The Democrats put up an unexpectedly strong fight when the results of the US midterm elections, which will decide which party controls Congress, came in, although the Republicans, led by Gov. Ron DeSantis, clinched a series of convincing victories in Florida.
The first tally of Tuesday’s midterm elections showed many battleground races across the country too close to call, with control of the Senate hanging in the balance and Republicans struggling to secure widespread victories in swing- Districts in the House of Representatives to win night.
“It’s definitely not a wave,” said Lindsey Graham, the Republican senator from South Carolina, referring to the “red wave” many pollsters had predicted for Election Day. However, Graham said his party was still on track for a “very good night” and predicted it would win a majority in the lower chamber of Congress.
The best early result for Republicans was in Florida, where DeSantis, considered a likely contender for his party’s presidential nomination in 2024, would quickly win re-election alongside Senator Marco Rubio.
“I’m looking forward to the journey ahead,” said DeSantis. “We have achieved more than anyone thought possible four years ago. But we still have so much to do and I’ve only just started to fight.”
Despite the strong showing in Florida — until recently considered a swing state — results at other battleground competitions have been more mixed. The crucial Senate races in Pennsylvania, Georgia and Nevada remained extremely close, with the outcome highly uncertain.
Democrats held onto several East Coast House districts where their candidates were seen as vulnerable, with victories for Abigail Spanberger in Virginia and Seth Magaziner in Rhode Island.
Meanwhile, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul declared victory after apparently holding off Republican challenger Lee Zeldin. The result will bring some relief to Democrats after polls showed Zeldin has filled a gaping void in recent weeks by his relentless focus on crime.
Republicans only need a net gain of five seats to win a majority in the House of Representatives and still have the edge in the lower house, but they could take control by a smaller margin than they had hoped.
The White House, braced for heavy domestic losses, said President Joe Biden had begun calling Democrats like Spanberger and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to congratulate them on winning their races.
Even a narrow majority in the House of Representatives for the Republicans threatens to impede the next two years of Biden’s presidency. Republican leaders have already indicated that they will use the debt ceiling as leverage to impose their own policy priorities, such as cuts in federal spending.
They have also indicated that they will disband the Democrat-led investigation, including the special committee investigating Donald Trump’s role in the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol, and launch their own investigations into anything by the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic to the business dealings of Hunter Biden, the President’s son.
Republicans also scored a string of high-profile victories outside of Florida, with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott winning re-election and JD Vance, the former venture capitalist and Trump-backed author, winning his Senate race in Ohio.
https://www.ft.com/content/dcb79319-dfb9-4f1b-b321-dd9cc8f79a68 The Republican wave does not materialize when the first interim results are available