Democrats retain control of the Senate with Nevada victory

Democrats will continue to control the Senate after the midterm elections 2022after Nevada Senator Catherine Cortez Masto on Saturday was screened by CBS News to win a close re-election race against Republican Adam Laxalt.

His victory gives Democrats 50 seats in the 118th Congress. Vice President Kamala Harris’s tie-breaking vote, if necessary, gives them a majority, regardless of the outcome of the Georgia December runoff election between Senator Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger Herschel Walker.

“The election is a great victory for the American people,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said at a briefing Saturday night. “With elections now called in Arizona and Nevada, the Democrats will have a majority in the Senate and I will once again be the majority leader.”

Ahead of Election Day, some Republicans had begun to believe control of the Senate was within reach as President Biden suffers from below-water-line approval ratings amid high inflation and negative views. of voters on the economy in every battleground state.

But in the months leading up to the general election, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell expressed doubt that Republicans could take the Senate, blaming “the quality of the candidates.” Many of the Republican candidates who lost were far-right and endorsed by former President Donald Trump, giving them momentum during the primary season. But they failed to appeal to independents and moderates in the general election.

Senator Pat Toomey, who is retiring from the Senate and whose seat was won by Democratic Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, blamed Trump for the GOP’s missed opportunity.

“The data is overwhelmingly clear: The more candidates associated with Donald Trump and the ultra MAGA movement, and this false notion that they stole the election from him in 2020, the more that was the message, the more they lost, and in many places, it was very tough for a more mainstream Republican who was winning,” he said in an interview on Fox News on Saturday.

Although he did not identify him by name, Toomey referred to far-right Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano as “a weak candidate losing by 15 points, the most for a vacant seat since the 1950s.”

He went on to note that “we lost three chances to change House seats, we lost control of the state House…and the party needs to get past Donald Trump.”

Alaska, where there are three candidates on the ballot in a ranked-choice voting system, has yet to be called, but with the top two finalists both Republicans, CBS News projects it will remain in Republican hands.

On Friday night, CBS News screened Arizona Senator Mark Kelly he will win re-election over Republican challenger Blake Masters.

In other battleground states, CBS News projected that races in Wisconsin, Florida, Ohio and North Carolina will go to Republicans, while Democrats will win Colorado, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania.

In each of the Senate battlegrounds where CBS News has conducted exit polls, voters said control of the Senate was important to their vote. CBS News conducted statewide polls in 11 key battleground states: Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, New Hampshire, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wisconsin.

In each of these states, voters held negative views of the nation’s economy.

In most Senate battleground states, the issue of inflation overtook abortion in terms of the issue’s importance to voters. But in The Pennsylvania Closely Watched Racewhere Fetterman edged out Republican candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz, exit polls showed abortion outpacing inflation as a concern for voters.

According to early exit polls on Tuesday, nearly three in four voters said they were dissatisfied with the country. That includes nearly a third who said they were angry. Nearly three-quarters said the economy is bad, and nearly half of voters said their family’s finances are worse than they were two years ago.

Thirty-five Senate seats were up for grabs in total in the 2022 midterm elections, but less than a third were expected to be close.

Musadiq Bidar and Jack Turman contributed to this report.

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