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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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November 5th, 2014
05:45 PM ET

Red wave sweeps Republicans into Congress, governor mansions

(CNN) – Sen. Mitch McConnell was all smiles Wednesday, celebrating the grand old thumpin' Republicans delivered to Democrats last night.

Some voters were angry, others frustrated by what they perceived as incompetence from the Obama administration. So they gave control of the U.S. Senate to the Republicans in convincing fashion, putting McConnell in position to be the next Senate majority leader.


"Tonight they said we can have real change in Washington – real change, and that's just what I intend to deliver," McConnell said in his victory speech.

If his tea party colleagues cast their votes for him.

Republicans won in red states where they were expected to, like Arkansas and West Virginia, and in places like Illinois – where the Obama brand was born. The GOP blow went from the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, to the pig farms of Iowa.

All told Republicans took at least seven Senate seats as a red wave crashed down from the east coast to the west: North Carolina, West Virginia, Arkansas, Iowa, South Dakota, Colorado, and Montana.

In Arkansas, not only could a guy from the town called Hope not save a seat for the Democrats, one of the managers of former President Bill Clinton's impeachment is now governor.

And not only did Republicans take control of the Senate, they beefed up their numbers in the House to the biggest GOP majority since Truman.

And they gained at least two dozen governorships, including some shocking upsets in true blue Democratic-leaning states like Maryland, Massachusetts, and Illinois.

While some of the faces may be familiar, it was a trail-blazing night for Republicans and women. Joni Ernst, a combat veteran, became the first woman elected to represent Iowa in Congress ever. Shelley Moore Capito will be the first female senator from West Virginia. And in Utah, Mia Love, daughter of Haitian immigrants, will be the first black Republican woman ever in the House of Representatives.

"Not only did we do it we were the first to do it," Love said in her victory speech Tuesday.

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