While major news networks have declared former Vice President Joe Biden president-elect, President Trump’s campaign has launched investigations into allegations of wrongdoing in several states while pursuing recounts in states where the margin of victory allows. Georgia has already ordered a hand recount of its 5 million ballots, while most states hope to certify their elections in late November and early December.
While some election and legal experts view the president’s efforts as a long shot to retain the presidency, top Republicans in the House and Senate, along with many rank-and-file members, have supported the president’s efforts to challenge the current election results thus far.
Meanwhile, Republicans continue to succeed in this election cycle, claiming key legislative victories at the state level and growing their caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives. Republicans are also currently favored to retain a slim majority in the U.S. Senate. However, it will depend on the outcome of two runoff elections in Georgia, one between Sen. David Perdue (R) and Jon Ossoff (D) and the other between Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R) and Rafael Warnock, (D) on Jan. 5, 2021.
At the time of the Georgia runoff elections, the Senate will stand at a 50 to 48 partisan split in favor of Republicans. With Sen. Kamala Harris serving as the president of the Senate in the likely Biden administration, her VP tie-breaking powers would give Democrats the majority if they win both Senate elections, while Republicans would only have to obtain victory in one of the seats to keep their majority. Retaining the majority for Republicans would serve as a critical counterweight to many progressive policies sought by Congressional Democrats and force a Democratic Administration to seek bipartisan support for its priorities.
In the U.S. House, although Democrats will maintain functional control of the chamber, Republicans’ unexpected gain of seats is seen as a critical victory for the GOP and a blow to Democrats who had hoped to pad their majority. Instead, Democrats face infighting between the progressive and moderate wings of the party. Despite several competitive races across the country still too close to call, House Democrats have fallen significantly short of their expectations, particularly failing to unseat a number of GOP incumbents and claim open seats while losing seats across the country. Republicans have also highlighting their recruiting efforts with an historic number of women joining the next Congress, setting a record for female representation in the GOP.
At the state level, in a crucial year for congressional and state redistricting following the 2020 census, Republicans continued to exceed expectations, holding or increasing their majorities in several key chambers, including the Michigan House, Texas House and both chambers in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Republicans are also projected to win a few seats in the New York Senate, preventing Democrats from gaining a supermajority.
In the 11 governor races, just one state changed party hands. Montana’s at-large Rep. Greg Gianforte (R) was elected the state’s new governor in an open race, replacing term-limited Gov. Steve Bullock (D), giving Republicans a new state party trifecta.
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