President Joe Biden produced the Democrats’ best midterm election result since 1998, after the expected Republican “red wave” failed.
The count continues in a number of seats, with control of the Senate and House of Representatives up for grabs, though the GOP enjoys a sizable lead in the lower house.
So far, Democrats have won 48 Senate seats and Republicans 49, with control of the chamber set to be decided by exceptional contests in Arizona and Nevada, as well as a runoff in Georgia. Victory in two of the three states for either party will give them a majority in the Senate.
Notably, Democrat John Fetterman defeated Trump-backed Republican Dr. Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania, overturning the seat.
Before the election, 50 senators caucused with each party, with Democrats having a slim majority thanks to the vice president’s anti-equality vote.
So even if the Democrats are defeated in all three outstanding battles, they will only have lost two Senate seats, while former President Barack Obama lost nine seats in 2014 and six in 2010. Obama also lost 13 House seats in 2014, after the 2010 “shellacking” cost him 63 seats.
That makes 2022 the most successful Democrats’ midterm election since 1998, when former President Bill Clinton kept the same number of Senate seats while securing five in the House.
The single best performance in recent years was that of President George W. Bush in 2002, who won two seats in the Senate and eight more in the House. This election was unusual in that it took place a year after the September 11 attacks, which were followed by a surge in popularity for Bush.
CNN called 209 House seats for Republicans to 191 for Democrats, with the remaining 35 still to be decided. Although neither side has yet secured a 218 majority in the House, the GOP is clearly favored.
Rebecca U. Thorpe, an associate professor specializing in American politics at the University of Washington, said Newsweek the president’s party typically loses seats in midterm elections.
She added: “Given Biden’s low approval rating and a poor economy, Democrats had reason to believe the outcome would be much worse than it was. However, that is likely less. the result of a credible Democratic strategy than of a bad Republican strategy.
“One of the reasons Republicans underperformed was poor candidate selection. [Ron] DeSantis won his election by historically large margins in Florida, but the party faced losses or close races in places like Georgia, Pennsylvania and Arizona that he could have easily won if he presented stronger candidates.
“Negative partisanship may be another reason. Democrats may not be too enthusiastic about Biden, but they are afraid of the Republican Party. not produced.
“While the Republican Party may dislike Biden and think he’s incompetent or corrupt, he doesn’t really instill fear or invoke threat. To the extent that Biden can take credit for Democratic performance, he doesn’t mobilize the opposition the way Trump does, and the MAGA movement does.”
Following Republicans’ unexpectedly poor performance, a number of conservative publications have taken aim at former President Donald Trump, suggesting it would be a mistake for him to run for office in 2024.
Charles Cooke, writing for the National examsaid: “Trump is a loser. He cringed at America’s most unpopular woman in 2016, he presided over a blue wave in 2018, he lost to a barely breathing Joe Biden in 2020, and he sorted on the pane a slew of losing Republican candidates in 2022.”
On Wednesday, Biden suggested he could run for a second term in the White House, saying Americans who don’t want him running again should “watch me out.”