Republicans and Democrats are currently engaged in a tight race for control of the U.S. Congress. As the United States midterm elections trickle in after a fiery round of polls on November 8th, Democrats are showing surprising strength and posing a tough fight against the Republicans. It is still unclear who will seize control of the Senate and House, with many of the most competitive races still uncalled.
Thirty-five Senate seats and all 435 House of Representatives seats were on the ballot. According to CNN, Democrats and Republicans are locked 48-48 in the 100-member Senate. The majority of polls will be closed in half of the 50 U.S. states. This means that the initial returns will not alter the balance of power in the 50-50 Senate, which Democrats currently control with a tie-breaking vote. Republicans have picked up a net nine seats in the U.S. House of Representatives that had previously been held by Democrats, with 100 of the 435 seats not yet called. Meanwhile, the Democrats have flipped 3 Republican seats in the House.
Flipping a highly competitive Senate seat in Pennsylvania, Democrat John Fetterman has defeated Republican Dr. Mehmet Oz. After this major victory for Democrats, Fetterman said, ‘’I never expected we would turn these red counties blue, but we did it.’’ Previously controlled by Republicans, the Pennsylvanian seat is key to hopes of Democrats maintaining control of the Senate . According to NBC News most recent projection, Democrat Wiley Nickel has defeated Republican candidate Bo Hines in North Carolina’s open 13th Congressional District. Both were vying to replace Republican Ted Budd in the House. Wiley’s win decisively flips the swing district seat to the Democrats.
Looking at the Republicans now, Democrat Charlie Crist is projected to lose his race for governor, and a Republican is expected to take his old House seat. CNN has projected Gov. Ron DeSantis, Florida’s hard-charging Republican leader, who became a household name during the pandemic, will win a second term in leading The Sunshine State. CBS News projects Republican Anna Paulina Luna will be the next representative from Florida’s 13th Congressional District in the St. Petersburg area, flipping Charlie Crist’s old seat in Florida. Analysts say that the blowout victory in Florida may act as a launchpad for the 2024 presidential run.
Another Republican has been successful in flipping a seat in Texas. NBC News has most currently projected that Republican Monica De La Cruz will win in Texas’ 15th Congressional District race, defeating Democrat Michelle Vallejo in a region which has, in the past, been solidly blue. Her victory marks two significant milestones, , of being the first Hispanic woman to win a seat, and winning as a republican in a district that has been historically Democratic.
While the Democrats have shown surprising strength in the 2022 midterm elections, Biden’s low approval ratings this year has cast a shadow over the victories. Leading into the midterms, it had been predicted that his ratings would drag the success of the party and hinder the number of votes coming in.
Biden’s future agenda will be determined after the outcome of the races for House and Senate have been finalized. The Democrats’ fragile grasp on power is still at risk while they wait for official tallies to come in.