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GOP on brink of major victory as US counts midterm votes

America has voted in the Midterm Elections and the votes are coming in. Photo: Getty

America has voted in the Midterm Elections and the votes are coming in. Photo: Getty Photo: Getty

Control of the US Senate is on the brink, with Republicans poised to pick up enough seats to wrest control from the Democrats and key results in the midterm elections still too close to call on Wednesday afternoon.

With results filtering in as polls closed everywhere except in Alaska and Hawaii by mid-afternoon Wednesday (AEDT), both parties had won safe seats and there were also some surprise results.

CNN was reporting that Republicans flipped had Democratic-held House seats in Florida, Georgia and Virginia.

But several Democratic incumbents, including two House members in Virginia, had won competitive races, CNN said. Others were leading – in a sign that Republicans had an edge but not the national wave they had hoped for.

Donald Trump’s potential Republican opponent in the 2024 presidential primaries, Ron DeSantis, secured a second term as Florida’s governor. His easy victory will likely further fuel speculation he will challenge Mr Trump to run for president.

“We will have garnered a significant number of votes from people who may not have voted for me four years ago,” Mr DeSantis said in his victory speech.

“[But] we’ve got so much more to do. I have only begun to fight.”

The likelihood that Mr DeSantis will challenge Mr Trump has sparked anger from the former president. Mr Trump has nicknamed his one-time ally “Ron De-Sanctimonious”.

Mr Trump said on Tuesday he would make a major announcement next week – at which he is widely expected to declare his candidacy.

There are 35 Senate seats and all 435 House of Representatives seats up for grabs in the midterm elections.

With some still too close to call on Wednesday afternoon, Edison Research predicted that Republicans had picked up a net five seats in the House of Representatives that had previously been held by Democrats. That would give them control of the house.

Edison projected Republicans had won 157 seats in the 435-seat House and Democrats had won 93.

Surprise results in some states

In Massachusetts, Democratic Attorney General Maura Healey became the first woman to ascend to that state’s highest office.

She also will be the country’s first openly lesbian governor.

In Maryland, a state where 31 per cent of the population is black, Democrat Wes Moore became the state’s first African American to win an election for governor.

In all, 36 states will elect a chief executive in the US midterm elections on Tuesday, with the future of abortion rights and democratic elections at stake in competitive elections across the country.

The high stakes brought increased money and attention to the state-level races, which typically get overshadowed in midterm elections by the fight for control of Congress.

Elsewhere around the country, Democrats are fighting to keep control of governorships in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin to maintain the power to veto any legislation by the Republican-controlled legislatures that might curb abortion rights and voting access.

Republican victories in those presidential battleground states and Arizona could have implications for the 2024 White House election.

The party’s nominees have embraced Mr Trump’s false claims that the 2020 election was stolen.

In Arizona, which has one of the country’s closest gubernatorial races, Trump-backed candidate Kari Lake has repeated his assertions about voter fraud and said she would not have certified President Joe Biden’s victory in that state.

Her opponent is Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democrat who rose to national prominence in 2020 when she defended Arizona’s election victory for Biden.

Pictured is Republican Ron DeSantis

Republican Ron DeSantis was reelected as Florida’s Governor. Photo: Getty Images

Trump’s Republican friend and foe reelected

Former White House Press Secretary under Donald Trump, Sarah Huckabee Sanders has become Arkansas’ first female governor.

Ms Sanders, a Republican, reportedly vowed to fight US President Joe Biden and the left, if she won.

Also in Florida, Senator Marco Rubio has won his reelection bid.

In the House of Reps, Trump-backed Marjorie Taylor Greene has been reelected. The far-right conspiracy theorist claimed more than 60 per cent of the vote in Georgia’s 14th district.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro has beaten Trump-backed, January 6 insurrectionist Doug Mastriano. Mr Mastriano echoed unfounded voter fraud claims in 2020.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has been reelected, beating Beto O’Rourke.

Massachusetts also elected its first openly gay, female governor, with Democrat Maura Healey. Maryland also elected Wes Moore, the state’s first Black governor.

New York City progressive Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is expected to keep her seat.

New voting conspiracy spreads on Twitter

Just days after Twitter Inc staff were fired following Elon Musk’s takeover, a new conspiracy theory spread quickly on the platform.

While Americans headed out to cast their vote, people on Twitter started discussing problems with voting machines in Maricopa County in Arizona, and Luzerne County in Pennsylvania.

The unfounded conspiracy alleged there were deliberate malfunctions. Races in both Arizona and Pennsylvania are tight.

Maricopa County election officials said in a video on Twitter the issues would not affect vote counting and ballots would remain in locked boxes for later counting.

Republicans tried to get voting hours extended in Maricopa County, but a judge struck it down, NBC News reported.

However, voting hours were extended to account for the issues in Luzerne County.

On Twitter, “Cheating” was trending.

Twitter’s team of curation specialists who added context to trending topics were let go last week, Reuters reported.

-with agencies

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