Republican hopes of wiping out the Democrats in the US midterm elections appear to have faded away as a “red wave” of wins has failed to materialise.
The Republicans are still set to take control of the House of Representatives – but with a much slimmer majority than expected, while the race for the Senate is virtually neck and neck with a few results remaining.
Sitting presidents usually suffer in the midterms and with Joe Biden‘s approval rating at only about 40%, many had forecast deep losses for his Democratic Party.
Losing both the Senate and the House would make it extremely hard for his party to pass any laws.
US midterms latest: House and Senate races too close to call
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Ahead of Tuesday’s national vote, Donald Trump had predicted a “great night” for the Republicans as he prepares for an expected second run at the White House.
But senior Democrat Nancy Pelosi, the House speaker, said her party’s candidates were “strongly outperforming expectations across the country”.
John Fetterman recorded an important victory in Pennsylvania by beating Trump-backed Dr Mehmet Oz, a well-known TV personality, to capture a Senate seat from the Republicans.
Two remaining seats that will determine who gets a majority in the Senate, Arizona and Nevada, may not be confirmed for some days as both states have postal voting, which takes longer to count.
Elections officials in Georgia – where the result is too close to call – also say it’s likely there will be a run-off vote in December.
It means it could be next month before the fate of the Senate is confirmed.
Other notable results so far include Ron DeSantis being re-elected – the Florida governor is mooted as a possible Republican presidential hopeful and Trump rival in 2024.
Analysis – Tight margins but surge for Trump’s party yet to materialise
The first Generation Z candidate elected to the House of Representatives is also from Florida, as 25-year-old Maxwell Frost won the seat in the state’s 10th congressional district.
Other firsts include Donald Trump’s former press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, becoming the first woman governor of Arkansas.
While in Massachusetts, Maura Healey became America’s first openly gay female governor, and California elected its first Latino senator and first black secretary of state.