The race for control of the House and Senate is incredibly close

Published November 8, 2022 at 5:59 AM EST

Tuesday was the final voting day of the 2022 midterm elections. Key Senate, House and gubernatorial races are on the line. Follow Wednesday's live updates and results here.

Our reporters are working around the clock to bring you essential information about the midterm elections. We depend on support from people like you to do this vital work and more. Donate today to ensure that trustworthy news and analysis are here for you when you need it. Stay up to date with our Politics newsletter and listen to The NPR Politics Podcast on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

This blog is closing up for the night — but don't go too far

Posted November 9, 2022 at 2:49 AM EST

It's nearly 3 a.m. ET. Votes are still being counted, key races are too close to call and control of Congress is still up for grabs.

We're going to stop bringing you live updates here tonight, but we'll be back first thing tomorrow morning, covering all the latest updates and results.

In the meantime, coverage continues on the NPR One app or your local NPR member station. You can catch up on today's highlights via our Politics newsletter and The NPR Politics Podcast on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

See you tomorrow!

Here's where things stand

Posted November 9, 2022 at 2:39 AM EST

As of 2:30a.m. ET, control of the House and the Senate remains uncertain.

According to The Associated Press, 76 House races have yet to be called, with critical toss-up seats at play in California, New York, Pennsylvania and other states.

Republicans need to flip a net of five seats to gain control of the House.

In Pennsylvania, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman delivered a victory for Democrats with an early-morning win, flipping a Senate seat by beating Trump-backed Republican candidate Mehmet Oz.

Five Senate races have not yet been called by the AP.

Follow Wednesday's live updates and results here.

Race Result

Democratic Governor Tony Evers wins reelection in Wisconsin

Posted November 9, 2022 at 2:33 AM EST

Wisconsin Democratic Governor Tony Evers won reelection to a second term, beating back an effort by Republicans to recapture all branches of government in the perennial swing state.

According to a race call by The Associated Press, Evers defeated Republican challenger Tim Michels, a construction executive who emerged from a contentious GOP primary after an endorsement by former President Donald Trump.

Evers was helped in the closing days of the campaign by a visit from former President Barack Obama, who also recorded a TV ad on the governor's behalf. Evers' campaign relentlessly attacked Michels over his long support for banning abortion without exceptions for rape or incest.

For Evers, a former teacher who previously served as Wisconsin's state superintendent of public instruction, the victory comes four years after he narrowly defeated former Republican Governor Scott Walker.

Evers spent his first term in office at odds with a Republican-dominated Legislature on everything from COVID-19 policy to election laws. That's likely to happen again after Republicans redrew the state's political maps to give themselves an even bigger advantage in races for the state Senate and Assembly.

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Race Result

Democratic Lt. Gov. John Fetterman wins Senate race in Pennsylvania

Posted November 9, 2022 at 2:16 AM EST

Democratic Lt. Gov. John Fetterman has won the U.S. Senate race in Pennsylvania, according to a race call by The Associated Press.

He defeated Republican Mehmet Oz, who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump.

"We bet on the people of Pennsylvania - and you didn’t let us down," Fetterman tweeted. "And I won’t let you down."

The Senate matchup was one of the closest-watched races of the election season. Fetterman's win is a significant victory for Democrats as they work to hold onto their slim majority in the Senate.

➡️ Pennsylvania election results
➡️ WESA's live coverage
➡️Election coverage from WHYY

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Just In

Right to abortion becomes part of California Constitution

Posted November 9, 2022 at 1:55 AM EST

California will amend its constitution to guarantee the right to abortion and contraception. Voters approved the ballot measure, known as Proposition 1, according to a call by The Associated Press.

Proposition 1 was a direct response to the U.S. Supreme Court's Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization ruling, which overturned Roe v. Wade. State Democratic leaders introduced the proposition language after a draft of the court's decision leaked this past spring. Following the Supreme Court's final decision in June, California's Democratic-controlled Senate approved putting Proposition 1 on the ballot.

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Gen Z Republican Karoline Leavitt loses to Democrat Chris Pappas in New Hampshire

Posted November 9, 2022 at 1:43 AM EST
Democratic U.S. Rep. Chris Pappas, left, shakes hands with Republican challenger Karoline Leavitt during their debate at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics on Oct. 25, 2022.
Craig F. Walker
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The Boston Globe via Getty Images
Democratic U.S. Rep. Chris Pappas, left, shakes hands with Republican challenger Karoline Leavitt during their debate at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics on Oct. 25, 2022.

Democratic incumbent Chris Pappas has held onto New Hampshire's 1st Congressional District, according to a race call by The Associated Press. He defeated Republican Karoline Leavitt, 25, a former assistant press secretary in the Trump administration who pitched herself as a conservative voice for young voters.

The district, which contains the southeastern portion of the state, was considered a toss-up race by The Cook Political Report, despite a solid fundraising lead from Pappas. His win brings a small sigh of relief for Democrats, but the battle is far from over as Republicans home in on competitive races across the country and are favored to take control of the House.

For Leavitt, her campaign held an added significance, as she would have been one of the first members of Generation Z to be elected to Congress and the youngest woman to ever serve in the House of Representatives.

Leavitt consistently celebrated her age throughout her campaign, arguing her candidacy would steer more young voters toward the Republican Party — despite millennial and Gen Z Americans largely voting Democratic in past elections.

"[Democrats'] policies are having a detrimental impact on my generation," Leavitt said in an appearance on Fox News last week, arguing that popular Democratic initiatives like student debt forgiveness and a Green New Deal are "false" promises.

"The radical economic agenda of the Democrat Party that's been pushed over the past two years is really costing young folks," she added. "The American dream has never been more unattainable for young Americans."

Her loss comes after Gen Z progressive Democrat Maxwell Frost won his congressional bid in Florida's 10th District.

➡️ New Hampshire election results
➡️ Live coverage from NHPR

Race Result

Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer wins reelection in Michigan

Posted November 9, 2022 at 1:40 AM EST

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, has won a second term for the top political job in the battleground state, according to a race call by The Associated Press.

The state of the economy is always a big issue in the industrial Midwest, but abortion rights and Whitmer's deployment of lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic also played a role in the campaign.

Whitmer beat political novice Tudor Dixon in the Republican nominee's first run for public office. Dixon was best known as a commentator on conservative news networks prior to winning the Republican nomination in a crowded GOP primary.

➡️ Michigan Election Results
➡️ WDET Detroit Results
➡️ WKAR’s election coverage

As Night 1 ends, control of Congress remains at stake for Democrats

Posted November 9, 2022 at 1:36 AM EST

As ballot counting continues across the country, Democrats remain in the fight to hold onto a majority in Congress.

But as Night 1 comes to a close, maintaining Democratic control of the House of Representatives remains unlikely. Republicans need a net gain of just five seats in total, and they've already flipped Virginia's 2nd Congressional District, which was deemed a toss-up race.

Follow NPR's live results of competitive House races here.

The Senate is a closer contest, and Democrats are still in arm's reach of keeping control. Two of the races that could decide it all are in Pennsylvania and Georgia — where the matchups are incredibly close.

In Pennsylvania, Democratic Lt. Gov. John Fetterman holds a slight lead over Republican Mehmet Oz, though no call has been made by The Associated Press and votes are notably still being counted in Philadelphia.

Farther south in Georgia, Democratic incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock is currently neck and neck with Republican candidate Herschel Walker. Despite Walker holding a minimal lead, if neither candidate obtains more than 50% of the vote, the race will automatically go to a runoff, which will happen on Dec. 6.

Follow NPR's live results of Senate races here.

New Hampshire elects the first out trans man to a U.S. state legislature

Posted November 9, 2022 at 1:27 AM EST
Voters fill out their ballots at Parker-Varney Elementary School on Nov. 8, 2022 in Manchester, New Hampshire.
Scott Eisen
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Getty Images North America
Voters fill out their ballots at Parker-Varney Elementary School on Nov. 8, 2022 in Manchester, New Hampshire.

James Roesener has just become the first out trans man to win election to a state legislature in U.S. history, according to the LGBTQ Victory Fund — a political action committee dedicated to increasing the number of openly LGBTQ public officials in the U.S.

Roesener won the race for New Hampshire's 22nd state House District, Ward 8, the group said. The 26-year-old Democrat, who identifies as bisexual and lives in Concord with his wife and cat, says in his biography that he's never been afraid to stand up for what he believes in.

"I believe that it is imperative that all individuals have the ability to thrive in New Hampshire," he writes. "We need a leadership that is invested in defending the freedom all people by taking away barriers to shelter, education, healthcare, voting, and other basic necessities for a quality life."

Roesener spoke with member station NHPR at a reproductive rights rally in July, after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. He said that decision, as well as the wave of anti-LGTBQ legislation sweeping across the country, affects more than just the people who seek abortion and gender-affirming care.

“It criminalizes and reduces access to everyone, for those who utilize contraception, those who need hormone replacement therapy — that is not just transgender people — and those whose well-being relies on medications deemed abortifacients,” he said.

Citing New Hampshire nonprofit Citizens Count, Themreports that Roesener's opponent, Dennis Soucy, supports “Don’t Say Gay”-style laws and bans on “teaching certain concepts related to race,” and has said that police brutality was “not an issue in New Hampshire.”

Former Houston mayor Annise Parker, the current president & CEO of the Victory Fund, said in a statement that Roesener is prepared to enact legislation that will "deliver lasting results for his community," from protecting reproductive rights to increasing investment in New Hampshire's education and healthcare systems.

She praised him for "shattering a lavender ceiling and proving that America is ready for trans men leaders in our state legislatures," in what she called a win for New Hampshire and for trans people everywhere.

"At a time of intensifying transphobia at all levels of government and society, he showed incredible courage throughout his historic campaign," she added. "Trans people — and trans men in particular — remain severely underrepresented in government at every level, but we are confident his win will inspire many more trans people to run for office.”

Roesener is not the first openly transgender lawmaker to be elected in New Hampshire. Others include State Reps. Gerri Cannon and Lisa Bunker.

The Victory Fund said in a statement that a record number of trans candidates — more than 1,000 — ran for office in the 2022 midterms.

There currently only eight out trans state legislators in the entire U.S., and none of them are trans men, it says. There are only six out trans men serving in elected office across the country, according to a tracker from the LGBTQ Victory Institute.

