The battle for control of Congress — both the House and Senate — comes down to a dwindling number of key races, with Democrats squelching Republicans’ hopes of a red wave and both parties holding on to hopes of narrow majority. achieve.
Republicans started the night with a defeat in Florida, where Governor Ron DeSantis won heavily Latino, historically Democratic regions en route to a blowout victory that could serve as a launch pad for a 2024 presidential run.
But in the hours that followed, the Democrats fought back. In Pennsylvania, Democratic Lt. gov. John Fetterman to Republican Mehmet Oz for the seat of outgoing Republican Senator Pat Toomey.
Meanwhile, the battle for the House majority — a majority that favored Republicans who expected to take advantage of high inflation, historic trends and friendly new district lines after the 2021 realignment — remains unsettled.
Be here some important takeaways since votes are still counted in important races:
Democrats go a long way to protect their Senate majority: Republicans were not shy about the importance of the Pennsylvania Senate race: “This is a race you have to win. We believe that if we win Pennsylvania, we will win the majority,” said Steven Law, chairman of the leading Republican Senate super PAC. Early Wednesday morning, CNN predicted that Fetterman would be the next Pennsylvania senator to defeat Oz in the most expensive, highest-stakes Senate campaign in the country. Fetterman’s victory was a thunderclap for Democrats.
Democrats and the Suburbs: Suburban areas across the country have been instrumental in helping Democrats prevent a significant red wave. Republicans may still win the House, but if the 2022 election turned into a red wave, it would likely come from suburban victories that haven’t materialized yet. Republicans did score some suburban victories—CNN envisioned Brandon Ogles as the winner in a district around Nashville, Tom Kean Jr. won in suburban New Jersey and Rich McCormick emerged victorious in a district that spanned Atlanta’s northern suburbs — but it was their defeats that spoke volumes about the magnitude of the GOP wave.
Virginia’s split decision offers early signs: Three Democrat-controlled House races in Virginia were widely regarded as an early warning sign of the night’s results. Democrats had seats in two Virginia districts that Biden won in 2020. CNN predicted that Democrat Jennifer Wexton would win her reelection bid in Virginia’s 10th district. In an even more competitive race, CNN predicted that Rep. Abigail Spanberger also won reelection in Virginia’s 7th district. But Democrats lost in southeastern Virginia, with CNN predicting Republican State Senator Jen Kiggans defeated Democratic Representative Elaine Luria.
Another committee member from January 6th loses: Luria, a member of the House selection committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, lost her seat in Virginia Beach, CNN predicted. She had beaten former GOP representative Scott Taylor in 2018 and 2020. But the district had become slightly more favorable to Republicans in the realignment: Biden carried the previous version by 5 points and would have lost the new district by 2 points.
DeSantis and 2024: Governor Ron DeSantis led a dominant Republican ticket in Florida — racking up historic Democratic margins in his victory over Democratic Rep. Charlie Crist on a night that gives him a strong argument as he seeks the GOP’s 2024 presidential nomination. The easy wins of DeSantis, who led by nearly 20 percentage points and had 92% of the estimated vote, and Senator Marco Rubio, who was 17 points ahead, were enough to cast doubt on Florida’s status as a national bellwether.
GOP Makes Profit With Latinos In Florida: Republicans hoped to build on Trump’s march among Latino voters in 2020, a trend that could reshape the political landscapes in several swing states if it continues. The strongest early signal that the GOP had continued to make gains came in Miami-Dade County, home to a large Cuban population. But it will take a while to fully gauge whether those GOP gains are happening outside of Florida.
Win for abortion rights: In Michigan, Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer—who is pinning her reelection campaign on her successful efforts to block enforcement of the 1931 state law banning abortion in nearly all cases—defeated Republican challenger Tudor Dixon, who had run a campaign that targeted on cultural struggle. Michigan voters also passed a Whitmer-backed amendment to the state constitution that repeals that 1931 law and guarantees abortion rights. Voters in California and Vermont have also given the green light to constitutional amendments that enshrine abortion rights.
A night of firsts: Up and down the vote, in red and blue states, candidates from both sides celebrate groundbreaking victories. Read about some of them here.