The battle for control of Congress – both the House and the Senate – is coming down to a dwindling number of key races, with Democrats dashing Republicans’ hopes for a red wave and both parties hanging onto hopes of winning narrow majorities.
Republicans began the night with a rout in Florida, where Gov. Ron DeSantis won heavily Latino, historically Democratic regions on his way to a blowout victory that could serve as a launch pad for a 2024 presidential run.
But in the hours that have followed, Democrats have fought back. In Pennsylvania, Democratic Lt. Gov. John Fetterman defeated Republican Mehmet Oz for the seat of retiring Republican Sen. Pat Toomey.
Meanwhile, the battle for the House majority – one that favored Republicans, who expected to benefit from high inflation, historical trends and friendly new district lines after 2021’s redistricting – remains unsettled.
Here are some key takeaways as votes continue to be counted in key races:
Democrats go a long way to protecting their Senate majority: Republicans were not shy about the importance of Pennsylvania’s Senate race: “This is a must-win race. We believe if we win Pennsylvania, we win the majority,” said Steven Law, president of the preeminent Republican Senate super PAC. Early on Wednesday morning, CNN projected that Fetterman would be the next senator from Pennsylvania, defeating Oz in the most expensive and high stakes Senate campaign in the country. Fetterman’s win was a thunderclap for Democrats.
Democrats and the suburbs: Suburban areas across the country went a long way to helping Democrats avoid a significant red wave. Republicans may still win the House, but if the 2022 election was going to be a red wave, it was likely to come through suburban victories that have not materialized yet. Republicans did score some suburban victories – CNN projected Brandon Ogles the winner in a