U.S. midterm elections: When will we know who won?

Vote counting in Arizona midterm election

By Jason Lange

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The race for control of the U.S. Congress is down to a few states and a glacial pace of vote counting, with Republicans needing 14 more seats to win the House of Representatives and a Georgia run-off that could decide control of the Senate.

The top House Republican, Kevin McCarthy, said early on Wednesday he was confident his party would prevail as its candidates showed signs of closing in on victory.

* With 44 of 435 House seats still lacking a clear winner, Republicans were leading in vote tallies for 17 of them. If they hold onto those leads, McCarthy would likely replace Democrat Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House.

* In Nevada's closely fought Senate contest, vote counting was expected to drag on for days. A Republican victory there would mean the Senate majority of President Joe Biden's Democrats would likely hang on the results of the newly scheduled Dec. 6 Senate run-off in Georgia.

* Republican Adam Laxalt in Nevada was leading the state's Democratic Senator Catherine Cortez Masto 49.9% to 47.2%, but tens of thousands of mail ballots were still to be counted in Washoe and Clark counties. Mail ballots are particularly popular among Democrats and election officials are expected to continue counting mail ballots through the weekend that were postmarked by Election Day.

* The Senate race in Arizona had yet to be called, though incumbent Democrat Mark Kelly led Republican challenger Blake Masters 51.4% to 46.4% with about 70% of the expected vote counted. There are still roughly 400,000 votes yet to be counted in Arizona's Maricopa County, according to election officials there who said that they may not be finished with their tallies until Friday.

* If Cortez Masto and Kelly prevail, Democratic control of the Senate would likely continue through the second half of Biden's term. In that scenario, Democrats would have 50 votes in the Senate even if U.S. Senator for Georgia Raphael Warnock, a Democrat, loses the Dec. 6 run-off against Republican challenger Herschel Walker. That would preserve the status quo. Currently the Senate is split 50-50 with Vice President Kamala Harris, a Democrat, able to cast the tie-breaking vote.

(Reporting by Jason Lange in Washington, additional reporting by Ned Parker in Reno, Nevada and Tim Reid in Phoenix; Editing by Scott Malone and Howard Goller)