On Tuesday, American citizens around the country gathered at their local polling place to determine the next two years of policies and President Joe Biden’s remaining presidency.
Republicans were expected to win the majority of votes, banking on discontent over rising prices throughout Biden’s presidency. However, Democrats swept up more victories than expected in several states.
As polls around the country begin to close, three states — Georgia, Arizona and Nevada — are still undecided. In the coming days, the states will determine what will happen in the next two years – whether Biden will be able to govern or will be systematically blocked by a Republican-controlled Congress.
Results so far
One of the most unexpected wins for Democrats was from key swing state Pennsylvania. Democratic candidate John Fetterman won against his Republican opponent, Trump backed celebrity surgeon Mehmet Oz, after one of the most heated live debates since former President Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
Fetterman had previously suffered a stroke earlier this year on May 13 which has hindered his ability to communicate effectively at times and required him to rely on captioning. Since the stroke, Fetterman had stayed away from public appearances.
However, on October 25 Fetterman appeared on TV against Oz for Pennsylvania’s first-ever live Senate debate. During the debate, Fetterman’s condition was noticeable as he fumbled over words and had difficulties answering questions.
After the debate, Oz appeared to be more favorable amongst voters — Oz even winning a key endorsement from Pittsburgh’s city newspaper, the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. Several days after the debate, Oz had gained53% of voters while Fetterman captured only 47%, according to polls Decision Desk HQ’s forecasting model: This signaled a reversal since prior to the debate, 52% of respondents said they would vote for Fetterman and 48% for Oz.
Despite the predicted grim odds for Fetterman, he managed to secure a Democrat win for Pennsylvania alongside Democrat Josh Shapiro for Governor against Trump-endorsed Republican candidate Doug Mastriano.
We lost fewer seats in the House of Representatives than any Democratic president’s first midterm election in at least 40 years.
And we had the best midterms for Governors since 1986.
The American people spoke.
— President Biden (@POTUS) November 9, 2022
Other key swing states such as Ohio voted in favor of the Republicans with J.D. Vance who won against his Democratic opponent Tim Ryan. Republican Mike Dewin also won by a landslide against his Democratic opponent Nah Whaley for Ohio governor.
The win for Republicans evened the playing field for the race to hold the Senate; so far Republicans hold 49 seats to Democrats 48.
As far as the House of Representatives, Republicans were also projected to win more seats. However, the blow to Democrats was lower than expected with the House at the time of publication in favor of Republicans with 209 seats and Democrats with 192.
Results still to come
Three states are remaining in the race to determine who will hold the majority of power for the next two years: Arizona, Nevada and Georgia.
So far, Arizona’s race is leaning toward Democrats with Mark Kelly holding 51.7% of votes at 70% of reporting. In the opposite direction, Republican nominee Adam Laxalt is projected to win, with Laxalt holding 49.4% of votes with 83% of reporting finalized.
Yet in Georgia, things aren’t as simple. After no candidates reached the required threshold for victory — Democratic candidate Raphael Warnock only in a slight lead of 49.9% to Republican candidate Hershel Walkers’ 48.5% — the election is now expected to go to a runoff election.
One of only two states who has a runoff election — the other being Lousianna — this means Georgia will vote again in December, 28 days after the general election on December 6th. According to the Washington Post, runoff elections were a part of Jim Crow-era politics made to ensure that White Southerners held the majority over Black Americans in specific regions.
However, the runoff election may unfairly affect particular voters. Due to the limited amount of time between the general and the runoff election, voters who require their ballots to be shipped, such as military or oversea voters, may not be able to get their votes in on time.
Georgia is expected to give these voters a special runoff absentee ballot, yet because of the limited time and far distance of some voters, the runoff election results may take a while to be determined.
What to be expected in the next 2 years
Despite results still rolling in, Republicans will take the majority lead in the House, most likely jeopardizing the Biden Administration’s agenda regardless of who controls the Senate.
With their win in the House, Republicans are expected to steer in a host of GOP candidates who Biden previously marked as threats to democracy for refusing to concede to the 2020 election results.
If Republicans win control of the Senate, Biden’s chances to nominate judicial and administrative posts will be blocked — as well as the majority of the legislation that Biden will attempt to pass in the next two years.
Republicans are expected to invoke cost-savings in the Social Security and Medicare safety net programs, make tax cuts and extract major spending from Ukraine support efforts.
Already, Biden has come to say he will fight opposition forcefully if Republicans try to pick apart the Biden Administration’s latest accomplishments.
So far, Biden’s allies have expressed their intent in fighting to keep funding supportive of efforts to Ukraine as well as protecting Biden’s legislative achievements so far.
Despite unexpected wins for the Democrats, their agenda for next two years will most likely face great opposition — and even keep policies at a standstill depending on which party wins control of the Senate.
The flip in control is nothing new. Typically, the party in control loses seats in the midterms halfway through a president’s four-year term as Americans come to be unsatisfied with policies.
Biden is already reported to have a low approval rating amongst Americans, therefore the flip is quite unsurprising.
Even more unsurprising will be the next two years of policy blocks and standstills as Democrat Biden faces off against a Republican House and potentially a Republican Senate as well.
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed here by the authors are their own, not those of Impakter.com — In the Featured Photo: Voters in Des Moines cast their ballots for the 2020 election. Source: Phil Roeder, Wikimedia.