John Fetterman has flipped Pennsylvania’s pivotal race for the US Senate blue.
Bagging 50% of the votes, the former mayor of Braddock and state lieutenant governor beat the Donald Trump-backed, Republican surgeon-turned-TV personality Mehmet Oz to cement an open seat in the Senate as Democrat. The Democrat candidate, who has taken a progressive stand on abortion, legalizing marijuana, and same-sex marriage debates, succeeds retiring Republican Senator Pat Toomey in the state.
The 6 feet 8, tattooed, goateed, hoodie-donning 53-year-old, who is still recovering from a stroke he had days before winning the Democratic nomination in May, adopted “every county, every vote” as his campaigning motto, touring even red neighborhoods to win over working-class voters there. Now, Fetterman’s win has given his party hope that all of Congress may not turn red—a forecast at the time of writing shows the Senate could remain split 50/50 between Democrats and Republicans.
“We started this campaign almost two years ago, and we had our slogan. ‘Every county, every vote.’ That’s exactly what happened. We jammed them up. We held the line. I never expected that we would turn these red counties blue, but we did what we needed to do and we had that conversation across every one of those counties.” —John Fetterman to a cheering crowd at a concert venue in Pittsburgh at 1.30am on Nov. 9.
3: times President Joe Biden campaigned in Pennsylvania for Fetterman three times in the final three weeks.
$300 million: most expensive race for a Senate seat in Pennsylvania
13: years Fetterman spent as the mayor of struggling steel town Braddock, near Pittsburgh
15104: a tattoo on Fetterman’s left arm, representing Braddock’s ZIP code
🏅 In Pennsylvania, attorney general Josh Shapiro won the governor’s race against Republican election denier Doug Mastriano to keep governorship of a key presidential battleground state blue. Many Republicans had backed Shapiro.
✌️ In Minnesota, which clocked record amounts of spending by candidates and outside groups, Angie Craig won a third term in a high-stakes House election against Republican Tyler Kistner. Craig, Minnesota’s first openly LGBTQ member of Congress, clinched the battleground state after a tough fight from her opponent, who went after high spending and inflation.
👐 Despite tough competition from Trump-backed Tudor Dixon, who criticized governor Gretchen Whitmer’s handling of the covid-19 pandemic and claimed that “crime is up, jobs are down, schools are worse and the roads didn’t get fixed,” Whitmer won a second term in Michigan
Republicans haven’t lost their grip on their key states either. In Texas, Florida, and Georgia, all electing red candidates in the governor races. In the Ohio Senate race, the fifth most expensive in terms of campaign spending, Republican J. D. Vance won over Democrat rival Tim Ryan.
Republicans have been warning of a “red wave” sweeping Congress, but as the votes are counted, it’s looking more like a red ripple. The race for Congress is tight. The House race seems to be leaning Republican but the Senate is oscillating between Democrat and a tossup, as per New York Times forecast The Needle.
For the Senate, Republicans need to flip just one seat to swing power into their corner. Democrats have to hold on to all of their 50 seats if they want to keep control—and Fetterman’s victory gives them hope that they can.
At the time of writing, key senate races in Georgia, Nevada, Arizona, and Wisconsin remain too close to call.
Even if Republicans take only the House, the rift between the two parties will still be felt.
Biden and his Democratic party have been able to push several legislations to do with the environment, health, and other social programs, which Republicans are likely to counter. The two parties don’t see eye-to-eye on big-ticket issues like abortion, education and voting rights.
Republicans would probably also dig into the botched military withdrawal from Afghanistan and the president’s son’s business dealings in China and Ukraine. The House select committee’s probe into the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol Hill riot could be thwarted. There’s a chance that the student loan forgiveness program may be trashed, while gun reforms would not see the light of day. A promised $80 billion funding boost to the tax agency Internal Revenue Service would also be gutted under Republicans’ plans.
If the GOP also takes the Senate, Biden’s ability to make judicial appointments would be compromised.