Roesener's win comes five years after Danica Roem became the first openly transgender person elected to and seated in a U.S. state legislature, when she won a seat in Virginia's House of Delegates. She was reelected to a third term last November.


Keep up with New Hampshire election coverage at NHPR's live blog.

Republican gains shaping up to be smaller than predicted

Posted November 9, 2022 at 1:19 AM EST

Despite polls and reports that have suggested a commanding red wave on election night, Republican gains could look more like a ripple.

As NPR’s Asma Khalid reported during the network's special election coverage, President Biden’s low approval rating and rising prices have kept Democrats on edge for months.

Republicans have focused their attacks on how Democrats have handled the economy.

Democrats "didn’t have a counterargument,” Khalid said. “The Dobbs decision changed that equation. We saw in some of the exit polling that abortion was indeed a larger factor than anticipated.”

Alaska, the last state to close its polls, may not have final results for weeks

Posted November 9, 2022 at 1:09 AM EST
Alaskans vote at a polling station in downtown Anchorage on November 08, 2022 in Anchorage, Alaska.
Spencer Platt
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Getty Images North America
Alaskans vote at a polling station in downtown Anchorage on November 08, 2022 in Anchorage, Alaska.

Polls in Alaska closed at 1 a.m. ET, bringing election night to an official close — even though we're still waiting on plenty of winners to be announced.

See results for Alaska's races and ballot initiatives here.

Importantly, Alaska uses ranked choice voting to tabulate its election results. As such, initial results from the first round may be available in the days after Election Day, but final results may not be released until two weeks later.

➡️ Election results from Alaska
➡️ Alaska Public Media Live Coverage

Race Result

Maine voters reelect Gov. Janet Mills

Posted November 9, 2022 at 1:04 AM EST
Gov. Janet Mills on Thursday, March 10, 2022.
Gregory Rec
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Portland Press Herald via Getty Images
Gov. Janet Mills on Thursday, March 10, 2022.

Maine Governor Janet Mills secured a second term by defeating former Republican Governor Paul LePage, according to a race call by The Associated Press. LePage was her longtime antagonist who had vowed to challenge her before he left office in 2019.

Mills repeatedly clashed with LePage when he was governor and she was attorney general.

Mills is Maine’s first woman elected governor and her staunch support of abortion rights was a centerpiece of her reelection campaign. She and Democratic interest groups relentlessly framed LePage, an abortion opponent, as an untrustworthy steward of a 29-year old state law that enshrines access to the procedure up until fetal viability.

Mills also repeatedly highlighted LePage’s long history of false statements and combative conduct that led some to compare him to former President Donald Trump. Mills, 74, has governed as a centrist. Her approach sometimes put her at odds with progressive activists, but likely appealed to independent voters, a large and influential part of the Maine electorate.

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➡️ More election results from Maine
➡️ Maine Public's election coverage

Race Result

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul elected to full term

Posted November 9, 2022 at 1:01 AM EST
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul celebrates her win during an election night party during on November 8, 2022 in New York City.
Alex Kent
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Getty Images North America
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul celebrates her win during an election night party during on November 8, 2022 in New York City.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul has won a full four-year term, continuing her rapid ascent in New York politics from a little-known lieutenant governor just over a year ago. The Associated Press made the race call.

Hochul was thrust into campaigning soon after taking office, and polls showed the race against Long Island's Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., tightening late.

Zeldin, with former President Donald Trump’s backing, focused his campaign on crime and inflation. But he could not overcome Democrats’ sizable registration edge. Republicans have not won a statewide election in two decades.

Hochul is the first woman elected governor of New York. She replaced Andrew Cuomo, who resigned under pressure last year over multiple sexual harassment claims.

During the campaign, Hochul drew a sharp contrast with Zeldin, promising steady leadership for the next four years compared with a conservative candidate who voted to overturn the 2020 presidential election result. Hochul largely focused her campaign on protecting abortion rights in the state.

➡️ New York election results
➡️ WXXI's Capitol Bureau Coverage
➡️ Gothamist's NYC Election Guide
➡️ WSHU's Long Island Voter Guide
➡️ NCPR's Voter Guide for the North Country

The big picture

Overall, voting in the U.S. today was… uneventful

Posted November 9, 2022 at 12:56 AM EST
A voter casts their ballot on November 8, 2022 in Madison, Wisconsin.
Jim Vondruska
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Getty Images North America
A voter casts their ballot on Tuesday in Madison, Wis.

In an election that had experts worried about vigilante poll monitors and the potential for danger for election workers, voting on Election Day seems to have gone off without any major incidents.

That is — no incidents that rise above the normal snafus and mistakes that come with every major federal election.

The highest profile of those issues may have been in Maricopa County, Ariz., where a printer issue meant roughly 20% of ballot counters were unusable early in the day.

County officials said the problem was fixed a few hours later, but many on the far-right rushed to point to the incident as further evidence of an election conspiracy, in a place that has become the epicenter of election denialism over the past few years. But election experts and federal officials were quick to rebut those claims.

“Whenever over 100 million people do something, something will go wrong. That is human nature. It does not mean there is a conspiracy,” tweeted Michael McDonald, a political science professor at the University of Florida.

Other issues of note included a Wisconsin man being arrested for bringing a knife into a polling place, and a ballot paper shortage in Luzerne County, Pa., that caused a judge to extend voting hours there until 10 p.m.

In Michigan, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said her office heard reports about two disruptive election challengers, one in Ann Arbor and one in Detroit, but both left polling places without incident.

Irma Salazar, a Republican election observer in Milwaukee, told NPR that she went to the city’s absentee counting center to see the process up close and “make sure everything is on the up and up.”

“I haven't seen anything wrong or anything, like, nobody's hiding anything, everybody's been open and transparent,” she said. “Seems like it's all going good."

Federal cybersecurity officials said Tuesday they had also seen no indications of foreign election interference aimed at voting infrastructure, but that they were monitoring a series of cyber attacks that briefly knocked some Mississippi state websites offline, including the secretary of state’s website.

Now, the focus nationally will turn to vote-counting, which is expected to take days in some places like Pennsylvania, where, due to state law, clerks were unable to start processing mail ballots until Tuesday morning.

“[Election officials] are prioritizing accuracy over speed, as they should,” Pennsylvania’s acting secretary of state, Leigh Chapman said.

NPR's David Schaper contributed reporting.

Race Result

Republican Incumbent Gov. Brian Kemp reelected in Georgia

Posted November 9, 2022 at 12:53 AM EST
Brian Kemp, governor of Georgia, speaks during an election night rally in Atlanta, Georgia, US, on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022.
Elijah Nouvelage
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Bloomberg via Getty Images
Brian Kemp, governor of Georgia, speaks during an election night rally in Atlanta, Georgia, US, on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022.

Georgia’s Republican Gov. Brian Kemp has won a second term, again defeating Democrat Stacey Abrams in one of the most closely-watched campaigns for governor in the country, according to a race call by the Associated Press.

In a speech before supporters Tuesday night Kemp said, “It looks like the reports of my political death have been greatly exaggerated.”

Four years after their first contentious election when Kemp beat Abrams by about 55,000 votes, both candidates launched their bids as household names. This time, though, the political climate was far less friendly to Democrats.

Kemp is beloved by Republicans for notching four years of conservative priorities and respected by some moderates for standing up to former President Donald Trump’s pressure to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

Abrams entered the race with a global brand, buoyed in part by her role in activating new voters and helping turn Georgia for Democrats statewide in 2020 for the first time in years.

In her concession speech Abrams said, "What we have architected in this state does not end today."

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➡️Georgia election results
➡️ WABE Atlanta's Voter Hub
➡️ Georgia Public Broadcasting's Voting FAQ

Just In

Vermont voters approve amendment protecting abortion rights

Posted November 9, 2022 at 12:44 AM EST

A statewide referendum known as Article 22, or the Reproductive Liberty Amendment, ensures protection for access to abortion services, which had already been protected under a 2019 state law.

The amendment had been widely expected to pass in the state, where two consecutive state legislatures had approved the measure and the state’s Republican governor, Phil Scott, had signaled his support.

Read more here

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➡️ Vermont Election results
➡️ Live updates from Vermont Public

Rep. Tim Ryan concedes Senate race to J.D. Vance

Posted November 9, 2022 at 12:31 AM EST

In his concession speech, Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, said he had "the privilege to concede this race" to his Republican opponent for the Senate, J.D. Vance.

"Because the way this country operates is that when you lose an election, you concede and you respect ... the will of the people," he said to applause. "We can't have a system where if you win, it's a legitimate election and if you lose, someone stole it."

Ryan underscored: "That is not how we can move forward in the United States."

Vance, author of the 2016 memoir Hillbilly Elegy, was not originally considered the conservative favorite in the race. His fortunes changed when former President Donald Trump endorsed him. The Senate Leadership Fund went on to contribute nearly $30 million to boost his chances.

Vance will replace retiring GOP Sen. Rob Portman. Republican leaders viewed the Ohio race as essential in their bid to take control of the Senate.

Race Result

Democrat Josh Shapiro is the new Governor of Pennsylvania

Posted November 9, 2022 at 12:26 AM EST
Democratic gubernatorial nominee Josh Shapiro greets his family after giving a victory speech to supporters at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center on November 8, 2022 in Oaks, Pennsylvania.
Mark Makela
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Getty Images North America
Democratic gubernatorial nominee Josh Shapiro greets his family after giving a victory speech to supporters at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center on November 8, 2022 in Oaks, Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro has won the commonwealth’s governorship, beating state Sen. Doug Mastriano, according to a race call by the Associated Press.

Shapiro, like many Democrats this cycle, campaigned on protecting the right to an abortion.

By standard measure, Shapiro cruised through much of the campaign, buoyed by a record-breaking amount of cash. He ran unopposed in the Democratic primary, and enjoyed a significant fundraising edge throughout the race, spending more than $59 million as of Oct. 24.

Read more here.

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➡️ Pennsylvania Election Result
➡️ WESA's Live coverage
➡️Election coverage from WHYY

Just In

Democratic Incumbent Sen. Patty Murray wins Washington

Posted November 9, 2022 at 12:22 AM EST
Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) on October 13, 2022 in Seattle, Washington.
Lindsey Wasson
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Getty Images North America
Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) on October 13, 2022 in Seattle, Washington.

Sen. Patty Murray has won the Senate race in Washington, according to a race call from the Associated Press.

