Control of the Senate Rests on These 3 States

Dems have 48 seats so far, the GOP has 49
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 8, 2022 4:31 PM CST
Updated Nov 9, 2022 12:38 PM CST
Fate of the Senate Is 'on a Knife's Edge'
   (Getty Images / YayaErnst)

Most of the final forecasts heading into Election Day gave Republicans a good chance of reclaiming control of the Senate, if only by a slim margin. As of mid-day Wednesday, the final tally remains up in the air. The Democrats have secured 48 seats to the GOP's 49, with races in Georgia, Arizona, and Nevada still undecided. Where things stand:

  • In Ohio, Hillbilly Elegy author JD Vance defeated Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan for a seat Democrats had hoped to flip, the AP reports.
  • But in New Hampshire, Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan edged GOP challenger Don Bolduc to keep a seat that Republicans had hoped to flip, per the AP.
  • In Pennsylvania, media outlets including the AP had called the closely-watched race between John Fetterman and Dr. Mehmet Oz for Fetterman by the early hours of Wednesday.
  • But big races in Georgia, Arizona, and Nevada remain too close to call. More on Georgia, which is headed to a runoff, here. As of 1pm ET Wednesday: In Arizona, with 69% of the vote in, Democrat Mark Kelly leads Republican Blake Masters 51.4% to 46.4%; in Nevada, with 80% of the vote in, Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto trailed Republican Adam Laxalt 47.2% to 49.9%.
  • Marco Rubio in Florida, Chuck Schumer in New York, and Rand Paul in Kentucky were among the no-surprise early winners. Republicans had hoped to notch an upset in Colorado, but Democratic incumbent Michael Bennet won a third term, reports Politico.
  • Other unsurprising results that rolled in later included Democrat Patty Murray winning re-election in Washington state, Democrat Alex Padilla being easily elected to his first full term as a senator in California, and Democrat Brian Schatz winning re-election in Hawaii.
  • In Alabama, Republican Katie Britt will become the first elected female senator for her state, per CNN.
  • In Oklahoma, Republican Markwayne Mullin will become the first Native American in the Senate in nearly 20 years, per the AP.
  • Iowa's Sen. Chuck Grassley, already one of history's longest-serving senators, has won an eighth term, Axios reports. The 89-year-old Republican could now serve until he is 95.

  • In Utah's most closely-watched Senate race in decades, Republican Mike Lee fended off independent challenger Evan McMullin to win re-election, the AP reports.
  • Republican Ron Johnson won a tight race against Democrat Mandela Barnes in Wisconsin.
  • As of 2:30am ET, the only other Senate race still not called was Alaska. The Republican party appears very likely to hold onto its Senate seat in the state that's up for grabs, but it's not yet clear who will be seated in it due to the state's ranked-choice voting system. If no candidate gets 50% of the vote outright in the first round, candidates are eliminated and more rounds of voting are held until there are just two candidates left and one of them wins. On Tuesday, Donald Trump-endorsed Kelly Tshibaka and current Sen. Lisa Murkowski were leading in early returns, the AP reports.

  • In its final forecast before the election, FiveThirtyEight described the chamber's fate as "on a knife's edge" and gave the GOP a 59-in-100 chance of coming out on top. "That isn't much better than the probability of calling a coin-flip correctly, although the GOP may have the slightest of edges." That's because of the five tightest Senate races, four of the seats are held by Dems. They have to either hang on to all four, or retain three and grab the GOP seat. The races: Arizona, New Hampshire, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Georgia.
  • Of the 22 midterm elections from 1934-2018, the American Presidency Project at UC Santa Barbara notes the president's party has lost an average of four Senate seats, though it has managed to gain seats six times.
This story will be updated as results come in. (More 2022 midterms stories.)

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