Washington: Democrats will keep their narrow Senate majority for the next two years, CNN projects, after victories in close contests in Nevada and Arizona. Democrats now have 50 Senate seats to Republicans’ 49 seats.
The Democrats need to win just one more seat to retain majority control – with Nevada and Georgia the two states outstanding paving the way for Joe Biden to spend two more years filling the federal courts with his nominees and staffing his administration largely the way he sees fit.
Retaining Senate control is a huge boost to President Biden over the remaining two years of his first term in the White House.
It means Democrats will have the ability to confirm Biden’s judicial nominees — avoiding scenarios such as the one former President Barack Obama faced in 2016, when then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to hold a vote on his Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland. It also means that Senate Democrats can reject bills passed by the House and can set their own agenda, reported CNN.
Republican inch closer to House of Representatives
Meanwhile, Republicans appear to be inching closer to a majority in the House of Representatives – with big implications for the next two years of Joe Biden’s presidency.
Republicans appear to be slowly inching closer to the 218 seats that would deliver them a House majority, but several congressional races — including in California and Colorado — remain uncalled.
Georgia will hold a run-off election on December 6, after neither Senate candidate won an outright majority.
Georgia’s race between Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger Herschel Walker is headed to a December runoff after neither candidate cleared the 50 per cent threshold on Tuesday.
Even if Republicans win the Georgia runoff, though, Vice President Kamala Harris would continue to cast the tie-breaking vote in an evenly divided Senate to guarantee the Democratic majority.
Only one Senate seat has changed hands so far
Only one Senate seat has changed hands so far in the 2022 midterm elections: Pennsylvania, where Democratic Lt Gov John Fetterman, who campaigned as he recovered from a May stroke, defeated Republican Mehmet Oz, the celebrity doctor who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump.
Republicans successfully defended seats in hard-fought races in Florida, North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin, while Democrats retained their seats in competitive contests in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada and New Hampshire.
In Nevada, CNN projects that Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, a former prosecutor and state attorney general, will defeat Republican Adam Laxalt, her successor in the attorney general’s office and the son and grandson of former senators.
In Arizona, CNN projects that Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly, a former astronaut and the husband of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, will defeat Republican Blake Masters, a venture capitalist who was endorsed by Trump and supported by tech mogul and emerging GOP megadonor Peter Thiel.