Murray is a longtime senator, in the seat since 1992. Murray was still a favorite in the state, which Biden won by 20 points, but faced a serious challenge in Republican Tiffany Smiley, a veterans advocate.

Smiley had hammered Murray on inflation, crime and homelessness, while Murray focused on legislative Democratic victories like lowering prices for prescription drugs and insulin.

➡️ Washington Election results
➡️ Live updates from KNKX
➡️ Spokane Public Radio Election Coverage

Here's how the AP declares winners before any vote counts are released

Posted November 9, 2022 at 12:09 AM EST

If you've been following our coverage tonight, you might be wondering how we can call races so quickly after the polls close.

NPR is relying on the Associated Press for these calls. The Associated Press uses journalists in all 50 states, along with some 4,000 temporary workers and freelancers, to collate election data seemingly in real time to deliver results the moment polls close.

It uses a combination of statistics and early-voting analysis to call uncontested races, elections with only two candidates and even races with multiple candidates, but only those "in which a party or candidate has a past history of consistent and convincing wins," it said in a recent explainer.

But as a rule, the AP won't call a race until the last polls in a jurisdiction have closed. And it declares winners, rather than making projections, according to David Scott, a senior editor who helps oversee AP’s coverage of elections.

“It’s only when we determine that the trailing candidates no longer have a path to victory that we call a race and send the APNewsAlert declaring that a candidate has won,” Scott said in the explainer. “In a small number of cases, that can happen as soon as all polls are closed.”

At midnight ET, polls are closing in Hawaii

Posted November 9, 2022 at 12:00 AM EST

It's officially Wednesday on the East Coast, and polls are closing in Hawaii. Click here for more on its races and results.

At this point, polls are scheduled to still be open in only one state — the latest polls in Alaska close at 1 a.m. ET.

Just In

Republican Ted Budd wins North Carolina Senate race

Posted November 8, 2022 at 11:58 PM EST
Republican Senate candidate U.S. Rep. Ted Budd smiles after voting at Farmington Baptist Church on November 8, 2022 in Mocksville, North Carolina.
Sean Rayford
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Getty Images North America
Republican Senate candidate U.S. Rep. Ted Budd smiles after voting at Farmington Baptist Church on November 8, 2022 in Mocksville, North Carolina.

Republican Ted Budd has won the Senate race in North Carolina, according to a race call from The Associated Press.

Budd defeated Democrat Cheri Beasley, the first Black state Supreme Court chief justice in North Carolina history. Budd benefitted from the partisan lean in the state, where a Democrat has not been elected to the Senate since 2008.

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Just In

New Hampshire reelects Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan

Posted November 8, 2022 at 11:47 PM EST
Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., reacts to cheering supporters during an election night campaign event Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Manchester, N.H.
Charles Krupa
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AP
Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., reacts to cheering supporters during an election night campaign event Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Manchester, N.H.

Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan has won the Senate race in New Hampshire, according to a race call from The Associated Press.

Hassan, the state’s former governor who has held the seat since 2017, defeated Republican challenger Don Bolduc, a retired army brigadier general.

Bolduc struggled to raise money for his race. He aligned himself with former president Donald Trump, denying results of the 2020 presidential election and boosted vaccine conspiracies. Republicans targeted the swing state as a potential GOP Senate pick-up.

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Just In

Democrat Stacey Abrams concedes to Gov. Brian Kemp in Georgia

Posted November 8, 2022 at 11:44 PM EST
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams makes a concession speech to supporters at an election-night party on November 8, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia.
Jessica McGowan
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Getty Images North America
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams makes a concession speech to supporters at an election-night party on November 8, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams gave a concession speech from her campaign headquarters in Atlanta, congratulating Gov. Brian Kemp.

The Associated Press has yet to call the race.

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➡️Georgia election results
➡️ WABE Atlanta's Voter Hub
➡️ Georgia Public Broadcasting's Voting FAQ

Member Station Reports
From OPB in Oregon

A closer look at the competitive race for governor of Oregon

Posted November 8, 2022 at 11:38 PM EST
Republican nominee Christine Drazan, left, Democratic nominee Tina Kotek, middle, and unaffiliated candidate Betsy Johnson during the gubernatorial debate hosted by Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association at Mount Hood Oregon Resort in Welches, Ore., Friday, July 29, 2022.
Jamie Valdez
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Pool Pamplin Media Group/AP
Republican nominee Christine Drazan, left, Democratic nominee Tina Kotek, middle, and unaffiliated candidate Betsy Johnson during the gubernatorial debate hosted by Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association at Mount Hood Oregon Resort in Welches, Ore., Friday, July 29, 2022.

The race for Oregon governor has turned into one of the most competitive races in the nation, despite the state’s status as long being controlled by Democrats. OPB's Lauren Dake explains:

For the three women running to be Oregon’s next governor, the final stretch has looked a lot like the rest of their campaigns. Republican Christine Drazan has talked about rising crime and the homelessness crisis. Democrat Tina Kotek has reminded voters of her record as a reproductive-rights champion. And Betsy Johnson, a former Democrat running as an unaffiliated candidate, has promised to be the best of both political parties.

Oregon hasn’t elected a Republican governor in 40 years, but the race is expected to be close: Polls show Drazan and Kotek nearly deadlocked.

It has been the most expensive governor’s race in the state’s history.

➡️ Oregon election results
➡️ More election coverage from OPB
➡️ Jefferson Public Radio's election coverage
➡️ KLCC's gubernatorial candidate profiles

Just In

Republican J.D. Vance takes Senate seat in Ohio

Posted November 8, 2022 at 11:28 PM EST
Republican candidate for U.S. Senate JD Vance on November 7, 2022 in Vandalia, Ohio.
Drew Angerer
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Getty Images North America
Republican candidate for U.S. Senate JD Vance on November 7, 2022 in Vandalia, Ohio. 

Republican J.D. Vance has won the Senate race in Ohio, according to a race call from The Associated Press.

Vance, author of the memoir Hillbilly Elegy, was endorsed by former President Donald Trump and benefitted from a Republican partisan lean in the state. He defeated Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan, who had been ahead in the polls until a month before the election when Vance took a late lead, boosted by record-spending from the Republican-backed Senate Leadership Fund.

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Race Result

Democratic Rep. Elaine Luria loses her reelection bid in Virginia

Posted November 8, 2022 at 11:15 PM EST
Rep. Elaine Luria, D-Va., poses for a portrait in her office on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, July 19, 2022 in Washington, DC.
Jabin Botsford
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The Washington Post via Getty Images
Rep. Elaine Luria, D-Va., poses for a portrait in her office on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, July 19, 2022 in Washington, DC.

Democratic Rep. Elaine Luria has lost her bid for re-election in Virginia’s 2nd congressional district to Republican State Sen. Jen Kiggans.

Luria, a veteran naval officer, was elected to the House of Representatives as part of a Democratic wave in 2018. In the past year, she has risen in prominence as a member of the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol.

Luria campaigned on the need to fight to protect democracy, highlighting the work of the committee.

Kiggans, a fellow Navy veteran, focused her campaign on the economic issues central to Republican rhetoric this year. This race is the first in the newly redrawn district which became more conservative after redistricting.

Luria is the first Democrat on the Jan. 6 Committee to lose re-election. Here's who else from the committee is running.

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Just In

Democrat Gavin Newsom reelected to California governorship

Posted November 8, 2022 at 11:11 PM EST
Governor Gavin Newsom in Oakland, Calif. on Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2021.
Brontë Wittpenn
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The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images
Governor Gavin Newsom in Oakland, Calif. on Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2021.

Democrat Gavin Newsom will get another term as governor of California after winning reelection, according to a race call by The Associated Press.

Newsom led Republican challenger Brian Dahle, a state senator from rural Northern California.

The incumbent governor was in a comfortable position after fending off a recall last year, with 62% of voters opting to keep him in office during the 2021 special election. Newsom spent much of this fall’s campaign season stumping for other Democratic candidates and causes.

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Race Result
From The Texas Newsroom

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott elected to a third term

Posted November 8, 2022 at 11:02 PM EST
Greg Abbott, governor of Texas in Fairview, Texas, US, on Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2022.
Shelby Tauber
/
Bloomberg via Getty Images
Greg Abbott, governor of Texas in Fairview, Texas, US, on Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2022.

Voters in Texas reelected Republican Gov. Greg Abbott to a third term on Tuesday, according to a race call by The Associated Press.

The race was the most competitive of Abbott’s political career as he beat former Congressman Beto O’Rourke, the most well-known Democrat in Texas.

Abbott’s victory is not a surprise — poll after poll showed the Republican leading O’Rourke and he had more campaign money than him. The last Democrat to win a Texas gubernatorial race was Ann Richards in 1990.

Still, O’Rourke made a significant push in the election cycle, campaigning hard on gun control and reproductive health. But Abbott focused most of his campaign on the state’s economy. He blamed President Joe Biden for high inflation in the U.S.

Abbott, a former state attorney general, also made immigration the center of his campaign — touting his multiple anti-immigration initiatives at the border as a reason Texans should re-elect him.

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It's 11 p.m. ET, and four more states are closing their polls

Posted November 8, 2022 at 11:00 PM EST

The night is still young on the West Coast, with polls just closing in California, Idaho, Washingtonand Oregon.

And with that come a bunch of new races to watch, courtesy of NPR political correspondent Domenico Montanaro:

- WA SEN: Washington Sen. Patty Murray has faced a tough and well-funded challenge from Republican Tiffany Smiley. Watch the margin here, as Republicans have grown more confident in their chances.

- California, California, California: The most populous state in the country will start reporting its wave of House results – 52 House seats, more than half a dozen of which are competitive. Keep in mind that California often takes a very long time to report close congressional race results, so final numbers on how big (or small) a GOP wave is won't likely be known until the next day or even longer. Keep in mind that California uses a top-two primary system, so you could see multiple members of the same party on the general-election ballot.

- California Republican Kevin McCarthy, who is expected to be the next speaker of the House, will likely be announced as the winner of his contest at poll close. 

- There are House races with notable demographic and crossover district storylines: David Valadao has been a perennial Democratic target and this Central Valley – and heavily Latino – district (CA-22) has become even more Democratic. In the Orange County area, AAPI voters will be determinative in CA-45, for example, which pits Republican Michelle Steel, who is Korean American, against Democrat Jay Chen, who is Taiwanese American. There have been spats over identity here with Steel sending mailers accusing Chen of being a Communist sympathizer into a heavily Vietnamese community and Chen having made comments about Steel's accent.

