Democrats will retain control of the U.S. House of Representatives after Katherine Cortez Masto won the last Senate seat to represent Nevada.
According to Associated Press (AP) projections, Cortez Masto won enough votes by Saturday to defeat Republican candidate Adam Laxalt, backed by former President Donald Trump.
The Democrat, the first Hispanic woman elected to the Senate, was leading Laxalt by thousands of votes, with most of the votes yet to be counted coming from Clark County.
Republican Adam Laxalt acknowledged on Twitter that “the window of victory has shrunk” because Clark is traditionally a Democrat, whose seat includes the city of Las Vegas.
Due to the mail-in voting system created by the Nevada State Legislature in 2020, which took several days to count, ballots submitted on Election Day (Tuesday) must be accepted within four days.
Catherine Cortez Masto focused her Senate campaign on threats to abortion access nationwide and promised a permanent path to U.S. citizenship for undocumented immigrants who arrived in the country before age 18.
With Cortez Masto’s victory confirmed, Democrats won 50 seats in the Senate, one more than Republicans.
Even if Republicans win the last ‘available’ seat in the state of Georgia, they will only hold a tie for 50 seats in the Senate. Meanwhile, something that has just happened in the upper house of Congress is Vice President Kamala Harris (Democrat) getting the tie-breaking vote.
With Senate control, Democrats are ensuring a smooth process for executive appointments and judicial selections, including potential Supreme Court seats, in the final two years of President Joe Biden’s term.
The Senate can still veto any legislation passed by the lower house of Congress, where Republicans can still win a majority.
With 435 seats at stake and counting still underway, AP projections put Republicans ahead, giving them 211 seats and Democrats 203, needing 218 to form a majority in the House of Representatives.
On the fifth day of counting, the Republicans still lead the race for a majority in the House, but have lost ‘momentum’ to the Democrats.
As the count continues, Democrats have won more difficult races, especially in states that have largely adopted mail-in voting.