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Despite Modest Gains, Democrats Still Fall Short Of A Two-House Majority

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TWC News: Despite Modest Gains, Democrats Still Fall Short Of A Two-House Majority
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Last month, in our Fight for the House series, we profiled several of New York's most competitive Congressional races. Now that the results are in, Democrats have gained some ground in New York and the rest of the country, but not nearly enough to retake control of the chamber. NY1's Bobby Cuza has a recap.

When the dust settled, three of New York’s representatives in Congress had been sent packing -- all of them freshmen.

In a Syracuse-based district, Republican Ann Marie Buerkle lost to Democrat Dan Maffei, who Buerkle had unseated just two years ago.

“I will tell you one thing -- Central New York now has its own comeback kid,” Maffei said.

In the Hudson Valley, another freshman Republican, Nan Hayworth, was ousted by Democrat Sean Patrick Maloney.

But it wasn't all good news for Democrats. In Western New York, Democrat Kathy Hochul, winner of a special election just last year, lost narrowly to Republican Chris Collins.

In a year that saw New York lose two seats because of slow population growth, gerrymandered district lines designed to protect incumbents were erased.

They were replaced with a court-drawn map that produced an unusually high number of competitive races. Still, most incumbents facing tough challenges survived.

That includes Democrats Louise Slaughter in Rochester, Bill Owens in the north country and Tim Bishop on Long Island, as well as Republican Michael Grimm on Staten Island.

The net effect, however, was minor. Where New York’s Congressional delegation had included 21 Democrats and eight Republicans, it now includes 21 Democrats and six Republicans.

The shift largely mirrored the national trend, as Democrats made modest gains in the House of Representatives, gaining about seven seats. That's still well short of the 25 seats they needed to flip to overtake the Republicans.

"The American people have spoken," House Speaker John Boehner said. "They've elected President Obama and they've again re-elected a Republican majority in the House of Representatives.”

With Democrats maintaining control of the Senate, Obama will have to continue to work with a divided Congress in his second term.

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