Biden pleased with election turnout, says reflects quality of party’s candidates

PHNOM PENH, Nov 13 (Reuters) – Joe Biden said on Sunday he was “incredibly pleased” to turn out in the U.S. election after Democrats took control of the Senate, a major victory for the president, who will serve the next two years in office.

Speaking to reporters in Cambodia ahead of an East Asia summit, Biden said the turnout was a reflection of the quality of his party’s candidates, after Senator Catherine Cortez Masto was tipped to narrowly beat Republican challenger Adam Laxalt in the Nevada election. .

A Democratic victory in next month’s Georgia runoff would give the party a 51-49 majority control of the Senate, while a loss in Georgia would leave Democrats with a 50-50 Senate control that Democratic Vice President Kamala Harris could break. equal votes. The extra seat means Democrats can vote on key candidates and bills.

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“We’re focused on Georgia right now. We feel good about where we’re at. And I know I’m optimistic. I understand that,” Biden told reporters. “Once again, I’m not surprised by the turnout. I’m incredibly happy. I think it’s a reflection of the quality of our candidates.”

Control of the House of Representatives is still undecided. Biden admitted that such a victory would be a “long shot” for the Democrats, but Republicans fell well short of predictions that they would win power in Washington.

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Biden has called the midterm elections a test of US democracy as hundreds of Republican candidates are drawn against former President Donald Trump’s false claims that the 2020 presidential election was rigged.

U.S. President Joe Biden makes a statement about the U.S. midterm elections on November 13, 2022, during his visit to Phnom Penh, Cambodia. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Trump has repeatedly used his appeal among hard-right conservatives to influence Republican candidates for Congress, gubernatorial and local races.

However, he has been criticized for promoting candidates who did not appeal to a wide enough electorate, leading to a poor showing for Republicans.

The results also signaled exhaustion from the turmoil fueled by the former Republican president, raising questions about his 2024 run to the White House.

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Laxalt, who lost in Nevada, was a former state attorney general endorsed by Trump.

Biden told reporters that the election would be a time for the Republican Party to “decide who it is.”

Some Republicans expressed frustration at at least two more years in the minority. “The old party is dead. Time to bury it. Build something new,” Sen. Josh Hawley tweeted.

Report by Nandita Bose; Written by Martin Petty; Edited by Ed Davis and William Mallard

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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