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10 Biggest Election Wins

5. Chris Coons (D-DE) Beats Christine O’Donnell (R)

The 10 Biggest Wins by Samuel P. Jacobs Info Samuel P Jacobs Samuel P. Jacobs is a staff reporter at The Daily Beast. He has also written for The Boston Globe, The New York Observer, and The New Republic Online. X Close Samuel P Jacobs * - + * Single Page * print * Twitter * Emails Enter your email address: Enter the recipients' email addresses, separated by commas: Your email has been sent. Thanks for recommending The Daily Beast! X Close * Share * Enter your email address: Enter the recipients' email addresses, separated by commas: Your email has been sent. Thanks for recommending The Daily Beast! X Close From Marco Rubio’s big finish in Florida to Harry Reid’s late night victory and Rand Paul’s Tea Party triumph, Samuel P. Jacobs analyzes the most pivotal results from Tuesday night’s election. 1) Harry Reid (D-NV) Beats Sharron Angle (R) Nevada is ground zero of the country’s foreclosure crisis. One of every 25 homes in Las Vegas is underwater. Unemployment hovers above 14 percent. All of which makes it a tough time to be an incumbent, let alone Senate majority leader, dedicated to bringing home the bacon. Plus, for a state already suffering from Reid fatigue, Harry’s son, Rory, was on the ballot, angling for governor. Sharron Angle, running with a crusader’s faith and Annie Oakley’s gusto, hoovered in nearly as much cash as the mighty Reid. With labor and gambling big wheels on his side, Reid outlasted his chippy opponent, showing that the former boxer has some fight in him yet. 2) Joe Manchin (D-WV) Beats John Raese The West Virginia Senate race provided a test better than any other of how high the Republican wave would rise. Manchin’s win showed that Democrats didn’t completely drown. But Manchin wasn’t too cocky. He released a dramatic ad featuring the candidate literally shooting down Obama’s environmental agenda. Plus, Manchin is the popular Democratic governor in a state accustomed to its representatives, like the late Robert Byrd, bringing home the bacon. Raese, heir to a steel fortune, delivered one of the election’s best lines: “I made my money the old-fashioned way, I inherited.” A perennial candidate, Raese has run for statewide office four times now without a victory. 3) Marco Rubio (R-FL) Beats Charlie Crist (I) & Kendrick Meek (D) The Florida Senate race got dramatic at the last minute. Not because the campaign was close—Marco Rubio seized the lead months ago and never let go—but because Bill Clinton tried to get the Democrat, Kendrick Meek, to bow out of the race in favor of former Republican Charlie Crist. That the Big Dog was willing to nose around Meek showed how weak the congressman’s campaign was. Rubio’s ascendance marks the coming of a pack of Hispanic Republicans, many of whom are not so in tune with the Latino agenda on immigration. Rep. Alcee Hastings, a Meek supporter, summed up the weird vibes surrounding Crist and Meek’s fight over the same slice of the electorate: “This is the strangest political environment that I have ever seen.” 4) Rand Paul (R-KY) Beats Jack Conway (D) Rand Paul’s stated opposition to the Civil Rights Act caught the national media’s attention. After that, the campaign proved itself plenty worthy of the klieg lights. Jack Conway’s craven ad focusing on Paul’s collegiate shenanigans added this line to the political record books: “Why did Rand Paul once tie a woman up, tell her her to bow down before a false idol, and say his God was ‘Aqua Buddha’?” Continuing the race to the bottom, a Paul supporter was caught on tape stomping on the head of a protester. Closing the door on the histrionics, the real question for the Republican Party is whether Paul and his fellow Tea Party senators will cause trouble for Mitch McConnell and the rest of the GOP leadership. Article - Election Night - Rand Paul Wins Seat Rand Paul wins Senate Seat. Credit: Tom Pennington / Getty Images 5) Chris Coons (D-DE) Beats Christine O’Donnell (R) She lives in the second smallest state. And got blown out on Election Day. But Christine O’Donnell goes down in history as the most covered candidate of the 2010 election. Part of her appeal is that she bottled the Tea Party frustrations, toppling an established Republican, Mike Castle, along the way. The other part of her appeal was that, well, O’Donnell put it best in her own ad, declaring, “I’m not a witch. I’m you.” And with her penchant for burning chocolate chip cookies and inability to name Supreme Court cases, she did seem like any number of people we know. Fortunately for Chris Coons, Delaware voters had something else in mind for their senator. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

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