Republicans enjoyed a victory over Democrats Tuesday night in elections that gave them control in both the House and the Senate. In New York’s race for governor, George Pataki won a third term, defeating former New York Comptroller H. Carl McCall and Rochester businessman Tom Golisano.

The Republicans’ gains ensure that President Bush will have overwhelming support of his political agenda.

Although President Bush chose not to comment on the election results, his chief spokesman Ari Fleischer said on Wednesday, Bush will, “fight for his ideas and fight for his principles.”

Former and future Senate majority leader Trent Lott of Mississippi said that the G.O.P. plans to cut taxes to boost the economy and to unveil a new Department of Homeland Security. Further, Bush is expected to appoint conservative judges to the Supreme Court and implement a national energy plan.

President Bush’s energetic campaigning during the past few weeks paid off for several members of the Republican Party.

Campus Reaction

Chair of the Political Science Department at UR Gerald Gamm said, “It was a great night for the Republicans and Bush.”

“It was a wake-up call for the Democrats,” he said.

UR’s Republicans were also thrilled with the results. “Being only the second time since 1934 that a president’s party didn’t lose House seats in a midterm ballot, the G.O.P.’s newly gained majority in both the Senate and the House is indeed cause for celebration,” vice chairman of the College Republicans Jon Vitale said.

Vitale also commented on Governor Pataki’s victory of his third term as governor. “His overwhelming victory in this primarily Democratic state of New Yorkis the perfect display of how people depend not necessarily on his party affiliation, but on his abilities as a leader,” Vitale said.

Although most UR students knew little to nothing about the elections, some offered their political views.

“This way at least something will get done. I think that Republicans will be working toward common goals as opposed to having a Republican president and a Democratic House and Senate who have different interests,” sophomore Stephanie Bartlow said, speaking of the Republican majority.

Bartlow also said that Bush’s careful handling of the aftermath of September 11 earned Bush and the Republican Party tremendous support from both parties.

The last time the Republicans gained control over both the House and Senate was last year.

President of UR’s College Democrats Josh Gifford was disappointed that the Republican Party gained such an advantage. “George Bush now has great control of the government and his conservative policies will affect us all. I hope that this election will motivate people to vote,” Gifford said.

“We know that a majority of people are Democrats, but they simply feel that the election doesn’t need their participation,” Gifford added.

Freshman Matthew Morgan offers a reason why so few college-aged students vote.

“I think most college-aged students see politicians as corrupt and dishonest, so most people avoid all that and just don’t vote,” he said.

According to executive director of Democracy Matters Joan Mandle, only 12 to 17 percent of college-aged people vote.

Laura Porterfield thinks that the focus of campaigns today is negativity. “This campaign, like most, was dirty politics. I’d like to see an election without mudslinging,” she said.

“Campaigns are based on degrading the opponent ? they should be based on politicians’ ideals,” Porterfield added.

The Republicans won 227 House seats to the Democrats’ 203 although four seats remain undecided.

Norm Coleman, a Republican unseated former vice-president Walter F. Mondale in Minnesota’s Senate race and President Bush’s brother, Jeb remains the Republican governor of Florida.

The candidates for governor of Alabama, a Democratic incumbent Don Siegelman and his Republican opponent Bob Riley both claimed victory. Baldwin County, which is considered predominantly Republican, had originally stated that Siegelman had 19,070 votes, but later reduced that number to 12,736 votes. Likely, the final decision will be made in court.

Many at UR would agree with freshman Steve Kraft’s comment on the recent results ? “What election?!”



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