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All eyes on US House of Representatives after Democrats lay claim to Senate

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Nov 15, 2022 - 02:04 AM

WASHINGTON (AA) – Just two days after Democrats cemented their hold on the US Senate, all eyes are now on the House of Representatives with a handful of critical races still not called as of Monday.

Democrats laid claim to the Senate on Saturday when Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto successfully defended her seat against Trump-endorsed Republican challenger Adam Laxalt.

The race for the House, meanwhile, remains up in the air. As it stands, Republicans have 212 of the House’s 435 seats, compared to 204 Democratic victories, according to The Associated Press.

Either party needs 218 seats to claim a majority in the chamber, and while Republicans appear on track to win the House, the AP has yet to call 19 races that will prove decisive.

The majority of outstanding races — over a dozen — are in California, the US’s most populous state with a solidly Democratic bent. Democrats, however, have lost significant ground in critical races where Republicans have maintained a lead as vote counting continues.

It could be days before winners are called by the AP.

Many analysts expected a Republican “red wave” to sweep the federal legislature during last week’s midterm election, but that has not come to pass.

Democrats have not only defended their majority in the Senate, possibly picking up an additional seat depending on the results of a Dec. 6 run-off in Georgia, but have performed far better than expected in the House where they were forecast to face a blistering defeat amid soaring US inflation and growing concern about the health of the economy.

Democratic losses in the House are likely to remain in the single digits.

Midterms are typically a time in which the party that holds the White House suffers significant electoral losses, but this year Democrats have laid claim to one of the most successful electoral defenses in modern US history.

Republicans are now faced with a reckoning on the future of the party as they prepare for a 2024 White House challenge.

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