Political Ponderings

Republicans win the House, Democrats hold on to the Senate


While the results of the Nov. 8 midterm elections are still being counted, the political makeup of the new Congress is starting to take shape. 

Democrats hold on to a majority in the Senate.

Democrats secured 50 seats in the Senate which, with Democratic Vice President Kamala Harris serving as a tie-breaking vote, maintains the party’s majority control of the chamber.

The Senate race in Georgia is heading to a run-off election between the top two candidates as neither Democrat Raphael Warnock or Republican Herschel Walker received 50% of the vote. Libertarian Chase Oliver, who received 2.1% of the vote, will not be on the ballot in the run-off election, according to the Associated Press.

A Warnock victory would strengthen the Democrats’ lead in the Senate without the need for Harris’s tie-breaking vote. If Walker wins the seat, the Senate would remain split 50/50 for another two years.

Republicans win control of the House of Representatives.

Republicans have won the 218 seats required to take a majority and flip control of the House of Representatives. Five races across the country have not yet been called by the Associated Press.

The Republican-led House will end the current Democratic trifecta after Democrats won the House, Senate and Presidency in 2020. 

Democrats gain two state governor seats.

Democratic candidates flipped three seats and Republicans flipped one in the 36 states that held elections for governor this year. 

Republican candidate Joe Lombardo defeated incumbent Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak in Nevada.

Democrats Maura Healey, Wes Moore and Katie Hobbs defeated Republican incumbents in their states, gaining a net total of two governor seats. 

Democrats now hold 24 governor seats to Republicans’ 26. 

What’s left to be decided?

Four House seats remain yet to be called as votes are still being counted. Two districts in California, one district in Colorado and Alaska’s single district have not been called by the Associated Press.

Republicans have the chance to expand their lead in the House to 223 seats.

The Alaska Senate race has not yet been called, but with the top two vote-getters both running as Republicans, the Senate race will result in a Republican victory regardless.

The only other Senate race to be called is the Georgia race heading to a run-off election on Dec. 6.

Alaska’s gubernatorial race also remains yet to be called by the Associated Press, but Republican candidate Mike Dunleavy is heavily favored at this time. 

Alaska uses ranked-choice voting where voters order their preferred candidates on the ballot rather than only picking one option. Ranked-choice races often take longer to count and call a winner.

The new Congress will convene for the first time on Jan. 3, 2023, and serve for the remaining two years of President Joe Biden’s first term. 

With Democrats controlling the Senate and Republicans controlling the House, Biden will likely face an uphill battle to pass his agenda in the divided Legislative Branch for the next two years.

The next national election in 2024 will include the nationwide presidential race, races for all 435 House seats, and 33 seats in the Senate. 

Mohr can be reached at [email protected].