The state was a clear win for Kerry, who got 55 percent of the vote, as well as for Democratic National Convention star Barack Obama, who trounced conservative pundit Alan Keyes (R), a Marylander, to succeed retiring Sen. Peter Fitzgerald (R).
Obama, 43, who was the first black president of the Harvard Law Review, becomes the only black senator. Keyes, who had never previously lived in the state, was recruited by Republicans after their first nominee quit because of a sex scandal.
Democrats picked up a congressional seat in suburban Chicago as businesswoman Melissa Bean defeated 35-year incumbent Philip M. Crane, the longest-serving Republican in the House. Bean's campaign centered on assertions that Crane had grown stale in office. He beat her in 2002 by stressing the benefits of his seniority on the Ways and Means Committee, but voters opted for change this time, choosing Bean by 52 percent to 48 percent.
Politics professor Daniel Lipinski (D) easily won the southwest Chicago seat vacated by his father, Rep. William O. Lipinski (D). The younger Lipinski, who was on leave from the University of Tennessee, swamped 26-year-old novice Ryan Chlada (R) by nearly 50 percentage points.
There were no surprises in other House races, in which all incumbents, including House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, prevailed.
As predicted, Bush carried the state handily, with 60 percent of the vote. Mitchell E. Daniels Jr. (R), his former budget director, rode the president's coattails into the governor's mansion.
Daniels, who campaigned on job creation and making government more efficient, captured 53 percent of the vote to defeat incumbent Gov. Joseph E. Kernan (D), a former lieutenant governor who ascended to the top job when Frank L. O'Bannon died last fall. Kernan campaigned on his experience and called for lower taxes and smaller government but succumbed to Daniels's star power and White House ties, turning over Indiana's governorship to a Republican for the first time in almost 16 years.
Sen. Evan Bayh (D), who was favored to win reelection, pulled off a healthy victory, 62 percent to 37 percent, over sociology professor Marvin Scott (R).
But trucking executive Mike Sodrel (R) unseated Rep. Baron Hill (D) in a cliffhanger, gaining a House seat for the GOP. Sodrel had lost to Hill in 2002. This time, Sodrel came out on top by about 1,300 of the 280,000 votes cast.
Rep. John N. Hostettler (R), who has served five terms, held off challenger and former Boston Celtics scout Jon Jennings (D). Hostettler was considered vulnerable because he had never won more than 53 percent of the vote, raised little money and was arrested for gun possession at an airport this year.
Incumbent Rep. Chris Chocola (R) beat businessman Joe Donnelly (D), and Rep. Julia Carson (D) defeated Andy Horning (R).
The Democratic candidate had captured Iowa in every presidential election since 1984. But Bush appears to have broken that streak, eking out a narrow victory, 50 percent to 49 percent.
Kerry's primary victory in Iowa, traditionally the launching state for presidential candidacies, sent him on his way to the Democratic nomination. Despite a booming farm economy, the state lost 27,000 manufacturing jobs, yielding an economic mixed bag. Social issues also played a strong role among rural voters, while concern about the course of the Iraq war motivated city voters, the same recipe for a tight race nationwide.
Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, won an easy victory over Arthur Small (D), a lawyer from Iowa City. Rep. Leonard L. Boswell (D), who won 53 percent of the vote in 2002, increased his margin by a couple of percentage points in a rematch against GOP lawyer Stan Thompson.