Jeb Bush. The Florida governor's state came through for his older brother. Floridians preferred President Bush to Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) by 5 percentage points, a larger-than-expected margin, keeping Jeb Bush's 2008 presidential prospects alive and well.
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.). Frist's leadership abilities have been under fire within his own party, but yesterday the Republicans strengthened their Senate majority, also boosting Frist's potential as a 2008 presidential candidate.
The Republican right. Two outspoken conservatives, Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), win Senate seats. Both were backed by the conservative Club for Growth.
Barack Obama (D). Obama easily won the open Illinois Senate seat to become the only black member of the Senate. With an established record as a powerful speaker -- he gave the keynote address at this year's Democratic National Convention -- he is positioned to become a prominent Democratic figure.
More a survivor than a winner: Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.), 73. His seemingly guaranteed march to reelection nearly foundered after disclosures of erratic behavior.
Big winner: House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.). DeLay masterminded a controversial, partisan redrawing of Texas congressional districts this year that paid off. Four of the five Democrats DeLay sought to push out of the House lost last night: Martin Frost, long a DeLay nemesis, Charles W. Stenholm, Nick Lampson and Max Sandlin.
Phillip M. Crane. First elected to the House in 1969, the Illinois legislator was once a leader of the conservative wing of the GOP. The most senior Republican in the House was defeated by Democrat Melissa Bean, who pounded him as "a do-nothing congressman."
Rep. Brad Carson (Okla.). One of the few remaining conservative Democrats in Congress (Stenholm is another) lost his bid for an open Senate seat.
Actor George Clooney, whose help was not enough to get his dad, Nick Clooney, elected to an open House seat in Kentucky. He was trounced by Republican Geoff Davis.
Alan Keyes, the former presidential and Maryland Senate candidate who moved to Illinois to run against Obama. Keyes, an outspoken conservative, was a last minute GOP pick after Jack Ryan bowed out in a sex scandal. Keyes registered slightly more than 25 percent of the vote.
The National Election Pool -- an alliance of ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox, NBC and the Associated Press -- to tabulate exit poll surveys. The early waves of polling all pointed toward a decisive John F. Kerry win in key battleground states, an outcome that failed to materialize.
Ralph Nader. The man widely credited with siphoning off enough Democratic votes to give the presidency to Bush in 2000 was hardly a factor, winning less than 1 percent.
-- Thomas B. Edsall