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Scholastic MATH > NUMBERS IN THE NEWS

Welcome to MATH Magazine’s Numbers in the News! Each week we'll post a math question based on a current news story. Read and solve the question.

If you like, enter your answer in the Comments section. The first person to answer the question correctly has the honor of being our “Winner of the Week.” (We’ll reveal that person, and the correct answer, in that question’s Comments the following week.)

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### Midterm Mania

In the United States, the Tuesday following the first Monday in November is Election Day. This year’s is known as a midterm election, because it occurs halfway into the President’s four-year term. Midterm elections are important because all 435 seats in the House of Representative are up for grabs, and this year, 37 of the 100 Senate seats will also be determined. (In addition, there are elections for governor in 37 U.S. states this year, as well as many state and local elections.)

Before the election, in the U.S. House of Representatives, the Democratic party held 256 seats and the Republican party held 179. In the Senate, the Democrats held 59 seats and the Republicans held 41 seats. For the Republicans to gain the majority (one more than half) of the seats in both houses of Congress: How many more House of Representative seats would they need than they currently hold? How many more Senate seats would they need than they currently hold?

The Republican party needed 39 more seats in the House of Representatives and 10 more seats in the Senate.

After the election, the Republican party took control of the House with 239 seats (60 more than they had before) and the Democratic party still holds the majority in the Senate with 53 seats.

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