- OR GOV: To California's north, Oregon hasn't had a Republican governor in four decades, but Democrat Tina Kotek, who would be the first openly lesbian governor in the country, is facing a tougher campaign than expected from Republican candidate and state Rep. Christine Drazan. That's in large part because independent candidate Betsy Johnson – backed by billionaire Nike co-founder Phil Knight – has siphoned off moderate-voter support from Kotek. 

- Crime and homelessness are top of mind in the governor's race, and Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler hasn't issued an endorsement, saying he did not believe any candidate had produced thorough enough policies on addressing homelessness. 

Interview

Rep. James Comer says the GOP will probe COVID and the Bidens if Republicans control the House Oversight Committee

Posted November 8, 2022 at 10:52 PM EST
Rep. James Comer (R-KY) on Capitol Hill July 27, 2022 in Washington, DC.
Drew Angerer
/
Getty Images North America
Rep. James Comer (R-KY) on Capitol Hill July 27, 2022 in Washington, DC.

Rep. James Comer, a Kentucky Republican and ranking member of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, feels good about Republicans' prospects of taking control of the House.

He acknowledges it's still early in the night, but he cites momentum and voter turnout as being in Republicans' favor. If Comer's predictions are true, he will likely become the chair of the Oversight Committee.

During NPR's live special coverage of election night, NPR's Ayesha Rascoe asks: What would he focus on?

Comer says the committee would ask "pretty much every Cabinet secretary" to provide an update about what's happening in their department and how they're spending tax dollars.

"From an investigations standpoint, we're very interested in trying to determine the origination of COVID, we're very interested in the lack of border security on the southern border and we've very concerned about what I've been calling Biden family influence peddling," Comer says. "And those will be three big investigations."

Inflation is the top issue for American voters, Rascoe points out. How would the committee address it?

Comer says he believes that inflation is so high because this administration and the one before it spent too much money "in the name of COVID."

"What Republicans are going to be focused on is trying to get spending under control, and hopefully the Oversight Committee will play a key role in that," Comer says.

As NPR has reported, Republicans blame President Biden's economic relief bill — which passed with no Republican support and included direct payments to adults, expanded unemployment benefits and a new child tax credit — for fueling inflation.

But other factors, like the lingering effects of the coronavirus pandemic and Russia's war in Ukraine, have certainly contributed to rising prices, which are high even outside the United States.

Listen to more of NPR's live special coverage here.

From Texas

Reporters at Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's election event aren't allowed to interview attendees

Posted November 8, 2022 at 10:41 PM EST

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican who is vying for his third term in office this election, has been facing off against former congressman Beto O’Rourke.

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ICYMI

A knife-wielding man in Wisconsin was removed from a voting site by police

Posted November 8, 2022 at 10:31 PM EST

Officers from the West Bend Police Department in Wisconsin removed a man armed with a knife from a polling location after he ordered poll workers to "stop the voting."

The suspect, a 38-year-old man yet to be named by police, entered the West Bend Community Memorial Library with a knife just after 12:30 p.m. and ordered officials to stop working, police said in a statement on Facebook.

Voting was paused for a little over 30 minutes while police took the man into custody without incident.

The isolated incident comes amid broader concerns about violence this election season.

Race Result

Sen. Michael Bennet, a Colorado Democrat, wins reelection

Posted November 8, 2022 at 10:21 PM EST
Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) speaks to supporters at a rally outside Mountain Toad Brewing on October 26, 2022 in Golden, Colorado.
Michael Ciaglo
/
Getty Images North America
Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) speaks to supporters at a rally outside Mountain Toad Brewing on October 26, 2022 in Golden, Colorado.

Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet has won the Senate race in Colorado, according to a race call from The Associated Press.

Bennet has held the seat since 2009 and had a slight lead over Republican businessman Joe O’Dea ahead of Election Day. O’Dea struck a moderate chord on abortion rights and bipartisanship, but Democrats hit O’Dea on gun safety and accused him of flipping positions on abortion.

Here's more from Colorado Public Radio.

Just In

Biden has called to congratulate Democratic winners

Posted November 8, 2022 at 10:15 PM EST

President Biden has made congratulatory calls to several of the Democratic winners as election results continue to roll in, the White House said.

“This evening, the President has made congratulatory calls to Massachusetts Governor-elect Maura Healey, Rhode Island Governor Dan McKee, Senator-elect Peter Welch, Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester, Colorado Governor Jared Polis, Representative Abigail Spanberger, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer,” the White House press office said.

Biden also called to congratulate Sens. Chris Van Hollen, Michael Bennet, Maggie Hassan, Alex Padilla, Patty Murray and Ron Wyden, as well as Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

He also congratulated Reps. Jennifer Wexton, Sharice Davids and Andy Kim; Reps.-elect Seth Magaziner and Maxwell Frost; Govs. Janet Mills, Kathy Hochul and Michelle Lujan Grisham; and Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser.

Biden also called Govs. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, Ned Lamont of Connecticut, Tim Walz of Minnesota and Gavin Newsom of California, as well as Gov.-elect Wes Moore. He also called Reps.-elect Emilia Sykes and Greg Landsman and Reps. Marcy Kaptur, Mikie Sherrill and Josh Gottheimer.

Correction: An earlier version of this blog post misspelled Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser's last name as Browser.

Behind the scenes of NPR's live coverage in Vegas

Posted November 8, 2022 at 10:05 PM EST

NPR journalists are coming together from across the country to cover the developments of election night and beyond.

One of them is Morning Edition co-host A Martínez, who is broadcasting from Las Vegas. He shared some behind-the-scenes footage of the team's "open air studio":

You can listen to live special coverage on your NPR station, on the NPR One app or on NPR.org.

It's 10 p.m. ET, and polls are closing in Nevada, Montana and Utah

Posted November 8, 2022 at 10:00 PM EST

Montana, Nevada and Utah are closing their polls at 10 p.m. ET.

Nevada is one of the tightest Senate races in the country, but it's not the only interesting race to watch out of these states. As NPR's Domenico Montanaro flags:

- NV SEN: Democratic incumbent Catherine Cortez Masto is neck and neck with Republican former state Attorney General Adam Laxalt. Laxalt was one of the leaders of Trump's efforts to overturn 2020 presidential election results in the state. Don't expect a poll-close call, because this one should be very close. 

- NV GOV: Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak is also in a close fight for a second term against Republican challenger Joe Lombardo, the sheriff of Clark County. Inflation is top of mind for voters, as rent and gas costs have risen faster in the state than almost anywhere else in the country. 

- UT SEN: Democrats didn't field a candidate against incumbent Mike Lee (R), clearing the way for Evan McMullin's independent bid. Polls in this race have been all over the place, and both Republican Gov. Spencer Cox and Republican Sen. Mitt Romney have withheld their endorsements.

- MT-1: Due to population growth, Montana has a new House seat. Former Trump Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is in a competitive race against Democrat Monica Tranel.

For more details on each state, click here: Montana, Nevada, Utah

Hang in there! Polls have closed in half the states

Posted November 8, 2022 at 9:56 PM EST

Voting has closed in half the states, but there's still a long way to go.

Election results are continuing to trickle in. However, as it has been stressed in the days and weeks leading up to election night, tallying the votes will take time.

Results can be monitored here, but it's important to be patientand be cool. Some states could take days, even weeks, to count ballots sent by mail.

A judge denied Republicans' request to extend poll hours in Arizona's Maricopa County

Posted November 8, 2022 at 9:42 PM EST

A quick update: A judge in Arizona rejected Republicans' request to extend poll hours, according to local media reports.

The Republican National Committee and two Republican candidates (for Senate and governor) had filed an emergency motion earlier in the day, asking for polls to stay open until 10 p.m. local time.

They cited technical issues that impacted voting machines — but, election officials say, were fixed within hours and did not put the ballot count at risk.

A Maricopa County judge held a hearing on Tuesday evening and denied the request, according to ABC15 and other outlets. Polls closed at 7 p.m. local time as originally planned.

Maxwell Frost becomes the first member of Generation Z elected to Congress

Posted November 8, 2022 at 9:26 PM EST
Maxwell Frost in Longwood, Fla.
Thomas Simonetti
/
The Washington Post via Getty Images
Maxwell Frost in Longwood, Fla.

Democrat Maxwell Frost, 25, has won his race in Florida's 10th district, marking the first time a member of Generation Z has been elected to the House of Representatives.

The minimum age to be a House member is 25, and for the first time in 16 years, Millennials are no longer the youngest generation eligible to run.

And Frost is not the only Gen Zer on the ballot.

Republican Karoline Leavitt, 25, is running in New Hampshire's 1st district — where the race is has not been called. She's challenging incumbent Democrat Chris Pappas in a competitive race.

If Leavitt wins, she would become the youngest woman in history to be elected to the House.

Frost, a progressive activist, first got involved in organizing after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012. Before running for Congress, he served as the national organizing director for March for Our Lives, a group that advocates for gun control policy.

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Leavitt is a conservative Republican, fresh off a stint working as communications director for New York Rep. Elise Stefanik, who ranks third in GOP House leadership. She also served as an assistant press secretary under former President Trump.

Despite landing on opposite sides of politics, both candidates argue that their political perspective is partially shaped by being part of Gen Z, which Pew Research Center defines as anyone born between 1997 and 2012.

"Our generation has been born into a lot of trauma and a lot of civil unrest around people being frustrated with things. And I think because of that, our generation naturally thinks about things in a bit of a different way," Frost told NPR over the summer.

Leavitt says that despite younger voters skewing Democrat in past elections, she hopes her candidacy can help move voters toward the Republican party.

"The radical economic agenda of the Democrat party that's been pushed over the past two years is really costing young folks," Leavitt said in an appearance on FOX News last week. "The American Dream has never been more unattainable for young Americans."

The history of the midterm referendum

Posted November 8, 2022 at 9:18 PM EST

Inaugurating tonight’s live special coverage, Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., talked to NPR's Ayesha Rascoe and Ailsa Chang about how history guides his understanding of the present.

On a night like tonight, history’s lesson is clear: Midterm elections are bad — sometimes very bad — for the party controlling the executive.

Though President Biden has expressed optimism about this year’s elections, telling reporters he thought Democrats could keep control of Congress, polls suggest the White House may want to brace for what could be a rough night of ballot counting.

