Massachusetts, Maryland, and Illinois have elected moderate Republican governors in the past. But this year's applicants seemed too conservative in these states
Former US President Donald Trump speaks to the press on the grounds of his Mar-a-Lago resort on midterm election night in Palm Beach, Florida, United States, on November 8, 2022 ( Reuters)
Democrats easily repelled Republicans backed by former President Donald Trump in several left-leaning states on Tuesday, while in territories more competitive awaited tougher tests that could decide control of Congress and the future of Joe Biden's presidency.
Despite their liberal history, states like Massachusetts, Maryland and Illinois have elected moderate Republican governors in the past. But this year Republicans appeared to be too conservative in these states, handing Democrats easy wins in mid-term elections that might otherwise prove difficult to win. the party.
In Massachusetts and Maryland there were also historical firsts: the Democrat Maura Healey became the first woman elected as governor of Massachusetts, as well as the first openly lesbian governor of any state, and Wes< /b> Moore became the first black governor of Maryland.
Maura Healey won the governorship in Massachusetts (Reuters)
In Florida, a former battleground that has turned increasingly Republican, Gov. Ron DeSantis won a second term, defeating Democratic challenger Charlie Crist< /b>, a former congressman. DeSantis prevailed in Miami-Dade County, once a Democratic stronghold, in a victory that continues his rise as a national Republican star, with a view to a possible House White run in 2024. The senator from Florida, Marco Rubio, also won reelection, rejecting the challenge of Democrat Val Demings and further illustrating the state's shift to the right.
The result of the elections to the House of Representatives and the Senate will determine the future of the Biden agendaand will serve as a referendum on his administration, at a time when the nation is reeling from record inflation and concern about the country's direction. Republican control of the House of Representatives would likely trigger a round of investigations into Biden and his family, while a GOP takeover of the Senate would hinder the ability of Biden to make judicial appointments.
Wes Moore defeated the Republican candidate supported by Donald Trump and became Governor of Maryland. Pictured with President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden (Reuters)
Democrats were facing historic headwinds. The ruling party almost always suffers losses in the president's first midterm elections, but Democrats had hoped that anger over the Supreme Court Supreme decision to eliminate the right to abortion could encourage his voters to buck historical trends.
Even Biden, who was scheduled to see the election results tonight on the Casa White, said late Monday night that he thought his party would keep the Senate, but that “the Chamber is more difficult”. When asked how he would do that to govern, his assessment was blunt: “More difficult”.
In Georgia< /b>, Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock and Republican candidate Herschel Walker were vying for a seat that could determine control of the Senate. In Virginia, Democratic Representatives Abigail Spanberger and Elaine Luriathey were fending off spirited Republican opponents in what could serve as early signs of where the House majority is headed, as Republicans hope to recapture suburban districts that flipped to Democrats during Donald's tumultuous presidency. b> Trump.
Republicans are betting that messages focused on the economy, gas prices and crime will resonate with voters at a time of rising inflation and rising violence.
< i>AP VoteCast, a broad survey of the national electorate, showed that high inflation and concerns about the fragility of democracy were heavily influencing voters.
Half of voters said inflation was a major factor, with groceries, gasoline, housing, food and other costs having skyrocketed in the past year. Slightly fewer, 44%, said the future of democracy was their top consideration.
There were no widespread problems with ballot papers or voter intimidation across the country. country, although there were the typical mishaps of most election days. Some tabulators were not working in a New Jersey county. In Philadelphia, where Democrats have a strong turnout, people complained that they were turned away when they showed up in person to try to fix problems with their previously cast mail-in ballots.
In Maricopa County, Arizona, which encompasses Phoenix and is the largest county in the state, officials reported problems with tabulating machines votes in about 20% of polling places. That fueled the anger and skepticism about the vote that has been growing among some Republicans since the state went for Biden.by a narrow margin in 2020.
Voters were also deciding high-profile races for Senate or governor in places like Pennsylvania, Nevada, Wisconsin, Arizona and Michigan. There were also contests for secretaries of state, roles that normally draw little attention but have come under increasing scrutiny as GOP contenderswho refused to accept the results of the 2020 campaign are running to control the running of future elections.
In the first national elections since the January 6 insurrection, the democratic future of the country is in question. Some of those who participated in or were in the vicinity of the attack are poised to win elected office Tuesday, including several running for House of Representatives seats.. Concerns about political violence are also rising less than two weeks after a suspect under the spell of conspiracy theories attacked the home of House Speaker Nancy< /b> Pelosi, in San Francisco, and brutally beat her 82-year-old husband.
The 2022 election is on track to cost an estimated $16.7 billion at the state and federal levels, making it the most expensive midterm election in history, according to nonpartisan campaign finance tracking organization OpenSecrets.
Republicans entered the final stretch of the campaign in a strong position to retake control of at least one chamber of Congress, which would give them the power to thwart Biden's agenda for the remaining two years of his term. The Party Republicanhe needed a net increase of just one seat to win the Senate and five to win back the House of Representatives.
All the seats in the House of Representatives were up for grabs, as were 34 seats of the Senate, and sweeping changes are likely in Pennsylvania, Georgia and Arizona. Thirty-six states elect their governors, and many of those elections also come down to very slim margins.
The dynamic was more complicated in the state capitals. The Republican Party faced unexpected headwinds in changing the governor's office in conservative Kansas. Democrats, for their part, were nervous about their prospects in the gubernatorial race in Oregon, typically a liberal stronghold.
In other gubernatorial races, Healey beat Geoff Diehl in Massachusetts and Moore beat Dan Cox in Maryland, while Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, defeated state senator Darren Bailey. Cox and Bailey were among the far-right Republicans that Democrats spent tens of millions of dollars to bolster during the primaries, betting they would be easier to beat in the election than its more moderate rivals.
If the Republican Party runs especially strong elections, winning Democratic congressional seats in places like New< /b> Hampshire or the state of Washington, could increase pressure on Biden to opt out of re-election in 2024. Trump, for his part, could try to capitalize on GOP gains by formally launching another White House bid during a “very big announcement” in Florida next week.
The former president endorsed more than 300 candidates in the midterm cycle and hopes to use the Republican victories as a springboard for a presidential campaign in 2024.
“I think if they win, I should get all the credit. And if they lose, they shouldn't blame me at all. But it will probably be the opposite,” Trump said in an interview with NewsNation.
It could be days or even weeks before that the races are decided – and potentially, control of Congress. Some vote-by-mail states, like Michigan, saw an increase in ballot returns compared to midterm 2018. Those votes may take longer to count because, in many states, ballot returns Ballots must be postmarked by Tuesday, but may not arrive at election offices until days later. In the Georgia Senate race, candidates must win at least 50% of the vote to avoid a December 6 runoff.
(The Associated Press)