With the polls starting to close in the states of the American East Coast, the Democratic control of Congress appeared in danger, according to the Associated Press, which says that the Democratic Party faced a new generation of Republican candidates, including newcomers, deniers of the 2020 elections and some extremists supporting Donald Trump.
What if the Republicans win?
Republicans could bring new impetus to Congress with promises to end Biden’s more ambitious plans, launch investigations and closer oversight, or impeach the president.
Tuesday saw the first major national elections since the attack on the Capitol on January 6, 2021, and emotions were running high, according to the agency, while the violent assault on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband stunned many, and federal law enforcement warned of growing threats across the country. Biden’s party has struggled to maintain its position.
“We’re going to win,” Pelosi told PBS television, insisting that Democrats have “much better candidates” and that voters will come out to support them.
“So I think you’re going to be surprised tonight,” Pelosi said.
The elections include all 435 seats in the House of Representatives and one-third of the Senate. And if the Republican newcomers help the party take control of the House, and possibly the Senate, the outcome will present new challenges to the Biden administration’s ability to implement its agenda.
Without a unified agenda of their own, Republicans ran on threats of confrontation that could spark crises, promising to cut federal spending, refusing to raise the country’s debt limit, and some refraining from supporting Ukraine in its war with Russia.
All this points to a possible stalemate in the future.
House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy, who looks set to seize the House Speaker’s gavel from Pelosi next year if the Democrats lose power, has enlisted the most racially diverse class of House Republican candidates, with more women than Ever. But he also has a new cadre of Trump loyalists, including election skeptics and election deniers, some of whom were around the Capitol on Jan. 6.
Trump has endorsed more than 330 candidates nationwide in this election cycle, including more than 200 candidates for final ballots in the House and Senate, though they weren’t always the first choices for McCarthy and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell.
In an interview, Trump said he supported McCarthy for the House speaker position, and mocked his old opponent, Mitch McConnell, as a “bad leader,” according to Fox News.
In a sign of the country’s toxic political climate, Pelosi canceled most public appearances in the final week of her campaign after a hacker broke into her family’s San Francisco home in the middle of the night and hit her 82-year-old husband in the head with a hammer.
The Senate’s battlefield has centered on four hotly contested states where very narrow margins could determine outcomes — in Georgia, Arizona and Nevada, where Democratic incumbents are trying to hang on.
In Pennsylvania, the race between Democrat John Fetterman and Republican Mehmet Oz for an open seat was seen as a key to control of the House.
Another Senate contest that will be closely watched is the New Hampshire race, where Trump-like Republican Don Bolduc attempts to oust Democratic Senator Maggie Hassan in a race that could signal the former president’s ability to remain influential with voters two years after leaving office.
Vote counting could extend beyond Election Day in many states, and Georgia in particular could head to a run-off on December 6 if no candidate reaches a majority.
Both parties have already filed legal challenges in some cases that foreshadow legal battles that may delay final results.
Republicans need a net gain of five seats in the House of Representatives to achieve a majority of 218 seats, and one seat to control the Senate.
The Senate is now in the hands of Democrats because Vice President Kamala Harris can cast a tie-breaking vote.
Inflation, abortion, crime and the future of democracy have been at the forefront of election campaigns as candidates strive to reach voters.
Democrats gained momentum on the abortion issue after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade this summer.
But Republicans have focused voters’ attention on issues closer to the street — rising inflation and crime — as they exploit unease about the country’s direction.