By Dan McCaleb, special to the Sun
Control of Congress remained in the balance early Wednesday as votes continued to be counted in key U.S. Senate and House races in Georgia, Wisconsin, Nevada and elsewhere.
Heading into final voting Tuesday, Republicans expected to win a healthy majority in the House with the Senate too close to call.
As the sun rose Wednesday, Democrats held 48 seats in the Senate to 47 for Republicans. Georgia appeared all but certain for a Dec. 6 runoff and decisions were still awaited in Alaska, Arizona, Nevada and Wisconsin.
Called races in the House were 207-188 in favor of Republicans, who needed 11 of the remaining 40 to take control of the chamber.
Democrats won key Senate races in Pennsylvania, where Lt. Gov. John Fetterman defeated Republican Dr. Mehmet Oz. Democrats also won tight Senate races in Colorado (incumbent Michael Bennet) and New Hampshire (incumbent Maggie Hassan.)
Republicans won close races in North Carolina (U.S. Rep. Ted Budd) and Ohio (J.D. Vance), among others.
In Georgia, the race between Republican Hershel Walker and Democrat Raphael Warnock likely is heading to a December runoff, which ultimately could decide control of the Senate, which is currently split 50-50.
In the House, where all 435 seats were on the ballot; 218 seats are needed to win the majority.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-California, predicted early Wednesday that Republicans would win the majority in the House and he would become its next leader, replacing Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
“Now, let me tell you, you’re out late, but when you wake up tomorrow, we will be in the majority and Nancy Pelosi will be in the minority,” McCarthy said.
Pelosi, however, was not ready to concede House control to Republicans.
“While many races remain too close to call, it is clear that House Democratic members and candidates are strongly outperforming expectations across the country,” Pelosi said.
The night started with Florida leading what appeared to be the start of a red wave. Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis easily defeated Democrat Charlie Crist, and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio won by 14 percentage points over his Democratic opponent.
But races were much tighter across the U.S. as Tuesday night turned to Wednesday morning.
In key governor races:
- Republican Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp is projected to win reelection over Democrat Stacey Abrams.
- Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott defeated Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke.
- Republican Sarah Huckabee Sanders is projected to win her race for governor of Arkansas.
- Democratic Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers is projected to win reelection.
- Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is projected to win reelection.
- Ohio Republican Gov. Mike DeWine easily won reelection.
- Pennsylvania Democrat Josh Shapiro easily defeated his GOP opponent.