Democrats, GOP fate uncertain amid convergence of 2022 midterm chaos

Democrats, GOP fate uncertain amid convergence of 2022 midterm chaos

An arbitration committee reviews ballots yesterday at the Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center in Phoenix. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Tuesday’s midterm elections left America in its longest period of suspended political animation since the Bush vs. Gore cliffhanger of 2000.

Why is this important: On the weekend after Election Day, neither party won the House or the Senate. The leaders and leaderships of both parties are very up in the air – a convergence of chaos that matches the country’s petulant mood and partisan divide.

Reality check: Washington is panicking about the impending results and the repercussions. But for most of the nation, this election felt pretty normal — just incredibly close.

  • The voting systems worked. There were none of the massive disruptions that some feared, either on Election Day or immediately after.
  • The losers mostly conceded.
  • Republican Holocaust deniers have lost every swing-state secretary of state race, by CNB.

The fourth day after Election Day 2020, Joe Biden surged to win the presidency. As in 2020, we’ll have to wait until Georgia’s runoff, 24 days away, to find out the Senate margin — and maybe control.

Saturday is the fourth day since Election Day 2022. Look at the circles of chaos that remain during our election month:

1. Control of the Senate: In a real surprise, Democrats could retain the Senate. Republicans have a narrow path of hanging on to a shrinking lead in Nevada.

  • Sen. Mark Kelly (D-Arizona) was declared the winner against Republican challenger Blake Masters on Friday night. The Democrats therefore only need Nevada to hold their majority.
  • Republicans would have to win both Nevada and Georgia’s runoff to secure a majority.

2. Home control: It looked like the most certain outcome before the election. Now he also has a shaky outlook.

  • Republicans look likely to end up with a narrow majority. But the Dems have a narrow path that CNN’s John King described on his “Magic Wall” on Friday, calling it his most convoluted midterm in 38 years of journalism.
  • AP wrote that based on some slow-counting California races, it “could take days or even weeks to figure out who gets the hammer next year.”
  • Axios’ Josh Kraushaar initially said it looked like Republicans could win up to 35 seats. The GOP expected to win at least 20 seats, with more optimistic agents anticipating 30 or more seats tossing in a wave.
  • Now that looks like a gain of 6-8 seats — or less.

3. House GOP leadership: House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy looked like an almost certain president before Tuesday’s disappointing results. Now, a few defectors in his restless caucus could cost him the hammer.

  • McCarthy’s allies are panicking – and don’t yet see a clear way for him to secure the prize he assumed was his only days ago.

  • no one can answer the simple question: If McCarthy – one of America’s most transactional politicians – can’t get the votes, then who can?
  • The price would be be nothing like he expected. A discouraged aide to a senior Republican House official told the Washington Post it’s an “unachievable majority” where nothing can be done.

4. House Democratic Leadership: Speaker Nancy Pelosi, 82, has been ambiguous about her plans even as a younger generation of leaders – led by Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries, 52 – prepares for a generational shift.

5. GOP leadership in the Senate: Even Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell has to fight for his job.

  • Senators Marco Rubio from Florida, Josh Haley of Missouri and Ted Cruz Texas are among Republicans pushing to delay leadership elections, scheduled for next week, until after Georgia’s runoff.

And after: Tuesday is former President Trump’s “big announcement” – set to launch in 2024.

  • Some loyalists have urged him to wait until after Georgia’s runoff because Trump’s distractions could cost the party that seat.
  • But a top Trump ally tells Axios that the former president dives forward: “The logistics are well organized and professional, with enormous attention to detail.”

The bottom line: There are an island of stability in American politics. The most certain outcome – in all these circles of chaos – is that Chuck Schumer will remain the leader of the Senate Democrats.

#Democrats #GOP #fate #uncertain #convergence #midterm #chaos

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