Republicans projected to hold onto majority control of the Senate

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 06: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and members of his staff head to the floor of the Senate for the confirmation vote for Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh U.S. Capitol October 06, 2018 in Washington, DC. After days of testimony, weeks of protest and an additional five days of FBI investigation into accusations of sexual assault, Kavanaugh was confirmed by the Senate, 50-48. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will now be able to tighten his
grip on the upper chamber.

Somodevilla/Getty Images

  • Tuesday night’s
    midterm election results


    Republicans will hold onto their
    majority in the Senate.
  • The tightened grip on the Senate will allow Majority
    Leader Mitch McConnell to continue
    confirming judicial nominees
    at a breakneck speed.
  • Republicans could try to repeal the Affordable Care Act
    again, as well as attempt other legislative action on key

Republicans are projected to hold onto their majority control of
the US Senate in the new year, after securing enough crucial wins
in the
2018 midterm elections

After spending the year with a slim 51-49 majority, which just
barely managed to confirm Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh,
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will now be able to
tighten his grip on the upper chamber.

The Republican majority can be partially credited to the
electoral map, which featured several incumbent Democrats having
to face reelection in conservative-leaning states:

  • Republican candidate Mike Braun defeated incumbent Democratic
    Sen. Joe Donnelly in Indiana.
  • Republican Kevin Cramer picked up North Dakota’s Senate seat
    from incumbent Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp.
  • In Tennessee’s open Senate seat, Republican Marsha Blackburn
    kept the seat for the GOP, beating Democrat Phil Breseden. 
  • Republican Ted Cruz fended off Democratic challenger Rep.
    Beto O’Rourke 

Read more: 

how angry the left is’: Mitch McConnell said the time since Trump
became president has been the best in his 34 years in the Senate,
and he plans to plow through more nominees

Another factor was the amount of time McConnell kept those
incumbent Democrats in Washington in lieu of letting lawmakers
return for their home states during the final stretches of the
campaign season.

canceled the annual August recess
, forcing senators to stay
in the Capitol during the dog days of summer. The move was seen
as highly political and part of McConnell’s broader plan and
forming legacy of rapidly confirming conservative judicial

State work periods reserved for October were also shortened,
resulting in Democrats
cutting a deal
with McConnell to confirm 15 lifetime
appointed judges in exchange for being allowed to go home for the

Republicans will be able to continue shaping the courts 

One of the most significant impacts of Republicans keeping the
Senate majority is that they will be able to continue confirming
President Donald Trump’s judicial nominees, furthering an already
record-breaking process of pushing through lifetime appointed

During the first two years of the Trump presidency, the
McConnell-led Senate has confirmed 84 judges. So far, 29 have
been Appeals Court judges, 53 have been for state district
courts, and two have been confirmed to the Supreme Court.

With a long list of vacancies still slated to be filled, the
Republican-controlled Senate can keep confirming judicial
nominees at a breakneck speed. In addition, the possibility of
another Supreme Court vacancy could arise before the 2020
election cycle gets underway.

The likelihood of other accomplishments could still be a
difficult task for Republicans. The GOP is still shy of being
able to surpass the 60-vote threshold for legislation, which
Trump has

as an impediment to his agenda.

While Republicans would like to take
another crack
at repealing the Affordable Care Act, as well
as potentially moving forward on
additional tax cuts
, in could be an extremely heavy lift that