In order to attain a majority in the Senate in 2022, the Republicans needed to defend their existing seats and beat just one Democratic incumbent in New Hampshire, Georgia, Nevada, or Arizona.
In the end, Republicans failed, and they may be on the verge of losing actual seats. By Saturday, a sufficient number of Democrats had won important elections for Republicans to face another 2 years with a minority.
It’s Game Over for the GOP in These Midterms…
Following John Fetterman’s flipping of the Pennsylvania Senate plus the victories of Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Sens. Mark Kelly (D-AZ), and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), the GOP’s dreams are over for this term. They cannot gain the Senate’s control in December, even if Herschel Walker secures the Georgia runoff.
Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) will have a smoother route to victory, according to Democrats, because Senate power is not at stake in Georgia.
If he succeeds in a second consecutive runoff, Democrats might hold a 51-seat Senate majority without requiring Kamala Harris’ tie-breaking vote.
As of Saturday, when Nevada was declared for the Democrats, the Republicans would have to wait for at least two more years to take control of the Senate.
Senate authority has already been secured before the House, which analysts and political operatives had expected Republicans would win with little difficulty. It is still theoretically conceivable for the Democrats to maintain control of this chamber.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) expressed skepticism about his party’s ability to seize control of the Senate in August. It turns out that his pessimism was justified.
Donald Trump has now helped the Republican Party lose the Senate twice in two years.
— Mehdi Hasan (@mehdirhasan) November 13, 2022
A mix of poor Republican candidates and unexpectedly strong performances by incumbent Democrats enabled the party to maintain power.
Democrats control the Senate.
An historic election week continues.
Trumpism crushes the Republican Party again. https://t.co/50FZIIi6Yl
— Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) November 13, 2022
By retaining the Senate, President Joe Biden’s judicial & executive nominees will likely continue to be approved, even if the Gop ultimately wins the House. In addition, Democrats will end up controlling influential Senate committees and dictating the chamber’s legislative agenda.
Before their defeat in the Senate became irreversible, the Republicans had already begun to recriminate. Politico and The NY Times reported over the weekend how, throughout the election cycle, McConnell’s plan and direction frequently differed or even battled with that of Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL), head of the Senate GOP’s main campaign branch.
The most heated finger-pointing will likely be directed at Donald Trump and his cronies, who supported incompetent candidates for crucial elections.
In Arizona and Pennsylvania, Trump’s endorsement was influential in the primary triumphs of Blake Masters and Mehmet Oz, who both battled to generate traction and eventually squandered two of the Republican Party’s most enticing possibilities for gains.
Even one of the relative bright spots for the Republicans was a Hollow victory. J.D. Vance easily defeated Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) in Ohio, but not before Republican campaign committees spent heavily to assure Vance’s victory in a county that Donald Trump won by 8 points.
Republicans failing to gain a single seat, possibly even losing one, has already prompted some Senate republicans to demand a change in strategy from the party’s leadership. Sens. Scott, Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Ted Cruz (R-TX) have all requested a halt in the leadership contest until the GOP can deliberate its future course of action.