Control of Congress is balanced after the Midterms

Republicans and Democrats are in a close race for control of the US Congress as counting resumes after the midterm elections.

Republicans are favored to win the House of Representatives, but the battle for the Senate is on the razor’s edge.

Democrats won a key Senate race in Pennsylvania, but Republicans only need to win one more seat overall to take control.

Many other important battlefields remain too close to call upon.

Exit polls suggest the economy and inflation were voters’ top concerns. While this should have benefited Republicans, they didn’t see the “red wave” of victories they were hoping for.

The US Congress consists of two parts – the House of Representatives and the Senate. All 435 seats in the House of Representatives and 34 of the 100 seats in the Senate were up for grabs. Members of the House of Representatives represent their local communities and Senators represent the interests of their states.

Although President Joe Biden, a Democrat, is not on the ballot, the midterm election will shape the fate of his agenda. If Democrats lose control of the House or Senate, Republicans can block his plans.

Former President Donald Trump, who is expected to announce that he will run for president in 2024, has seen some of his backed candidates fail.

Supporters react as Democratic Republic of Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams concedes to Brian Kemp

In one of the most closely watched Senate races, leftist Democrat John Fetterman – who is recovering from a stroke – beat Trump-backed famed doctor Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania.

Another critical Senate race between Democrat Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger Herschel Walker in Georgia could end in a runoff in four weeks if neither candidate gets more than 50% of the vote, a possibility that seems likely.

The results of other major Senate races in Wisconsin, Arizona and Nevada were also still in play.

That means the verdict on which party is in power in the upper chamber of Congress may not be known for days or even weeks.

Elections for governors were also held in several states. Republicans are holding on to the governor’s mansions in key states of Texas, Florida and Georgia.

Florida’s Ron DeSantis won a major win to stay in office, setting him up for a possible 2024 presidential nomination. Mr Trump has warned DeSantis not to run and called the rising Republican star “Ron DeSanctimonious” at a rally over the weekend.

Meanwhile, Georgia Democratic nominee Stacey Abrams gave up the race to Republican Gov. Brian Kemp.

According to exit polls by the BBC’s US affiliate CBS News, abortion was the top issue for Democratic voters, while Republicans and Independents ranked inflation as their top issue.

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Despite lowering prescription drug prices, expanding clean energy and transforming US infrastructure, Mr Biden’s popularity has taken a hit amid the worst inflation in four decades.

But Republicans had their own political vulnerability on the abortion issue after the conservative-dominated Supreme Court’s decision this year to overturn a US constitutional right to the procedure.

On Tuesday, voters in Vermont, California and Michigan voted to enshrine abortion rights in their state constitutions, thwarting future attempts by lawmakers to introduce restrictions.

Kentucky decides on a ballot measure whether to bar abortion protections.

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