Democrats were expected to keep control of the Senate on Saturday, clinching a slender majority as they demonstrated strength in battleground races in a tumultuous midterm election year that handed President Biden a significant triumph.
Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D) was projected to win reelection in Nevada on Saturday, defeating former state attorney general Adam Laxalt (R), dealing the fatal blow to Republican chances of retaking the Senate. With a runoff election in Georgia on December 6 still to come, Cortez Masto’s predicted victory gives Democrats a 50th seat, potentially boosting their small majority. Cortez Masto was ahead by 0.5 percentage points with 97 percent of the votes counted.
On Saturday, the outcome of the House was still in doubt as voting continued days after the election, which Democrats were predicted to lose badly in since midterm elections usually favor the party in power. However, in many crucial races, Democrats have held their place and even made significant gains, which has many Republicans on edge. They dashed GOP expectations of a total takeover on Capitol Hill by regaining control of the Senate.
That’s good news for Biden, who was anticipating possible humiliating losses as the election drew closer. The Senate, which oversees the appointment of members of the executive branch and federal judges, will now support his party. A majority in the Senate will also give the president and his party more influence over legislative discussions on important topics like foreign and domestic spending.
Biden told reporters, “I feel terrific, and I’m looking forward to the next couple of years.” He contacted Cortez Masto and Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) from Cambodia, where he is taking part in an Asian summit, the White House said, to congratulate them.
Democrats and their agenda, according to Schumer, were “vindicated” by the results, and Republicans alienated people with their extremism and “negativity,” including some candidates’ unfounded claims that the 2020 election had been rigged. He praised the excellence of Democratic incumbents while telling reporters in New York that “America showed that we trusted in our democracy.”
As of Saturday night, the majority of national Republicans had not commented on the predicted outcome, and the Laxalt campaign has not yet made any public acknowledgement of Cortez Masto’s expected victory.
Nevertheless, a few Republicans started to voice their unhappiness as they were expected to remain in the minority for at least another two years. “The previous party is no more. Let’s bury it now. Soon after the winner was announced, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) tweeted, “Build something fresh.”
Republican fundraiser Shiree Verdone stated on Saturday night that GOP supporters and contributors are devastated by the results of the election.
“We must investigate what went wrong. Verdone, who hosted a fundraiser for Laxalt and stated that Democrats knew how to turn out the vote in Nevada with the “Reid machine,” named for the late Senate majority leader Harry M. Reid, acknowledged that there needs to be some sort of investigation into what transpired in this race.
Democrats were also expected to win a House seat in Washington state now held by Republican Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, who was defeated in a primary after supporting Trump’s impeachment for the pro-Trump mob attack on the Capitol on January 6, 2021.
Cortez Masto’s victory in the Nevada Senate race contributed to incumbent senators running for reelection in the midterm elections having a flawless record thus far, since voters were fiercely opposed to overturning the chamber’s established order. It was a part of a strong showing by Democrats in competitive districts where Republicans struggled after focusing on price increases and crime worries during a time of one-party rule in Washington.