The promise of a red wave receding, Republicans slogged state by state in a determined fight to break the Democrats’ one-party hold on Washington as anxiety set in over the dragged-out race for control of Congress and the future of President Joe Biden’s agenda, Lisa Mascaro and Mary Clare Jalonick reported for the Associated Press (AP).
Photo Insert: The GOP also lost a senate seat.
On Wednesday, the Democrats’ fragile grasp on power in the House and the Senate remained at risk. The party faced a new generation of Republican candidates — among them political newcomers, including 2020 election deniers and some extremists inspired by Donald Trump handily winning some seats.
But races stayed tight, and Republicans ran into stiff competition in their march across the country, dashing hopes for the sweeping gains they had promised, particularly in the House. Instead, they inched toward what could be another narrowly split Congress.
“The RED WAVE did not happen,” defeated Republican Rep. Mayra Flores of Texas said in a tweet. It was the first major national election since the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol, and emotions were raw.
The recent violent assault on Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband has stunned many, and federal law enforcement warned of heightened threats nationwide. Biden’s party worked to hold on by the most tenuous of margins.
Even with a slim majority, the Republicans could bring a new intensity to Capitol Hill with promises to end Biden’s most ambitious plans, tighten congressional oversight and launch grueling investigations — even, potentially, impeachment of the president.
But the mood among Republicans was tense, as Democrats delivered a surprising run of the map in places Republicans expected to claim as their own. “While many races remain too close to call, it is clear that House Democratic members and candidates are strongly outperforming expectations,” Pelosi said in a statement.
“As states continue to tabulate the final results, every vote must be counted as cast.” All 435 seats in the House and one-third of the Senate were being decided. If Republican newcomers help the party seize control of the House, and possibly the Senate, the outcome will pose new challenges for Congress’ ability to govern — especially if margins are tight.
Democratic Rep. Abigail Spanberger prevailed over Trump-backed Yesli Vega in a suburban Virginia district Republicans hoped to flip. And Democrats held House seats in Rhode Island, Ohio, Kansas, and New Hampshire that Republicans wanted, and they flipped some, including a suburban Illinois district from Republicans.