Republicans are just one seat away from clinching a majority in the House – a week after the midterm elections where the predicted red wave failed to materialize.

The GOP were expected to sweep to victory in the lower chamber of Congress and claim the Senate.

Instead, they are trickling over the line, while the Democrats have retained control of the Senate, meaning no party has complete power over the legislative agenda.

Joe Biden’s party have already won 50 seats in the Senate, meaning VP Kamala Harris’s tie-breaking vote gives them an effective majority.

But the Democrats could win an outright majority control if Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock beats Republican challenger Herschel Walker in a Georgia runoff on December 6, bolstering Democratic sway over committees, bills, and judicial picks. 

In California, two threatened House Republicans triumphed over Democratic challengers Monday, while a string of congressional races in the state remained in play.

In a bitter fight southeast of Los Angeles that saw both sides accuse the other of racism and extremism, Republican Rep. Michelle Steel defeated Democrat Jay Chen in a district that was specifically drawn to give Asian Americans a stronger voice on Capitol Hill. 

Republicans are just one seat away from clinching a majority in the House – a week after the midterm elections where the predicted red wave failed to materialize

Joe Biden at the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia, today, with the Republicans poised to take control of the House

Joe Biden at the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia, today, with the Republicans poised to take control of the House

Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield is in line to replace Speaker Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco

Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield is in line to replace Speaker Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco

East of Los Angeles, Republican Rep. Ken Calvert notched a win over Democrat Will Rollins. 

With 80 per cent of the votes tallied, Calvert, the longest serving Republican in the California congressional delegation, established a nearly 5,500-vote edge in the contest.

Ten races in the state remained undecided as vote-counting continued, though only a handful were seen as tight enough to break either way.

Another race call in New York has helped push the Republicans up to 217 seats, one shy of the 218 it takes to control the House. Democrats have so far claimed 205. 

Should Democrats fail to protect their fragile majority, Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield would be in line to replace Speaker Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco.

Democrat Jay Chen

Republican Rep. Michelle Steel

Republican Rep. Michelle Steel defeated Democrat Jay Chen in a district that was specifically drawn to give Asian Americans a stronger voice on Capitol Hill

In the 45th District anchored in Orange County, Steel, a South Korean immigrant looking for a second term in Congress, faced Chen, a Navy reservist and the son of immigrants from Taiwan. 

The race was being watched nationally for what it says about the preferences of the Asian community.

The candidates initially made inflation and hate crimes against Asian Americans key issues. 

But the race took an ugly turn with accusations of racism.

Chen’s advertising depicted Steel as an extremist who would threaten abortion rights, while Republicans accused Chen of ‘racism’ after he told supporters an ‘interpreter’ was needed to understand Steel’s remarks, arguing that Chen was mocking her accented English. 

Chen said he was referring to ‘convoluted talking points’ that he said Steel uses to sidestep issues.

East of Los Angeles, Republican Rep. Ken Calvert (pictured) notched a win over Democrat Will Rollins

East of Los Angeles, Republican Rep. Ken Calvert (pictured) notched a win over Democrat Will Rollins

Steel also distributed flyers depicting Chen as a communist sympathizer, while Chen has said his grandmother fled China to escape communist rule.

In California, the primary House battlegrounds are Orange County – a suburban expanse southeast of Los Angeles that was once a GOP stronghold but has become increasingly diverse and Democratic – and the Central Valley, an inland stretch sometimes called the nation’s salad bowl for its agricultural production.

The tightest remaining contest in the state emerged in the Central Valley, where Democrat Adam Gray seized a tissue-thin lead after Republican John Duarte jumped ahead by 84 votes in a fight for an open seat in District 13.

Underscoring the tightness of the contest, Gray’s campaign formed a committee to begin raising money to finance a possible recount. Those costs, which are paid to county election officials, fall on the campaign committee or voter that requested a recount. Generally, such requests cannot be made until a month after the election.

The latest returns showed Gray leading by 761 votes, with nearly 80% of the votes tabulated.

