Midterm elections - live: Democrats control Senate for two more years crushing 'red wave' hopes

Catherine Cortez Masto wins in Nevada, helps Democrats retain control of Senate

Democrats will keep the Senate, pushing back Republicans, after senator Catherine Cortez Masto secures victory in Nevada.

His victory reflected the Democrats' surprising strength throughout an election year securing the 50 seats needed to maintain a majority.

Seeking re-election in an economically challenged state that has some of the highest gas prices in the nation, Ms Cortez Masto is considered the most vulnerable member of the Senate, adding to the frustration of Republicans who believe she can be beaten.

"We've done a lot and we're going to do a lot more for the American people," said Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer.

"The American people reject - vehemently reject - the anti-democratic, authoritarian, evil and divisive direction that MAGA Republicans seek to take for our country."

President Joe Biden said he felt "good" about the election results and was "looking forward to the next few years."

With the outcome in Nevada now decided, Georgia is the only state where both sides are still vying for a Senate seat.

Trump v DeSantis: The smoldering rivalry is starting to show

Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis have been on a collision course from the start.

Viewing the governor of Florida as the Republican Party's most formidable foe, the former president has sought to keep DeSantis in place, often noting his supportive role in elevating a relatively unknown congressman to leader of one of America's largest states.

Mr DeSantis, for his part, has long praised Mr Trump and imitated his style, but especially refused to put aside his own White House ambitions as the former president prepares to seek his old job again. In the clearest sign of tension, the two held a dueling rally in Florida in the final days of this year's midterm elections.

At his show, Mr Trump unveiled his mocking new nickname for Mr DeSantis, calling him Ron DeSanctimonious. The fiery rivalry between the Republicans' biggest stars is entering a new, more turbulent phase after the GOP's disappointing performance in what was supposed to be the blockbuster election of the year.

DeSantis, who won re-election, is increasingly seen as the future of the party, while Trump, whose preferred candidate lost from Pennsylvania to Arizona, is widely blamed as a party stylist.

'Democratic buoy voters angry over abortion decision to secure Senate victory'

Democrats were supported by voters angry about a June Supreme Court decision that overturned the constitutional right to abortion.

They also described the Republican Party as too extreme and a threat to democracy, following the January 6, 2021, uprising in the US Capitol and Donald Trump's false claim - repeated by many Republican candidates - that the 2020 election was stolen from him.

Senate majority leader Schumer said the Democratic candidate's pledge to defend abortion rights resonated with voters. He said the election results made him feel good about the country and its commitment to democracy.

"We know that negativity, cruelty, condoning Donald Trump's big lie -- and saying that the election was rigged when there's absolutely no evidence -- will hurt Republicans, not help them," Schumer said. "But too many of them, and their candidates, fall into that trap."

Referring to Trump's slogan "Make America Great Again", Schumer said voters had rejected "MAGA Republicans extremists."

Nationally, VoteCast showed that 7 in 10 voters said the Supreme Court's decision on Roe v Wade was an important factor in their midterm decision. It also indicates a reversal is widely unpopular. And about 6 in 10 say they support legislation guaranteeing access to legal abortion nationwide.

GOP Montana eyeing big prize: US Senate seat by 2024

Bolstered by Republicans by a string of electoral victories in Montana, these midterm elections quickly turned their attention to the prize that had repeatedly eluded them: the US Senate seat held by three-term Democrat Jon Tester up for grabs in 2024.

That leaves the potential for a major bruising battle between the two Republicans who won US House seats on Tuesday - former Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke and Rep. Matt Rosendale.

Zinke, 61, told The Associated Press Thursday that he considers Tester vulnerable, and he will make a decision on whether to seek a Senate seat next year. Rosendale, 62, said Tester did not represent Montana's interests and should be replaced, but he declined to answer when asked if he would run.

Tester is expected to be one of the most vulnerable Democrats in the US Senate in the next election cycle along with fellow moderates Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona. Voters in Montana and West Virginia are increasingly Republican, while Arizona has become the main state targeted by both sides.

If Tester, 66, decides not to run for re-election, it would give Republicans a huge advantage because there are so few Democrats in the high-profile state.

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Republicans bolstered by a string of electoral victories in Montana, these midterm elections quickly turned their attention to the prize that had repeatedly eluded them: the US Senate seat held by three-term Democrat Jon Tester up for grabs in 2024.

'I feel good', says Biden after Democrats secure Senate majority

In Phnom Penh, Cambodia, for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit, president Joe Biden said of the election results: “I feel good. I'm looking forward to the next few years."

He said winning the 51st seat of Georgia's second round would be important and allow Democrats to increase their positions on Senate committees.

"It's better," Biden said. “The bigger the number, the better.”

The president, who called to congratulate Senator Catherine Cortez Masto on her victory in Nevada, said he still hoped the Democrats could hold the House.

"It's a stretch," he admits. “Everything has to be according to our wishes.”

Why the AP calls the Nevada Senate a race for Catherine Cortez Masto

The Associated Press said the Nevada Senate was racing for Democratic senator Catherine Cortez Masto after a number of votes from the Las Vegas area gave her a 5,000-vote lead that the AP determined she would not renounce.

A win for Ms Cortez Masto also means the Democrats will remain in control of the Senate.

The AP concluded his lead would carry even if Republican Adam Laxalt made gains in rural Nevada which is still counting the votes.

Her win allowed Democrats to retain control of the Senate with at least 50 seats due to vice president Kamala Harris's desperate vote even without a win in Georgia's second round in December.

Cortez Masto has benefited from ballot counting since Election Day, winning in Clark County, which makes up three-quarters of Nevada's population. Laxalt saw his lead of around 19,000 votes after election night dwindle to nearly 900 on Saturday before the last counted votes were added to the tally.

The AP determined that Cotez Masto's leadership would bring additional updates in the Washoe Reno Area as well as between temporary and "cured" ballots, or those with signature or date issues.

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