By Joseph Ax
WASHINGTON, Nov 10 (Reuters) – Republicans edged closer on Thursday to securing a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives while control of the Senate hinged on a few tight races, two days after Democrats staved off an anticipated “red wave” of Republican gains in midterm elections.
Republicans have captured at least 210 House seats, Edison Research projected, eight short of the 218 needed to wrest the House away from Democrats and effectively halt President Joe Biden’s legislative agenda.
While Republicans remain favored, there were 33 House contests yet to be decided – including 21 of the 53 most competitive races, based on a Reuters analysis of the leading nonpartisan forecasters – likely ensuring the final outcome will not be determined for some time.
(Live election results from around the country are here.)
The fate of the Senate was far less certain. Either party could seize control by winning too-close-to-call races in Nevada and Arizona, where officials are tallying thousands of uncounted ballots.
The party in power historically suffers heavy casualties in a president’s first midterm election and Tuesday’s results suggested voters were punishing Biden for the steepest inflation in 40 years.
But Democrats were able to avoid the major defeat that Republicans had anticipated and were holding on in the close Senate battles in Nevada and Arizona.
Tuesday’s results also suggested voters were lashing out against Republican efforts to ban abortion and to cast doubt on the nation’s vote-counting process.