Why Democrats’ Senate Control is Definitive

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The Republican midterm boilover is now official. Democrats have preserved control of the US Senate.  Why that matters? Should a Supreme Court seat fall vacant, Republicans would not veto Mr. Biden’s nominee.

U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) on November 13, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. [Bridget Bennett/Getty Images]

Democrats secure Senate control.

Four days after tens of millions of Americans cast ballots, Catherine Cortez Masto’s close victory in Nevada late Saturday gave a crucial verdict in the national political war.

The Democrats currently hold a 50-49 majority in the US Congress’s upper house. Even if Republicans win the remaining Senate contest in Georgia, Vice President Kamala Harris will have the power to break a tie.

That has been the situation for the past two years, of course, and it clears the way for President Joe Biden to spend the next two years filling the courts with his candidates and staffing his administration as he sees proper.

Most importantly, if a Supreme Court seat becomes vacant due to an unexpected retirement or death of a justice, Republicans will be unable to veto Mr. Biden’s selection. Democrats recall how, in 2016, then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocked Barack Obama’s nominee from even obtaining a hearing.

The Nevada victory means that the Georgia Senate run-off on December 6th is no longer a critical struggle to control the chamber. Mr. Biden, on the other hand, stated the Democrats gaining 51 seats is “just better.” The greater buffer makes it simpler to maintain a majority and will also aid in 2024 when the party has more at-risk seats to defend.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago on November 08, 2022 in Palm Beach, Florida. [Joe Raedle/Getty Images]

Internal Discord

The Republicans still have a slight majority in the House of Representatives, which will cause the president several issues.

His legislative program is dead, and more rigorous Republican supervision is on the way. Still, even this has a silver lining if his political opponents cannot govern successfully due to internal strife.

The ramifications of this unprecedented midterm election outcome are still being disclosed.

Joe Biden’s standing within his party has improved. His advisers are now speaking more confidently about his decision to run for a second presidential term. Former adversaries, such as liberal Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, praise him.

“This triumph belongs to Joe Biden,” she declared on Sunday. “The president’s leadership put us in a position – every candidate up and down the ballot – to talk about what Democrats fight for and what we deliver on.”

Meanwhile, Donald Trump’s political prospects have been impaired, though how permanently remains to be seen.

A day after Democrats won the US Senate, and as they continue to win close House seats, several Republicans are getting in front of the cameras to lay responsibility directly at Donald Trump’s feet.

Mostly, they are the typical suspects who have been regular detractors of the former president in the past.

Senator Bill Cassidy, who stated Trump-backed candidates “underperformed” in the midterm elections, voted to convict the former president in his second impeachment trial. Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, who believes the former president cost Republicans the election, cast for “Ronald Reagan” in 2020, not Mr. Trump.

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) at the U.S. Capitol August 12, 2022 in Washington, DC. [Drew Angerer/Getty Images]

The actual litmus test will be whether long-time Trump supporters, such as South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, arch-conservative House Freedom Caucus members, or notable Republican governors, abandon him.

Will they find something else to do when Mr. Trump holds a rally in their state? Will they keep quiet if he runs for president? Will they risk Mr. Trump’s wrath if they aren’t adequately supportive? So far, there is no indication of this.

According to recent reports, the former president’s associates are pressuring Republicans seeking leadership posts in Congress to endorse Mr. Trump’s presidential ambitions officially.

Congresswoman Elise Stefanik of New York has already done so. If more follow suit, it could indicate that, notwithstanding recent events, ambitious Republican politicians still see their road to success as dependent on the former president’s support.

The political environment in the United States appears very different than it did just a week ago.

Democrats are more confident in their positions, while Republicans struggle to regain footing. But, given the volatile character of American politics, there’s no assurance the ground won’t move again before too long.

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