SOURCE: BBC — The Democrats will retain majority control of the US Senate after winning a pivotal race in the state of Nevada.
Senator Catherine Cortez Masto is projected to defeat Republican challenger Adam Laxalt, who was backed by former President Donald Trump.
The results amount to the best midterm performance for a sitting party in 20 years.
US President Joe Biden said he was incredibly pleased, and it was time for Republicans to decide “who they are”.
Democratic Senate Majority leader, Chuck Schumer, said the results showed the American people had rejected what he called the “violent rhetoric” of the Republican Party.
The Democrats will now have 50 Senate seats, with Republicans currently on 49.
Republicans could still take control of the US House of Representatives as votes continue to be tallied from a handful of districts after Tuesday’s elections.
If the Republicans win the House they could still thwart much of Mr Biden’s agenda.
“I’m not surprised by the turnout. I’m incredibly pleased. And I think it’s a reflection of the quality of our candidates,” Biden said in Cambodia, where he is attending a summit.
Schumer said the country “showed that we believed in our democracy and that the roots are strong and it will prevail as long as we fight for it”.
Cortez Masto was neck-and-neck with her challenger Adam Laxalt throughout the midterm elections.
But Cortez Masto managed to secure victory, and with it her party’s control of the Senate.
The result is a big blow to the Republicans, who were hoping for a “red wave” – an electoral rout which would deliver a harsh rebuke of President Biden and his Democrats.
While the Republicans have made modest gains and remain favoured to win the House of Representatives, the Democrats have performed much better than expected.
Trump – who continues to insist, falsely, that he won the 2020 presidential election – has been making unsubstantiated claims about the midterms.
“The Democrats are finding all sorts of votes in Nevada and Arizona. What a disgrace that this can be allowed to happen!” he posted on his Truth Social platform on Friday.
Republican Senator Josh Hawley – who represents Missouri – said after the Senate result that the old party was “dead” and it was time for something new.