Republicans had renewed control of the House within their grasp early Wednesday as the two parties traded gains from the Eastern seaboard to the Southwest.

Shortly past midnight in the East, Democrats had knocked off nine GOP House members _ including six members of the huge tea party-backed House GOP freshman class of 2010. That included four Republican incumbents from Illinois and one each from Maryland, Florida, New York, New Hampshire and Texas.

Republicans nearly matched that as their candidates defeated one Democratic incumbent apiece in Kentucky, New York, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania and picked up an open seat each in Arkansas, Indiana, North Carolina, and Oklahoma held in this Congress by Democrats who retired or ran for another office.

With almost two-thirds of the 435 House races called by The Associated Press, Republicans had won 209 seats and were leading in 28 more.

A party needs 218 seats to control the House. It seemed likely the party mix in the new House would resemble the current one, which Republicans control 242-193, including two GOP and three Democratic vacancies. The pickups were so evenly divided that it was unclear if either party would add to its numbers overall.

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