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Democrats Reverse Historical Trend to Retain Senate Control; Republicans Are in the Driver’s Seat for the House Majority

Senate Democrats will begin 2023 in a familiar place – the Senate majority. Late Saturday evening, the Associated Press called the Nevada Senate race for incumbent Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto. The announced victory comes on the heels of incumbent Democratic Senator Mark Kelly’s victory in Arizona on Friday.

With victories in Nevada and Arizona, Democrats now hold a 50-49 edge in the Senate. Senate Democrats will retain the majority regardless of the outcome of Georgia’s December 6 Senate runoff – due to Vice President Kamala Harris’ tiebreaking vote should there be a 50-50 Senate. Nonetheless, the runoff battle in Georgia between incumbent Senator Raphael Warnock (D) and Herschel Walker (R) remains impactful. A Warnock victory would allow Senate Democrats to lose one vote but still meet the simple majority threshold to advance judicial nominations. Conversely, a Walker victory and a 50-50 Senate would require all Senate Democrats to support President Biden’s nominations – should all Republicans withhold support.

As reported in Squire Patton Boggs’ November 9th Post-Election Analysis, Republicans are expected to regain control of the U.S. House of Representatives, though the exact margin hangs in the balance. As of Monday morning – Republicans have 212 House seats, Democrats hold 203, and 20 races are not yet called. Upon final confirmation of House results, we will update our analysis to provide a more definitive look ahead to the 118th Congress.  

© Copyright 2023 Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLPNational Law Review, Volume XII, Number 318
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