In the wake of the 2006 election, one thing is clear... everyone wants to go home a winner. The most common response as to why the Democrats picked up so many seats has been that it was a referendum on the war in Iraq although it seems that everyone else is jumping in with perceived notions that the election results were voters lashing out at: the Bush presidency, GOP culture of corruption, Wal-Mart's political agenda, national character, those unfriendly to the 2nd amendment, those against civil liberties/freedom, anti-gay candidates, Donald Rumsfeld, non-comprehensive immigration reform and many many more. I guess when something is lying dead in the middle of the road and more than one person ran over it with their car... conjecture will happen over which vehicle 'really' killed it. Heck, some people even note an election trend in abandoning the political party of the sitting President during their sixth year in office.
I don't find the results astounding as neither party holds a 'supermajority' and they will have to pass legislation that only Democrats, Republicans and a few Independents can swallow. This is a good thing. What I did find amazing about the 2006 mid-term election: voter turn-out was over 40% with more than 79 million people voting. If true, this would be the first non-presidential election with a showing of over 40% since 1970.