Republicans nab Senate seats from Democrats, Feingold

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Eighteen-year Senate veteran Russ Feingold (middle) was defeated by Republican Ron Johnson (right). In this file photo from last month, the two sparred on major issues at a debate moderated by Mike Gousha at Eckstein Hall.

Election Day was a narrow escape for the Democratic Senate when the Republican Party made a considerable dent in the party’s four-year majority.

Ron Johnson (R) defeated 18-year incumbent Russ Feingold (D) by almost five points, according to recent polls of Politico.com. Johnson’s victory is one of six U.S. Senate seats gained by the Republican Party. Democrats maintain slim control of the Senate with 53 projected seats. Senate races in Alaska and Washington had yet to be decided as of press time.

In his acceptance speech, Johnson spoke of Wisconsin’s need to “dig itself out of a deep hole.” He said he plans to first address debt, lack of jobs and a repeal of the national healthcare bill.

“I’m going to be looking for allies, and no ally will be someone that continues to spend and spend and spend,” Johnson said.

He also referenced a statement President Obama made days prior to his presidential election in 2008 regarding “transforming America.”

“We have awakened a sleeping giant,” Johnson said. “I was awakened by Obama’s words that day. I didn’t want to transform America.”

On the losing end, Feingold offered his congratulations and help to Johnson in his concession speech.

“The people of Wisconsin have spoken, and I respect their decision,” he said.

Feingold said his role as Wisconsin’s senator was the greatest honor of his life and he intends to continue working for the state. He bid farewell to the position with optimism rather than remorse, enthusing the crowd with a message of forward movement.

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