Democrats clinch Senate control following projected Nevada win

CBS News projects that the Democrats have clinched control of the Senate following the 2022 midterms. This comes after CBS News projected Saturday night that incumbent Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez has been reelected in Nevada following a tight race with Republican challenger Adam Laxalt.

The win gives the Democrats a projected 50 seats and control of the Senate, regardless of the outcome of the Georgia runoff election in December between Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger Herschel Walker. 

“The election is a great win for the American people,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a briefing late Saturday night. “With the races now called in Arizona and Nevada, Democrats will have a majority in the Senate, and I will once again be majority leader.”   

The man charged with helping Republicans win control of the Senate, National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Rick Scott is unhappy with the GOP’s performance in the midterms.

“Election Day, our voters didn’t show up. We didn’t get enough voters,” he said on Fox News Friday night.

Alaska, where three candidates were on the ballot in a ranked-choice voting system, has also not yet been called, but with the top two finishers both Republicans, CBS News projects it will stay in Republican hands.

On Friday evening, CBS News projected Arizona Sen. Mark Kelly will win reelection over Republican challenger Blake Masters.

In other battleground states, CBS News projected the races in Wisconsin, Florida, Ohio and North Carolina will go to Republicans, while Democrats will win in Colorado, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania. 

In each of the Senate battlegrounds where CBS News has conducted exit polls, voters said control of the Senate was important to their vote. CBS News conducted statewide surveys in 11 key battleground states: Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, New Hampshire, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wisconsin.

In each of these states, voters had negative views of the nation’s economy. 

In most of the Senate battleground states, the issue of inflation is outpacing abortion in terms of the importance of the issue to voters. But in Pennsylvania’s closely-watched race, where Democrat John Fetterman came out ahead of Dr. Mehmet Oz, early exit polling showed abortion outpaced inflation as a concern for voters.

Nearly three in four voters said they were dissatisfied about the country as they headed to the polls Tuesday, according to early exit polling. That includes almost a third who said they were angry. Almost three-quarters said the economy is bad, and nearly half of voters said their family’s finances are worse than they were two years ago.

Thirty-five Senate seats were up for grabs in total in the 2022 midterm elections, but under a third were expected to be close. 

Musadiq Bidar and Jack Turman contributed to this report.

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