The 2006 elections for the United States Senate and House of Representatives were held on November 7, 2006, in which 33 Senate seats and every seat in the House of Representatives was contested, as well as 32 state governorships and legislatures. The elections resulted in a resounding victory for the Nationalist Party, which regained control of the House of Representatives for the first time since losing in the 1998 midterms and took back control of the Senate after 20 years of Democratic control. The Nationalists also protected every incumbent governor of theirs and took four new gubernatorial seats from Democratic hands.
While a triumph, the victory was overplayed by the media, as the Democrats had minor margins in both chambers of Congress to begin with, and the notoriously volatile House of Representatives typically hews to the opposition party in the first midterm election of an incumbent's term (Clyde Dawley in 1974, Elizabeth Shannon in 1982, Robert Redford in 1990, John Burwin in 1994, and Steve Martin in 1998 had all entered office with their party in control of the House only to lose it two years later, a trend continued in 2006). The victory elevated longtime House Minority Leader Jeff Osgood to Speaker of the House.
The loss of the Senate, however, was particularly frustrating to Democrats who had two former Senators - Jay Leno and Bruce Springsteen, who was also the former Senate Majority Leader - occupying the executive branch's highest offices and had peppered liberal Democrats throughout their administration. Analysts later commented that the decision to give loyal, long-interred Democratic Senators a bevy of Cabinet and bureaucratic posts weakened the Democratic Senate presence by pitting less experienced, fresh-faced replacement candidates against well-funded members of the opposition party or, in some cases, primary challengers.