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Midterm elections | Democrats avoid the worst



(Washington) It’s a loss that looks like a win for Democrats, who appear to have limited the bleeding in Tuesday’s midterm elections.

What you need to know

  • The Republican wave did not break as expected;
  • As of 1:25 p.m., control of the Senate and House of Representatives is yet to be determined;
  • For a majority in the Senate, 51 seats are needed. For the House of Representatives, 218 are needed;
  • Democrat John Fetterman of Pennsylvania won the Senate race against Republican star Dr. Mehmet Oz;
  • According to the Fivethirtyeight website, as of 1:25 p.m., Democrats hold 48 Senate seats, as do Republicans;
  • As for the House of Representatives, Democrats held 194 seats, Republicans held 210.

But in the process, they may have breathed new life into allegations of ballot box fraud, this time in Arizona.

The Republicans had a good night and were on their way to taking control of the House of Representatives, but the “red wave” they were hoping for didn’t happen.

In Arizona, for example, former TV presenter Kari Lake used several campaign lessons from Donald Trump in her bid for governor.

Mme Lake, who seems to be trailing in the race whose outcome is not yet final, has already started talking about voter fraud.

It is also not yet known who will control the Senate. The election between Democratic incumbent Senator Raphael Warnock and former football player Hershel Walker is most likely heading for a runoff in December.

The narrow margin of Republican victory in the House, uncertainty in the Senate and new unsubstantiated allegations of voter fraud suggest that the chaos will continue on Capitol Hill.

Implications for Canada

And that’s what could have the most impact on Canada, predicts Eric Miller, president of the Rideau Potomac Strategy Group in Washington.

“Even if the eruption isn’t as big as thought, you now have a situation where the endless commentary in Canada – about how the United States is heading towards dissolution, or a civil war, and cannot be trusted – will only get bigger,” he said.

“The system is starting to not work as it should, there is no capacity to deal with the big picture issues, there is no capacity to pursue serious bilateral relations. »

A clear outcome on Tuesday will undoubtedly have a direct impact: the re-election of Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, the driving force behind efforts to shut down Line 5, Canada’s cross-border oil pipeline.

Mme Whitmer narrowly beat Republican candidate Tudor Dixon, a steel industry insider turned conservative commentator, who championed Line 5 in the race against Mme Whitmer.

Even Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, “the most radical environmentalist in the whole world”, opposes the closure of the pipeline, Mr. Dixon pleaded during his debate with Whitmer last month.

In all, 506 gubernatorial, House and Senate races were unfolding on Tuesday.

Disappointments for Republicans

While some expected the Biden administration to be harshly punished, that’s not really what happened, at least not as much as Republicans would have liked.

They were well on their way to regaining control of the House, a prediction that policy pundits confidently put forward. But the victory turns out to be less brilliant than expected.

The disappointment was plain on the face of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who is set to succeed Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House of Representatives.

“Clearly we’re going to take back the House,” McCarthy told supporters. You go out late, but when you wake up tomorrow, we’ll be in the majority and Nancy Pelosi will be in the minority. »

Early on, Democrats managed to hold onto a pair of House of Representatives seats in Virginia, a state won by Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin last year, despite Mr Biden’s convincing 10-point victory there. in 2020.

Then Kathy Hochul managed to secure a first full term as governor of New York, despite a tight race with her Republican rival.

And in Pennsylvania, Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman, sidelined for much of the summer due to a stroke, scored a narrow but decisive victory over fellow sidekick Dr. Mehmet Oz. of Donald Trump.

“I don’t really know what to say right now,” a visibly humbled Mr. Fetterman said in his now-famous black hoodie.

“This campaign has always been about fighting for all those who have been knocked down and who have risen again. »

Note to readers: An earlier version misstated the gender of Republican candidate Tudor Dixon, who was defeated in Michigan.

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