Democrats inch closer to control of U.S. Senate with key victory in Arizona and tight race in Nevada


with the Arizona Senator. With Mark Kelly’s victory on Friday night, Democrats were one seat away from taking control of the U.S. Senate, as all eyes turned to neighboring Nevada, where the contested Senate race is increasingly skewed in the Democratic direction.

Kelly won, and he was elected in 2020 to fill the late Republican senator’s term. John McCain secured a string of victories for Democrats on Friday night as votes continued to be counted hard in the West. Kelly’s defeat of venture capitalist Blake Masters in response to ex-President Donald Trump’s lies about the 2020 election marks yet another voter rejection of Trump-backed candidates, which Democrats put on hold Depicted as extremists.

Democrats will have 49 seats in the Senate so far, and Republicans will have 49 — meaning Democrats only need one seat to secure a majority in the Senate (Vice President Kamala Harris voted to break tie vote). If they succeed in Nevada, they could reach the critical 50-seat threshold. Catherine Cortez Masto is approaching Republican Adam Laxalt, the state’s former attorney general, who has called the 2020 presidential election “rigged” and represented Trump Trump sued to try to overturn Biden’s 2020 victory in the Silver State.

The Nevada Senate race has been deadlocked for months, but it could finally decide the balance of power in the upper chamber. Democrats are also defending a seat in Georgia, the Democratic senator. Raphael Warnock and Republican Herschel Walker head to the Dec. 6 runoff, CNN Project.

Control of the U.S. House of Representatives remains up in the air. But it’s clear that even if the GOP wins a majority, it will be much smaller than GOP leaders hope. The unexpected result has drawn rebukes and questions from Republican leaders, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who had hoped to emerge from those races with a clear mandate to become the next House majority leader.

A string of Democratic victories on Friday night marked a stunning reversal in the fortunes of a party that appeared to be in serious trouble in Tuesday’s election. Candidates like Kelly and Cortez Masto work in President Joe Biden’s low approval ratings, an unfavorable economic climate — inflation and high oil prices squeezing household budgets across the country — and Faced with historical trends, this often leads to a new president’s first mid-cycle.

But it’s a complex cycle, with many different countercurrents affecting voter behavior, including the Supreme Court’s June decision to overturn abortion rights, which angered many voters across the country. Republicans have also been hampered by Trump’s decision to promote far-right candidates loyal to him, but often too extreme to appeal to the swing voters who decide the election. In the end, many independents and moderates appear to reject candidates they see as too extreme or too close to Trump — while Democrats are swarming to protect their incumbents.

Masters’ defeat in Arizona comes after prominent Democrats, including former President Barack Obama, swooped into the state in the final days of the election, warning that the fate of the nation’s democracy was on the ballot. Voters in the Grand Canyon state have also spurred bids for Republican state House members. Trump-backed vehemently anti-election Mark Fincher will become Arizona’s top election official. Instead, they will elect Democrat Adrian Fontes as Arizona’s next secretary of state, CNN predicted Friday night.

A bright spot for Republicans was in Nevada, where voters elected Republican Joe Lombardo as the state’s next governor — CNN expects Democrat Steve Sisolak to be eliminated. The popular Clark County Sheriff Lombardo reminded voters of their struggles during the Covid-19 pandemic, when Nevada’s unemployment rate peaked at nearly 30 percent. Although the economy has rebounded, Lombardo believes Sisolak’s policies are too restrictive and hinder the state’s economic recovery.

In Echoes of 2020, some Republicans, including Masters, are already trying to spark controversy over ballot counting in Maricopa County, Arizona — a sign that due to the handling of some ballots, the counts there Tickets are not reliable. Both Masters and Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake said Earl’s progress was too slow.

Masters made a similar argument to Lake on Friday, calling the vote-counting process in Maricopa County, Arizona’s largest county and home to Phoenix, “incompetent” and citing problems with the printer that led to some Tuesday’s problems. Ballots could not be tabulated correctly, although election officials said the problem was remedied within hours of Election Day.

Masters also accused the county of conflating uncounted ballots with those that have already been counted. The RNC and Arizona Republican Party released a statement saying the election “exposed serious flaws in the administration of elections in Maricopa County. Arizona deserves better — transparency, certainty, efficiency — and most importantly, Accurate and prompt announcement of election results acceptable to all voters.”

A spokeswoman for the Maricopa County Elections Department told CNN’s Kyung Lah that the county office “had layoffs to help us ensure that every legitimate vote is counted only once.”

“Because the ballots are tabulated in batches, we are able to isolate the results to those specific locations and check the total ballots against the check-in results to make sure they match. This is in the presence of party observers Done, this practice has been around for decades,” the spokesman said.

Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Gates rejected Masters’ suggestion that the county should wipe the slate clean and start counting again, saying “Arizona law simply doesn’t allow that.” Gates said the county is counting votes at the same pace as in previous years.

When asked on CNN about the RNC’s specific allegations, Gates said he hoped they would communicate those concerns directly to him. “I’m a Republican. Three of my colleagues on the board are Republicans. Bring these issues to us and discuss them with us, not make these baseless claims,” ​​he said.

Gates added: “Let the count go on, and at the end of the day, if they have a problem and choose to go to court, they have every right to do so, and we’ll keep the process going.”

Kelly enters the 2022 cycle well positioned to weather the headwinds Democrats face — even in purple states like Arizona, where Joe Biden narrowly won — as a retired astronaut , Navy Veteran and Former Congressman’s Husband With Strong Fundraising Skills and Unique Personal Brand… Gabby Giffords.

Masters, a first-time candidate, was able to navigate the Republican primary with the strong financial backing of conservative tech billionaire Peter Thiel (his former boss). He appealed to Republicans by promising to prioritize immigration and said in a campaign video released last year that he believed Trump had won the 2020 presidential election.

Masters then appeared to adjust his tone on the 2020 election results and the conservative stance he sought on abortion during the primaries — which initially appeared to appeal to the wider Arizona electorate. (While Republicans have a majority in Arizona, independents make up about a third of the electorate and often influence close elections.)

After his primary victory in August, Masters removed his website, which included false claims that the election was stolen. Asked by the moderator during the debate with Kelly, Masters admitted that he saw no evidence of fraud in the 2020 tally or election results that would alter the outcome. In that debate, Kelly argued that if election deniers like Masters were elected, the “wheels” could be “disengaged from our democracy.”

But Masters appeared to reverse course after Trump’s call, urging him to “get stronger” on rejecting the election, a conversation captured in a Fox documentary. In the final week of the campaign, Masters told CNN’s Lah that he didn’t think moderates would be bothered by his comments about the 2020 election, insisting that voters were more concerned about their concerns about inflation, crime and borders.

Throughout the campaign, Kelly painted Masters as a candidate outside the mainstream who would jeopardize abortion rights as well as Social Security and Medicare. In a state where lawmakers passed a new abortion ban 15 weeks earlier this year — and in nearly every case legal efforts to ban it — Kelly’s campaign continues to focus on Masters’s Anti-abortion stance.

Masters has said he would support a nationwide abortion ban in 15 weeks, a proposal put forward by Republican senators from South Carolina. Lindsey Graham. The bill includes exceptions for rape, incest and protecting the life of a mother.

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