The Democrats secured control of the Senate on Saturday after winning a crucial contest in the state of Nevada.
Democratic US senator Catherine Cortez Masto has now beaten Republican challenger Adam Laxalt, a former state attorney general, who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, the Associated Press said.
With Masto’s victory coming on the heels of Democratic senator Mark Kelly winning re-election in Arizona late on Friday, the win takes the Democrats to the crucial number of fifty seats in the Senate with the Republicans at forty-nine.
The race in Georgia is set to go to a runoff in December, but, even if Republicans win there, a 50-50 split means the Senate would effectively be controlled by the Democrats because the tying vote falls to Vice President Kamala Harris.
Democrats keeping control of the Senate is a big boost for Biden
Retaining Senate control is a huge boost to President Joe Biden over the remaining two years of his first term in the White House, CNN reports.
“I think it’s a reflection of the quality of our candidates,” Biden told reporters in Cambodia shortly after CNN and other news outlets projected Democrats would keep their Senate majority. “They’re all running on the same program,” Biden said. “Wasn’t anybody who wasn’t running on what we did.”
The result is a big blow to the Republicans, who were hoping for a “red wave,” an electoral rout that would deliver a harsh rebuke of President Biden and his Democrats, the BBC says.
While the Republicans have made modest gains and remain favored to win the House of Representatives, the Democrats have performed much better than expected.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer celebrated the win on Twitter, saying “Democrats will have a majority again in the Senate!”
“This election is a victory and vindication for Democrats, our agenda and our accomplishments, and for America and the American people,” he said.
Democrats will have a majority again in the Senate!
This election is a victory and vindication for Democrats, our agenda and our accomplishments, and for America and the American people.
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) November 13, 2022
Control of the House following the midterm elections is still up for grabs.
Ballots are still being counted in key districts in some states, including California, Arizona, and Oregon, with large shares of mail-in ballots. Even if Democrats don’t retain control of the House, they could leave the Republicans with a small majority.