In Orange County, one of the state’s marquee races tightened when an updated vote tally showed Republican Scott Baugh slashing in half a narrow edge held by Democratic Rep. Katie Porter. Porter, a star of the party’s progressive wing, was leading the former legislator Baugh by about 2,900 votes – or just over 1 percentage point – with nearly 80% of the votes counted.

In another battleground district north of Los Angeles, Republican Rep. Mike Garcia held a comfortable edge over Democrat Christy Smith in their third consecutive match-up, after Garcia claimed the first two.

The latest returns – with about two-thirds of the votes counted – showed Garcia with 54.4%, to 45.6% for Smith.

In a statement on Twitter, Smith said her chances for seizing the seat had ‘narrowed significantly’ and ‘it’s likely Garcia holds the seat.’

Democrats also were holding significant margins in several districts, including the Central Valley’s 9th, where Democratic Rep. Josh Harder had a nearly 13-point edge over Republican Tom Patti.

In the Central Valley’s 22nd District, where about half the votes have been counted, Republican Rep. David Valadao, who voted to impeach then-President Donald Trump, had a 5-point margin over Democrat Rudy Salas. 

Donald Trump and Kari Lake appear on stage at a campaign event together in Arizona before her election defeat

Donald Trump and Kari Lake appear on stage at a campaign event together in Arizona before her election defeat

Trump posted on Truth Social today: 'Wow! They just took the election away from Kari Lake. It's really bad out there!'

Trump posted on Truth Social today: ‘Wow! They just took the election away from Kari Lake. It’s really bad out there!’

Lake, a vocal MAGA supporter who backed Trump's claims of 2020 voter fraud, suffered a shock defeat to Democrat Katie Hobbs

Lake, a vocal MAGA supporter who backed Trump’s claims of 2020 voter fraud, suffered a shock defeat to Democrat Katie Hobbs

Elsewhere, a furious Trump lashed out and made unproven claims of election interference after his high-profile Republican endorsee Kari Lake lost the Arizona governor race in the latest hammer blow to his presidential ambitions.

Lake, a vocal MAGA supporter who backed Trump’s claims of 2020 voter fraud, suffered a shock defeat to Democrat Katie Hobbs, which she also claimed was fixed.

Soon after the race was called, rather than conceding gracefully, Lake took to Twitter to say: ‘Arizonans know BS when they see it.’ 

Trump added fuel to the flames on Truth Social, where he posted: ‘Wow! They just took the election away from Kari Lake. It’s really bad out there!’

The upset could not come at a worse time for Trump, still reeling from a series of devastating losses from his candidates in the midterms, as he prepares to make a ‘major announcement’ today at Mar-a-Lago.

The former president has now been urged by senior Republicans not to run again in 2024, but he is still expected to mount a dogged campaign.

Advisers told the Washington Post his bid will have a smaller staff and budget than his 2020 campaign and will be based in South Florida

Democrat Katie Hobbs will be the next Arizona governor after she toppled Republican Kari Lake

In a razor-thin race Hobbs won 50.4% of the roughly 2.5 million votes counted almost one week on from Election Day

In a razor-thin race Hobbs won 50.4% of the roughly 2.5 million votes counted almost one week on from Election Day 

It is part of his strategy to cast Trump again as the underdog, and his team will include top advisors Chris LaCivita and Susie Wiles.

Teasing the announcement, Trump said this morning: ‘Hopefully TODAY will turn out to be one of the most important days in the history of our Country!’

But many in the GOP are desperately urging him to stand down, with few House and Senate Republicans embracing the star.

South Dakota Sen. Mike Rounds told CNN: ‘I want someone who is going to unite our party. That’s how we win elections. A reasonable person who would unite the party.’

Idaho Rep. Mike Simpson said: ‘Let’s see who runs. Personally, I don’t think it’s good for the party. I think his policies were good. I just don’t need all the drama with it.’ 

And an anonymous Republican lawmaker added: ‘It’s like we’re on season 7, 8 of The Apprentice. People are sick of it, they want to turn the channel. Let’s find something else.’

His decision could spark further claims of voter fraud, with the Arizona race now in dispute despite no widespread evidence of illegality. 



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