History suggests the same. Since 1946, the party out of power in the White House has gained an average of 28 House seats and two Senate seats in a president's first midterm.

Read about other presidential midterm struggles and setbacks here.

Click here to follow NPR’s 2022 election night special coverage.

Member Station Reports
From WABE in Atlanta

A Georgia poll worker was asked to leave over comments she made on social media

Posted November 8, 2022 at 9:11 PM EST

A Fulton County poll worker and her son were removed from a polling place earlier today, after another poll worker raised concerns to officials about comments they made at a virtual event over the weekend and on social media, according to a spokesperson for the county elections department.

Multiple reports say the woman and her son were also at the pro-Trump rally on Jan. 6 that led to the insurrection at the Capitol.

Johns Creek police say they were asked to leave but not removed.

The woman posted on social media that she was there to uphold fair elections.

➡️Georgia election results
➡️ WABE Atlanta's Voter Hub
➡️ Georgia Public Broadcasting's Voting FAQ

It's 9 p.m. ET, and polls are closing in these states

Posted November 8, 2022 at 9:00 PM EST

At 9 p.m., polls are closing in many more states (click on each one for more details about races and results):

Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, Wisconsin, Wyoming

As NPR senior political correspondent Domenico Montanaro points out, there are ample storylines to follow out of these races, including:

  • three top Senate races (Arizona, Colorado and Wisconsin); 
  • whether Kari Lake wins for governor of Arizona and what that means about the state where immigration is such a key issue; 
  • crime as an issue, like in the Wisconsin Senate race, where Ron Johnson is trying to grit out reelection, and in the New York governor's race;
  • the margin in the Colorado Senate race and whether incumbent Democrat Michael Bennet – who used abortion as a top focus against a moderate Republican who said he would "actively" campaign against a 2024 Trump run – does well; 
  • Beto O'Rourke's challenge of Gov. Greg Abbott in Texas;
  • how well longtime Sen. Chuck Grassley holds up in his race, which has gotten more competitive; 
  • how well Democratic gubernatorial candidates hold up in the Midwest (Minnesota, Michigan and Kansas). Minnesota and Michigan lean toward Democrats, but will Republican-leaning voters in Kansas again crossover and keep a moderate in the governor's seat?
  • An abortion rights ballot measure in Michigan.

Republicans sue to extend poll hours in Maricopa County, Ariz., after technical issues

Posted November 8, 2022 at 8:52 PM EST
Bill Gates, Chairman of the Maricopa Board of Supervisors, speaks about voting machine malfunctions at the Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center on November 08, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona.
John Moore
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Getty Images North America
Bill Gates, Chairman of the Maricopa Board of Supervisors, speaks about voting machine malfunctions at the Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center on November 08, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona.

A GOP coalition including the Republican National Committee has filed an emergency motion to extend poll hours in Maricopa County, Arizona — the state's most populous county — after technical issues temporarily impacted many of the county's voting machines.

RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel announced the news in a Tuesday evening tweet in which she said voting machines in over 25% of voting locations had experienced "significant issues."

Maricopa County officials said around midafternoon local time that they had fixed a problem with some of the area's ballot tabulator machines, which affected nearly 20% of voting locations. They said that it appeared some of the printers were not producing dark-enough timing marks on ballots and that this was resolved by changing printer settings.

Arizona officials assured voters that their ballots would still be counted, thanks to redundancy protocols, and that voters could slide their ballots into a "secure box" just below the tabulator, to be collected and sent to Maricopa County's "central tabulators."

"This is actually what the majority of Arizona counties do on Election Day all the time," County Recorder Stephen Richer said.

Still, McDaniel called the issue "unacceptable."

"The widespread issues – in an election administered by Democrat Secretary of State Katie Hobbs – are completely unacceptable, especially as Republicans flock to the polls to vote in-person on Election Day," she tweeted.

The lawsuit was filed by the RNC, along with two Arizona Republicans: U.S. Senate candidate Blake Masters and gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake. It seeks to keep polls open until 10 p.m. local time and suspend the release of any tabulated early-ballot returns in the county until 11 p.m., ABC15 reports.

As NPR has reported, Maricopa County has been a top site for unfounded claims of election fraud during the 2020 election, and Tuesday's technical issues were immediately seized on in misleading posts by Republican figures, including former President Donald Trump.

Requests for poll-place extensions are fairly common. Maricopa County's isn't even the first reported today: A judge granted a request for polls in Harris County, Texas, to remain open until 8 p.m. local time because of delays earlier in the day.

Arkansas polls closed at 8:30 p.m. ET

Posted November 8, 2022 at 8:50 PM EST

Arkansas was the only state with polls closing at 8:30 pm ET.

The top races in the state were for Governor and Senate, where Republican Sarah Huckabee Sanders easily won in the gubernatorial race and Republican John Boozman won in the Senate.

Take a look at results here and stay tuned for more polls closing at 9 pm ET.

Race Result

Republican Sarah Huckabee Sanders elected first female governor of Arkansas

Posted November 8, 2022 at 8:37 PM EST
Sarah Huckabee Sanders in Washington, D.C., US, on Tuesday, July 26, 2022.
Al Drago
/
Bloomberg via Getty Images
Sarah Huckabee Sanders in Washington, D.C., US, on Tuesday, July 26, 2022.

Following an unconventional campaign that routinely broke fundraising records, Arkansas voters have chosen former White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders as their next governor, according to a race call by The Associated Press.

Sanders, 40, becomes the first woman elected to lead the solidly-Republican state and succeeds outgoing term-limited Gov. Asa Hutchinson. She’s due to be inaugurated in January, 16 years after her father Mike Huckabee left office after a 10-year stint as governor.

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➡️ Arkansas Election Results
➡️ KASU's Voter Guide
➡️ Arkansas Voter Information from KUAF

Here are the states where polls closed at 8 p.m. ET

Posted November 8, 2022 at 8:35 PM EST

Polls closed in a handful of states at the top of the 8 p.m. hour, including in Pennsylvania, Florida and New Hampshire — where some of the top races of the night for Senate and Governor are expected to play out.

Click any of the links below to follow the top races in each state.

Race Result

Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida wins reelection

Posted November 8, 2022 at 8:24 PM EST

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Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., at a campaign rally at the Miami-Dade County Fair and Exposition on Sunday, Nov. 6, 2022, in Miami.
Rebecca Blackwell
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AP
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., at a campaign rally at the Miami-Dade County Fair and Exposition on Sunday, Nov. 6, 2022, in Miami.

Republican Sen. Marco Rubio has won the Senate race in Florida, according to a race call from the Associated Press.

Rubio, who has held the seat since 2011, was the favorite ahead of the election, in a state that has become more Republican-leaning in recent years. Former President Donald Trump won Florida easily in 2020.

Rubio defeated DemocraticRep. Val Demings, framing her as too progressive for the state.

Race Result

Democrat Maura Healey is elected governor of Massachusetts

Posted November 8, 2022 at 8:22 PM EST
Massachusetts Attorney General and Democratic candidate for Gov. Maura Healey on Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2022, in Boston.
Mary Schwalm
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AP
Massachusetts Attorney General and Democratic candidate for Gov. Maura Healey on Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2022, in Boston.

Democrat Maura Healey scored a decisive and historic victory Tuesday night, becoming the first woman to be elected Massachusetts governor and the nation’s first openly lesbian governor-elect, according to a race call by The Associated Press.

Healey, Massachusetts' attorney general since 2015, overwhelmed her Republican opponent, former state Rep. Geoff Diehl, and put the governorship firmly back in Democratic hands after Republican Gov. Charlie Baker declined to seek a third term.

Diehl was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, who remains deeply unpopular in Massachusetts.

Healey never trailed in the polls and held huge advantages in fundraising and name recognition. She campaigned on a long list of Democratic priorities, including expanding affordable housing, promoting green jobs and improving public transportation.

Healey's historic victory burnishes her profile as a leader in the LGBTQ community. She told member station WBUR, “I’m proud of who I am.”

Read more on this here.

Race Result

Governor Ron DeSantis wins reelection in Florida

Posted November 8, 2022 at 8:13 PM EST
Republican incumbent Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on November 6, 2022 in Sun City Center, Florida.
Octavio Jones
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Getty Images North America
Republican incumbent Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on November 6, 2022 in Sun City Center, Florida.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis easily won reelection, according to a call by The Associated Press. The Republican defeated former Democratic Congressman Charlie Crist who, as a Republican, served as governor more than a decade ago.

The victory gives DeSantis a second term and a national platform as he eyes a potential run for the 2024 Republican Presidential nomination. He was first elected governor in 2018 after receiving an endorsement from then-President Donald Trump.

In his first term, DeSantis courted Trump supporters with incendiary attacks on the Biden administration. DeSantis opposed the president’s COVID policies and made White House medical advisor Anthony Fauci a prime target for criticism. DeSantis opposed policies requiring COVID vaccinations and facemasks.

He also signed into law measures that restrict how public schools teach students about race, sexual orientation and gender identity. Those measures have put him at odds with local school districts and with federal education policy. They also raised his profile as a potential presidential candidate, making him a frequent guest on Fox News.

DeSantis has been a vocal critic of the Biden administration on immigration, accusing it of not doing enough to stem the flow of migrants over the southern border.

DeSantis' win is another sign that Florida, long considered a swing state, now is firmly under Republican control. It's been 28 years since a Democrat has been elected governor in Florida.

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Read more on the story here.

Just In

Massachusetts elects Maura Healey, the nation's first openly lesbian governor-elect

Posted November 8, 2022 at 8:12 PM EST
Democrat Gubernatorial nominee Maura Healey (C) in Boston, Massachusetts, on Nov. 7, 2022. (Photo by)
Joseph Prezioso
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AFP via Getty Images
Democrat Gubernatorial nominee Maura Healey (C) in Boston, Massachusetts, on Nov. 7, 2022. (Photo by)

In a historic victory, Maura Healey, a Massachusetts Democrat, is the nation's first openly lesbian governor-elect and the first woman to be elected governor of Massachusetts.

Healey beat out former state Rep. Geoff Diehl, flipping the governorship back to Democrats.

Healey, Massachusetts' attorney general, never trailed in the polls, campaigning on expanding affordable housing and improving public transportation.

