Although the Republicans are close to resolving the issue of obtaining a majority in the US House of Representatives in the midterm elections, their chances of controlling the second chamber of Congress (the Senate) are still pending the results of the elections in three states: Arizona, Nevada and Georgia.
So far, data reported by the Associated Press indicate that the Republicans won 48 seats in the 100-seat Senate, compared to 46 for the Democrats, taking into account the inevitability of winning another seat in Alaska, where two Republican candidates are competing.
This brings the number of Republican seats to 49, and this means that they need two additional seats in order to obtain a majority and thus control the Congress completely.
For the states of Nevada and Arizona, it is still too early to announce the winners in light of the frantic competition between Republicans and Democrats for two seats in the Senate, with thousands of uncounted votes that may take days to count.
In Arizona, the results so far indicate the lead of Democratic candidate Mark Kelly (51.4 percent) over his Republican challenger Blake Masters (46.4 percent) after counting about 70 percent of the vote, according to the Associated Press.
As for Nevada, the Republican candidate, Adam Laxalt (49.4 percent), is ahead of his opponent, Democratic Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (47.6 percent), after counting nearly 83 percent of the vote.
In Georgia, it is decided to hold a run-off on December 6 to compete for a seat in the Senate.
Neither Democratic candidate and current Senator Raphael Warnock (49.4 percent) nor Republican Herschel Walker (48.5 percent) got the 50 percent needed to avoid re-run.
Practically, if the Republicans win the states of Nevada and Arizona, this means that they reach the “magic number” by obtaining 51 seats in the Senate and ensuring a majority regardless of the outcome in Georgia.
On the other hand, Democrats also need to win two of the remaining three states (including Georgia) in order to reach their magic number of 50 seats and tie with Republicans in the Senate.
The laws of the US Senate stipulate that in the event of a tie in the votes, the Vice President shall settle the dispute. Currently, Democrat Kamala Harris holds that position.
But if the Republicans win, for example, the state of Nevada, and the Democrats in the state of Arizona, this means that the decision will be delayed for about a month until the re-election in Georgia.
With regard to the second chamber of Congress, the Republicans are close to wresting control of the House of Representatives from the Democrats, with so far they have obtained 210 seats, according to Edison Research, and thus need only eight seats in order to secure a majority in the 435-seat House.
As for the Democrats, they have secured so far 185 seats in the House of Representatives, and this means that their situation is a little more difficult than their Republican counterparts, given that they need 33 seats.
A Reuters analysis of forecasts by leading nonpartisan pollsters indicates that 21 of the 53 most competitive races are undecided, raising the possibility that the final outcome will remain unknown for some time.
Although Democrats fared better than expected and avoided a Republican “red wave” in the midterm elections, even a slim majority in the House of Representatives would allow Republicans to crack down on Democratic President Joe Biden over the next two years by blocking legislation and launching potentially politically damaging investigations.
The findings suggest that voters are punishing Biden for the hyperinflationary economy, while also opposing Republican efforts to ban abortion and casting doubt on the nation’s vote count.
And if Republicans control either chamber (the House or the Senate), they plan to seek to reduce the costs of Social Security and Medicare safety net programs and make tax cuts enacted in 2017 permanent.
Republican control of the Senate would give them the power to block Biden’s nominees for judicial and administrative office. They can also use a federal debt ceiling as leverage to demand drastic spending cuts and cuts in aid to Ukraine.
The party that occupies the White House usually loses seats in the elections in the middle of a president’s first four-year term.