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Voters in the United States cast ballots for change in Tuesday's mid-term elections, handing control of the House of Representatives to the Republicans. While the Democrats held onto the Senate, Republicans cut deeply into their majority with the help of a spate of Tea Party-backed candidates. <br> <br>In addition to millions of dollars and small armies of volunteers, many candidates relied on social media to get their message out. Here are some of the new faces in Congress plus their social media tallies. <br><br>*Please note that Facebook and Twitter figures were accurate as of Wednesday morning.</br></br></br></br>
Marco Rubio won in a three-way Senate race in Florida with the backing of the Tea Party. The 39-year-old former speaker of Florida’s state House beat Governor Charlie Crist. The political upstart used the Tea Party movement to claim the Republican nomination virtually unopposed. So strong was the Cuban-American’s surge that Charlie Crist, who resigned as Florida’s governor as the presumptive favourite to run for the Republicans, pulled out of the race and ran as an independent. Mr. Rubio outdid Mr. Crist in social media, with more than 135,000 Facebook fans and 18,000 Twitter followers. Mr. Crist had more than 26,000 fans and 7,400 followers.
(Joe Raedle/Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Democrat Richard Blumenthal won a Senate seat in Connecticut after beating back a lavishly financed campaign from Republican wrestling executive Linda McMahon. He claimed retiring Democratic Senator Chris Dodd’s seat. Mr. Blumenthal, 64, is Connecticut’s long-time attorney general and a former state legislator. The opponents have similar numbers of social media followers. Mr. Blumenthal has more than 22,000 Facebook fans and 1,900 followers on Twitter compared to Ms. McMahon’s 22,000 fans and 2,700 followers.
(Christopher Capozziello/Photo: Christopher Capozziello/Getty Images)
Republican Pat Toomey eked out a slim victory to claim a Pennsylvania Senate seat. He squeaked in a 51 percent to 49 percent victory over Democrat Joe Sestak in the open race. The former investment banker and restauranteur previously served as a congressman. Mr. Toomey, 48, has long championed the cause of fiscal conservatives and had the backing of the Tea Party. Mr. Toomey outdid his rival in social media, with more than 18,000 Facebook fans and 6,000 Twitter followers. Mr. Sestak has slightly over 1,500 fans and 5,600 followers.
(Mario Tama/Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images)
In Illinois, Republican Rep. Mark Kirk defeated Democrat Alexi Giannoulias, delivering President Barack Obama’s former Senate seat to the GOP. The five-term congressman ran as a centrist more interested in results than ideology. He promised to limit spending and taxes while following a moderate path on abortion, gun control and other social issues. During the race, Mr. Kirk, 51, struggled to overcome the revelation that he has made false statements about his 21 years in the Navy Reserve. The rivals have similar social media tallies. Mr. Kirk has more than 17,000 Facebook fans and 4,000 Twitter followers compared to Mr. Giannoulias’s slightly more than 17,000 fans and 2,000 followers.
(Nam Y. Huh/Photo: Nam Y. Huh/The Associated Press)
Republican Kelly Ayotte won her first campaign handily, holding onto a New Hampshire GOP Senate seat in an open race against Democrat Paul Hodes. Ms. Ayotte, 42, resigned as attorney general to run for the Senate. A fiscal and social conservative, she opposes gay marriage and abortion. She pledged not to ask for special spending requests known as earmarks. After former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin endorsed her, she won the party primary over a conservative supported by local Tea Party activists. The candidates have similar numbers of social media followers. Ms. Ayotte has more than 4,600 Facebook fans and 1,500 followers on Twitter compared to Mr. Hodes’s 3,700 fans and 1,500 followers.
(Cheryl Senter/Photo: Cheryl Senter/The Associated Press)
Political neophyte Ron Johnson won a Wisconsin Senate seat for the Republicans over incumbent Democrat Russ Feingold. A wealthy businessman without political experience, Mr. Johnson calls himself a fresh “citizen legislator” who would restore fiscal restraint to Congress. Mr. Johnson, 55, is associated with the Tea Party movement. In terms of social media, the rivals each dominate in one arena. At 41,000 Facebook fans, Mr. Johnson outdoes Mr. Feingold’s 33,000. However, Mr. Feingold beats Mr. Johnson in Twitter followers, at more than 13,000 versus 2,000.
(Mike Roemer/Photo: Mike Roemer/The Associated Press)
Republican John Hoeven trounced Democrat Tracy Potter in North Dakota’s Senate race. During the race, he stuck to themes of budget discipline, job creation and opposition to tax increases. Mr. Hoeven, 53, was the nation’s longest-serving governor, taking office 10 years ago. A former Democrat, he governed as a moderate Republican. He was the only North Dakota governor to be elected to three four-year terms, winning his last two with more than 70 per cent of the vote. Neither candidate seems to have embraced social media. While Mr. Hoeven has more than 8,400 Facebook fans, he has just 325 Twitter followers. Mr. Potter has less than 600 fans and just eight followers.
(WILL KINCAID/Photo: Will Kincaid/The Associated Press)
Republican Tim Scott easily won election to the House of Representatives from South Carolina, becoming the first black Republican to be elected to Congress from the Deep South since Reconstruction. Mr. Scott, 45, easily defeated perennial Democratic candidate Ben Frasier and five third-party candidates to win the vacant seat. The conservative insurance company owner picked up the endorsements of Tea Party groups and former GOP vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin. In 2008, Mr. Scott was elected to the state legislature, becoming the first black Republican lawmaker in South Carolina in more than a century. Neither candidate seems to rely on social media. Mr. Scott has more than 1,200 Twitter followers but no active Facebook page. Mr. Frasier does not appear to have a Facebook page or a Twitter account.
(Alan Hawes/Photo: Alan Hawes/The Associated Press)
Republican Scott Tipton defeated three-term Democratic incumbent John Salazar to win election to the House of Representatives from Colorado in one of the tossup races for control of the chamber. The businessman was backed by the Tea Party movement. Mr. Salazar’s brother Ken is Secretary of the Interior. The candidates seem to make light use of social media. Mr. Tipton has more than 1,200 Facebook fans and nearly 800 Twitter followers. Mr. Salazar had more than 1,000 fans but no apparent Twitter account.
(Barton Glasser/Photo: Barton Glasser/The Associated Press)