Democrats await Nevada election result that could seal their US Senate majority

Democrats await Nevada election result that could seal their US Senate majority

PHOENIX, Nov 12 (Reuters) – Democrats were one seat away from majority control of the U.S. Senate next year on Saturday as the vote count in deeply divided Nevada continued after Tuesday’s midterm elections and that the campaign had started for a second round on December 6 in Georgia. .

If incumbent Democratic Senator Catherine Cortez Masto can fend off Republican Adam Laxalt in Nevada, her party would then control 50 of the 100 Senate seats.

A Democratic victory in Georgia next month would then give the party absolute majority control of a 51-49 Senate. A Democratic loss in Georgia and a victory in Nevada would still put the Democrats leading a Senate 50-50, as Democratic Vice President Kamala Harris can break a tie vote.

The Senate is currently split 50-50 between Democrats and Republicans. The newly elected Senate will be sworn in on January 3.

With nearly 97% of the votes counted in the Nevada Senate race, Laxalt led by about 800 votes. However, countless votes from Cortez Masto’s strongholds could propel her to victory.

The suspense over Senate control came as it was still unclear which party would hold the majority in the US House of Representatives for the next two years. Republicans continued to hold an advantage, but returns were still pouring in for several races, including many in liberal-leaning California.

It could take at least a few more days before the results of enough House races are known to determine party control of that 435-seat chamber.

Democrats received a major boost Friday night when Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly was expected to retain his seat in Arizona, beating Republican Blake Masters, who has yet to concede the race.

Kelly, a former Navy fighter pilot and astronaut, delivered a brief victory speech to supporters in Phoenix on Saturday with his wife, former Democratic Rep. Gabby Giffords, at his side. His remarks focused on working in Congress in a bipartisan manner.

Kelly did not mention Masters, but said: ‘We have seen the consequences that arise when leaders refuse to accept the truth and focus more on the conspiracies of the past than on solving the challenges we face today’ today.”

Tuesday’s midterm elections saw many Republican candidates, including Masters, echo former President Donald Trump’s false claim that he lost the 2020 election to Biden due to a massive electoral fraud.

No winner was yet projected in the gubernatorial race in Arizona, where Democrat Katie Hobbs holds a narrow lead over Republican Kari Lake.

(Live election results from across the country are here)

JUDICIAL APPOINTMENTS IN PLAY

A Democratic-controlled Senate would provide President Joe Biden with assurance that his nominees to fill dozens of federal judgeships would be confirmed under Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

That would be especially crucial for Democrats if a U.S. Supreme Court seat, which now has a 6-3 conservative lean, were to open up in the final two years of Biden’s term.

When the outgoing Senate returns Monday for a post-election work session that could end in late December, Schumer aims to immediately confirm two more federal judges awaiting final votes.

However, if Cortez Masto fails to overtake Laxalt and the Democrats also lose in Georgia, Schumer will have to spend a lot more time pushing through judicial nominations before relinquishing power on Jan. 3, after which Senate Republicans would have the possibility of rejecting or slowing down. walking confirmation of Biden nominees.

Trump has been hovering over the 2022 midterm elections all year, which has used his continued popularity among far-right conservatives to sway the candidates the Republican Party has nominated for the congressional races, running for office. of governor and local.

With Republicans performing poorly on Tuesday — even if they win narrow majority control of the Senate or House — Trump was blamed for nurturing candidates who couldn’t appeal to a large enough electorate.

Laxalt and Herschel Walker, the Republican running to unseat Sen. Raphael Warnock in Georgia, have won Trump’s support. Republican losses in either race could further hurt Trump’s popularity as advisers say he plans to announce a third presidential race in 2024. House Republicans, if they manage to pull off a win, have pledged to try to roll back Biden’s victories on fighting climate change and want to lock in a set of expiring 2017 tax cuts. They also planned investigations into the activities of the Biden administration and investigations into the president’s son, who had business dealings with Ukraine and China.

Reporting by Tim Reid and Richard Cowan; Editing by Daniel Wallis

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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