The 2006 United States House of Representatives elections were held on November 7, 2006, to elect members to the United States House of Representatives. It took place in the middle of President George W. Bush's second term in office. All 435 seats of the House were up for election. Those elected served in the 110th United States Congress from January 3, 2007, until January 3, 2009. The incumbent majority party, the Republicans, had won majorities in the House consecutively since 1994, and were defeated by the Democrats who won a majority in the chamber, ending 12 years in opposition.
The Republicans had won a 232-seat majority in 2004, and by election day 2006 the party held 229 seats, the Democrats had 201 and there was 1 Independent (who caucused with the Democrats). There were also four vacancies. Republicans held a 28-seat advantage, and Democrats needed to pick up 15 seats to take control of the House, which had had a Republican majority since January 1995. The public's perception of George W. Bush, the handling of the war in Iraq, and a series of political scandals involving mostly congressional Republicans took their toll on the party at the ballot box.
The final result was a 31-seat pickup for the Democrats, including the pickup of the Vermont at-large seat, previously held by Independent Bernie Sanders, who caucused with the Democrats. Democrats defeated 22 Republican incumbents and won eight open Republican-held seats. Republicans won no seats previously held by Democrats and defeated no Democratic incumbents for the first time since the Republican party's founding. It was the largest seat gain for the Democrats since the 1974 elections. Among the new Democrats were the first Muslim in Congress (Keith Ellison) and the first two Buddhists (Mazie Hirono and Hank Johnson). As a result of the Democratic victory, Nancy Pelosi became the first woman, the first Italian-American, and the first Californian elected Speaker of the House.
A number of organizations and individuals made predictions about the election, some for the House as a whole and some for both that and individual races.
Source: CNN exit poll
In the election, there were 32 open seats: 28 incumbents not seeking re-election and four vacancies. Of the 28 incumbents, 18 were Republicans, 9 Democrats, and 1 an independent.