The battle for control of the US Congress continues as we wait for the election results of a few select races in the 2022 US midterms. After significant losses and gains for both parties, Republicans are projected to have a narrow majority in the House of Representatives, but as of Tuesday afternoon, Senate races remain too close to call.
House of Representatives
Republicans began the night with a victory in Florida when Governor Ron DeSantis defeated Charlie Crist in historically Democratic regions. Prior to this election, the Democratic Party held a thin majority in the House, but Republicans were forecasted to take control of the House particularly due to gerrymandering which adjusts the congressional district lines in favour of Republican voters in key conservative states.
With their narrow projected majority, House Republicans now have the power to halt some Democratic legislative progress from moving forward, but Republicans did not win all of the major races that they expected.
Several prominent House Democrats won their reelection campaigns including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (New York), Ilhan Omar (Minnesota), Ayanna Pressley (Massachusetts), Rashida Tlaib (Michigan), Cori Bush (Missouri) and Jamaal Bowman (New York) together known as “the squad,” and Florida Democrats saw a historic victory with 25 year-old Maxwell Frost being the first member of Gen Z to be elected to Congress.
As votes were counted overnight, Democrats took the lead in some key states including Pennsylvania where Democrat John Fetterman defeated television personality and Trump supporter, Dr Oz who was running as Republican Mehmet Oz.
In response to Democratic wins in key states including New Hampshire and Colorado, Republican Senator, Lindsey Graham, said the 2022 US midterms were “definitely not a Republican wave, that is for darn sure.” Votes are still being counted in Arizona, Wisconsin, Nevada and Georgia. The Senate race in Georgia is within a single percentage point and will likely result in a run-off election in December.
In a historic win for women and queers, Maura Healey was elected as the first out lesbian governor in Massachusetts! As part of her campaign platform, she plans to update government documents to reflect gender-neutral language, support LGBTQ+-inclusive sex education, and end the ban on LGBTQ+ blood donations in her state.
Sadly, Georgia representative and voting rights activist, Stacey Abrams, lost her reelection, but Democrats secured several governor’s races in key states including Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.
Earlier this week, former US President Donald Trump confirmed that he will “very, very, very probably” run for president in 2024, although Republicans asked him not to announce his candidacy before the midterm elections.
Trump spoke publicly from his home in Mar-a-Lago on Tuesday night and celebrated a victory for Republican candidates in the 2022 US midterms, but this victory speech was premature. While some of the candidates that he endorsed won their elections, his Pennsylvanian Republican candidate lost, and the Georgia race remains too close to call.
Florida Republican Governor DeSantis is expected to consider a White House run as a Republican presidential nominee in 2024, but Donald Trump reportedly threatened DeSantis not to run for president, with a warning that he will share damaging information about him if he does.
While we’re thrilled to see more LGBTQ+ representation with a historic number of queer politicians joining Congress, key issues remain of concern as Republicans continue to propose anti-Trans bills and Don’t Say Gay bills that restrict students from being able to express their gender identity and learn about LGBTQ+ history in the classroom. Thankfully, with LGBTQ+ voter participation at an all-time high, we can hope to see more blue states in 2024.
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