Six historic races to watch

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Race Result

Democrat Wes Moore elected governor in historic Maryland race

Posted November 8, 2022 at 8:10 PM EST
Maryland Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wes Moore speaks to supporters during a campaign rally at Bowie State University in Bowie, Md., Monday, Nov. 7, 2022.
Bryan Woolston
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AP
Maryland Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wes Moore speaks to supporters during a campaign rally at Bowie State University in Bowie, Md., Monday, Nov. 7, 2022.

Democrat Wes Moore has made history in Maryland as the state’s first Black governor, according to a race call by The Associated Press. He is only the third Black governor elected in the country.

Moore’s win puts the governorship back in Democrats’ hands after two terms of Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, who is one of the most popular governors in the country.

The political newcomer is a longtime businessman and philanthropist who ran on a platform of eliminating childhood poverty and ensuring Maryland remains a safe haven for women’s reproductive rights.

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More Maryland Results

NPR's live special coverage is starting soon. Here's what to expect

Posted November 8, 2022 at 7:57 PM EST

NPR is broadcasting live, special coverage throughout the evening as polls close and results begin to trickle in.

Coverage starts at 8 p.m. ET and will go until 1 a.m. ET.

Tune in for breaking news updates, election analysis on key races and on-the-ground reporting from NPR's political team and member station reporters across the country.

Listen on the radio, online via your local NPR station or through the NPR One app. You can also listen to special coverage right here on npr.org.

NPR Newscast

Ballots arriving by mail could slow down official results

Posted November 8, 2022 at 7:51 PM EST
Mail in ballots are seen at the Los Angeles County Registrar vote by mail operation center in City of Industry, California, on Nov. 4, 2022.
Robyn Beck
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AFP via Getty Images
Mail in ballots are seen at the Los Angeles County Registrar vote by mail operation center in City of Industry, California, on Nov. 4, 2022.

Election officials around the U.S. are tallying votes, but some states are not expected to be ready to report their results tonight.

Officials in states with a lot of voting by mail say election workers need more time to make sure all ballots are counted accurately.

For example, many eyes are on a Pennsylvania race for a U.S. Senate seat that could determine which party controls the Senate.

But Sylvia Albert, director of voting and elections for the government watchdog group Common Cause, says a major barrier to learning the winner quickly is Pennsylvania state law. According to Albert, this means "you can't start counting [mail ballots] until Election Day. So it's inevitable that there's going to be a delay in getting at results."

Pennsylvania's acting secretary of state says midterm results will be available "within a few days."

More election coverage from
➡️ WHYY in Philadelphia
➡️ WESA in Pittsburgh

Exit polls offer mixed messages

Posted November 8, 2022 at 7:38 PM EST

A handful of exit polls offer conflicting signs, as NPR senior political editor Domenico Montanaro noted in a Twitter thread.

He breaks it down this way:

Good signs for Republicans: a higher white electorate than in recent past midterms, voters 18 to 29 years old making up a lower share of the electorate, voters citing inflation as a top issue and more voters holding an unfavorable than favorable view of President Biden.

Good signs for Democrats: abortion being a higher-priority issue than even recent polling indicates (including in Pennsylvania), Democrats being trusted more on abortion, Republicans being trusted only on inflation (about 10 percentage points more, lower than in recent polling).

Follow @DomenicoNPR on Twitter for more.

Just In

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Democrats can still control Congress

Posted November 8, 2022 at 7:24 PM EST
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said the Democratic candidates on the ballot have a lot to offer, and electors know it.
Drew Angerer
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Getty Images
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said the Democratic candidates on the ballot have a lot to offer, and electors know it.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., told PBS NewsHour on Tuesday night that she believes Democrats can defy the history books and maintain control of Congress.

Pelosi said that she's never paid much attention to the message that Congress has historically flipped during the midterms. In her opinion, the Democratic candidates on the ballot have a lot to offer, and the electors know it.

She said she has confidence in the American people.

"We have great candidates who have confidence and courage to run because they believe, and they know why they are running, they know our democracy [is] at stake, our planet is at risk, but also, that you win these elections on the kitchen table issues," Pelosi said.

Got election anxiety? Here are 4 stress relief tips

Posted November 8, 2022 at 7:11 PM EST
A sign is seen as Georgia voters take part in midterm elections on Election Day on Nov. 8, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia.
Nathan Posner
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Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
A sign is seen as Georgia voters take part in midterm elections on Election Day on Nov. 8, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia.

A lot is on the line this midterm season, so it's understandable to be feeling at least a little stressed as you wait for the results.

And you're certainly not alone, if both social media and recent history are any indication. An American Psychological Association poll in 2020 found that more than two-thirds of adults — across the aisle — found the presidential election that year to be a source of stress.

NPR asked mental health experts at the time for their best advice for dealing with election anxiety. Here are some of their suggestions:

Prepare mentally for delayed results. Plan ahead for the uncertainty by planning any activities you can do to pass the time, from social plans to relaxing hobbies.

Lean into your existing stress-reducing habits. Behaviors that keep you healthy, such as getting enough sleep, staying active and keeping social, are just as important now.

Unplug when you can. If possible, tamp down the doomscrolling, and get some space from your devices in between the biggest breaking news. Don't dwell on information if it's causing harm, experts say — instead, try changing the TV channel, talking with loved ones or taking a walk.

Practice breathing and mindfulness techniques. Stress can trigger a flight-or-fight response, so it can be helpful to ground yourself with strategies like five-finger breathing and meditation, for which there are lots of app-based and onlineresources.

NPR's Life Kit has even more tips for dealing with a stressful news cycle and protecting yourself from election disinformation.

Remember: Results won't come in right away

Posted November 8, 2022 at 7:01 PM EST

As polls in parts of the country start to close, it's a good time to take a deep breath and remember: We may not know the results for a while still.

NPR Washington Desk editor Ben Swasey has this helpful explanation of why that is.

TLDR: Voting by mail has become more common in recent years, and states handle that process differently — with their own distinct rules about when mail ballots are due and procedures for how (and when) they can be processed and tallied. Plus, legal challenges and recounts can also delay the time frame for announcing a winner.

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So have patience, and stay with us for updates! We'll be here blogging the latest developments and analysis all night, and you can tune in to live special radio coverage starting at 8 p.m. ET.

Key Update

Polls are closing now — stand by for race results

Posted November 8, 2022 at 6:54 PM EST
A roll of stickers that say "I'm a Georgia voter. I secured my vote!" with an illustration of a peach.
Megan Varner
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Getty Images
Stickers sit on a table at a polling location on Tuesday in Atlanta.

It's nearing 7 p.m. ET, which means the last polls open in these states are starting to close:

We'll be bringing you results on these key races right here in the live blog. Stay tuned.

Ballot machines fixed in Maricopa County after reported issues

Posted November 8, 2022 at 6:45 PM EST

Election officials in Maricopa County, Ariz., say they have fixed a technical problem with some of the ballot tabulator machines across the area.

The issue — which concerned certain machines not accepting completed ballots — affected close to 20% of the locations throughout the county, officials said.

Hours after the reported problem, a statement was posted on the county's Twitter page saying the issue was resolved.

Maricopa County is the largest county within the state, both in population and size, and it's been a top site for unfounded claims of election fraud during the 2020 election.

Reports of Tuesday's technical issue quickly became the subject of misleading posts by Republican leaders on social media, including former President Trump.

"Here we go again?" Trump wrote on his social media platform, Truth Social, adding, "The people will not stand for it!!!"

Blake Masters, the Republican candidate running for Senate in Arizona, also addressed the problem.

"Hard to know if we're seeing incompetence or something worse," Masters wrote on Twitter, "All we know right now is that the Democrats are hoping you will get discouraged and go home."

Before a solution was found, election officials stressed that voters could still cast their ballot at locations with affected machines, saying they needed to instead place ballots in a "secure box" located below the tabulator, adding that those votes would then be brought to the county's "central tabulators."

“This is actually what the majority of Arizona counties do on Election Day all the time,” County Recorder Stephen Richer said.

Read more on the developing story here.

Here are some key state ballot measures, from abortion to marijuana to slavery

Posted November 8, 2022 at 6:28 PM EST
People vote on election day on November 8, 2022 in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Bill Pugliano
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Getty Images North America
People vote on election day on November 8, 2022 in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

In many states, voters aren't just casting their ballot in support of candidates for office — they're also weighing in on state policy, on hot-button issues from abortion to drug use to voting access.

People in 38 states are voting on 140 statewide ballot measures. Here are some that we're watching:

Abortion

The Supreme Court's Dobbs ruling earlier this year left abortion laws up to individual states — meaning reproductive rights are now on the ballot in many forms, from state races to control of Congress to the wording of actual state constitutions.

California, Michigan and Vermont all have initiatives to uphold the right to an abortion. Michigan's is likely the most-watched measure, as the state's Supreme Court allowed the ballot initiative process to proceed after Republicans tried to block it.

Kentucky voters will vote whether to amend their constitution to state that nothing in the document creates a right to abortion. Abortion rights supporters are hoping for a repeat of voters' rejection of a similar measure in Kansas — and even hired the same campaign manager who led the opposition efforts there.

In Montana, a new initiative would require medical care to be provided for infants born alive after attempted abortion, and establish criminal punishment for those who violate that law.

Drug Use

Arkansas, Maryland, Missouri, North Dakota and South Dakota are all weighing whether to legalize recreational marijuana. If all of them pass that measure, they would bring the total number of states where recreational cannabis is legal up to 24 (plus another 12 where its use has been decriminalized).

Four of those five states are among the most conservative in the country, underscoring how the legalization effort increasingly spans the political spectrum, as NPR has reported.

In Colorado, voters will decide whether to legalize magic mushrooms and other psychedelic plants.

Criminal Justice

One initiative in Alabama would deny bail to defendants charged with certain first-degree violent crimes. A proposed measure in Montana would specifically add "electronic data and communications" to the list of items protected from unreasonable search and seizure.

Five states — Alabama, Louisiana, Vermont, Oregon and Tennessee — are considering measures that would amend their constitutions to remove slavery under any terms (specifically, as a punishment for crime).

Voting rights

Arizona, Nebraska, Nevada, Louisiana, Ohio, Michigan and Connecticut all have ballot measures related to the elections process itself.

Among them: Arizona and Nebraska are weighing a voter identification requirement. Nevada voters could potentially establish an open primary system and ranked-choice voting. Louisiana and Ohio have measures that would prohibit non-U.S. citizens from voting in local elections. Read more about these proposals here.

