The Democrats will retain control of the US Senate after a planned victory in the state of Nevada.
Reigning Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto has 48.7% of the vote, a marginal lead over former Republican Attorney General Adam Laxalt with 48.2%.
Ms. Cortez Masto, 58, has campaigned heavily on the abortion issue and has also criticized Mr. Laxalt for his ties to major oil companies, which have made record profits in recent months.
Mr. Laxalt had tried to tie Ms. Cortez Masto to President Joe Biden’s economic policies, blaming them for both inflation and rising fuel prices.
The election result comes the day after Democrat Mark Kelly claimed victory in Arizona, beating his Republican challenger Blake Masters, who – like Mr. Laxalt – was backed by former President Donald Trump.
This means that Democrats have 50 seats in the Senate.
Democratic Vice President Kamala Harris can break ties in the House of 100, which means the party can secure wins for President Biden.
This will be especially important if a seat on the US Supreme Court – which currently has a Conservative majority of 6-3 – were to open in the last two years of Biden’s term.
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Speaking to reporters in Cambodia ahead of an East Asian summit, President Biden said he was “incredibly pleased” with the election results.
He said, “Now we’re focusing on Georgia. We feel good about where we are. And I know I’m an extravagant optimist. I understand that.
“Once again, I’m not surprised by the turnout. I’m incredibly happy. And I think it reflects the quality of our candidates.”
He added: “I feel good. I’m looking forward to the next two years.”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said, “We have done a lot and will do a lot more for the American people.
“The American people have rejected – resoundingly rejected – the undemocratic, authoritarian, bad and divisive direction that the Republicans of MAGA wanted to take in our country.”
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The latest state to decide is Georgia, where Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock will face the ballot against Republican Herschel Walker on 6 December.
In the balance, however, remains the Chamber of Deputies with 435 seats.
The Republicans have the advantage, but the votes are still being counted in several races, including many in liberal California.
If the Democrats manage to secure a victory in the House, it would mean full congressional control for the Democrats – and another chance to advance Biden’s priorities.
The party still lacks the 60 Senate votes needed to move many kinds of major legislative changes.
The unexpected performance of the Democrats will leave Republicans to reevaluate their ties with Trump
The mid-term elections are said to be a referendum on the success or failure of the incumbent president and his first two years in the White House.
President Biden’s approval rating is under water, inflation is skyrocketing, and he makes a gaffe almost every time he opens his mouth, so the success of Democratic candidates makes no sense when normal rules apply.
But it was not an ordinary election.
One way to explain this is by seeing it, instead, as a referendum on the far-right politics of “Make America Great Again” candidates recruited, in some cases, and backed by former President Donald Trump.
Take Adam Laxalt, the Republican defeated in the decisive Senate race in Nevada, a fully paid member of Trump’s electoral lie.
There was “no mathematical way” he could lose, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said, perhaps forgetting to include a shrewd electorate in his equation.
Across the country and up and down the ballot papers – with a few, but not many exceptions – voters scolded Trumpism.
From Mehmet Oz, a famous TV doctor beaten in Pennsylvania, to anti-abortionist Yesli Vega beaten in a key race in Virginia, it wasn’t the red wave the Republican party was expecting and now they have to decide whether to continue allying with the former. president.
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