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US midterm vote count delayed, Republican hopes yet to materialize

According to the latest estimates from CNN, the Republicans won 198 House seats, while the Democrats have 178

WASHINGTON, November 9. /TASS/. The results of the midterm elections held on Tuesday in the US remain unclear as of Wednesday morning, local time in the United States, with the initial vote count giving an advantage to the Republicans in the House of Representatives, while control of the Senate is still up in the air.

Below are the preliminary results of the vote. 

Vote count may be delayed

According to the latest estimates from CNN, the Republicans won 198 House seats, while the Democrats have 178. To control the House, 218 seats are needed. So far, the Democrats have prevailed in Congress.

Kevin McCarthy, the leader of the Republican minority in the House, has already expressed confidence that his party will retake control of it. "Tonight, we built upon those gains [of] two years ago, and it is clear that we are gonna to take the House back," he said at an Election Night party. He also said with confidence that Republicans "will be in the majority" in the House.

Both parties, according to CNN forecasts, have so far scored 48 Senate seats. The outcome of the race now mostly depends on the vote count in Arizona, Wisconsin, Georgia and Nevada, and it is impossible to say for sure how long the vote count will take there.

Authorities in Georgia do not rule out that runoff elections could be held in December due to the narrow margin between its candidates, and in Nevada, some of the ballots will not be processed until Wednesday afternoon.

At present, the Senate is divided equally between Republicans and Democrats who have 50 seats each. However, with Democrat Kamala Harris as vice president, her fellow party members automatically have an advantage. The US Vice President is also president of the senate and can cast the deciding vote in a split Senate. So, the Republicans need at least 51 seats in the Senate to retake control of it. Among other things, this would enable them to effectively block Democratic President Joe Biden’s initiatives.

No Republican triumph yet

In general, Republican hopes that they would score an overwhelming victory in the midterms have not materialized yet. In particular, those were built on the fact that Biden’s approval ratings had fallen sharply in recent months, mostly because of the economic woes the country is facing, including a very high inflation rate.

Against this backdrop, many predicted that the Republicans would gain significantly more ground in Congress. However, as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said, most Democrats "are strongly outperforming expectations across the country."

Trump’s rival?

US political analysts have been focusing on the landslide re-election of Ron DeSantis as Florida governor. This win puts him in a better position for a potential run for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination. If that’s the case, he could be a strong opponent to his party rival, former US President Donald Trump, who is expected to announce his intention to run for president.

Florida comes into the sharpest focus ahead of the coming presidential race, being among the few US states where it is unclear which of the two parties or which candidate will prevail until the last moment.

Trump has already made it clear that he would be ready to challenge DeSantis in a fierce race, if he did run.