The battle to control the U.S. House and Senate remained too close to call on Wednesday morning, as Republican hopes for a strong red wave in the midterm elections appeared to be getting dashed.
The House seats to flip to the GOP included one held by Democratic Rep. Elaine Luria of Virginia, who lost to Republican challenger Jen Kiggans, as well as two seats in Florida, but Democrats also had flipped seats.
Republicans were needing a net gain of only five seats to win a majority in the chamber. Democrats have had a grip on the House since the 2018 midterms.
Read more: Here are the congressional seats that have flipped in the midterm elections
Among the competitive Senate races, Democrats kept their hold on seats in Colorado and New Hampshire, while scoring a pick-up in Pennsylvania. Republicans maintained their control of seats in North Carolina and Ohio.
Georgia’s contest was headed to a Dec. 6 runoff, said the Peach State’s secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, in a radio interview.
Related: Senate control may not be determined until December due to Georgia law on runoffs
Also see: Ohio’s J.D. Vance tells MarketWatch he wants to end tax loopholes for tech companies and ban congressional stock trading
Democrats have run the Senate for two years, controlling the 50-50 chamber only because Vice President Kamala Harris can cast tiebreaking votes.
Betting markets now were seeing Democrats staying in charge of the Senate and Republicans winning the House. Ahead of Tuesday’s voting, betting markets had signaled confidence in GOP prospects for taking over both the Senate and House.
Related: Betting markets now see Democrats keeping their grip on Senate as midterm results so far don’t indicate a red wave
Analysts had said voters in October and November appeared increasingly focused on Republican issues such as high prices for gasoline
and other essentials, at the expense of Democrats’ agenda items in their midterm campaigns. Biden and his fellow Democrats have emphasized their support for abortion rights following the Supreme Court’s June decision overturning Roe v. Wade.
But the outcome was looking more like a red ripple, rather than a red tsunami. GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina told NBC News that the midterm results were “definitely not a Republican wave, that’s for darn sure.”
Exit polls suggested that Republicans performed worse than expected because many Democrats and independents voted partly to show their disapproval of former President Donald Trump — and those voters were energized by the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe.
Check out: Anti-Trump vote and Dobbs abortion ruling boost Democrats in 2022 election
U.S. stock indexes
lost ground on Wednesday, struggling to extend a winning run to a fourth session, as the midterms looked likely to deliver gridlock in Congress.
“Investors might like gridlock, but a negative reaction from the markets is possible, since results failed to meet expectations,” said Brian Gardner, chief Washington policy strategist at Stifel, in a note.
“A firm Republican check on the Biden administration looks less likely. Chaos in Washington could be the result and that chaos could become evident in the coming weeks as House Republicans hold leadership elections for the next Congress.”