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Republican Candidates Swept; Democrats Wept

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

One of the most clever political tacticians of recent years gained a promotion last night. Mitch McConnell will become Senate majority leader.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

He won that prize after six years of very public opposition and occasional quiet cooperation with President Obama.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

SENATOR MITCH MCCONNELL: Some things don't change after tonight. I don't expect the president to wake up tomorrow and view the world any differently than he did when he woke up this morning. He knows I won't either.

(APPLAUSE)

MCCONNELL: But, look, we do have an obligation to work together on issues where we can agree. I think we have a duty to do that.

GREENE: Now, there was a time when McConnell looked in danger of losing his own Senate seat. Instead the race was called for him shortly after the polls closed. Other races also fell to the GOP. In Georgia, Republican Congressman David Purdue beat out Michelle Nunn, daughter of former Democratic Senator Sam Nunn.

INSKEEP: In a three-candidate race in Louisiana, Democrat Mary Landrieu failed to secure the more than 50 percent of the vote required to win. So she will face Republican Bill Cassidy in a December runoff election.

GREENE: In both parties, women gained last night. They include the first-ever black, Republican woman to win a seat in the house, Mia Love.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

MIA LOVE: Many of the naysayers out there said that Utah would never elect a black, Republican, LDS woman to Congress.

(APPLAUSE)

LOVE: And guess what? We - not only did we do it; we were the first to do it.

(APPLAUSE)

GREENE: And last night was a win for the minimum wage. Four states voted to raise the base pay for workers - Arkansas, Alaska, Nebraska and South Dakota. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.