Republicans Give Access, Democrats Hunker Down for Election Night

VIDEO: Matthew Dowd and Donna Brazile discuss political impact of midterm elections.
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Judging by the ground rules established by the political parties concerning how the Washington press corps covers today's election-related events inside the Beltway, Democrats are probably preparing for a tough night, while Republicans are gearing up for what could be an historic election.

House Democrats and Republicans are each holding various press events today, but Democrats have been careful to control media access on election night, in anticipation of a vote count that analysts have predicted will result in a tumultuous evening for the Democratic Party.

Tune In: Vote 2010 Election Results, Live Stream, Exit Polls at 7pm ET

That's in stark contrast to the celebration kicked off when then-House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats won control in the 2006 midterms and celebrated their victory in front of a throng of media and supporters.

In 2006, Democrats rode waves of anti-Bush and anti-war sentiment to the polls, picking up 30 seats in the House and six more in the Senate. For the first time in United States history, no Republican captured any House, Senate, or Gubernatorial seat that was previously held by a Democrat.

ABC News Election Map: Results, Projections and Balance of Power

"Today the American people voted for change, and they voted for Democrats to take our country in a new direction," Pelosi said after Democrats won big in 2006. "The American people voted to restore integrity and honesty in Washington, D.C. and the Democrats intend to lead the most honest, most open and most ethical Congress in history."

But that was then, and this is now. When the wall-to-wall media coverage drags on into the late hours of the evening and into the early morning, Democrats will be noticeably muted as the election results are realized.

Both Parties Say No to Parties on Election Night

"The most 'open, honest, ethical congress in history' has been a failure on all three fronts," Ken Spain, Communications Director at the National Republican Congressional Committee, told ABC News. "It's ironic that the Democratic majority that came in with such a bang four years ago is going out with a whimper behind closed doors."

Brendan Daly, Communications Director for Speaker Pelosi, reacted by emphasizing some of the accomplishments of the Democratic-led Congress since Pelosi took the gavel in January 2007.

Tune In: Vote 2010 Election Results, Live Stream, Exit Polls at 7pm ET

"House Democrats ended the link between lobbyists and legislation and have ensured greater accountability and transparency with the toughest ethics reform legislation in the history of the Congress and the establishment of the independent Office on Congressional Ethics," Daly said. "Meanwhile, shadowy front groups headed up by Republican operatives and funded by secret corporate donors are supporting the Republicans and their special interest agenda: shipping good-paying American jobs overseas, handing Social Security over to Wall Street, and turning Medicare over to the insurance companies."

Aides from both parties are careful not to dub their respective election evening events as parties.

ABC News Election Map: Results, Projections and Balance of Power

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