Battle for Control: Republicans Projected to Win House, Uncertainty Looms

US House Election Results – A Closer Look at the Results

Normally, the House elects its speaker before lawmakers are sworn in for a new Congress. It takes a majority of the 435 seats to win, and every lawmaker who votes “present” lowers the overall tally.

Republicans are projected to win control of the House, a victory that would fall short of their hopes for a “red wave” but could thwart President Joe Biden’s agenda and prompt a spate of investigations. Click the Live Results or Forecast tab above for more.

The fight for control of the House

The fight over control of Congress is far from over, with many races still too close to call. Republicans are poised to win the House, but their hopes for a “red wave” will be tempered by a Democratic Senate and President Joe Biden’s domestic agenda.

The battle for the speakership also is in doubt. Republicans will need a simple majority to elect a new speaker, but the party is deeply divided over leadership, with several members threatening to oust McCarthy. The stalemate has already caused chaos, with name-calling, late-night huddles and rush orders for pizzas and burritos thrown into the mix.

Veteran Rep. Marcy Kaptur of Ohio held on to her seat, defeating Republican J.R. Majewski in a district that leaned Republican in 2020. The 76-year-old is the longest-serving woman in House history. Meanwhile, New Jersey Democrat Abigail Spanberger defeated GOP challenger Yesli Vega in a tight race that was characterized as a toss-up heading into Election Day.

The battle for the speakership

The battle for the House speakership has drawn in Republican lawmakers from all corners of the ideological spectrum. Many moderates are wary of granting a hardline group such as Jim Jordan or Steve Scalise control of the gavel. They fear that caving to those demands could create obstacles for the new GOP majority to govern effectively.

But if a conservative member isn’t elected speaker, the next leader will have to build a durable procedural coalition that will back him or her on every single vote, day in and day out. That means finding a candidate who can win over the entire Republican conference.

It’s possible that a compromise solution will emerge. NBC News reported that some Republicans are talking about turning to a non-member for the position, since the speaker doesn’t have to be a House member. President Trump has also teased the possibility of stepping in temporarily to serve as speaker. It’s a highly unlikely scenario.

The battle for control of the Senate

With the outcome of key races still undecided, the future control of the Senate will remain in the balance. Republicans have a slim 51-49 edge, and control of the chamber could hinge on whether Lt. Gov. John Fetterman will hold on in Pennsylvania, where he is facing Trump-backed celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz, or whether his opponent, Blake Masters, can turn out enough Democratic votes.

The other key Senate race is in Nevada, where Democratic incumbent Catherine Cortez Masto is fighting for her seat against a Trump-backed challenger, Adam Laxalt. If the final results mirror Tuesday evening’s polling averages from RealClearPolitics and FiveThirtyEight, it would appear that Democrats will retain control of the Senate.

Coming into Election Day, Republicans hoped that high inflation, historical trends and friendly new district lines would produce a wave that swept them back to power in the House. But that appears unlikely to happen. The Cook Political Report with Amy Walter lists 30 House races as toss-ups.

The battle for the White House

In a race that was upended by the coronavirus pandemic and defined by Trump’s unrelenting attacks on immigrants, Biden tapped into the Democratic base in ways that would be impossible for any other challenger. He was able to win key states like Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. And he was able to win key districts such as Kansas City, Chicago and the Virginia suburbs.

In those areas, Biden was able to beat Trump-backed candidates with resumes as governors and diplomats. Biden’s campaign was backed by tens of millions of dollars from donors.

The outcome of the election will have major implications for the future. Whether the Democratic victory is a “blue tsunami” or not, it will test the limits of a divided Republican conference and the effectiveness of McCarthy as speaker. It will also determine whether the GOP can maintain control of the House while juggling impeachment inquiries and a budget fight that could lead to a government shutdown.

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