- Senate control still undecided
- Counting of votes may take a few days
- Republicans move closer to controlling the House of Representatives
- Biden says hope is ‘alive’
PHOENIX, Nov. 11 (Reuters) – Election workers in Arizona and Nevada toiled on Friday to count hundreds of thousands of uncounted ballots that could decide control of the U.S. Senate, the battleground states of the two battleground states. Officials have warned that the process could drag on for days.
After Tuesday’s midterm vote, either Democrats or Republicans could win a Senate majority with a full contest in both states. The split will change in December. On June 6, Georgia’s second round of Senate elections entered a proxy battle in the House of Representatives, with implications for President Joe Biden’s judicial appointments.
In the race for the House, Republicans are getting closer to wresting control of the House from Biden’s Democrats. House control would give Republicans veto power over Biden’s legislative agenda and allow them to launch a potentially damaging investigation of his administration.
Edison Research projected late Thursday that Republicans won at least 211 of the 218 House seats needed to secure a majority, while Democrats won 197. That leaves 27 games undecided, including several close games.
Republican House Leader Kevin McCarthy has already announced his intention to run for speaker if a Republican takes over, which he says is an inevitable outcome.
Biden told reporters on Thursday that he and McCarthy had spoken, but said he had not given up hope that Democrats could win in the House, albeit a good one.
“It’s still alive,” he said of their chances.
Democrats have blocked the “red wave” expected by Republicans, who have criticized Biden for soaring inflation and rising crime. Biden’s tenure since taking office in 2021 has been marked by economic scars from the COVID-19 pandemic following a tumultuous four years under former President Donald Trump.
Biden described the vote as a fight to save democracy after the Republican nominee touted Trump’s false claim that Biden’s 2020 election was fraudulent. His Democrats have called Republicans extremists, pointing to the Supreme Court’s decision to remove abortion rights nationwide.
(Live election results from across the country are here)
Democratic incumbents are trying to fend off Republican challengers who say the uncounted mail-in ballots may not be counted until next week, officials overseeing vote counting in the Arizona and Nevada Senate races said.
A senior election official in Arizona’s most populous county said Thursday that workers there have a backlog of more than 400,000 uncounted ballots.
“We’re going to work Friday, Saturday and Sunday and pass those ballots. The staff here is working 14 to 18 hours a day. We’re doing what we can,” Bill Gates, chairman of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, told reporters.
Some of Trump’s most high-profile support candidates lost key races on Tuesday, hurting his status as a Republican kingmaker and leading some Republicans to blame the party’s disappointing performance. His divisive brand.
The results could increase Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s chances of defeating a Democratic challenger on Tuesday who chose to challenge Trump for the 2024 presidential nomination.
While Trump has yet to officially launch his third White House campaign, the former president has strongly suggested he will, and plans to make a “special announcement” at his Florida club on Tuesday.
Trump slammed DeSantis in a statement Thursday, crediting him for the governor’s political rise, while attacking critics on his social media site, Truth Social.
Even a narrow Republican majority in the House can demand concessions in exchange for votes on key issues such as raising the state’s borrowing limit.
But with so few votes, McCarthy may struggle to hold his caucus together — especially the far right, who largely aligns with Trump and has no interest in compromise.
Reporting by Tim Reid in Phoenix and Joseph Axe in Washington; Writing by Rami Ayyub and Joseph Axe; Editing by Ana Nicolaci da Costa and Angus MacSwan
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