WASHINGTON, Nov. 9 (UPI) -- Concessions by incumbent Republicans in Virginia and Montana Thursday gave the Democratic Party a two-vote majority in the U.S. Senate.
Sen. George Allen, who has represented Virginia for one term, conceded to Democratic challenger Jim Webb in mid-afternoon. Conrad Burns, a three-term senator from Montana, had already given way earlier Thursday to Democrat Jon Tester.
Beginning in January, the Senate will have 49 Democrats, 49 Republicans and two independents -- Bernard Sanders of Vermont and Sen. Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut. Sanders was elected to the Senate after years in the House, and Lieberman ran for re-election as an independent after losing the Democratic primary.
Both Sanders and Lieberman plan to caucus with the Democrats, and Lieberman has told Congressional Quarterly he wishes again to be referred to as a Democrat.
Democrats have a larger majority in the House. The latest count by The New York Times shows Democrats picked up 28 seats in Tuesday's election, giving them a 229-196 majority over Republicans.
Most of the handful of undecided races involve Republican incumbents, so the Democratic margin could grow.