Most specialized political sites had been warning for several days that the battle for control of the US Senate was too close to predict the outcome, and election night confirmed the validity of their caution.
The American media had still not announced any final results around 1 a.m. for half a dozen senatorial races deemed critical, making it impossible to conclude on the fate of the Upper House.
At that time, only one of the 35 seats at stake in the ballot for which the winning candidate was known to have switched sides in favor of the Democrats.
Democratic Lt. Governor John Fetterman edged out Mehmet Oz, a doctor made famous by a television show, for the job of senator in Pennsylvania.
Republicans needed a net gain of one seat to regain control of the Upper House, which has had 50 senators from both sides since the 2020 presidential election.
The Democrats have since had the majority thanks to the vote of Vice President Kamala Harris.
The final result of Tuesday’s senatorial election could be several weeks away as none of the candidates in the senatorial race in Georgia seemed able to reach the 50% threshold required in that state to avoid a runoff. , scheduled as needed on December 6.
Former star footballer Herschel Walker, who led a campaign punctuated by multiple controversies, was neck and neck with the outgoing Democratic senator, Pastor Raphael Warnock, after the counting of 85% of the ballots.
In Arizona, another key state, outgoing Democratic senator Mark Kelly, a former astronaut, had a wide lead of nearly 20 points after the counting of 50% of the ballots against Republican Blake Masters. The latter had significantly reduced his opponent’s lead in the weeks preceding the vote.
Two potentially difficult years for Biden
If it were to materialize, the Republican camp’s takeover of the Senate, combined with that of the House of Representatives, would put President Joe Biden on the defensive until the end of his term in 2024.
The Democratic leader clarified a few days ago that he expected to live “two horrible years” if this hypothetical scenario materializes.
Republican lawmakers in the Senate have criticized the administration’s significant spending in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and may try to limit the scope of some programs if they win.
They threaten to open investigations into the president’s son, Hunter Biden, and to put pressure on the administration regarding the management of the border with Mexico.
A victory for the Republican camp in the Upper House would also mean that the Democratic camp would have great difficulty in getting other federal judges appointed.
The leader of the Republican group in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, refused to say whether, in such a scenario, he would allow the Upper House to decide in the event of a new vacant seat on the Supreme Court before the end of Joe Biden’s term.