday, the GOP had control of 51 seats in the Senate, and the Democrats had 46.
The Louisiana Senate race will not be decided until a Dec. 7 runoff.
Neither incumbent Democrat Mary Landrieu or her three Republican challengers earned 50 percent of the vote.
Landrieu, who received 46 percent of the vote, will face Republican Suzanne Terrel, who won 27 percent of the ballot.
In the South Dakota Senate race, both parties are claiming victory in a very close race; a recount is likely.
The final seat is occupied by Independent Jim Jeffords of Vermnot.
Republicans have also won at least 226 seats in the House, already 3 more than they currently control.
The Democrats have captured 204 seats, and 15 seats have still not been decided as of press time.
A party needs 218 seats to have a majority in the 435 seat House.
Brian White can be reached at email@example.com