PHOENIX, Nov. 10 (Reuters) – Control of both chambers of the U.S. Congress is still up in the air, two days after Americans went to the polls, with 31 seats in the House of Representatives too close to a vote and hundreds of thousands of votes still on officials. That said, Arizona, a key battleground state, was counted.
Edison Research expects Republicans to gain at least 211 House seats, seven short of the 218 needed to take the House from Democrats and effectively block President Joe Biden’s legislative agenda.
While Republicans are still in favor of winning the House majority, the 31 undecided House races include 19 of the most competitive, according to a Reuters analysis of leading independent forecasters – which could ensure an eventual outcome within a period of time. The time will not be determined.
The fate of the Senate – neck and neck – is more uncertain, with the races in Nevada and Arizona all too close. A decision on Georgia’s Senate seat is scheduled for next month.
In Arizona, more than 400,000 ballots remained uncounted in the state’s most populous county as of Thursday afternoon, Bill Gates, chairman of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, told CNN.
Even with a narrow majority in the House, Republicans could decide on Biden’s remaining term, blocking priorities such as abortion rights and launching investigations into his administration and family.
(Live election results from across the country are here)
Biden is optimistic
The ruling party has historically suffered heavy casualties in the president’s first midterm elections, with results on Tuesday showing voters punished at least in part for Biden’s worst inflation in 40 years.
But Democrats were able to avoid a major defeat expected by Republicans as voters turned out in large numbers to protect abortion rights, threatened since the Supreme Court overturned constitutional protections in June.
“The women of America have made their voices heard, man,” President Joe Biden said at a political event in Washington.
As hundreds of Republican candidates accept former President Donald Trump’s false claims that the 2020 presidential election has been stolen, the president sees the election as a test of American democracy.
At the political event, Biden noted that many so-called “election deniers” have accepted their losses.
Biden, who traveled to Egypt for the COP27 UN climate change summit on Thursday, said he was ready to work with Republicans.
A White House official said Biden spoke by phone with Republican House leader Kevin McCarthy, who announced Wednesday that he intends to run for House speaker if Republicans control the House.
If McCarthy is the next House speaker, he may find it a challenge to unite his unruly caucus with a far right that has no interest in compromise.
Republicans are expected to demand spending cuts in exchange for raising the nation’s borrowing limit next year, a showdown that could spook financial markets.
Reporting by Jason Lange, Joseph Ax, Trevor Hunnicutt, Andy Sullivan, Makini Brice, Susan Heavey, Richard Cowan, Steve Holland, Jeff Mason and Doina Chiacu in Washington, Gabriella Borter in Birmingham, Michigan, Nathan Layne in Alpharetta, Georgia, Tim Reid Phoenix and Ned Parker in Reno, Nevada; and Daniel Trotta; Writing by Jeff Mason and Joseph Axe; Editing by Ross Colvin and Rosalba O’Brien
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