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US midterms: Republican election deniers win big as vote counting underway

Republican Ohio US Senate candidate J.D. Vance arrives with his wife Usha to declare victory at his 2022 US midterm elections night party in Columbus, Ohio, on November 8, 2022. (Via Reuters)

More than 100 Republicans who denied results of the 2020 US presidential election have won their midterm races on Tuesday, capturing seats in Congress and key statewide offices.

Vote counting is underway in the US midterm vote that will determine whether Republicans win control of Congress, which would give them the power to block much of President Joe Biden's agenda.

The midterms are set to usher in an era of divided government in Washington, despite warnings from Democrats over threat to US ‘democracy’ and the undermining of democratic norms.

Thirty-five Senate seats and all 435 House of Representatives seats were up for grabs. Republicans needed five seats to control the House

The Senate, which is currently split 50-50 with Democrats holding the tie-breaking vote, could come down to a quartet of toss-up races in Pennsylvania, Nevada, Georgia and Arizona.

More than 46 million Americans voted either by mail or in-person, according to data from the US Election Project, and state election officials caution that it will take time to count all of those ballots. Control of the Senate might not be not known until a potential Dec. 6 runoff in Georgia.

Voters have said they were motivated by frustration with crimes and high inflation, which is at 8.2%, the highest in 40 years.

In New York, fears of rising crime were also a factor as incumbent Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul faced a tough challenge from Republican Lee Zeldin.

According to a Washington Post analysis, nearly 300 Republicans on the ballot for midterms had questioned the validity of the last presidential election.

By late Tuesday more than 140 of those had won their races, including House and Senate seats, as well as state-level contests.

Among the 2020 election deniers winning Tuesday were congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene and Katie Britt, who ran for Alabama's open US Senate seat.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a leading contender for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024, defeated Democratic Representative Charlie Crist, Edison projected.

Trump, who cast his ballot in Florida, has frequently hinted at a third presidential run. He said on Monday that he would make a "big announcement" on Nov. 15.

Democrats suffered disappointment in Ohio as writer J.D. Vance, a Trump-endorsed chronicler of working-class white life, won a Senate seat.

Despite major wins for Republicans, there were setbacks for supporters of former President Donald Trump such as Doug Mastriano, a far-right conspiracy theorist who failed in his bid to become Pennsylvania governor. He lost to Democrat Josh Shapiro.

Vote-counting is ongoing in Arizona, the southwestern state that has become ground zero for election denialism, and which has several key races.

Arizona's Republican candidates for a US Senate seat and secretary of state have also said they would not have certified Biden's win in the state.

Trump had endorsed more than 200 Republicans in their nominating contests for Tuesday's elections.

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