After tens of millions of Americans headed to the polls to choose their congressional leaders and pass judgment on Joe Biden’s first two years in office, the results so far are a mixed bag.
Republicans look set to overturn a slim Democrat majority in the House of Representatives, and Republican candidate Brian Kemp prevailed over Stacey Abrams to retain the state governorship in Georgia.
Yet the Democrats, who had feared electoral disaster, scored notable wins, including in Pennsylvania where John Fetterman flipped a key Senate seat blue. The battle for control of the Senate is on a knife-edge.
This wasn’t in the script. Republicans had been expecting a red wave to sweep them to a majority in both the House and the Senate. Considering Biden’s negative approval ratings, and a spluttering US economy, who could blame them?
One of the biggest winners to emerge after a dramatic election night is Ron DeSantis, who bulldozed his opponent to be re-elected as Republican governor of Florida. The result gives him a springboard to challenge Donald Trump for the Republican presidential nomination.
The candidates backed by Trump – who has hinted at announcing his intention to run in 2024 next week – haven’t done nearly as well as he would have hoped.
As the dust settles, Biden is battered but still standing, Trump is on the backfoot, and DeSantis has gained a valuable boost.