Virginia Loss Dashes GOP Senate Hopes

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RICHMOND, Va. -- Along with a second term in the White House, President Obama also got a willing partner in the Congress after Democrats secured control of the Senate.

They did it not only by winning in Indiana and Missouri where Republican candidates fumbled but also by winning battleground states like Ohio, Florida, and Virginia.

Va. Loss Shakes GOP

Former Republican senator and Virginia Gov. George Allen lost to another former governor, Democrat Tim Kaine - a result that sent Republicans reeling.

"My hope is that each and every one of you all will keep fighting, keep working, keep the faith and always, most importantly, always stand strong for freedom," Allen told supporters in his concession speech.   

Disappointed by Allen's loss, supporter John Wallmeyer said, "Our freedoms and liberty are actually at stake. If that's at risk, yes. The American people, you, me, your brother, sister, his dad, everybody has something to worry about."

The close contest produced a flood of campaign cash in the commonwealth and the most expensive Senate race in the country.

"Our victory tonight proves that it's the number of people who stand with you, not the number of zeroes behind a check," Kaine said his victory speech Tuesday.

Kaine's campaign won big with women, according to exit polls. But younger voters and minorities also helped put him over the top.

"As a student who's in the position that we're in, I think Tim Kaine actually understands our values and he understands what we're going through. And he knows what the common person is working for," student Sadia Bashiruddin said.     

"It wasn't one specific thing that I voted for; it was pretty much everything Tim Kaine stood for," Kaine supporter Brandon Martin said.

"We need to get America working again," veteran Arturo Murguia said. "And we do that bringing that money that's going to other places and we get everything going to repair bridges, roads, so we can pour that money into the community and get Virginia going."

Political observers believe Virginia's role as a bellwether state is the result of changing demographics in a once reliably Republican Southern state.

"For example, Fairfax County, our largest single jurisdiction, is 16 percent Asian American," Decide Smart political analyst Bob Holsworth explained.

"So we've now had a much greater demographic mix reelecting the overall face of the country more so than Virginia would have 40 or 50 years ago," he said.

While Democrats will likely claim the election as a mandate, Republicans see a silver lining in retaining control of the House.

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