WASHINGTON (AP) - Resurgent Republicans won control of the House and cut deeply into the Democrats' majority in the Senate in momentous midterm elections shadowed by recession, ushering in a new era of divided government certain to complicate the final two years of President Barack Obama's term.
House Speaker-in-waiting John Boehner, voice breaking with emotion, declared shortly before midnight Tuesday that the results were "a repudiation of Washington, a repudiation of big government and a repudiation of politicians who refuse to listen to the people."
Obama monitored returns at the White House, then telephoned Boehner with congratulations in a call that underscored the power shift.
On a night of triumph, Republicans fell short in their effort to gain control of the Senate and take full command of Congress, although they picked up at least six seats. They failed in an attempt to defeat Majority Harry Reid in Nevada, winner in an especially costly and brutal race in a year filled with them.
Boehner and his Republicans needed to gain 40 seats for a House majority, and they got them. They led for 11 more.
The victories came in bunches - five Democratic-held seats each in Pennsylvania and Ohio and three in Florida and Virginia. Among the House Democrats who tasted defeat was Rep. Tom Perriello, a first-termer for whom Obama campaigned just before the election.
In Senate races, tea party favorites Rand Paul in Kentucky and Marco Rubio in Florida coasted to easy Senate victories, overcoming months of withering Democratic attacks on their conservative views. But Christine O'Donnell lost badly in Delaware, for a seat that Republican strategists once calculated would be theirs with ease.
California voters said no thanks to a ballot initiative that would have made it the first state to legalize marijuana for recreational use and sales.
Proposition 19, rejected Tuesday, would have made it legal for adults 21 and over to possess up to an ounce of marijuana, smoke the drug in nonpublic places and grow it in private plots.