Democrats are poised to lose control of the U.S. House but not from a red wave that pollsters predicted.
In the Senate, the results are still unclear with the Georgia Senate race likely headed to a Dec. 6 runoff. Races in Arizona, Utah, Nevada and Wisconsin have not yet been called. If Republicans fail to pick up a seat, the Senate would likely remain split with Vice President Kamala Harris continuing to provide Democrats with a tie-breaking vote.
But, without control of the House, the legislative agenda of President Joe Biden would be difficult, if not impossible, to pass.
Even with the uncertainty, Democrats suffered humiliating defeats in deep blue states like New York where seven seats have flipped from blue to red, including the seat of the top Democrat responsible for getting other Democrats elected across the country.
Results in Florida have firmly established the popular Gov. Ron DeSantis as the leader of the Republican Party. DeSantis fortified his mandate, swiping nearly 60 percent of the vote, up from less than 50 percent in 2018, when he secured victory by 0.4 percent.
DeSantis did so with a coalition of Hispanic, Black and suburban voters but also brought in thousands of Democrats in the Miami-Dade Democrat stronghold that has rarely, if every elected a Republican.
“We made promises to the people of Florida, and we have delivered on those promises. And so today, after four years, the people have delivered their verdict. Freedom is here to stay,” DeSantis said in his victory speech to a roaring crowd of supporters at the Tampa Convention Center on Nov. 8.
The governor contrasted conditions in the Sunshine State with that of the other parts of the country under Democratic control.
“We set out a vision. We executed on that vision. And we produced historic results and the people of this state have responded in record fashion,” he said. “Now, while our country flounders due to failed leadership in Washington, Florida is on the right track.”
Republicans apparently flipped several Democrat House seats in the state.
In Ohio, JD Vance beat Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) for an open U.S. Senate seat. “I am overwhelmed with gratitude,” Vance told supporters in Columbus. “I cannot express possibly in words how grateful I am.”
“We need better leadership in Washington, D.C., and that’s exactly what I promise to fight for every single day,” he added.
In the rest of the country, however, it was largely Democrats overperforming, often by less than 1 percent in the victory margin.
In Arizona, Republican Kari Lake is still holding on to the hope of closing the gap between her and Democrat Katie Hobbs, as much of the vote remains to be counted.
Democrat Governors of Kansas and Wisconsin, Laura Kelly and Tony Evers, have managed to keep their seats, but by less than 3 percentage points. Some votes in those states still remain to be counted.
In the Senate races, the closely watched contest in Pennsylvania has been called by the Associated Press for Democrat John Fetterman, though Republican Mehmet Oz hasn’t conceded. Due to several election rule controversies in the state, the results may still get challenged in court. The state’s election officials attempted to change voting rules at the last minute and lawsuits have already been filed.
Behind the scenes, a number of vote-counting issues could threaten to tie up the final, official results of the election.
On Election Eve, Fetterman’s campaign filed a federal lawsuit seeking to force officials to count mail-in ballots with improper or missing dates. And on Election Day, officials in Philadelphia made an emergency change to a vote-counting process—a move they said they felt forced to make even though it could delay vote tallies by several days.
The Georgia race between Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican Hershel Walker remains too close to call and is likely to head for a December runoff.
As of press time, Warnock has picked up about 1.92 million votes, or 49.3 percent, compared to Walker’s roughly 1.89 million votes, or 48.6 percent. About 99 percent of the votes in Georgia have been counted.
Warnock has remained confident about winning the race. Writing on Twitter at around 3:45 p.m. ET, he said he will have more votes than his opponent.
“And whether we need to work all night, through tomorrow, or for four more weeks, we will do what we need to and bring this home,” Warnock wrote.
On Tuesday night, Walker asked supporters to “hang in there a little bit longer.”
“I’m telling you right now, I am like Ricky Bobby, I don’t come to lose,” Walker said.
If neither Walker nor Warnock surpasses the 50 percent threshold, they will head to the Dec. 6 runoff.
Sen. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) leads Blake Masters, but Democrat-controlled Maricopa County again had election-day voting issues.
In Wisconsin, Sen. Ron Johnson may just barely save the seat for Republicans with Democrat Mandela Barnes pulling within about 1.5 points.
“We’ve looked very closely at the numbers,” Johnson said. “We feel very confident that there’s no way that they can really make up that gap.
“But I’m not going to declare victory until all the numbers are in, but I just want to give you guys a sense that this race is over.”
In the House, Republicans have so far flipped nine seats and Democrats flipped three. Republicans are projected to squeeze out around 226 seats, securing them a slight majority.
Republican Thomas Kean Jr. was able to flip the 7th District of New Jersey, which used to be solidly red, but was won for Democrats in 2018 by Rep. Tom Malinowski.
On the other hand, Republican firebrand Rep. Lauren Boebert lost her seat in Colorado’s 3rd District to Democrat Adam Frisch.