A crucial victory in Nevada has given the Democrats the control of the US Senate, marking the high point of the 2022 midterm elections. Incumbent Senator Catherine Cortez Masto defeated Republican challenger Adam Laxalt in a nail biting finish, TV networks have said.
Laxalt, who was clinging on to a slim majority of fewer than 1,000 votes in the death hours of the counting, had said defeat was likely coming as the mail in ballots trended favoring the Democrat.
With the Nevada victory, the Democrats have clinched 50 seats in the Senate. They now have the technical majority as vice-president Kamala Harris can cast her vote to break a Senate tie. The Republicans hope they win the Georgia senate seat in the run-off later next month. Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock and former football star Herschel Walker will face off the in the match-up as none of them crossed the 50 percent mark.
In Nevada, But Cortez Masto's crucial victory in Nevada now gives Democrats 50 Senate seats regardless of what happens in Georgia. In a 50-50 Senate, Democratic Vice President Kamala Harris casts the tie-breaking vote.
Even if the Republicans win Georgia, the Democrats will get to control the Senate. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has already said he will remain as the Majority Leader.
"The election is a great win for the American people ... With the races now called in Arizona and Nevada, Democrats will have a majority in the Senate, and I will once again be majority leader," Schumer said.
President Joe Biden too hailed the crucial Senate win. "We're focusing now on Georgia ... We feel good about where we are. And I know I'm a cockeyed optimist. I understand that from the beginning, but I'm not surprised by the turnout. I'm incredibly pleased by the turnout. And I think it's a reflection of the quality of our candidates. And they're all running on the same program. There wasn't anybody who wasn't running on what we did. They're all staying, sticking with it. And so, I feel good. I'm looking forward to the next couple years," Biden said, according to CBS News.
It was big victories in Pennsylvania and Arizona that helped the Democrats cruise to a Seante lead. In Pennsylvania, John Fetterman defeated Trump-endorsed celebrity heart surgeon Dr Mehmet Oz while in Arizona Senator Mark Kelly fended off a spirited fight from Republican Blake Masters.
Meanwhile, it remains unclear which side will get to control the House of Representatives, though the Republicans appear to have a better chance. The final tally will emerge only after several more days as vote counting is slow in many battleground seats.