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On historic night, Republicans sweep House Democrats from power

Republicans needed to claim 39 Democratic seats to retake the House Tuesday. They won more than 60, surpassing the 'Republican Revolution' of 1994.

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Ohio as microcosm

In the crucial swing state of Ohio, Republicans topped five incumbents, flipping the delegation from a 10 to 5 Democratic majority to a 13 to 8 GOP majority.

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Former Reps. Steve Chabot in Ohio’s First Congressional District and Steve Stivers in the Fifteenth won back seats they narrowly lost in the Obama wave of 2008. Rep. Zack Space (D), who distanced himself from the Obama agenda in the campaign, also lost, as did Rep. Charlie Wilson, who came into the race with a strong fundraising advantage over GOP challenger Bill Johnson.

In another sign of the depth of the voter concerns, Rep. Ike Skelton (D) of Missouri, who chairs the House Armed Services Committee and is popular in his district, lost his bid for reelection.

A revolution or 'rehabilitation'?

One of first House results announced Tuesday was the victory of GOP candidate Larry Bucshon in an open seat in Indiana’s Eighth Congressional District, called “the bloody eighth” – a seat majority House Democrats “stole” on a controversial floor vote in 1985. Resentment of that fueled the Republican insurgency that took back the House in 1994 for the first time in 42 years.

Democrats had a defining majority at that time and the belief that Democrats would be in the majority forever. They stole an extra seat just because they could,” said former Rep. Dick Armey (R) of Texas, who helped lead the GOP insurgency that took back the House in 1994 and now backs tea party groups through FreedomWorks.

In an interview with the Monitor Tuesday, Armey said that the Tea Party movement is not a “takeover” of the House Republican Party, but rather a “rehabilitation.”