Three days after polls closed in the United States midterm elections, neither Democrats nor Republicans had attained enough victories to claim control of either the House of Representatives or the Senate.
Counting was set to continue across the country on Friday, with Republicans closing in on the 218 seats needed to reach what is projected to be a far less than expected majority in the House. By late on Thursday, they had taken 211 seats compared with the Democrats’ 192 in the 435-seat chamber.
The Senate race remained far less certain, with counting continuing in key races in Arizona and Nevada. Some trends from the tally have boosted Democrats’ hopes of winning both races, and thus attaining a 50-seat majority in the 100-seat chamber, where the vice president – in this case Democrat Kamala Harris – breaks ties.
Winning only one of the races in Arizona and Nevada would mean control of the Senate will be decided by a December 6 run-off in Georgia.
- Arizona: Incumbent Democrat Mark Kelly appeared to widen his lead over Republican challenger Blake Masters on Thursday to an about 5.6 percentage point margin, but the results of hundreds of thousands yet to be counted mail-in ballots could quickly shrink the difference.
- Nevada: Republican candidate Adam Laxalt’s lead shrank to less than 10,000 votes over Democratic incumbent Catherine Cortez Masto on Thursday, with an estimated tens of thousands of ballots still to be counted. Many of those include mail-in ballots, a segment of the vote Cortez Masto has performed well in.
- Georgia: With neither candidate – Democrat Raphael Warnock and Republican Herschel Walker – reaching the 50 percent threshold needed to win outright in Georgia, the race will be decided in a run-off election on December 6. That new election could also be the decider of Senate control, depending on the results in Arizona and Nevada.
- Republicans are just seven victories away from claiming control of the House, with outstanding results in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Maine, Maryland, Nevada, New York, Oregon and Washington.
- California and Arizona: Analysts say Democrats still have the narrowest of paths to taking control, a scenario that would require a near clean sweep of the most competitive remaining races concentrated in California, where 16 races remain uncalled, and Arizona, where three races are outstanding.
- Colorado: Incumbent Republican Lauren Boebert, a ferocious supporter of former President Donald Trump and proponent of the QAnon conspiracy theory, has expanded her lead over Democratic challenger Adam Frisch. Some have viewed the unexpectedly close race as a referendum on the electability of the Republican party’s farthest-right members.
State and local
- Arizona: The gubernatorial race remains too close to call. Democrat Katie Hobbs, who defended the 2020 presidential vote results as the state’s top election official, held a lead of just 1.4 percentage points late on Thursday over Republican candidate Kari Lake, a proponent of Trump’s unfounded claims of election fraud.
- Oregon: Democrat Tina Kotek has defeated Republican candidate Christine Drazan, putting to bed speculation the solidly liberal state could elect its first Republican governor since 1987.
- Nevada: The closely watched race between Democratic incumbent governor Steve Sisolak and Republican Joe Lombardo remained too close to call.
- Nevada has also passed a sweeping Equal Rights Amendment to its state constitution, widely considered the most comprehensive move to enshrine protections for marginalised residents in any state. Proponents say the most tangible results will be higher age protections for older workers laid off during the pandemic and protections for transgender people.