Republicans’ hopes of an “extension” in the US Congress appeared to dwindle on Wednesday, as Democrats sought to limit damage in midterm elections that will be critical to the political future of both President Joe Biden and his rival Donald Trump.
The outcome of the races in the House and Senate will determine the future of Biden’s agenda and will serve as a referendum on his administration while the United States suffers from “record high inflation.”
A Republican takeover of the House of Representatives would likely lead to a round of investigations into Biden and his family, while a Republican takeover of the Senate would impede the president’s ability to make judicial appointments, according to the Associated Press.
Encouraging news for Democrats
The Democrats showed surprising strength, defying expectations and achieving some positive results in a series of competitive races.
Democrats scored several tough victories in swing counties, such as Rep. Abigail Spannberger’s seat in Virginia, but not yet “the sweeping victories that many Republicans expected,” according to the Associated Press.
Democrat John Fetterman wrested from the Republicans the most contested seat in this ballot, which is the Senate seat from Pennsylvania against a candidate supported by Trump, according to US media estimates.
House Democrats retained seats in Virginia, Kansas, and Rhode Island, and succeeded in “governor races” by winning Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, crucial battlegrounds in Biden’s 2020 victory over former President Donald Trump.
But Republicans retained their governorships in Florida, Texas and Georgia, another battleground that Biden narrowly won two years ago.
With votes still being counted across the country, Republicans still have a chance to win control of Congress, according to the Associated Press.
But the results were positive for Democrats, who have braced for crushing losses, and raised questions about how much of a majority the Republican Party would have if it won the House.
Uncertainty in Congress
The Democrats’ victory fueled speculation that the conservative tide in the House of Representatives promised by Donald Trump would, in fact, be much more limited than expected, according to AFP.
Republican Representative Kevin McCarthy confirmed, on Tuesday night, that Republicans will regain control of the House of Representatives, and said in a speech, “It is clear that we will regain the House of Representatives.”
But the party, which was estimated to win a large majority, is forced to lower the ceiling of its expectations, according to “AFP”.
“It’s definitely not a Republican tide, that’s for sure,” Senator Lindsey Graham, a close friend of Donald Trump, told NBC.
In the early hours of Wednesday, Trump asserted that Republicans had had a “supernatural night” for the election, accusing Democrats and the “fake news” media of doing everything they could to downplay the success of his supporters.
And by cracking down on inflation, JD Vance, a supporter of Donald Trump, secured a hotly contested seat and became a senator from Ohio, one of the US’s industrial and agricultural strongholds.
And the results of the remaining two seats that will determine which party will get a majority in the Senate in “Arizona and Nevada”, may not be known for days because both states hold elections by mail ballot, which takes a long time to count, according to the Associated Press.
Waiting for the results to resolve the issue of controlling the US Congress, attention is focused on the results of the state governors’ elections, especially Florida, where the outgoing governor, Ron DeSantis, was re-elected.
In an offensive speech, the rising star in the conservative camp and the likely candidate for the US presidency in the 2024 elections, expressed his satisfaction at making this southern state, which tilts sometimes to the left and sometimes to the right, a “promised land for Republicans.”
The 44-year-old governor stressed that “the battle is just beginning,” and this raises great hope for his potential rival, also residing in Florida, former President Donald Trump.
But that doesn’t mean the Democratic camp hasn’t achieved anything. It snatched two governorships from conservative Republicans: in Maryland and Massachusetts, Maura Healy became the first lesbian to hold the position, and was immediately called by President Joe Biden to congratulate her.
The president’s Democratic party succeeded in retaining control of New York state, where the Republicans believed they could beat Gov. Keithy Hochhol.
Joe Biden’s camp did not say his last word either in Arizona, where the result of the race between Trump-backed Carrie Lake, the favorite to win, and Democrat Katie Hobbs has not yet been announced.
The ruling party almost always suffers losses in midterm elections, and for Biden and House Democrats, the likelihood of retaining power in the House was “low,” according to the Associated Press.
Since 1906, there have been only 3 midterms in which the president’s party has gained a majority in the House of Representatives.
It happened in 1934, when the country was grappling with depression, in 1998 when the United States was buoyed by a surging economy, and 2002, when President George W. Bush had a high approval rating amid a sense of national unity after the 9/11 attacks.