Democrats have managed to retain at least their razor-thin majority in the Senate, securing President Joe Biden’s influence on the judiciary and a small glimmer of hope for what remains of his agenda.
Nevada Sen Catherine Cortez Masto successfully defended her seat from Republican challenger Adam Laxalt, much to the relief of Democrats who saw her as the party’s most vulnerable senator in a political environment that was supposed to be favourable for Republicans.
With the win, Democrats have a chance to salvage some of Biden’s now defunct Build Back Better agenda.
But control of the House of Representatives remains undecided, with a handful of competitive races yet to be called. Republicans are forecasted to regain control of the chamber, but any GOP majority is expected to be as narrow as the Senate.
With that in mind, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday declined to comment on her future plans.
Sen Bill Cassidy told NBC News’ Chuck Todd that Republicans will continue to not do well in elections without campaigning on policy issues “that actually help people’s lives get better.”
“Elections are about winning. And so, if folks want to look at these election results and decide that’s where you want us to continue to be, then we’re not gonna continue to do well,” said Cassidy, of Louisiana, on “Meet the Press.” “We care about being anti-woke. Now let’s have a series of policy initiatives that actually help people’s lives get better.”
Cassidy also said the Republican presidential nominee in 2024 “should be about the future.” When pressed if he would support Trump running again, he said he wouldn’t answer “a theoretical.”
Looking to 2024: Trump is under fire over the midterms. DeSantis is rising. And a 2024 rivalry is just beginning.
Anita Dunn, senior adviser to Biden, expressed optimism of bipartisan cooperation between the White House and a GOP-led House.
“He’s (Biden) going to reach out his hand to work with the Republicans. And the question is whether they will reach out their hand to his.” Dunn told CBS’s Margaret Brennan on “Face the Nation.” “Voters in this country are going to expect their leaders to work together.”
Should the GOP regain control of the House, Republicans are expected to aggressively investigate Biden. Dunn said the White House plans to cooperate with any investigations opened.
“Obviously the White House has and will continue to play with fair and legitimate oversight because we are a White House that respects norms and the rule of law,” Dunn said.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Sunday she thinks President Joe Biden should run for a second term and expressed full support for a Biden candidacy.
“President Biden has been a great president for our country. He has accomplished so much,” Pelosi told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos. “He has a great record to run on.”
With control of the House still undecided, she also left her leadership position in the Democratic Party unclear, saying she won’t make any comments until Tuesday’s elections are settled. If Republicans do take the House, Pelosi told CNN’s Dana Bash she doesn’t think House Minority Kevin McCarthy has what it takes to become speaker.
“No, I don’t think he has it. But that’s up to his own people to make a decision as to how they want to be led or otherwise,” said Pelosi.
Republican Governor Larry Hogan of Maryland issued a sharp rebuke of Trump’s role in the midterm elections, largely casting blame on him for disappointing Republican losses.
“This should have been a huge red wave. It should have been one of the biggest red waves we’ve ever had,” Hogan told CNN’s Dana Bash on Sunday. Hogan has been one of the most outspoken Republicans against Trump’s leadership in the party.
Hogan said the midterm election was “basically the third” consecutive contest that Trump “has cost us the race.”
“I’m tired of losing. That’s all he’s done,” Hogan said of Trump.
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, who won her re-election bid by more than 10 percentage points, told CNN’s Dana Bash on Sunday that “fundamentals” delivered for surprising Democratic wins across the country.
“I can tell you we stay focused on the fundamentals, whether it’s fixing the damn roads or making sure our kids are getting back on track,” said Whitmer, also attributing her victory to abortion rights as a campaign issue. Whitmer cruised to re-election in part with the heavy support of female voters.
“I know a lot of folks kind of wanted to say, should we talk about the economy or abortion?” Whitmer said. “But the fact of the matter is the ability to decide when and whether to have a child is the biggest economic decision a woman will make over the course of her lifetime.”
Neither Republicans nor Democrats have reached the magic number of 218 for a majority in the House. As it stands, Republicans have 211 seats to Democrats’ 203.
In Colorado, Democrats still have a rare opportunity to pick up a House seat. Republican firebrand Rep Lauren Boebert is still locked in a dead heat with Democrat Adam Frisch with Boebert leading by less than half a percentage point at 50.2 pe cent to 49.8 per cent.
And in southern California, Democratic Rep Katie Porter is playing defence but has slightly expanded her lead against Republican Scott Baugh, at 51.3 per cent against 48.7 per cent.
Arizona’s governor’s race between an outgoing Democratic secretary of state and a fervent Republican election denier is up in the air. Democrat Katie Hobbs and Republican Kari Lake are neck-and-neck, with Hobbs slightly leading at 50.7 per cent against 49.3 per cent. There are around 265,000 votes yet to be counted.
Democratic Rep Karen Bass has taken the lead over businessman and fellow Democrat Rick Caruso in Los Angeles’ competitive mayoral race.
Bass leads Caruso by little less than two percentage points at 50.8 per cent versus 49.2 per cent. But the race’s outcome is still a toss-up, with only 67 per cent of the votes counted so far.
The candidates have campaigned as stark contrasts to each other. Bass, a long-time Democrat who has served southern California for more than a decade, is hoping to become the city’s first female mayor. Caruso on the other hand, has depicted himself as a political outsider seeking to upend the Democratic establishment.
In southwest Washington, Democrat Marie Gluesenkamp Pérez prevailed over Joe Kent, a hard-right Republican endorsed by former President Donald Trump.
Gluesenkamp Pérez’s victory is an important pickup for Democrats hoping to maintain control of the House. Kent’s defeat will add to the growing conversation around Trump’s role in disappointing results for Republicans.
The seat is currently held by Republican Rep Jaime Herrera Beutler, who voted to impeach Trump in 2021 for his role in the January 6 Capitol attack. Trump, seeking to oust any Republicans perceived as disloyal, endorsed Kent who later defeated Herrera Beutler in a primary earlier this year.
- A USA Today report