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BREAKING Democrats keep control of Senate after Catherine Cortez Masto holds off Adam Laxalt to win tight race in Nevada with one seat still up for grabs in Georgia

  • The AP called Nevada race for Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto on Saturday evening
  • It gives Democrats 50 seats in the Senate and means they retain control 
  • She fought off the challenge of Trump-endorsed Adam Laxalt 
  • Laxalt played a key role in trying to overturn Trump’s 2020 defeat in the state 
  • Chuck Schumer said voters had rejected ‘extremist MAGA Republicans’ 

Democrats will keep control of the Senate after multiple news organizations forecast on Saturday night that Catherine Cortez Masto would hold on to her seat.

It means Democrats have won 50 seats, enough to hold the majority with Vice President Kamala Harris‘s casting vote – and with one race still undecided in Georgia.

Cortez Masto beat Republican challenger Adam Laxalt, a former state attorney general who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump

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‘Thank you, Nevada,’ she wrote in a one-line tweet. 

Laxalt’s defeat cements a poor showing for Republicans, who hoped that President Joe Biden’s low popularity rating, a cost of living crisis, and the usual backlash against the party in power would bring them sweeping gains.

Trump himself has emerged as a GOP scapegoat as several of his picks performed badly. 

Adam Laxalt

Catherine Cortez Masto

GOP challenger Adam Laxalt (left) lost to Democratic Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (right) in the Nevada Senate race. It means Democrats retain control of the Senate

Democrats retained control of the Senate with a 50th seat called for the party on Saturday

Democrats retained control of the Senate with a 50th seat called for the party on Saturday

Democrats reacted with delight.

Sen. Chuck Schumer, who will expect to return as majority leader, said the result was a victory for the American people and vindication for his party.

‘There were three things that helped the Senate secure the majority: One, our terrific candidates; two, our agenda and our accomplishments; and three, the American people rejected the anti-democratic, extremist MAGA Republicans.’

Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chair Sen. Gary Peters said: ‘Voters across the country have delivered a resounding endorsement of Democrats’ Senate majority. 

‘These historic results in race after race speak for themselves, and they reflect the strength of our candidates, the popularity of Senate Democrats’ message to the American people, and a rejection of the extremism espoused by the GOP.’

Cortez Masto was forecast the winner with more than 95 percent of votes counted.

She had a lead of just under 5,000 votes, with most remaining ballots coming from Clark County, a blue-leaning area that includes Las Vegas. 

Republicans are already embarked on a post-mortem examination, with some key voices asking whether they needed a more position message – rather than simply bashing Democrats. 

The fate of the House of Representatives remains in the balance. Although they are ahead of Democrats they are still short of the 218 seats they need for a majority, and a chance to launch investigations in to the Biden administration and thwart legislation. 

Before the election, most forecasters also predicted a narrow Republican edge in the battle for control of the Senate.

The last race to be called is in Georgia, which will now go to a December run-off. Democrats will be hoping Sen. Raphael Warnock can hold off the challenge of Herschel Walker (pictured)

The last race to be called is in Georgia, which will now go to a December run-off. Democrats will be hoping Sen. Raphael Warnock can hold off the challenge of Herschel Walker (pictured)

Republicans have the advantage in the House so far, but are still short of the 218 seats they need for a majority. They have fallen short of forecast that suggested an easy win

Republicans have the advantage in the House so far, but are still short of the 218 seats they need for a majority. They have fallen short of forecast that suggested an easy win

However, key races in Pennsylvania, Arizona and now Nevada all went to Democrats.

They could yet pick up one more seat in Georgia, where Senator Raphael Warnock faces former football star Herschel Walker in a December run-off. Walker has been rocked by repeated allegations that he paid for abortions and pressured women to have terminations despite running on an anti-abortion platform.

An extra seat could make a big difference to Democrats ability to operate in Congress.

It would mean no single Democratic senator could hijack nominations, and two members could be absent and still hold votes.

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