So much for the red wave. Democrats have already won 50 seats in the US Senate even before the Georgia runoff to be held on December 6th, meaning that they retain control.
Nevada announced the results of their election for US senate and incumbent Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto was declared the winner over Republican Adam Laxalt Jr by 48.8% to 48.1%. When this is coupled with yesterday’s result in Arizona where Democrat Mark Kelly retained his seat, defeating Blake Masters fairly easily by the margin of 52% to 46%, that gives Democrats 50 seats, the same number that they had before the elections, and thus will retain control of the senate.
Democrats also flipped a House swing district in the state of Washington that had been held by Republicans since 2011, defeating a far-right Trumpist.
Democrat Marie Gluesenkamp Perez narrowly defeated far-right candidate Joe Kent in Washington state’s 3rd Congressional District — a stinging loss for Republicans and Donald Trump, who endorsed Kent after he embraced the former president’s lies about the 2020 election.
Gluesenkamp Perez, an unknown before the primary, ran as a moderate, rural Democrat and small business owner. The district has been held by Republicans since 2011.
Gluesenkamp Perez will replace Rep. Jamie Herrera Beutler (R), whose vote to impeach the former president drew a litany of pro-Trump challengers in the state’s open primary — including Kent, who edged out Herrera Beutler. In the general election, the central question was how Herrera Beutler’s more moderate GOP supporters would vote: further right toward Kent, or slightly left for Gluesenkamp Perez, who holds moderate positions on issues like gun control.
Gluesenkamp Perez attracted some of Herrera Beutler’s supporters to her side, while Kent clinched an endorsement from former Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, who recently left the Democratic Party.
Of the 435 seats in the House of Representatives, 414 have been called so far, 211 for Republicans and 203 for Democrats. 218 is required for a majority. It is unlikely that Democrats can win 15 of the remaining 21 seats but before the election, few expected them to be this close.
As of Saturday night, 21 congressional races remain unresolved. Of those, 10 are truly undecided, with neither party a significant favorite to win once all the votes are tallied.
Democrats have been narrowing the gap in many of those races over the past 24 hours. The Associated Press called seven new congressional races on Friday and three on Saturday — all for Democrats. That included a seat in southwest Washington State that POLITICO’s Election Forecast had rated “Lean Republican” and where Republicans failed to mount a strong defense after their incumbent lost in a primary to a Trump-backed challenger.
The senate wins by Kelly and Masto takes some of the pressure off the Georgia runoff on December 6th but Democrats will still want Raphael Warnock to retain that seat and keep the truly weird Herschel Walker far away from any proximity to government. Winning that seat will give Democrats a 51-49 majority and give vice-president Kamala Harris a break from having to repeatedly go to the senate to break tie votes. It also means that the party’s agenda will be slightly less prone to becoming a hostage to conservative Democratic senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema.
Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, whose only goal in life seems to be senate majority leader and thwart the Democratic agenda and prevent Joe Biden from nominating more judges, must be in a royal sulk. He must also be furious with Trump for pushing candidates in the primaries that he feared would lose. Trump will of course blame McConnell and everyone else for the loss and has already started the process of preventing his re-election as minority leader.
The internal back-biting has prompted a new round of fears: That Republicans will be at odds over their future and hurt their ability to unite ahead of the December 6 runoff for the US Senate seat in Georgia. Some of Trump’s allies fear that his obsession with the Kentucky Republican will only undercut their campaign in Georgia, with memories still raw for many in the party who blame the former President for costing them two seats and the Senate majority in last year’s runoff in the Peach State.
But privately, Trump is trying to turn GOP anger toward McConnell.
In phone calls with allies, elected officials and incoming members of Congress, the former President has accused McConnell of spending recklessly in states where Republicans faced significant headwinds at the expense of candidates in more competitive contests. He and aides have specifically alluded to the Alaska Senate race, where the McConnell-aligned Senate Leadership Fund spent more than $5 million attacking a Trump-backed Republican challenger to incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski. That candidate, Kelly Tshibaka, appears poised to advance to a ranked choice runoff against Murkowski on November 23.
Let the Republican blame game, finger pointing, and insulting begin!