Several days after the midterm elections, the United States is still waiting spellbound to see which party will have the say in both chambers of Congress in the future. So far, the Republicans are on course for a narrow majority in the House of Representatives. Control of the Senate currently rests on three open races. In the end, a decision on the Senate majority could possibly only be made in a runoff election in Georgia in early December.
Despite the uncertainty about the exact outcome of the election, former President Donald Trump is already having to fight for leadership among the Republicans - because of his party's unexpectedly weak performance.
At the "midterms" in the middle of President Joe Biden's four-year term, all 435 seats in the House of Representatives and 35 of the 100 seats in the Senate were up for election. 36 governorships and other important offices in the states were also filled.
The votes on three Senate seats and several dozen mandates in the House of Representatives have not yet been decided. The counting is still ongoing, due to the sometimes extremely close races and electoral peculiarities in several US states, where some postal votes are still counted days after the election.
Arizona and Nevada were in focus
On Friday, the focus was on counting the votes in Arizona and Nevada. Each state has one Senate seat at stake.
Republicans currently have 49 seats and Democrats 48 in the Senate. With 50 votes each, the Democrats would retain control of the congressional chambers, with a stalemate allowing Democratic Vice President Kamala Harris to cast the deciding vote.
In the House of Representatives, 218 seats are needed for a majority. According to the votes counted so far, the Republicans got 211 seats and the Democrats 198 on Friday.
Before the election, a debacle was predicted for the Democrats - but the Republicans failed to achieve a wave of success. Biden now feels confirmed in his course and, in view of the foreseeable tight majority, emphasized at the same time that he was ready to cooperate with the Republicans.
Turning away from Trump?
After the Republicans failed to achieve a clear victory in the general election, voices in the party calling for Trump to be left behind are increasing. Trump was written off as the "biggest loser" in media mogul Rupert Murdoch's influential conservative media, such as the Wall Street Journal and the New York Post. So far, high-ranking politicians in the party have held back with broadsides against Trump.
Many Republicans regard Ron DeSantis as a new beacon of hope, who was clearly re-elected as governor of Florida in the "Midterms". Trump, who is expected to announce a presidential bid for the 2024 election next Tuesday evening (local time), sharply attacked DeSantis in posts on the social media platform Truth Social, which he founded.
Trump's former Vice President Mike Pence, who distanced himself from his former boss, is also said to have ambitions for the Republican presidential candidacy.
While the count for the congressional elections is still ongoing, Biden embarked on a week-long trip abroad. On Friday he landed in Egypt to take part in the world climate conference in Sharm el Sheikh. The President will then travel on to Asia, to the Asean Summit in Cambodia and the G20 Summit in Indonesia.