Republicans Pile Up House & Senate Wins As Tea Party Favorites Thrive

01/02/2011 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

WASHINGTON — Republicans marched to the brink of House control Tuesday night in midterm elections shadowed by recession, locking up enough Democratic seats to install a conservative majority certain to challenge President Barack Obama at virtually every turn. "I'll never let you down," Rep. John Boehner, the GOP speaker-in-waiting, told tea party supporters.

The Republicans failed to win control of the Senate, however, despite gaining seats there as well. The GOP also wrested at least seven governorships from Democrats.

Boehner and his Republicans needed to gain 40 seats for a majority, and had exactly that number in hand a few minutes before midnight in the East. They led for another 24.

The victories came in bunches – five Democratic-held seats each in Pennsylvania and Ohio and three in Florida and Virginia.