Fate of Congress Uncertain as Georgia Prepares for Senate Race Runoff

Fate of Congress Uncertain as Georgia Prepares for Senate Race Runoff
(Left) Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) in Columbus, Ga., on Oct. 8, 2022. (Megan Varner/Getty Images); (Right) Georgia Republican Senatorial candidate Herschel Walker in Carrollton, Ga., on Oct. 11, 2022. (Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images)

Election workers in Arizona and Nevada began the second day of counting votes on Nov. 10 to ascertain the outcomes of two U.S. Senate races, as Georgia prepared for a runoff election that could determine which party controls the chamber next year.

Republicans, in the meantime, continued to gain ground toward a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, with just eight seats left to claim control of the chamber.

The answer regarding who controls what chamber could take days or even weeks to determine if recounts take place.

In Nevada, Republican candidate Adam Laxalt held a 1.4 percentage point vote lead over incumbent Sen. Catherine Masto (D-Nev.) on Thursday morning with an estimated 90 percent of the votes in. Regardless of the final margin, Nevada law allows the losing candidate to request a recount.

“Of the 84,000 votes left to count in Clark County, Cortez Masto could win 63% of them and she would still lose,” Laxalt wrote on Twitter on Wednesday.

He added Thursday morning: “Last night went exactly as we anticipated. We added 3K from the rurals and more are coming. She added some Clark County mail. We expect the remaining mail universe to fall well below the percentage she needs to catch us. No status change.”

Nevada's Republican Candidates Adam Laxalt And Joe Lombardo Attend Midterm Election Night Party In Las Vegas
Nevada Republican U.S. Senate nominee Adam Laxalt speaks as his wife Jaime Laxalt (R) looks on at a Republican midterm election night party at Red Rock Casino on November 08, 2022, in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Masto’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

In Arizona, incumbent Sen. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) led Republican challenger Blake Masters by five percentage points on Thursday morning with an estimated 78 percent of the votes in. Arizona law calls for an automatic recount when the margin between two candidates is less than half of a percentage point.

Election officials in Maricopa, Arizona’s most populous county, said the votes would take at least until Friday to count.

Republicans need to win two of the three undecided contests to claim control of the Senate. If the lead candidates in Nevada and Arizona remain the same, the national spotlight will shift entirely to Georgia, where incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) has already spent an eye-popping $75 million to defend his seat against Republican candidate Herschel Walker.

With more than 95 percent of the votes counted, Warnock led Walker by 0.9 percent on Nov. 10 but did not clear the 50 percent vote threshold required to avoid a runoff.

Regarding the difference in margins between the general and runoff elections, Republicans gained ground in all but one of eight runoffs Georgia conducted between 1992 and 2018. That trend reversed in 2020, with both Warnock and Jon Ossoff performing better than their Republican opponents.

Warnock Walker
(Left) Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) gives a speech at his Election night party at Atlanta Marriott Marquis in Atlanta on Nov. 8, 2022. (Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images); (Right) Georgia Republican Senate nominee Herschel Walker addresses the crowd of supporters during a campaign stop in Macon, Ga., on Oct. 20, 2022. (Jessica McGowan/Getty Images)

In the race for control of the U.S. House of Representatives, Republicans led Democrats 210–192 on the afternoon of Nov. 10, according to a projection by Decision Desk HQ. Republicans need eight more seats to win the chamber and lead in a dozen districts.

Nine districts where Republican House candidates are in the lead lie in slow-counting states like California and Arizona, suggesting that the outcome could be days away.

If Republicans gain control of either chamber of Congress, they could effectively derail President Joe Biden’s legislative agenda. House lawmakers have also said they would launch a barrage of investigations into the president and his family’s business dealings should they retake the speaker’s gavel.

The party in power historically loses ground during the midterm of their president’s first term. Republican gains in the House suggest that voters blame the White House and Democrats for kitchen-table issues like the soaring prices of gas and groceries.

In a press conference on Wednesday, Biden acknowledged the prospect of Republicans taking the House.

“The American people have made clear, I think, that they expect Republicans to be prepared to work with me as well,” the president said during a press conference.

Control of the Senate would enable Republicans to block Biden’s judicial and administrative nominees.

From The Epoch Times

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