By Stacy M. Brown
NNPA Senior National
As votes continued to pour in from the 2022 midterm elections, Democrats have retained control of the U.S. Senate and still cling to hope that the House will swing in their favor.
But whatever happens with the remaining count determining control of the House, the Republican Party’s anticipation of a red wave crashed into a resilient blue wall, even as members return to work.
“We are going to try to have as productive a lame-duck session as possible,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) stated.
“I’m going to talk to my caucus. I’m going to talk to the Republican leadership and see what we can get done,” Schumer added.
There’s much on the agenda before Congress goes into recess on December 16.
At the top of the list is funding the government for 2023 and avoiding a shutdown.
Democrats also hope to get a bill to President Joe Biden’s desk to strengthen federal election laws surrounding counting and certifying electoral votes in presidential elections.
Many believe such a measure won’t stand a chance in a GOP-controlled House.
However, some Republicans are on record agreeing that reform of some kind is required.
Congress also must address the annual National Defense Authorization Act, which structures the Pentagon.
Additionally, the January 6 committee should release its final report next month, and members must decide what to do about former President Donald Trump’s fight against its subpoena.
The committee could move forward in recommending charges, but with the possibility of Republicans wresting control of the House, the investigation could stall or even cease.
A party must hold 218 seats to gain a majority in the House.
Officials continue to count votes from mail-in ballots in California, Oregon, and Arizona.
The GOP won 211 seats to 204 for Democrats as of press time.
In a significant victory for Democrats, CNN projected that Marie Perez would defeat Republican Joe Kent, a Donald Trump ally, in Washington state’s GOP-leaning 3rd District.
In Colorado’s 3rd District, Trump loyalist Lauren Boebert remains locked in an unexpected battle with Democrat Adam Frisch.
If Frisch upsets Boebert, it will increase his party’s long-shot chance of holding the House.
Democrats also did surprisingly well in gubernatorial races, winning 23 seats.
In potentially the most stunning upset of the 2022 midterms, Republican Kari Lake, a 2020 election denier, trails Democrat Katie Hobbs in the Arizona governor’s race by 34,000 votes.
Officials still must count about 290,000 votes before declaring a winner.
Also, in Los Angeles, former Congressional Black Caucus Chair Karen Bass had widened her lead over developer Rick Caruso in the race for mayor.
A Bass victory would make her the first Black woman mayor in the history of Los Angeles.
AARP Poll Shows Older Voters May Decide Close Georgia Runoff Election
With the Georgia runoff election between Democratic incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican Herschel Walker less than two weeks ago, there’s a vast divide between younger and older voters.
AARP Georgia released key findings from a 2022 runoff election survey that shows candidates should pay close attention to Georgians age 50 and older, with issues such as inflation and rising prices, threats to democracy, and Social Security and Medicare top of mind for these voters.
Warnock, seeking to retain the seat he won in a 2020 runoff, leads the ex-football player by 24 percentage points among voters 18-49.
Meanwhile, Walker leads the senator by 9 points among voters 50 or older.
Overall, the AARP poll shows Warnock with a 51% to 47% lead over Walker.
The big mountain for Democrats is the 55% to 42% edge Walker holds among voters over 65 and Walker’s 51% to 47% lead among voters 50-64.
AARP noted that individuals 50 and older make up 62% of likely runoff voters.
Warnock continues to enjoy a commanding 83-point lead among Black voters 50 and older.
“Georgia voters 50 and older are a critical voting demographic that both candidates are competing for in this runoff election,” Debra Tyler-Horton, AARP Georgia State Director, said in a news release.
“Georgia residents want their leaders to provide solutions to inflation and the rising cost of living, preserve democracy and protect their health and financial security,” Tyler-Horton stated.
“The message is clear, if these candidates want to win the U.S. Senate seat, they should pay attention to the issues that matter to Georgians 50-plus.”
The survey also found that a significant majority (70%) of voters think the country is headed in the wrong direction, while just 49% think the same about the direction of the state.
Meanwhile, 63% of voters said they are worried about their financial situation.
The vast majority (90%) of voters 50 and older said they are highly motivated to vote in the runoff election.
On behalf of AARP, the bipartisan team of pollsters Fabrizio Ward and Impact Research conducted the survey.
The firms interviewed 1,183 likely Georgia voters.
Interviewees included a statewide representative sample of 500 likely voters, an oversample of 550 likely voters aged 50 and older, and an additional oversample of 133 likely Black voters in that age bracket.
Officials conducted the survey between November 11-17, 2022.
For more information on how, when, and where to vote in Georgia, visit aarp.org/GAvotes.