Democrat wins push US Congress battle to the wire

Voter turnout lower than 2018 midterms, but highest in 50 years

Voter turnout in the US during this year’s midterm elections was the second highest in more than 50 years, but lower than the last midterms in 2018.

Slightly under 50% of eligible voters turned out on 8 November to decide which lawmakers will be in Congress and Senate.

Records compiled by the US Elections Project date back to 1902, but the population of eligible voters has changed significantly since then.

It was only on 4 June 1919 that Congress guaranteed American women’s right to vote.

And African Americans across the US were guaranteed the right to vote from 1965 onwards.

That was a result of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, one of the most significant pieces of legislation ever passed by Congress in light of the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s.

Republicans are waking up this morning to a red ripple at best – with no sign of the red wave they’d hoped for.

Control of the House is still undecided, though Republicans have a decent chance of winning a narrow majority.

In the Senate, votes are still being counted in four big races in Arizona, Georgia, Wisconsin and Nevada.

If Republicans can flip Nevada, having lost Pennsylvania, then control of the Senate could come down to a run-off in Georgia in December.

For former President Donald Trump, it has not been a good night.

His hand-picked candidates have mostly fared poorly, while the only Trumpist running strongly is Kari Lake in Arizona – and even she is currently behind.

For President Biden, his focus on abortion rights and the risks to American democracy of electing election deniers seems to have paid off.

Republicans were counting on high inflation and fears of crime to propel them to a historic victory. Instead, Democrats have defied the headwinds which usually see the party in the White House losing badly in the midterms.

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