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Democrats to retain control of US Senate after news outlets project Cortez Masto win in Nevada

Cortez Masto's win in the midterm elections means the Democrats will control 50 seats in the US Senate, with Vice President Kamala Harris holding the tiebreaking vote.

Democrats to retain control of US Senate after news outlets project Cortez Masto win in Nevada

Catherine Cortez Masto (left) speaks alongside Steve Sisolak on Nov 8, 2022, in Las Vegas. (Photo: AP/Gregory Bull)

PHOENIX: Democratic US Senator Catherine Cortez Masto has won re-election in Nevada, Edison Research projected on Saturday (Nov 12) in a victory that guarantees the Senate will be controlled by Democrats in 2023.

Cortez Masto defeated Republican challenger Adam Laxalt, a former state attorney general who was endorsed by former president Donald Trump.

Several US networks also called the key Senate race in Nevada for Cortez Masto.

With Cortez Masto's victory on the heels of Democratic Senator Mark Kelly winning re-election in Arizona late on Friday, Democrats now control 50 Senate seats.

That is enough to cement Democrats' control of the Senate in 2023 to 24, as Democratic Vice President Kamala Harris can break ties in the 100-member chamber, securing victories for President Joe Biden.

If Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock were to win the Dec 6 Georgia run-off election against Republican challenger Herschel Walker, that would expand Democrats' majority to 51 to 49.

That, in turn, would give Democrats an additional edge in passing a limited number of controversial bills that are allowed to advance with a simple majority of votes, instead of the 60 needed for most legislation.

Currently, Democratic Senators Joe Manchin in West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema in Arizona are "swing" votes who have blocked or delayed some of Biden's major initiatives, including expansions of some social programs.

But with 51 Democratic seats in the Congress that convenes next year, Manchin's and Sinema's influence could be slightly diluted.

The result in the House of Representatives is also hanging in the balance, and while Republicans are slightly favoured to take control, it would be with a smaller majority than they had envisaged going into Tuesday's election.

Source: Agencies/mi


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