Republicans retain the House; Democrats gain two Senate seats

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Democrats picked up two U.S. Senate seats in an election that the most optimistic conservatives hoped would put control of the chamber in GOP hands.

Republicans meanwhile, maintained their hold on the House, virtually ensuring that partisan gridlock that has consumed Washington will continue into President Barack Obama's second term.

With three dozen races still too close to call, Republicans had won 227 House seats and Democrats 178, according to the Associated Press.

The changes in the Senate expand Democrats' control, bringing it to 52 to 47 with one independent: Angus King of Maine who was elected to fill the seat of retiring Republican Olympia Snow. mobilehome - electionspresident


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