The Democrats have won the majority in the US Senate. Before the election, no one expected it to be such a success. The Republicans are sliding into an identity crisis.
Joe Biden is on the other side of the world when he reaches the good news from home. In a hotel in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh, the US president comments on a major political victory in the congressional elections in his home country. The 79-year-old travels to Asia for several international summits. It’s already there on Sunday morning, and Saturday night in Washington, as Biden steps up to the microphone and proclaims that his Democrats have just defended their majority in the Senate for the next two years.
“I am incredibly happy with the result,” said the president. “I feel good and look forward to the coming years.” He is an inveterate optimist, so the result does not surprise him. Can the Democrats keep their majority in the House of Representatives? Not ruled out, says Biden.
About 9,000 miles away in New York, Chuck Schumer stands in front of microphones minutes after the Senate Majority announcement. The latest election predictions from the major TV channels are still coming in, when the top Senate Democrat is already standing in front of the journalists. “The Democrats will have a majority in the Senate and I will be majority leader again,” says the 71-year-old. “We have always believed in our victory more than many pundits and forecasters.”
In fact, it hadn’t looked like the Democrats would do so well in the midterm elections in the middle of Biden’s term. The president struggled for months with lousy polls. High inflation and increased prices, for example for fuel, put Biden on the election campaign. Despite all the gloomy forecasts, Biden’s Democrats have managed to maintain their narrow majority in the Senate. They could possibly even win an extra seat in a second round in the last remaining senate race in the US state of Georgia in early December.
Biden will remain in office for at least another two years
In the House of Representatives, where the majority is still unclear, the Republicans have a better chance of seizing power. That could make Biden’s next two years uncomfortable because of blockades and parliamentary inquiries from the Republican side. But the race is also much closer than expected in the House of Representatives. Nothing remains of the predicted wave of Republican success.
Normally, the party of the incumbent president gets a lesson in the midterm elections. This time, the former president’s party gets a reminder – because they didn’t break away from him.
Former President Donald Trump played a prominent role in the election campaign. The Republican held one rally after another, campaigning for numerous candidates—probably hoping to establish himself as king, decision maker, and leader of the Republican Party. But Trump speculated: He pushed some radical or strident candidates who failed to prevail. And he mainly fought the election campaign with horror scenarios about a country under Biden and with his fabricated story about systematic election fraud. With all this he not only harmed his party, but also himself.