Democrats keep Senate control ahead of Georgia runoff, networks say

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Democrats will keep their Senate majority in the 118th Congress, even if they lose a runoff election in Georgia, though winning that race could make running the chamber easier next year.

A day after Democratic incumbent Mark Kelly‘s race in Arizona was called, NEWS and NBC each projected on Saturday that Catherine Cortez Masto had been reelected in Nevada. Her win assures the Senate Democratic caucus of at least 50 members in 2023, counting the two independents who side with them.

The networks’ Nevada race calls came after Cortez Masto pulled ahead of Republican Adam Laxalt by 0.5 percentage points, though The Associated Press had not yet called the race. Kelly’s race was called Friday when he was leading Republican Blake Masters by 6 percentage points.

Only one Senate seat has flipped so far, the result of Pennsylvania Democratic Lt. Gov. John Fetterman’s defeat of Republican Mehmet Oz. Fetterman will succeed retiring Sen. Patrick J. Toomey, R-Pa. Still pending is the ranked choice voting process in Alaska, but the top two finishers, Sen. Lisa Murkowski and challenger Kelly Tshibaka, are both Republicans.

House control remains uncalled, but if Republicans do take the House majority, the next two years could look like something of a mirror image of the last two years of the Donald Trump presidency. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., who was a longtime member of the Judiciary Committee alongside President Joe Biden when both served in the Senate, will have plenty of time to prioritize confirmation of nominations, including lifetime seats on the federal bench.

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