FROM NPR NEWSCAST

North Carolina's Senate race features a historic Democratic nominee and a popular Republican

Posted November 8, 2022 at 6:15 PM EST
Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Cheri Beasley speaks to a crowd of canvassers on Monday in Greensboro, N.C. Beasley faces Republican Rep. Ted Budd in the November general election
Sean Rayford
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Getty Images
Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Cheri Beasley speaks to a crowd of canvassers on Monday in Greensboro, N.C. Beasley faces Republican Rep. Ted Budd in the November general election.

Voters in North Carolina will decide one of the tightest races in the country that could help decide a new balance of power for the U.S. Senate. The race features a historic Democratic nominee hoping to upset a popular House Republican. NPR's Claudia Grisales reports:

The former Chief Justice of North Carolina's Supreme Court, Cheri Beasley is hoping to oust House Republican Ted Budd in the U.S. Senate race.

Beasley would be the state's first Black woman in the Senate.

"I certainly know that representation matters and it's important that we have diversity on our Supreme Court and our Senate," Beasley said.

But Budd recently told NPR he thinks voters are on his side.

"Everything that I'm for is, you know, making our life better here in North Carolina," he said. "And everything that Cheri Beasley's about is making life harder. And she's just a rubber stamp for Joe Biden's policies."

Both are vying for a seat left open by retiring Republican Sen. Richard Burr.

Member Station Reports
KJZZ in Phoenix

In Arizona, an election denier and a Democrat defending election integrity face off

Posted November 8, 2022 at 5:59 PM EST
Arizona Secretary of State and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Katie Hobbs (left) speaks at a press conference calling for abortion rights on Oct. 7, in Tucson. Arizona Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake greets supporters at a campaign rally at the Dream City Church on Monday in Phoenix.
John Moore and Mario Tama
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Getty Images
Arizona Secretary of State and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Katie Hobbs (left) speaks at a press conference calling for abortion rights on Oct. 7, in Tucson. Arizona Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake greets supporters at a campaign rally at the Dream City Church on Monday in Phoenix.

An election-denying Republican is on the ballot to become Arizona’s next governor. She’s challenged by a Democrat who has spent the past two years defending the state’s election integrity. From member station KJZZ in Phoenix, Ben Giles reports:

Republican Kari Lake, running in her first-ever campaign, rode the endorsement of former President Donald Trump to victory in Arizona’s GOP primary. The former local news anchor ran a brash and loud Trump-like campaign, boasting that she drove a stake through the heart of the state’s conservative establishment.

Democrat Katie Hobbs, Arizona’s current secretary of state, ran a far more subdued campaign — she refused to debate Lake while pitching herself as a safer choice to Arizona’s important independent swing voters. Hobbs has described the race as a choice between sanity and chaos.

➡️ Arizona Public Media's Voter Guide
➡️ KJZZ's Propositions Guide

FROM NPR'S NEWSCAST

Key races in Wisconsin may take a while to count

Posted November 8, 2022 at 5:47 PM EST
Workers count absentee ballots at the Wisconsin Center for the midterm election on Tuesday in Milwaukee.
Morry Gash
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AP
Workers count absentee ballots at the Wisconsin Center for the midterm election on Tuesday in Milwaukee.

Across the country, state and local election officials are expecting strong turnout for today's midterm elections. In Wisconsin, where critical races for governor and the Senate are expected to be extremely close, officials say the results may not be known for some time. NPR's David Schaper reports from Milwaukee:

Republican Sen. Ron Johnson is facing Democratic challenger Mandela Barnes for a seat the Democrats hope to flip their way, while Republicans hope wealthy businessman Tim Michels will unseat Democratic Gov. Tony Evers.

Wisconsin's chief election official, Meagan Wolfe, says significant safeguards are in place to ensure a fair election. But she says counting absentee ballots in Milwaukee and a few other cities will likely go into the wee hours of Wednesday morning.

"The bottom line is elections officials prioritize accuracy over speed always on election night when tallying the unofficial results."

Wolfe says as of Friday 750,000 absentee ballots had been requested statewide, with 85% of them already returned.

🎧 Young voters in Milwaukee share the biggest issues motivating them to vote

Republicans make a play for Latino voters

Posted November 8, 2022 at 5:33 PM EST

Latino voters are the second-largest and fastest-growing part of the American electorate. So it may come as no surprise that both parties are fighting hard to court their vote.

Democrats traditionally have the advantage. According to a recent Washington Post-Ipsos poll, Democrats have a 27-point advantage with voters who identify as Hispanic. It may seem like a generous margin, but it's down significantly from the nearly 40-point advantage the party had in 2018.

And for the GOP, it looks like an opportunity. They launched a program in nine key states, called "Operation Vamos," to push issues they think will resonate with these key voters: inflation, crime and left-leaning policy ideas they sum up as "socialism."

This is a big departure from previous years of messaging, which, for both parties, revolved around immigration.

In fact, the Pew Research Center found that immigration is ninth on the list of top issues for Latinos, a group that is far from monolithic.

NPR's Pablo Valdivia asked Latinos what issues they wish politicians would focus more of their attention on. Their answers spanned everything from the economy and inflation to gun control and greater resources for Puerto Rico.

Read more here.

Member Station Reports
Michigan Public Radio

A look at Michigan's heated race for governor

Posted November 8, 2022 at 5:22 PM EST
Tudor Dixon and Gretchen Whitmer
Carlos Osorio
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AP
Michigan Republican gubernatorial candidate Tudor Dixon (left) and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer at the Detroit Economic Club on Oct. 21 in Detroit.

From abortion to the economy, Michigan’s gubernatorial candidates have spent months butting heads ahead of the election. Michigan Public Radio’s Colin Jackson has more on the race:

Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has been closing out her re-election campaign highlighting billions of dollars in economic investment.

She’s also reiterating her support for abortion rights and has welcomed out-of-state guests like former President Barack Obama to help paint her Republican opponent as too extreme.

Meanwhile, Republican Tudor Dixon — a first-time candidate — has hammered Whitmer on her COVID-19 response and inflation.

Education and parental rights issues have also become staples of the Dixon campaign.

As far as money goes, it’s been a lopsided battle with Whitmer and Democratic groups considerably outspending Dixon.

That impact remains to be seen.

➡️ Michigan Radio's Voter Guide

Ukrainians are watching the midterms with an eye on the future of U.S. aid

Posted November 8, 2022 at 4:57 PM EST
 Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks during a joint news conference with Greece's president following their meeting on Thursday.
Genya Savilov
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AFP via Getty Images
Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks during a joint news conference with Greece's president following their meeting on Thursday.

Americans are far from the only ones following the U.S. midterm elections.

Ukrainians are also watching to see which party will end up in control of the House and the Senate and how that might affect aid to their country as the war with Russia continues.

Dozens of House Republicans have voted against aid packages for Ukraine. And last month, House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy — who could serve as the next House speaker — warned that his party members would not write "a blank check" to Ukraine if they win control of the lower chamber, as NPR's Franco Ordoñez reported.

And that has many Ukrainians worried.

"There are concerns that the support will become smaller," Mykola Kniazhytskyi, a member of parliament who represents western Ukraine, said last month.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called for continued support from the U.S. on Monday during his acceptance speech for the 2022 Liberty Medal awarded by the National Constitution Center.

“I call on you to maintain unwavering unity as it is now, until that very day when we all hear those important words we have been dreaming of – until we hear that peace has finally been restored,” Zelenskyy said. “Democracies must not stop on their way to the victory.”

Member Station Reports
From KCUR in Kansas City

Paper ballots in this Kansas county are so big, it’s causing scanning problems

Posted November 8, 2022 at 4:41 PM EST

Several voters and poll watchers in Wyandotte County, the fourth-largest county in Kansas, are reporting that paper ballots are causing issues with some county voting machines.

According to county election officials, the issue stems from the increased size of paper ballots in this election.

“There was not an issue with the machines,” said Wyandotte County Election Commissioner Michael Abbott. “It was an issue with a crease made in the actual ballot because it’s so long.”

Abbott says that this year's ballot is one of the longest he’s ever seen, mainly due to the multiple judges and two constitutional amendments before voters in Kansas this year.

Due to the increased size of the physical paper ballots, election workers had to fold them to fit them inside the secure transfer containers used to move paper ballots to and from polling locations.

Tabulation machines at polling centers couldn’t read some of the folded ballots. Officials say these ballots are still being counted. Here's how.

➡️ KCUR’s Kansas Voter Guide [En español]

FROM NPR NEWSCAST

There are currently no credible threats to interfere with the election, experts say

Posted November 8, 2022 at 4:19 PM EST
Workers organize vote-by-mail ballots for scanning during the midterm election at the Miami-Dade County Elections Department on Tuesday in Miami.
Lynne Sladky
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AP
Workers organize vote-by-mail ballots for scanning during the midterm election at the Miami-Dade County Elections Department on Tuesday in Miami.

Election security officials are keeping a close watch on any disruptions to voting and attempts to influence voters. So far there's nothing to worry about, they say. NPR's Jenna McLaughlin reports:

In the first of three planned media briefings, a senior official from the Department of Homeland Security's cyber agency, CISA, told reporters there is still no credible or specific threat to disrupt the U.S. election infrastructure.

That means there's no reason to believe any outsider, whether a nation state or a criminal, will have a negative impact on anyone's ability to vote or have their vote counted.

When asked to compare this election to previous ones, the official said cyber activity was perhaps quieter, while foreign influence operations, or attempts to sway public opinion on social media, for example, were still going strong.

Other nations such as Iran and China have learned from Russia's example in 2016, though the public also is now much more aware, too.

➡️ How to avoid sharing false or misleading news about the election

Member Station Reports
Texas Newsroom

Greg Abbott and Beto O’Rourke face off in Texas governor's race

Posted November 8, 2022 at 3:59 PM EST
A Texas Governor Greg Abbott sign next to a Democratic candidate for Texas Governor Beto O'Rourke sign are pictured outside of the SSGT Willie de Leon Civic Center on the eve of the US midterm elections on Nov. 7 in Uvalde, Texas.
Mark Felix
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AFP via Getty Images
A Texas Governor Greg Abbott sign next to a Democratic candidate for Texas Governor Beto O'Rourke sign are pictured outside of the SSGT Willie de Leon Civic Center on the eve of the US midterm elections on Nov. 7 in Uvalde, Texas.

