President Joe Biden has produced the Democrats’ best midterm election result since 1998, after the hoped-for Republican “red wave” failed to materialize.
The count continues in several seats, with control of both the Senate and the House of Representatives at stake, although the Republican Party enjoys a considerable advantage in the lower house.
So far, Democrats have won 48 Senate seats and Republicans 49, and control of the chamber will be decided by pending races in Arizona and Nevada, as well as a runoff in Georgia. Victory in two of the three states for either party will give them a majority in the Senate.
Notably, Democrat John Fetterman beat Trump and endorsed Republican Dr. Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania, flipping the seat.
Before the election, 50 senators were meeting with each party, with the Democrats holding a slim majority thanks to the vice president’s runoff vote.
Thus, even if the Democrats are defeated in the three remaining battles, they will have only lost two seats in the Senate, compared to former President Barack Obama’s losses of nine seats in 2014 and six in 2010. Obama also lost 13 seats in the Senate. Chamber in 2014, after the 2010 «shelling» it cost him 63 seats.
This makes 2022 the Democrats’ most successful midterm election since 1998, when former President Bill Clinton retained the same number of Senate seats and won five in the House.
The only stronger performance in recent years was that of President George W. Bush in 2002, who won two seats in the Senate and another eight in the House. This election was unusual in that it took place a year after the 9/11 attacks, which were followed by a surge in Bush’s popularity.
CNN has called for 209 House seats for Republicans to 191 for Democrats, with the remaining 35 still undecided. While neither side has won a House majority of 218 yet, the GOP is clearly favored.
Rebecca U. Thorpe, an associate professor specializing in American politics at the University of Washington, said news week the president’s party typically loses seats in midterm elections.
He added: “Given Biden’s low approval rating and a poor economy, Democrats had reason to think the outcome would be much worse than it was. However, this is probably less the result of credible Democratic strategy than bad Republican strategy.
“One of the reasons Republicans underperformed was weak candidate selection. [Ron] DeSantis won his election by historically wide margins in Florida, but the party faced losses or close races in places like Georgia, Pennsylvania and Arizona that could easily have won had they fielded stronger candidates.
“Negative partisanship may be another reason. Democrats may not be too enthusiastic about Biden, but they are scared of the GOP. In this context, the decline in participation expected for the party in power did not happen.
“While the GOP may dislike Biden and think he is incompetent or corrupt, he does not actually incite fear or invoke threats. To the extent that Biden can take credit for the Democratic performance, he does not mobilize the opposition in the way that Trump and the MAGA movement do.”
Following the unexpectedly poor performance of the Republicans, several conservative publications have taken aim at former President Donald Trump, suggesting that it would be a mistake for him to run for office in 2024.
Charles Cooke, writing for the National ReviewHe said, “Trump is a loser. He outclassed America’s Most Unpopular Woman in 2016, presided over a blue wave in 2018, lost to a barely breathing Joe Biden in 2020, and hand-picked a losing bunch of Republican candidates in 2022.”
On Wednesday, Biden suggested he could run for a second White House term, saying Americans who don’t want him running again should “watch me.”
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