The results suggested that socially moderate, upscale voters were breaking clearly for the Democrats.
In Pennsylvania, Republican Sen. Rick Santorum six years ago carried all three of the large suburban counties outside Philadelphia by a combined total of nearly 100,000 votes. But on Tuesday, the overall victory margin for Democrat Bob Casey Jr. in these counties exceeded 120,000 as he cruised to victory.
The same trend was evident in Virginia. Webb pulverized Allen in the affluent suburbs outside Washington, amassing imposing margins that gave him a slender lead at night’s end.
Democrats also made gains among more socially conservative, economically strained swing voters, who have provided critical votes for Republicans in recent years.
In Indiana, Democrat Brad Ellsworth convincingly defeated Rep. John Hostettler in a heavily rural district where Bush captured over three-fifths of the vote two years ago.
Beaver and Westmoreland counties in Pennsylvania’s southwest corner, considered strongholds of blue-collar conservative “Reagan Democrats,” split about evenly in Santorum’s reelection six years ago. But Casey carried them by nearly 25,000 votes on Tuesday.