On November 8th, Americans voted in the midterm elections, the first of Joe Biden’s presidency and a prelude to the next presidential election, which takes place in 2024.

Most votes are counted, but there are still important issues to be defined in the U.S. Congress. The weekend brought good news for the Democratic Party, which with victories in the states of Arizona and Nevada managed to secure a majority in the Senate. Already in the House of Representatives, the advantage remains on the side of the Republican Party, but it is still too early to declare a winner.

There was even talk of a red wave , due to the concern of most voters about high inflation rates, the increase in crime, and historically the President in office being penalized in the interim. Joe Biden’s low approval rating fueled Republican hopes, but the historic decision to roll back Roe v. Wade, and some legislative successes of the Democratic Party led to a significant mobilization of the Democratic electorate as the younger electorate.

The Democratic Party renews (and can still strengthen) the majority in the Senate. In the House of Representatives, if the Republican Party wins the five seats it needs for control, which is not yet certain, it will be by a small margin, lower than usual in the midterm elections.


As we explained here, 35 seats were cast in the Senate. The Republican Party would need at least 51 senators to have a majority in the Senate; the Democratic Party had enough that there were 50 Democratic senators to control the upper house of Congress, because in the event of a tie, Vice President Kamala Harris has the deciding vote.

Until Friday, the victory was still uncertain, with the results undetermined in states where the races were very close, where the small margin of difference between candidates still did not allow to declare winners. These are crucial states to win elections, since it is not predicted, before the election, a comfortable victory of either party.

At the end of the day on Friday (already early Saturday morning in Portugal), was declared victory of Democrat Mark Kelly in the race for senator in Arizona against republican Blake Masters , which had the support of Donald Trump,.

A day later in Nevada, Republican Adam Laxalt, also backed by Trump, lost his slight lead over Democratic candidate Catherine Cortez Masto in the final stretch of the vote count, thus allowing Democrats to secure an advantage in the upper house of Congress for the next two years.

What’s missing to know?

Right now, the Democrats have 50 seats secured and the Republicans only 49. This number is enough to give a majority to the Democrats. It remains now to know who will win in Georgia. If it’s the Republican Party, it won’t be enough to give this party control of the Senate. If it wins the Democratic Party, it will have a more comfortable majority than in the last two years, removing negotiating margin to some senators within the party itself.

In Georgia, Democrat Raphael Warnock was ahead of Herschel Walker, the Trump-backed Republican candidate. However, it was not enough to secure the 50% of the votes needed for the victory that the rules of this state require. Thus, the two candidates go to a second round on December 6th.

In Alaska, the contest is now between two Republican candidates, the most voted in the first round of counts. This is possible because Alaska has adopted a ranked choice system, in which voters order candidates in order of preference, rather than selecting just one. When no candidate gets 50% on the first count (of first choices), as was the case, there is a new count, excluding the least chosen candidate as the first choice. In ballot papers where the first choice was that of the eliminated candidate, the votes will be allocated to the second choice. This process repeats itself until a candidate gets a majority.

Important results

Trump did not go to the polls, but several candidates in crucial races (races in which the two parties had a good chance of winning) supported by him came out defeated.

One of the Republican Party’s most significant defeats on election night was that of Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania. The American television personality known as Dr. Oz was supported by former President Donald Trump, but lost to Democratic opponent John Fetterman, so far the state’s vice-governor. It was an important victory for the Democrats because this seat is currently occupied by a Republican, the Luso-American Pat Toomey, who did not reapply.

Other competitive states, such as New Hampshire and Colorado, were won by Democrats. Republicans elected senators in Wisconsin, North Carolina and Ohio. In the latter state, the candidate who won was J.D. Vance, backed by Trump.

The results of Trump-backed candidates, not only for the Senate, but also for the House of Representatives and the Governor’s seat, have been much talked about by analysts for giving us some data on the future of the Republican Party and its calculations for the presidential nominee’s nomination in 2024.

House of Representatives

The 435 seats in the House of Representatives were voted in these midterms.In an earlier article, we explained why and how important it is to control this House. To do this, a party needs to win in 218 districts, getting the most seats. At the moment, the votes are being counted and it is not yet certain which of the parties will get the majority, with about 15 congressmen to be counted. Earlier on Monday in Portugal, the Republican Party is ahead in the race.


Of the 36 races for governor, the candidates of the Democratic Party and the Republican Party have won, to date, the same number of races: 17. The results in Arizona and Alaska have yet to be found. In the latter state, the Republican incumbent leads the race by a comfortable margin, but still not enough to declare victory.

The race that is being most followed at the moment is Arizona, where Katie Hobbs, the Democratic candidate, is in the lead against Republican Kari Lake (supported by Trump), but with a small lead. The votes are still being counted.

It wasn’t just in the Senate that Pennsylvania’s elections went badly for Republicans – and in particular for Trump. In the race for governor, Josh Shapiro defeated Doug Mastriano, backed by the former president. Like Trump, Mastriano does not recognize the legitimacy of the 2020 election result, which is particularly relevant because in Pennsylvania the office of Secretary of State, responsible for administering State elections, is not elected but appointed by the governor.

Brian Kemp, governor of Georgia, secured re-election against Democrat Stacey Abrams. It’s significant because Brian Kemp, being a Republican, refused to reverse the outcome of the Georgia state presidential election in 2020, and because Stacey Abrams was singled out as part of the Democratic Party’s future. Having now lost two elections against Brian Kemp, that future is not so clear.

In Kansas, Democratic incumbent Laura Kelly defeated Republican opponent Derek Schmidt, who had Trump’s support. In Wisconsin, Tim Michels was defeated, also significant in view of the controversial claim of then-candidate Michels, who stated that the Republican Party would not lose elections in that state again if it were chosen by voters.

Finally, the elephant in the room: Ron de Santis, governor of Florida, emerges reinforced from this electoral act. He secured his re-election by a comfortable margin and is one of the names appointed to run for the Republican Party’s nomination for president of the United States in 2024.

How did the legislators of Portuguese descent do in these interims?

The three congressmen and women of Portuguese descent went to vote, as well as many of the state legislators of Portuguese descent. In addition, several locally elected positions were also decided in this election.

Lori Trahan, a Massachusetts Democrat, was re-elected to represent the 3rd District in the U.S. House of Representatives. The remaining congressmen who went to the polls are elected by California, where there are still no final results. Jim Costa of the Democratic Party and David Valadao of the Republican Party lead their races, but with many votes still to be cast.

Several politicians of Portuguese descent also competed in the local assemblies. Nearly 30 were re-elected in states with a large Portuguese presence, such as Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut and California, but also in Pennsylvania. We also have new senators and state representatives in states as different as Massachusetts, Hawaii and New York.