Republicans, besides clinching the presidency, have also widened their control in both houses of the U.S. Congress.
In the Senate race in (the state of) South Dakota, Republican John Thune knocked incumbent Tom Daschle -- the leader of the Democrats in the Senate -- out of his post with a margin of about 4,500 votes.
Mr. Daschle becomes the first Senate leader to be ousted since 1952, when Barry Goldwater beat Senate Majority Leader Ernest McFarland.
In Florida, former Bush administration Housing Secretary Mel Martinez won the senate race. He will become the nation's first Cuban-American senator.
Another Hispanic, Colorado Attorney General Ken Salazar, a Democrat, beat Republican Pete Coors (of the Coors brewing company) in the Colorado Senate race by about two percentage points, or 54,000 votes, with more than 90 percent of precincts counted.
Republicans also had Senate wins in Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina and South Carolina, and made gains in the House of Representatives.
Democrats won Senate races in states, including Arkansas and California, as well as Illinois, where Barack Obama trounced Alan Keyes by more than 2 million votes.