Democrats celebrated their surprise majority victory in the US Senate on Sunday amid a state of shock and dispersal that overshadowed Republicans, especially since the Democratic Party succeeded in securing an important base of political and legislative support to accompany President Joe Biden until the end of his term.
Although the fate of the House of Representatives remains unresolved, the Democrats’ restoration of control over the Senate in an election in which many predicted a significant loss is a major victory.
“I have a good feeling and I look forward to the next two years,” Biden said while attending the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit in Cambodia.
The Senate oversees the approval of federal judges, secretaries and other important positions, and the fact that the 100-seat House remains alongside Biden is a gift to him as he seeks to pursue his programs.
Traditionally, mid-term elections are often conducted with a rejection of the incumbent party, and combined with high inflation and record-low approval ratings, Republicans expected that all of these factors would generate a massive “red wave” that would push their party in Tuesday’s election to grab a majority in both chambers.
The decisive moment in Saturday’s Senate election came as Democratic candidate Catherine Cortez Mastow was declared the winner in Nevada, giving the Democratic Party the 50 seats it needs to secure a majority.
Vice President Kamala Harris could secure the Democrats’ majority vote even if each party received 50 seats equally.
One undecided seat in the Senate election remains pending the Georgia runoff scheduled for December 6, during which Democrats can also boost their majority.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said the result was “validation” of the Democrats’ accomplishments and a blunt rejection of the “anti-democratic, authoritarian, disgraceful, and divisive trend” presented by former President Donald Trump and his supporters.
Trump suffered the most in the election, losing many of the candidates he personally supported.
Trump is expected to announce his candidacy for the 2024 presidential election on Tuesday, a pre-election announcement that will complement the red wave he has been predicting.
Democratic House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi praised her party’s strong performance Sunday, noting on CNN how the red wave predicted by the Republican Party and experts ended up being a “small, thin flood.”
Meanwhile, the Republicans have only to reconsider what went wrong – especially given that the political winds were favorable to them before the polls opened.
After deciding the Senate’s outcome, Missouri Republican Senator Josh Hawley called on the Republican Party to “build something new,” and tweeted, “The old party is dead. It’s time to bury him.”
Trump’s response was to dwell on baseless allegations of election fraud, writing on his social media platform Truth Social that the results were “deceptive,” and holding Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell responsible for what happened.
“It’s Mitch McConnell’s fault,” he wrote, noting that the Kentucky senator misspent campaign money.
The former president, who is unfriendly to McConnell as a result of their long-standing disagreements, added, “He overthrew the mid-term elections, and everyone despises him.”
But Republicans still have an advantage over House control, but with a much smaller majority than they had imagined before Tuesday.
It remains to be seen how far things will turn for Trump’s presidential candidacy and how the poor Republican performance will affect his standing in the party.
Although prominent Republican votes suggest it is time to move away from Trump’s leadership approach based on hard-right and conspiracy theories, the former president still enjoys significant popular support and his contention for the Republican presidential nomination card is highly risky.
One of Trump’s potential rivals in the 2024 election, outgoing Maryland Republican Governor Larry Hogan, said the party should change direction and move forward.
“It’s the third consecutive election that we’ve lost to Donald Trump, and after three setbacks it should come out,” Hogan, who is openly critical of Trump, said on CNN’s “State of the Union” program on Sunday.
“The definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over again and expect a different outcome,” he said. “Donald Trump kept saying we’re going to win hard to the point of getting tired of winning. Well, I’m sick of losing.”