HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — It’s been almost a week since Election Day, but votes are still being counted, with control of Congress still hanging in the balance.
Over the weekend the U.S. Senate race in Nevada was called for the Democratic incumbent U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, meaning Democrats will maintain a Senate majority.
There is still one U.S. Senate race to go — the runoff in Georgia between incumbent Democrat U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock and his Republican challenger Herschel Walker. The runoff is set for next month. The outcome of that race will decide if Vice President Kamala Harris will be the tiebreaker in a 50-50 senate or if Democrats gain a one-seat advantage.
News 19 Political Analysts David Person and Jay Town spoke Monday about what’s transpired over the past week and what’s to come.
Person said it has been a good week overall for Democrats.
“Nationally, Democrats should feel good,” Person said. “President Biden should feel good, this was probably the best outcome Democrats could anticipate having.”
There was no GOP “red wave” as many had predicted, but News 19 Political Analyst Jay Town pointed out that Republicans are still likely to win a majority in the U.S. House and elect the next House Speaker.
“We have to maybe tamp down the rhetoric of it being a big, losing evening for the Republican Party,” Town said. “I will say this, I think the party does have to perform an autopsy on the issues it runs on. You can’t simply run on not being Democrats. We have to run on issues, we have to run on ideas.”
Mid-term elections are widely seen as a referendum on the incumbent president, but News 19’s analysts said it turned out the vote wasn’t simply about the Biden Administration.
“To the extent Donald Trump was also on this ballot, along with Joe Biden, that’s where you can see there was sort of this tension,” Town said. “If Joe Biden were the only president or former president on the ballot you would have had a much more persuasive result for the Republicans.
Both analysts agreed, voters weren’t interested in political sideshows and they suggested voters are dealing with varying levels of “Trump fatigue.”
“People are fine with, you know, a person being conservative or a person being liberal as the case may be, but what they want from government is something different, and they want a government that functions,” Person said. “These are challenging times for many of us financially.”
As Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis emerges as a possible GOP presidential candidate, analysts questioned what that means for former President Trump.
“I think the party probably has about six months to vet its presidential candidates and determine what kind of leadership the party wants and from whom,” Town said. “I don’t think you’re going to see much out of Ron DeSantis, I think you’re going to continue to see attacks out of the former president. I think most of those attacks, if not all of them, are unwarranted and I think it’s just going to continue to turn Republicans off, and, really make our decision much easier in the coming months or year.”
Person said a challenge to Trump from DeSantis could succeed.
“In my estimation, it depends on what Ron DeSantis does next,” he said. “Because right now, you look across the landscape, there doesn’t seem to be any Republican nationally, who’s better positioned to take the lead of that party than DeSantis. If he decides to assert himself, I think he’s got people who are ready to follow him and that could end up being the demise of Trump.”
The analysts also pointed out that Alabama Republicans further strengthened their grip on power, while the Alabama Democratic Party is facing tough questions about how it will move forward.