Democrats retain control of Senate with Nevada win

Democrats retain control of the Senate with victory in Nevada

Democrats will continue control the senate following the 2022 midterm electionsafter Nevada Senator Catherine Cortez Masto was on Saturday screened by CBS News to win a close re-election race against Republican Adam Laxalt.

His victory gives the Democrats 50 seats in the 118th Congress. The decisive vote of Vice President Kamala Harris, if necessary, gives them a majority, regardless of the outcome of the Georgia runoff election in December between Senator Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger Herschel Walker.

“The election is a great victory for the American people,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said during a briefing late Saturday night. “With the races now called in Arizona and Nevada, the Democrats will have a majority in the Senate, and I will again be Majority Leader.”

Republicans could still take control of the House, where a handful of races remain unresolved. However, Senate control means Democrats will have the ability to effectively kill any legislation coming from a GOP-led House, allowing them to protect President Biden from politically risky legislation that a Republican-led Senate would have. could put to the vote. A Democratic Senate also makes it easier for Mr. Biden to gain approval for judicial appointments and nominate desired candidates for government positions in the final two years of his term.

A delighted Mr Biden – who is in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, to attend the summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations – told reporters on Sunday morning that Schumer had “again secured a majority “.

“We are now focusing on Georgia,” Mr. Biden said. “We feel good where we are. And I know I’m an arrogant optimist. I’ve understood that from the start, but I’m not surprised by the turnout. I’m incredibly happy with the turnout. And I think it’s a reflection of the quality of our candidates. And they’re all racing on the same schedule. There was nobody not racing on what we did. They’re all staying, sticking to it. And so, I feel good. I’m looking forward to the next two years.”

Ahead of Election Day, some Republicans had begun to believe Senate control was within reach, as Mr Biden suffers from submerged approval ratings amid high inflation and negative voter views on the economy in all battleground states.

But in the months leading up to the general election, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell expressed doubts about the possibility of Republicans taking the Senate, which he blamed on the “quality of the candidates”. . Many of the Republican candidates who lost were far-right and backed by former President Donald Trump, giving them momentum during the primary season. But they failed to appeal to independents and moderates in the general election.

Senator Pat Toomey, who is retiring from the Senate, and whose seat was won by Democratic Lt. Governor John Fetterman, blamed Trump for the GOP’s missed opportunity.

“The data is extremely clear – the more candidates associated with Donald Trump and the ultra MAGA movement, and this misconception that the election was stolen from him in 2020, the more that was the message, the more they lost, and in many places it was a blow to a more conventional Republican winning,” he said in an interview with Fox News on Saturday.

Although he did not identify him by name, Toomey called far-right Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano a “weak candidate losing 15 points, the most for an open seat since the 1950s. “.

He went on to note that “we’ve lost three opportunities to flip House seats, lost control of the State House…and the party needs to overtake Donald Trump.”

Alaska, where three candidates were on the ballot in a ranked voting system, has yet to be called, but with the top two runners-up both Republicans, CBS News predicts it will remain in the hands of the republicans.

On Friday night, CBS News screened Arizona Senator Mark Kelly will win re-election over Republican challenger Blake Masters.

In other battleground states, CBS News predicted races in Wisconsin, Florida, Ohio and North Carolina would go to Republicans, while Democrats would win in Colorado, New Hampshire and in Pennsylvania.

In each of the Senate battlegrounds where CBS News conducted exit polls, voters said Senate control was important to their vote. CBS News conducted statewide investigations in 11 key battleground states: Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, New Hampshire, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wisconsin.

In each of these states, voters had a negative view of the national economy.

In most Senate battleground states, the issue of inflation has overtaken abortion in terms of the issue’s importance to voters. But in Pennsylvania’s heavily watched racewhere Fetterman edged out Republican nominee Dr. Mehmet Oz, exit polls showed abortion outpacing inflation as a concern for voters.

According to a poll conducted on Tuesday at the exit of the polls, nearly three in four voters said they were unhappy with the country. This includes almost a third who said they were angry. Almost three-quarters said the economy was doing badly and almost half of voters said their family’s finances were worse than two years ago.

Thirty-five Senate seats were up for grabs in total in the 2022 midterm elections, but less than a third are expected to be close.

Musadiq Bidar and Jack Turman contributed to this report.

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