ELECTION DAY 2004 proved a banner day for Republicans, who scored victories from top to bottom on the ballot - from the White House, where President Bush won a second term, to Senate and House races, where the GOP added to its majorities. The electoral process itself was one of the big winners, as Americans voted in greater numbers than they have in decades. The projected vote total was more than 120 million people, or about 60 percent of eligible voters.
PRESIDENT: Sen. John Kerry phoned the White House to concede defeat and congratulate Bush, who was leading in both the popular and electoral-vote tallies. Bush was expected to make a victory speech after Kerry addressed his supporters in Boston. As the Monitor went to press, Bush reportedly had won 51 percent of the popular vote and 254 of the needed 270 Electoral College votes. Twenty 20 more were expected in Ohio, where provisional ballots remained to be counted. But Bush's lead there appeared too large to be overcome. Independent candidate Ralph Nader was a nonfactor in the election.
SENATE: Republicans, who began Tuesday with 51 of the chamber's 100 seats, appeared in position to up that total to 55. The South was particularly kind to the GOP, giving it projected wins in closely watched Florida as well as in Louisiana, North Carolina, and South Carolina. The most significant GOP victory came in South Dakota, where former US Rep. John Thune toppled minority leader Tom Daschle, a leading Bush critic who joined the Senate in 1986. Daschle's defeat marked the first time in 52 years a Senate leader was ousted.
HOUSE: Virtually all candidates for reelection were returned to office except in Texas, where a GOP-led redistricting effort paved the way for the defeat of four Democratic incumbents. If Wednesday morning's vote margins stick, Republicans could wind up with 233 seats (compared to the 227 they previously held) to extend their control of the House to 12 years.
GOVERNORS: Democrats won six of 11 races, but Republicans recaptured statehouses in Indiana and Missouri, where Bush scored solid victories. In Indiana former White House budget director Mitch Daniels defeated Joe Kernan (D), who took over last year after the death of Gov. Frank O'Bannon.
BALLOT MEASURES: On a day when voters in 34 states considered 163 proposals, 11 states overwhelmingly supported banning same-sex marriage. Californians approved spending $3 billion of taxpayer money on stem-cell research. Arizona approved a crackdown on illegal immigrants. Montana became the tenth state to legalize the use of marijuana for medical purposes.