CNA Staff, Nov 3, 2020 / 23:06 pm
Control of the White House and Senate remained unresolved on Election Night, with Pennsylvania expected to take days to certify a result in the presidential contest, and a run-off set to be held in Georgia’s special election for the Senate.
Early predictions of a “Blue Wave” appeared premature Tuesday night, as President Donald Trump appeared set to hold the key states of Texas and Florida, while former vice president Joe Biden was projected to flip Arizona, setting up narrowing paths to victory for both candidates.
Campaigners and commentators Tuesday night widely pointed to Pennsylvania as critical to either candidate’s chances of success, while state officials warned it could be days before a result was certified, after an unprecedented number of ballots were cast by mail owing to the coronavirus pandemic.
In the Senate, Republicans and Democrats each flipped single seats, with outstanding races looking to favor the incumbents, and a runoff between the top two candidates in Georgia set for January, teeing up a reduced majority for the Republicans, but with upset results still possible.
With the House of Representatives projected to remain under Democratic control, a razor-thin majority in the Senate would be crucial for Republicans to put a break on a potential Biden administration and for Democrats to check appointments in a still-possible Trump second term.
A President Biden or Trump will need Senate approval to appoint cabinet members and federal judges, an increasingly contentious process after President Trump’s more than 200 judicial appointments - including three Supreme Court justices.
In the event of a Democratic victory in both the White House and the Senate, it would give the party rare control of both Congress and the executive branch, and trigger action on a slew of legislative action on a variety of issues, from climate change to immigration.
However, too narrow a result in the Senate would leave them well short of a three-fifths majority needed in the Senate to overcome the legislative filibuster. Democrats could try to pass rule changes to abolish the procedure, but would have no margin for error and moderate members could be hesitant to take such a controversial move.