Watching the returns last night was interesting. Early Senate wins in Ohio, Penn, and Rhode Island led to a lot of talk about Democrats taking over the Senate. Over those early hours, a sort of new conventional wisdom developed. The tone of the discussion presented by the talking heads at CNN and MSNBC created the impression that if the Democrats didn't take over the Senate, they would be the losers in the election of 2006.
That is a damn high bar that these media types had put up. If the Democrats did not win 6 Senate seats, all held by Republican incumbents, they were the losers.
It was amazing to hear, not one sitting Democrat in the US House or Senate had been defeated, yet if they did not sweep, they were the losers.
It seemed to be the goal of a few of the commentators to try to develop some sore of narrative where they could continue to talk about the Democrats as losers, and the Republicans as winners no matter the actual results.
In the end, it appears the Democrats were able to do it. Missouri came in for the Democrats, and Virginia and Montana are headed to recounts, but the Democrats both appear to have solid leads over the incumbent Republicans.
To me the results of the night, without adding in the still unfinished results in Virginia and Montana are historic. The Democrats have taken at least 30 Republican seats in the house, without losing one. The Democrats have ousted four sitting Republicans from the Senate, an almost unheard of event, again without losing one of it's own members.
And still, in the minds of some media folks, if the recount somehow breaks for Allen or Burns, and the Dems don't take over all six incumbent Republican seats, the Democrats lost this election.