Extreme Republican politicians, like Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert (who was defeated by her Democratic opponent), frightened enough people to help Senator Mark Kelly win re-election in Arizona, leaving Democrats one seat away from keeping control in the Senate.
A victory in either toss-up Nevada or run-off Georgia would give Democrats outright control of the Senate after Republicans wasted their red wave hopes on a campaign of ending democracy that ignores the problems of struggling Americans.
For the past two years, Democrats have been able to control the upper chamber of Congress only when all 50 caucus members stood firm and they were able to break a tie with the vote of Vice President Kamala Harris.
With Senators Kirsten Sinema and Joe Manchin, that was never a reliable outcome.
Economic volatility and inflation driven by corporate greed caused anxiety among voters but solutions championed by experts were hampered by GOP opposition with frequent help from Sinema and Manchin.
Republicans have assailed the current system as ”out-of-control immigration’ but the GOP House majority was responsible for rejecting the bipartisan immigration legislation that was crafted by Senator John McCain in 2013.
In previous elections, many Americans rewarded the GOP by punishing Democrats who failed to solve problems created by the Republicans.
This year’s midterm elections saw candidates who held extremist anti-LGBTQ, anti-immigrant, election-denying and anti-abortion positions widely rebuffed by voters around the country.
There are still a number of close competitive races where votes are being tallied as ballots that come in by mail up until Saturday are eligible to be counted.
Several gubernatorial candidates who were backed by Trump and shared his views on immigration, abortion and the 2020 election failed such as Pennsylvania’s Doug Mastriano and Kari Lake in Arizona.
Kelly is a native of West Orange, New Jersey, who became an astronaut and became former champion of common sense gun safety legislation after his wife, Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, was shot in the head by a deranged gunman.
The Democrat incumbent Kelly defeated Blake Masters, whose campaign repeatedly invoked “great replacement”-style narratives of an “invasion” at the U.S. Southern border.
Masters’ campaign was bolstered by donations from far-right figures in Silicon Valley including Peter Thiel, Masters’ mentor and former employer, who donated $15 million to a PAC supporting his election. Masters easily won his primary after being endorsed by Trump. In turn, Masters paid homage to Trump in his policy positions, promising voters he would finish the former president’s border wall, questioning the result of the 2020 election and adopting a hardline position on abortion, which he later attempted to walk back.
Masters was celebrated across the far right during his campaign. White nationalist website VDARE posted, “It would be a massive victory for immigration patriotism if someone like Masters can win a statewide race in a battleground state.” He also had endorsements from neo-Nazi Andrew Anglin, the publisher of the Daily Stormer, and Andrew Torba, who founded the extremist-friendly website Gab and is a self-described Christian nationalist.
In the lower chamber of the United States Congress, the House of Representatives, Democratic candidates have won in 209 districts and Republicans carried 211 among the 410 of 435 seats up for election called so far by the Associated Press.
As of Friday, CBS News estimated Republicans will win at least 213 seats while Democrats are estimated to win at least 206 seats.
Republicans appear to be in position to reach the 218 seats they need to flip the chamber after the midterm elections but Democrats stubbornly cling to hope of retaining their majority.
There are fewer than 30 races that have not been called.
At least 10 seats are considered “battlegrounds” and there are a handful of other races that have remained tight since Tuesday. Sixteen of the uncalled races are in California, a reliably Democratic state that has several competitive Congressional districts this cycle.
Before the votes are even fully counted in the 2022 midterm election, Republicans are struggling to decide whether they stick with Donald J. Trump in 2024 or leave him behind for an alternative such as Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
The Wall Street Journal editorial page and The New York Post — owned by the conservative media baron Rupert Murdoch — called for Trump to be tossed aside.
Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears of Virginia and Robin Vos, the powerful Assembly speaker in Wisconsin — both major Trump allies during and after his presidency — said he should not be the party’s presidential nominee in 2024.
Trump has exerted a gravitational pull on the Republican Party’s base, no matter how hard lawmakers, strategists, officials and even his own vice president tried to escape the polarizing former president’s orbit.
Representative Kevin McCarthy, who is trying to rally support behind his bid to be Speaker of the House, must not only wait to see if his caucus has enough votes but he is also navigating a treacherous path between Trump loyalists and those Republicans ready to move on without him.
Trump is expected to announced on Tuesday that he plans to run for president in 2024.
That is a prospect many on the left view with a combination of insecurity and delight.
“As an American, the idea of another Trump campaign and all of his lies and divisiveness and his efforts to undermine American democracy is an absolute horror show,” said Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont. “On the other hand, I got to say that as a politician who wants to see that no Republican is elected to the White House in 2024, from that perspective, his candidacy is probably a good thing.”