Democrats and Republicans fought for control of Congress in midterm elections in the United States on Tuesday that could shape the future of President Joe Biden's presidency.
Democrats were enjoying a stronger-than-expected showing early on Wednesday, as they had limited their losses in the U.S. House of Representatives. But as the votes were still being counted, it was still possible that Republicans could end up with control of both the House and the U.S. Senate.
As of 4:30 am EST on Wednesday, Republicans had picked up nine House seats, according to CNN. Democrats had a 221-209 advantage before the election, with five seats open.
According to The Associated Press, the first new senator is Peter Welch, a House Democrat who won his bid to replace Democratic Senator Pat Leahy of Vermont, who is retiring at the end of this year. Senator Tim Scott, a Republican, easily won reelection in South Carolina.
In Pennsylvania, Democrat Josh Shapiro has been elected as governor, defeating Republican candidate Doug Mastriano.
In Florida, incumbent Republican Governor Ron De Santis, considered to be a potential 2024 presidential candidate, coasted to reelection over Democrat Charlie Crist, a former governor of the state.
Wes Moore will become Maryland's first black governor, and in Massachusetts, Maura Healey will be the nation's first openly lesbian woman elected governor.
In Arkansas, Republican Sarah Huckabee Sanders, a former White House press secretary, was elected the state's first woman governor.
Generation Z officially has a seat in Congress. Maxwell Alejandro Frost, a 25-year-old Democrat, won his election on Tuesday in Florida's 10th Congressional District over Calvin Wimbish, a Republican.
Governor races took place in 36 states, with key contests in New York, Arizona, Michigan and Oregon. Voters will decide on ballot questions ranging from abortion to marijuana and the environment.
The biggest unknown in some states may be millions of mail-in ballots. Some states give local election offices several weeks before Election Day to count them. In other states, that process can't start until Election Day or shortly before, meaning those ballots might not get counted until the next day or even later.
Matthew Bunday, a software engineer in New York City, said, "I feel like I was a pretty disengaged voter this election. To be honest, I'm someone who thinks there're some benefits to having a divided government because it kind of forces the parties to work together during that time, or sometimes just nothing gets done."
Erin Fang, a 29-year-old Los Angeles resident said: "I think we have also become so politically polarized as a nation, I do hope to see more cooperation and a less toxic political environment as we tackle a broad range of issues together."
Diao Daming, an associate professor of U.S. studies at Renmin University of China, said that history shows that only under special conditions, such as facing major challenges and crises at home and abroad, can the U.S. president's party maintain or even increase its seats in the midterm elections. Butthis time, it is clearly not the case.
Losing control of the House or both the House and Senate would mean that in the following two years it may be difficult for Biden to push through a new domestic agenda, and the agenda he has had over the past two years will be adjusted and revised.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said in Beijing on Wednesday that the midterm elections are the internal affairs of the U.S., and the election results are to be decided by the U.S. voters. China has no comments on the election results.
China has a consistent and clear position on ties with the U.S., which is that sound and stable bilateral ties are in line with the fundamental interests of the two peoples and with the common expectation of the world, Zhao said at a daily news conference.