With Democratic Senator Mark Kelly winning re-election in Arizona late Friday, Masto’s victory moved Democrats to a crucial 50 Senate seats, compared to 49 held by Republicans. 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 will effectively be controlled by Democrats as the tie vote goes to Vice-President Kamala Harris.
For Republicans, it was another blow after they have underperformed steeply in many races. The group hoped for a “red wave” that would sweep across the United States and hand the upper house of Congress over to them. Instead — with a few exceptions like Florida — the tide was higher.
A Democrat victory in the Senate could prompt more condemnation in Republican circles over who is to blame for the poor showing. So far, much attention has focused on Trump after supporting right-wing or celebrity candidates in several key races that he lost, such as Dr. Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania.
Biden said he was “incredibly pleased” with the turnout in the US election and that the Republican Party now had to decide “who they are”. Speaking to reporters in Cambodia ahead of the East Asia Summit, Biden said his focus was on the Georgia Senate race.
“We are now focusing on Georgia. We feel good about where we are,” Biden said. “And I know I’m an optimist. I understand that.
“I am not surprised by the turnout. I am incredibly pleased. And I think that’s a reflection of the quality of our candidates.”
Control of the House of Representatives is still undecided. Biden acknowledged that such a victory would be “a stretch” for Democrats, but fell short of predicting that Republicans would come to power in Washington.
Meanwhile, a Senate defeat will sharply focus attention on Trump’s ongoing dominance of the Republican Party. Some prominent Republican figures have openly pleaded with Trump not to announce a 2024 run, as he is widely expected to do next week.