WASHINGTON, Nov 14 – Control of the US House of Representatives hinges on several tight races that could give Republicans a majority on Monday.
218 seats were needed for a majority, as Republicans won 211 seats compared to Democrats’ 206. As officials continue to count votes nearly a week after Americans went to the polls, the final result won’t be known for days.
Democrats portrayed the better-than-expected performance as vindicating their agenda and condemning Republican efforts to undermine the validity of the election results.
That includes the Arizona governor’s race over former President Donald Trump’s baseless 2020 election fraud claims, Republican Gary Lake over his Democratic opponent.
According to a Reuters compilation of leading nonpartisan prognosticators, there are still 18 top House races, 13 of which are considered close. The remaining ten contests were in liberal-leaning California.
A Republican victory in the House would set the stage for two years of divided government while empowering Biden’s opponents to limit his political agenda and launch damaging investigations into his administration and family.
Jim Banks, a Republican congressman from Indiana, said he expects his party to win a slim majority in the 435-seat chamber and act as “the last line of defense against the Biden agenda” as it begins studies of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan. , Covid and the emergence of pandemic lockdowns.
“This should be a focal point for every caucus in Congress, especially the Republican-controlled House,” Banks told Fox News on Sunday.
Democrats have turned their attention to a Georgia run-off that could strengthen their grip on Congress after winning the Senate in Nevada on Saturday, extinguishing Republican hopes of a “red tide” victory.
A Democratic victory in the Dec. 6 election between Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican Herschel Walker would strengthen its hold on committees, legislative and judicial appointments.
The Nevada win put Democrats in control of the Senate 50-50, with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tie-breaking vote.
Although Republicans won a narrow majority in the House, the Democrats’ performance suggests they have succeeded in portraying their opponents as extremists, part of a Supreme Court ruling that struck down nationwide abortion rights following conservative nominations.
But the results have led to scrutiny of Trump, who has used his popularity among hard-right conservatives to influence Republican nominees for congressional, gubernatorial and local races.
The Republican’s loss in Georgia could further erode Trump’s popularity, as advisers expect him to announce a third run for the presidency in 2024 this week. He was accused of promoting candidates who could not attract enough audience.
Trump has strongly endorsed one candidate, Kari Lake, who trailed Democrat Katie Hobbs in the Arizona governor’s race by 1.1 percentage points with 93% of the vote counted, according to Edison Research.
The election results appeared to draw introspection from top Republican lawmakers. Lindsey Graham, a senior Republican senator, said the planned Senate Republican leadership elections should be postponed until after the Georgia contest.
“All Republicans should focus on winning Georgia and trying to understand the midterms before the Senate leadership race or the 2024 presidential race,” Graham wrote on Twitter.
Written by Rami Ayyub
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