Republicans make gains in US midterms but no ‘red wave’

Election workers handle ballots for the US midterm election, in the presence of observers from both Democrat and Republican parties, at the Maricopa County Tabulation and Elections Center (MCTEC) in Phoenix, Arizona, on November 9, 2022. (Photo: AFP)
WASHINGTON, DC — The Republican Party appeared poised on Wednesday to carve out a slim majority in the US House of Representatives but their hopes of a “red wave” in midterm elections were dashed as the Democratic Party defied expectations.اضافة اعلان

With four key races yet to be called after Tuesday’s vote, the Senate remained in play but it was leaning Democratic and control may hinge on a runoff election in the southern state of Georgia in early December.

Republicans seemed on track to reclaim the House for the first time since 2018, but the midterms delivered a mixed bag for the conservatives.

While the night saw wins by more than 100 Republicans embracing the belief that President Joe Biden stole the 2020 election, several high-profile acolytes of the former president came up short.

And Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a likely challenger to former president Donald Trump for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, scored a resounding victory in his re-election bid.

Among other races, Maura Healey of Massachusetts will make history as the first openly lesbian US governor, and in New York, Democratic Governor Kathy Hochul fended off a Republican challenge.

In ballot initiatives in five states, preliminary results indicated that voters supported abortion rights in a pushback to the anti-abortion movement which won a crucial supreme court decision in June.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a likely challenger ... for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, scored a resounding victory in his re-election bid.
Aiming to deliver a rebuke of Biden’s presidency against a backdrop of sky-high inflation and bitter culture wars, Republicans needed just one extra seat to wrest control of the evenly divided Senate.

But by early Wednesday the only seat to change party hands went to the Democrats, with John Fetterman triumphing in Pennsylvania over Trump-endorsed celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz.

In the 435-member House, results suggested Republicans were on track for a majority — but only by a handful of seats, a far cry from poll predictions.

Losing the House
A Republican-controlled House could still derail Biden’s agenda, launching aggressive investigations, scuttling his ambitions on climate change and scrutinizing the billions of US dollars to help Ukraine fight Russia.

The president’s party has traditionally lost seats in midterm elections, and with Biden’s ratings stuck in the low 40s and Republicans pounding him over inflation and crime, pundits had predicted a drubbing.

That would have raised tough questions on whether America’s oldest-ever commander in chief, who turns 80 this month, should run again.

Instead Biden stands to emerge in much better shape than either of his Democratic predecessors, Barack Obama or Bill Clinton, who both took a hammering at the midterms.

Democrats need two more wins to successfully hold the Senate, while Republicans need three to flip it.

In Arizona, Nevada and Wisconsin, counting the remaining votes for Senate could take days.

And Georgia may well go to a runoff on December 6 if neither candidate crosses the 50 percent threshold. 

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