Republicans closed a narrow majority in the House of Representatives on Wednesday, while control of the Senate hinged on close races in Arizona, Nevada and Georgia in a midterm election that defied expectations of landslide conservative victories fueled by frustration with inflation. and the leadership of President Joe Biden.
Democrat John Fetterman’s success in changing Pennsylvania’s Republican seat in the Senate, where this party holds a majority, raised Democratic hopes of maintaining control of the chamber. Republicans found a bright spot in Wisconsin, where Sen. Ron Johnson’s victory raised the stakes in races where the results were unclear and the vote count continued.
In the House of Representatives, Democrats held seats in districts from Virginia to Kansas to Rhode Island, while many in states like New York and California have not announced winners. But Republicans scored several important victories in their bid to flip the five seats needed to regain a majority in the House of Representatives. In a particularly symbolic victory, the GOP defeated House Democratic campaign manager Sean Patrick Maloney of New York.
Democrats have also been successful in gubernatorial races, winning Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, critical battlegrounds for Biden’s 2020 victory over Donald Trump. And also in Maryland and Massachusetts. But Republicans managed to hold onto the governments of Florida, Texas and Georgia, another state Biden narrowly won two years ago.
Votes across the country were still being counted on Wednesday, meaning Republicans could still emerge, as anticipated.
But there was no strong rise of the Republican Party or
“a red wave,” buoying Democrats who had braced themselves for big losses and raising questions about the size of the Republicans’ ruling majority if they win the House.
“As we sit here, I cannot, with 100 percent certainty, tell you who has a majority in the House of Representatives,” said New York Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, Democratic campaign manager in that instance, after accept his defeat on Wednesday. “If we don’t make it, we’re going to know we gave it our all and beat the spread.”
Maloney’s loss marks the first time since 1980 that the House Democratic campaign manager has been defeated.
Races in both houses of Congress will determine the future of Biden’s agenda and serve as a referendum on his administration as the nation reels from record inflation and concerns about the direction of the country.
Republican control of the House of Representatives will likely trigger a series of investigations into Biden and his family, and if Republicans ultimately control the Senate it would hamper the president’s ability to make judicial appointments.
Democrats faced historic headwinds. The ruling party almost always suffers losses in the first midterm elections after the presidential vote, but Democrats were betting that anger over the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down abortion rights would encourage their voters to buck historical trends. .
Meanwhile, the Pennsylvania Democrats won the governorship to accompany their victory in the Senate. Fetterman faced questions about his fitness for office after suffering a stroke, but he edged out Republican Mehmet Oz, a Trump-backed doctor. In the gubernatorial race, Democratic Attorney General Josh Shapiro defeated Republican Doug Mastriano, an election denier who some feared would not secure a Democratic presidential victory in the state in 2024.
Democrats Tony Evers of Wisconsin, Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, Kathy Hochul of New York, Michelle Luján Grisham of New Mexico, Maura Healey of Massachusetts and Janet Mill of Maine also defeated Republicans.
Republican governors were also successful. Georgia Governor Brian Kemp won re-election by defeating Stacey Abrams in a rematch of the 2018 race. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Texas Governor Greg Abbott, two possible future Republican presidential candidates, they beat Democrats in the nation’s two largest Republican-leaning states.
The 2022 election is on track to cost $16.7 billion at the state and federal levels, making it the most expensive midterms in history, according to nonpartisan campaign finance tracking organization OpenSecrets.