Democrats hold Senate majority as Republican push falters in Nevada

Democrats retained control of the Senate on Saturday, rebuffing Republican efforts to retake the chamber and making it harder for them to thwart President Joe Biden’s agenda. The fate of the House was still uncertain as the Republican Party struggled to muster a slim majority there.

Senator Catherine Cortez Masto’s victory in Nevada gave Democrats the 50 seats they needed to hold the Senate. His victory reflects the surprising strength of Democrats in the US. USA this election year. Seeking re-election in an economically challenged state that has some of the highest gas prices in the country, Cortez Masto was seen as the most vulnerable member of the Senate, adding to the frustration of Republicans who were confident she could be defeated.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer claimed victory Saturday night, tweeting, “Your Democratic Senate Majority!”

With the results in Nevada now decided, Georgia is the only state where both parties are still competing for a Senate seat. Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock faces Republican challenger Herschel Walker in a Dec. 6 runoff. Alaska’s Senate race has advanced to a ranked ballot, though the seat will remain in Republican hands.

Democratic control of the Senate ensures a smoother process for Biden’s cabinet appointments and judicial picks, including potential Supreme Court openings. The party will also retain control of committees and have the power to conduct investigations or oversight of the Biden administration, and can reject legislation sent by the House if the GOP wins that chamber.

If Democrats manage to pull off a victory in the House, it would mean full Democratic control of Congress and another chance to advance Biden’s priorities, which he said include codifying abortion rights. The party still lacks the 60 votes in the Senate needed to move many types of major legislative changes.

The Senate fight hinged on a handful of closely contested seats. Both parties have spent tens of millions of dollars in Pennsylvania, Arizona, Nevada and Georgia, key battlegrounds where Democrats hoped Republicans’ decision to nominate untested candidates – many backed by former President Donald Trump – would help them challenge incumbents. national headwinds.

Democrats scored a major victory in Pennsylvania, where Lt. Gov. John Fetterman defeated famed heart surgeon Dr. Mehmet Oz, who was endorsed by Trump, to fill a seat currently held by a Republican. Arizona Sen. Mark Kelly won re-election by about 5 percentage points.

A deeply divided swing state, Nevada is one of the most racially diverse in the nation, a working-class state whose residents have been particularly hard hit by inflation and other economic turmoil. About three-quarters of Nevada voters said the country is headed in the wrong direction, and about half ranked the economy as the most important issue facing the country, according to AP VoteCast, a poll of 2,100 voters in the state.

Heading into the midterm elections, Republicans have focused relentlessly on the economy, a top concern for many voters amid stubborn inflation and high gas and food prices. The GOP also hammered Democrats on crime, a message that sometimes exaggerated the threat but nonetheless tapped into anxiety, especially among suburban voters who drifted away from the party in 2018 and 2020. And border crossings were highlighted illegal, accusing Biden and other Democrats of failing to protect the country.

But Democrats were buoyed by voters angered by the Supreme Court’s June decision that struck down the constitutional right to abortion. They also portrayed Republicans as too extreme and a threat to democracy, following the January 6, 2021 insurrection at the US Capitol and Trump’s false claims, repeated by many Republican candidates, that the 2020 election was stolen from him .

Nationally, VoteCast showed that 7 in 10 voters said the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade was a big factor in their mid-term decisions. It also showed that reversal was very unpopular. And roughly 6 in 10 said they favor a law that would guarantee access to legal abortion nationwide.

Half of voters said inflation had a significant influence on their vote, while 44% said the future of democracy was their main consideration.

In addition to Congress, Democrats won key gubernatorial races in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, critical battlegrounds for Biden’s victory over Trump in 2020. Republicans, however, held governor’s mansions in Florida, Texas and Georgia, another battleground state that Biden narrowly won two years ago.

Although the midterms failed to sweep the GOP, Trump remains a major factor in the national party and plans to announce his third bid for the presidency on Tuesday at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, setting up a potential rematch for the House. White with Biden.

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