Democrats Keep Control of Senate After Emerging Victorious in Key Races
Democrats are projected to maintain control of the Senate after emerging victorious in key races in battleground states, extinguishing Republican hopes of flipping both congressional chambers.
Although Republicans are still projected to gain control of the House, Democrats kept the Senate after winning battles in Arizona, Nevada, and Pennsylvania.
“Democrats will have a majority again in the Senate! This election is a victory and vindication for Democrats, our agenda and our accomplishments, and for America and the American people,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said in a statement after the Nevada race was called on Nov. 12.
Democrats will have at least 50 seats in the 100-seat chamber. Vice President Kamala Harris is president of the upper chamber, giving her the ability to cast the tiebreaking vote. The Georgia Senate runoff has been scheduled for December.
In Arizona, Sen. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) held off venture capitalist Blake Masters, according to the projections. In Nevada, Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) beat former Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt. And in Pennsylvania, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman prevailed over Dr. Mehmet Oz.
Republicans did win several closely watched races. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) beat Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes. Author J.D. Vance trumped Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio). And Rep. Ted Budd (R-N.C.) bested former North Carolina Supreme Court Justice Cheri Beasley.
But Republicans needed to win more races to flip control of the Senate, which the Democrats currently control.
The final outcome, at present, means that Schumer will remain majority leader when the next Congress is seated in January 2023. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is expected to keep his position, although some senators have said he should step aside due to the failure to secure a majority.
Republicans had hopes of picking up seats in a number of states, including Nevada and New Hampshire, but failed to capitalize on low approval ratings for President Joe Biden.
In New Hampshire, Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) held onto her seat over retired U.S. Army Big. Gen. Don Bolduc.
Five Republican senators—including Sens. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), and Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.)—are set to retire.
Fetterman won the seat being vacated by Toomey.
Missouri’s Republican Attorney General Eric Schmitt won the seat that Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) is vacating. Blunt also chose to not run for another term.
Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) won the election to succeed Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the only Democrat who’s retiring from the Senate.
A special election held for the seat that Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) is leaving in the middle of his term was won by Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.).
Incumbents from both parties also held on in other close races.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) won against Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.). Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) beat former CIA officer Evan McMullin.
Other senators who won reelection are John Boozman (R-Ark.), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Todd Young (R-Ind.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), John Kennedy (R-La.) Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Schumer, John Hoeven (R-N.D.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), John Thune (R-S.D.), and Patty Murray (D-Wash.).
In Alaska, former Alaska Department of Administration Commissioner Kelly Tshibaka, a Republican, and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) are the top two vote-getters for the seat that Murkowski holds. The winner hasn’t yet been declared.