The resounding victory of Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock in Georgia against Republican candidate Herschel Walker, a protégé of Donald Trump, brings the midterm elections in the United States to a close.
The result gives Democrats a clear 51-49 majority in the Senate.* It also gives them and their majority leader Sen. Chuck Schumer greater flexibility with judicial and diplomatic nominations, the power to call witnesses during investigations, and the formation of Senate committees.
Dissension in the Republican Party
Despite the fact that Republicans gained control of the House of Representatives, their slim 222-213 victory is being felt in the selection of the next House speaker. House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy is the presumptive choice, but he does not yet have the required 218 votes. One can assume that McCarthy will eventually be elected, but at what price? The pro-Donald Trump MAGA faction of the Republican Party will inevitably push for him.
Since announcing his candidacy for the 2024 presidential election, former President Trump is facing an increasing numbe3r of obstacles. Some are his own fault.
The dinner with Ye West, an avowed antisemite, and his association with Nick Fuentes, a white supremacist, are a headache for the Republican Party and the target for considerable criticism from certain Republican leaders.
Moreover, Trump’s tweet calling for the suspension of the Constitution to overturn the result of the 2020 election galvinized the discomfort among those close to Trump. This is notably the case for former Vice President Mike Pence and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell.
The verdict in New York this week finding one of Trump’s companies guilty of tax fraud did nothing to help. In addition, there is the potential of criminal prosecution in response to the House Select Committee investigation of the events of Jan. 6, 2021. Will Trump be charged with inciting an insurrection?
There is great speculation that newly reelected Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis will run for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, and it is starting to show in the polls. Once again, this will do nothing for Trump’s candidacy.
In short, the Republicans who were expecting a “red wave” were disappointed by the results of the midterms and seem to be prisoners of Trump’s next untimely tweet or sweeping declaration.
The Democrats Take Action
Of course, Warnock’s victory in Georgia and the additional seat in the Senate it represents offer Vice President Kamala Harris more leeway outside of her role as president of the Senate. Ahead of the 2024 election, one can expect the teamwork between President Biden and Vice President Harris to be much more evident than it has been in the past two years. This could raise Harris’ profile should Biden decide not to run.
Moreover, Democrats have changed leadership in the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi’s decision to step down from her leadership post. Her replacement, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York, represents a generational change and he received the unanimous support of his party.
Despite the imminent changes in the legislature, work in Congress has resumed in earnest since the Nov. 8 midterms. With only a few weeks left, President Biden and his party are taking action.
Legislative efforts to protect same-sex and interracial marriage in the event of a Supreme Court setback, as well as a law to prevent a rail strike that would have led to serious consequences for the American economy on the eve of the holidays, won bipartisan support. In short, Biden and his party were able to make the necessary compromises with the Republicans to score major wins.
In all, the midterm elections brought gains for both parties. The party that occupies the White House, however, has gained in the Senate, in governors’ races and in state legislatures.
Those within the Republican Party who continued to cast doubt on the 2020 election results suffered a particularly noticeable defeat.
Despite the current divide between the two parties, the American government is not paralyzed. It remains to be seen if this will continue when the work of the new Congress begins on Jan. 3, 2023.