So far, Republicans have underperformed in many races across the country, and now which party will control the United States Senate for the next two years remains unclear.
Senators serve six-year terms, and a third of the Senate — approximately 33 senators — is up for reelection during every election cycle. Since January 2021, the Senate has been evenly split with 50 Republicans, 48 Democrats, and 2 independents who caucus with Democrats, leaving Vice President Kamala Harris (D) to cast more than two dozen deciding votes in less than two years.
No major outlet has yet projected which party will control the U.S. Senate. However, the following races will likely play a key role in the outcome.
This race is particularly important for Democrats, as Democrat John Fetterman and Republican Dr. Mehmet Oz were competing for a seat vacated by retiring Republican incumbent Pat Toomey. A Fetterman win will increase the chances that Democrats maintain or perhaps increase their Senate majority.
So far though, Pennsylvania voters do not seem as concerned about Fetterman’s health. As of early Wednesday morning, he holds a narrow lead of just under one point with 88% of votes reported.
In Arizona, Sen. Mark Kelly, a Democrat incumbent, has faced a strong challenge from venture capitalist Blake Masters. Masters hammered Kelly’s record of voting to approve President Joe Biden’s liberal agenda, and in particular, his seemingly indifferent attitude toward illegal immigration.
“If this is the result of Senator Kelly being ‘focused on the border,’ my gosh, he’s the most ineffective and worst senator of all time,” Masters quipped during their debate in early October.
Voting irregularities in Maricopa County, the most populous county in the state, will make this race difficult to call.
Political junkies and college football fans across the country paid close attention to this race between Sen. Raphael Warnock, a Democrat, who won a special election against Republican incumbent Kelly Loeffler in 2020, and former Heisman Trophy winner and University of Georgia legend Herschel Walker.
“[I]f black lives matter,” Walker rhetorically asked Warnock, who is also a Christian minister, “why are you not protecting those babies? And instead of aborting those babies, why are you not baptizing those babies?”
Warnock and Walker remain neck and neck, at 49.1% and 48.8%, respectively. If neither candidate reaches the 50% threshold once all ballots have been counted, the race will head for a runoff.
The two did not have a debate this election season.