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​​Democrats Will Keep the Senate, Republicans Flip the House

Last week’s election yielded unexpected outcomes in many key races, but Republicans flipped the House of Representatives now that they have officially won 218 seats. It is projected that Democrats will retain a minimum of 50 Senate seats and thus their majority, with the Georgia Senate race going to a runoff next month. 

Georgia election law requires a candidate to receive 50 percent of the vote to be elected. Neither Sen. Rapael Warnock nor Herschel Walker crossed the 50 percent threshold last week, so they will compete head to head in a special election next month.

In South Dakota, Gov. Kristi Noem won 62 percent of the vote to secure a second term. Sen. John Thune and Rep. Dusty Johnson also secured victories in their races.

The state-wide proposition to decriminalize marijuana failed, while Medicaid expansion passed.

Clay County voters approved a $42 million bond to build a new jail.

Republicans exceeded expectations in Iowa, Gov. Kim Reynolds and Sen. Chuck Grassley won with 18 and 12 percentage point margins, respectively.

Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller, who held the position for 40 years, lost re-election to Republican Brenna Bird by 20,780 votes.

On the national front, Democrats performed above expectations in many key races.

John Fetterman beat Mehmet Oz to become the next senator of Pennsylvania. 

Wisconsin Democratic Gov. Tony Evers narrowly won re-election with 51.2 percent of the vote, while Republican Sen. Ron Johnson also narrowly won reelection with 50.5 percent.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan won re-election, with Democrats winning key house races in that state, which included the 3rd, 4th and 8th districts.

In the West, votes are still being counted but almost all races have been called.

Las Vegas Sheriff Joe Lombardo defeated incumbent Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak. However, Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto won re-election against Republican challenger Adam Laxalt, by a margin of 6,500 votes. 

Sen. Mark Kelly of Arizona won re-election against Blake Masters, and Katie Hobbs is projected to defeat Kari Lake for Arizona Governor.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was re-elected in a landslide 20-point victory against former Gov. Charlie Crist, making it the largest win for a governor since 1982. Florida’s Senate election had similar results, with Sen. Marco Rubio’s 16-point win against Rep. Val Demings.

In New York, Republicans had the best turnout in 20 years, Rep. Lee Zeldin garnered over 47 percent of the vote in the gubernatorial election but failed to unseat Gov. Kathy Hochul.

Republicans are also positioned to flip four congressional seats in New York, including Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney’s seat, who is the current chair of the Democratic Congressional Candidate Committee.

In the aftermath of last week’s election, several senators have called for a delay in the Republican leadership vote, in what experts believe to be an effort to remove Mitch McConnell as Minority Leader.

“It makes no sense for Senate to have leadership elections before GA runoff,” tweeted Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. 

Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley replied to Cruz on Twitter, expressing his concurring views that the winner of the Georgia election should have a say in Senate leadership.

Sen. Marco Rubio used stronger language on Monday.

“We should not have a Senate GOP leadership vote until we have a clear explanation for why our 2022 campaign efforts failed and until we have a clear understanding of the political & policy direction for the GOP Senate moving forward,” Rubio tweeted.