Democrats keep control of US Senate
President Joe Biden’s Democratic Party has retained control of the United States Senate after winning a closely contested race in the state of Nevada.
The Associated Press news agency declared Democratic Senator Catherine Cortez Masto the winner in the western state late on Saturday.
Democratic control of the Senate ensures a smoother process for Biden’s cabinet appointments and judicial picks, including those for potential Supreme Court openings.
The party will also keep control over committees and have the power to conduct investigations or oversight of the Biden administration, and will be able to reject legislation sent over by the House if the Republicans win that chamber.
Biden, who was in Cambodia to attend a summit of Southeast Asian leaders, said he was feeling “good about where we are”.
“Again, I’m not surprised by the turnout. I’m incredibly pleased,” he told reporters. “And I think it’s a reflection of the quality of our candidates.
“We feel good about where we are. And I know I’m a cockeyed optimist.”
The Senate fight had hinged on a handful of deeply contested seats. Both parties spent tens of millions of dollars in Pennsylvania, Arizona, Nevada and Georgia, the top battlegrounds where Democrats had hoped that Republicans’ decision to nominate untested candidates — many backed by Trump — would help them defy national headwinds.