An expected Republican wave slowed to a crawl on Election Day as Democrats defied expectations, leaving the balance of power in the House and Senate up in the air.
With votes still being counted on Wednesday, Republicans were still favored to take control of the House of Representatives but potentially with a razor’s edge majority of fewer than five seats – Democrats previously controlled it by eight seats. Control of the Senate is still unclear due to tight races in Georgia, Arizona and Nevada.
“It’s definitely not a Republican wave, that’s for darn sure,” said GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.).
In the House, at least 60 races had yet to be called, although NBC News was projecting an eventual GOP majority of 220-215, which would result in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) likely being replaced by Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). The popular New York Times “election needle” said the GOP had an 83 percent chance of taking the House based on Election Night results.
In the Senate, four seats remained uncalled: Georgia, Wisconsin, Arizona and Nevada. In Wisconsin and Nevada, the Republican nominee led but by slim margins (31,000 in Wisconsin with 94 percent counted, and 22,000 in Nevada with 80 percent counted). In Arizona, the Democratic nominee led by just over 100,000 votes, with 68 percent counted. If those leads hold – which is far from guaranteed – then control of the Senate could come down to Georgia, where each candidate had roughly 49 percent of the vote – a scenario that would force a December runoff due to no candidate winning a majority of the votes.
Referencing the surprising results, Fox News contributor Marc Thiessen asserted that the “Democrats’ anti-MAGA strategy worked.”
“We had the worst inflation in four decades, the worst collapse in real wages in 40 years, the worst crime wave since the 1990s, the worst border crisis in U.S. History,” Thiessen said during Election Night coverage. “We have Joe Biden, who is the least popular president since Harry Truman – since presidential polling happened – and there wasn’t a red wave.
“That is a searing indictment of the Republican Party,” Thiessen added. “That is a searing indictment of the message that we have been sending to the voters. They’ve looked at all of that and looked at Republican alternative[s] and said no thanks. That is–the Republican party needs to do a really deep introspection look in the mirror right now because this is an absolute disaster for the Republican Party, and we need to turn back.”
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Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.