In Texas, all eyes are on the race for governor. About 5.5 million voters cast a ballot early. Texas Newsroom’s Sergio Martínez-Beltrán reports from Austin:

The Texas gubernatorial race is expected to be one of the most competitive in recent history.

Republican Gov. Greg Abbott is seeking a third term. He has made immigration and the economy cornerstones of his campaign. Meanwhile, former Democratic congressman Beto O’Rourke has focused on gun safety and access to reproductive health care. 

The latest polls show O’Rourke trailing Abbott by double digits. But, if O’Rourke were to win, he would become the first Democratic governor to be elected in Texas in 32 years. 

➡️ What to watch for in Texas

The Carter Center is observing voting in a U.S. election for the first time

Posted November 8, 2022 at 3:39 PM EST

The Carter Center observed Georgia’s vote audit that followed the 2020 election — but the nonprofit that has monitored more than 110 elections worldwide says that for the first time, it’s watching as people cast votes in the United States.

The 2022 midterms represent “the first time we have observed actual voting in U.S. elections,” Matthew De Galan, the Carter Center’s vice president of communications, told NPR on Tuesday.

The center — founded by former President Jimmy Carter and former first lady Rosalynn Carter — has been training volunteer nonpartisan observers about local and state election laws; they’re now monitoring today’s vote in Fulton County, which comprises a large chunk of Atlanta.

The observers’ findings will be included in a report to both the county’s election board and the state’s performance review board, the Carter Center said. The two bodies jointly invited the nonprofit to observe the election.

The Carter Center is also conducting election-related work in Arizona and Michigan, but those efforts don’t entail direct observation at polling places.

“In Arizona, where nonpartisan observation is not allowed in polling places,” De Galan said, the center is tracking “aspects of the process that are open to nonpartisan observers, including pre-election testing of voting machines and poll worker training.”

In Michigan, the group is helping two local organizations work to ensure people with disabilities have adequate accessibility to the election process in the Detroit metro area.

From NPR Newscast

Arizona voters could determine control of the Senate

Posted November 8, 2022 at 3:30 PM EST
Election 2022: Arizona Senate candidates Blake Masters and Sen. Mark Kelly
Ross D. Franklin
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AP
Arizona Republican Senate candidate Blake Masters (left) and Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly before a televised debate in Phoenix on Oct. 6.

It's the last day for Arizona voters to decide between incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly and GOP challenger Blake Masters. In the days leading up to the election, the pair ramped up their campaign event schedules. NPR's Ximena Bustillo reports from Phoenix:

On Monday, Kelly stressed his bipartisan efforts and support of bills that benefit service members at a press conference featuring former Sen. John McCain's son, Jack McCain. 

Later in the day, Masters was met by cheering crowds as a part of a tour alongside other statewide GOP candidates. He emphasized tackling inflation and rising prices.

But both need to win over independent and moderate candidates, even in the historically Republican state.

This Arizona race is one of the toss-up battles that could determine control of the Senate next year. The Senate is currently split 50-50 with both parties looking to gain greater margins for the next year.

➡️ Arizona Public Media's Voter Guide

FROM NPR NEWSCAST

Nevada Democrats are hoping to maintain control of several key seats

Posted November 8, 2022 at 3:10 PM EST
Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto At A Campaign Rally In Nevada
Mario Tama
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Getty Images
Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada speaks at an AFL-CIO event on Sunday in Henderson, Nev. Cortez Masto is in a tight race with Republican Adam Laxalt.

In the final stretch of voting in Nevada, Democratic candidates are trying to hold on to their control of several positions: A Senate seat, the governorship, and several House seats surrounding Las Vegas.

Thousands in the state have voted early already, but both candidates are focused on Election Day turnout.

In a final message to voters, Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto says Republican candidates on the ballot are extreme.

The former state attorney general has been in the Senate since 2017, and this year is up against another former Nevada attorney general, Republican Adam Laxalt. Laxalt has pegged Cortez Masto as a close Biden ally and has been focusing his message on inflation and immigration.

Both parties are making a final push for turnout on Election Day, especially among the state's critical Latino voters.

Results are expected to be close, and operatives say the final vote count may stretch into the week.

➡️ KNPR's Election Guide

Voters of color grow in election importance

Posted November 8, 2022 at 2:50 PM EST

Midterm elections tend to be dominated by less marginalized and highly politically engaged groups of voters. But that's been slowly changing over the past 30 years, according to data from Pew Research Center.

In 1990, 85% of the midterm electorate was white. By 2018, it was 73%. That trend has been driven by the growth of Latino, Asian American and Pacific Islander voters.

In 1990, Latinos were less than 4% of the electorate. In the last midterm, they were almost 10% of the vote with pronounced influence in a handful of key states, like Nevada, Arizona, Georgia and Florida.

Nonwhite groups have been key pillars of the Democratic Party. In 2018, a year in which Democrats re-took the House, their participation rates jumped — up nearly 50% for Latinos and Asian Americans and 27% for Black voters.

It’s why lagging Latino and Black voter interest in these midterms is a warning sign for Democrats.

Member Station Reports
Kansas News Service

Kansas voters are deciding whether to keep their Democratic governor

Posted November 8, 2022 at 2:17 PM EST
Voters cast their ballots at Heritage Hall on Tuesday in Topeka, Kan. Incumbent Gov. Laura Kelly faces challenger Republican state Attorney General Derek Schmidt.
Michael B. Thomas
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Getty Images
Voters cast their ballots at Heritage Hall on Tuesday in Topeka, Kan. Incumbent Gov. Laura Kelly faces challenger Republican state Attorney General Derek Schmidt.

Voters in the Republican stronghold of Kansas are deciding whether to keep their Democratic governor or make the switch to a conservative Republican challenger. Dylan Lysen of the Kansas News Service reports:

Gov. Laura Kelly presents herself as a middle-of-the-road moderate Democrat who led the state out of a budget crisis left by former Republican Gov. Sam Brownback. She says her administration also helped bring new business to the state.

But Kelly's challenger, Republican Derek Schmidt, argues Kelly is a liberal in step with President Biden and that the Democrats' policies have led to rising prices. Schmidt promises to shift the state in a more conservative direction.

Polling suggests the race is neck and neck.

➡️ More on where they stand on the issues
➡️ KCUR's Kansas Voter Guide [En español]

FROM NPR NEWSCAST

Voting rights advocates say there have been no major concerns so far

Posted November 8, 2022 at 1:47 PM EST
Voters cast their ballots at the Bok Building in Philadelphia on Tuesday.
Ryan Collerd
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AFP via Getty Images
Voters cast their ballots at the Bok Building in Philadelphia on Tuesday.

Voting rights advocates have been monitoring polling sites across the country today for any potential issues.

Susannah Goodman, director of election security for the government watchdog group Common Cause, says some polling sites are seeing their lines of voters grow because of issues with voting machines, including ballot scanners that need fixing.

(Maricopa County in Arizona says 20% of polling places there are having an issue with tabulating machines.)

But Goodman stresses there are no major concerns so far.

"These are things we see in every election cycle. There are glitches in the system. But election administrators have learned from the past and they have resiliency built in."

Election officials in states like Pennsylvania say they may not be able to report results on election night because they need time to accurately count all mail-in ballots.

➡️ Why mail voting laws may slow the count in some key swing states

Maricopa County says 20% of polling places are having ‘an issue with the tabulator’

Posted November 8, 2022 at 1:24 PM EST
Bill Gates, chairman of the Maricopa Board of Supervisors, speaks about voting machine malfunctions at the Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center on Tuesday in Phoenix, Ariz. He said that about 20 percent of polling stations in the county have had tabulation machine malfunctions, but votes will still be counted.
John Moore
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Getty Images
Bill Gates, chairman of the Maricopa Board of Supervisors, speaks about voting machine malfunctions at the Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center on Tuesday in Phoenix, Ariz. He said that about 20 percent of polling stations in the county have had tabulation machine malfunctions, but votes will still be counted.

About 1 in 5 polling locations in Maricopa County were experiencing a technical problem with their ballot tabulator machines in the first hours of Election Day — but officials say the votes will still be counted, thanks to their redundancy protocols.

“We’ve got about 20% of the locations out there where there’s an issue with the tabulator,” Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Gates said in a video update posted online. Describing the problem, he said that after some voters fill out their ballot, the machine won’t accept it.

The issue was quickly used by right-leaning influencers as fuel for their claims that the 2022 midterms are vulnerable to election fraud, according to the Election Integrity Partnership, a research coalition that focuses on misinformation around elections.

“Attention spiked after a tweet from Charlie Kirk, which fueled others who allege that these machine failures are deliberate,” the research group said.

“There is high likelihood that these narratives around machine malfunctions will gain traction in other states,” the Election Integrity Partnership said, adding that influencers and their audiences are looking to amplify such stories.

Election officials are working on a solution, Gates said. In the meantime, voters can slide their ballot into a “secure box” just below the tabulator, he said.

Those ballots will be collected and sent to Maricopa’s “central tabulators,” County Recorder Stephen Richer said.

“This is actually what the majority of Arizona counties do on Election Day all the time,” Richer added.

While the exact nature of the problem in Maricopa County isn’t known, it’s not uncommon for machine malfunctions and other balloting problems to arise at election time, when millions of people rush to cast their votes.

Such snags can prompt a range of reactions from politicians and pundits, from encouraging voters to endure the delay to suggesting the problems are the sign of a coordinated conspiracy.

Far-right figures from Arizona senatorial candidate Blake Masters to Republican National Committee member Tyler Bowyer tweeted about the problem Tuesday. Former President Trump -- who has spent the past two years sowing doubts and mistruths about the U.S. election system -- also weighed in, saying that in Maricopa, problems were reported in GOP-leaning areas.

“Here we go again?” Trump said on the Truth Social platform. “The people will not stand for it!!!”

“Hard to know if we’re seeing incompetence or something worse,” Masters wrote. “All we know right now is that the Democrats are hoping you will get discouraged and go home.”

The issue has also been front-and-center in the governor's race: Republican Kari Lake is an election denier who is running against Democrat Katie Hobbs (the current secretary of state).

FROM NPR NEWSCAST

A New Hampshire senator says her race will be close

Posted November 8, 2022 at 1:13 PM EST
New Hampshire Republican U.S. Senate candidate Don Bolduc and incumbent Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Maggie Hassan speak during campaign events.
Reba Saldanha / AP; Scott Eisen
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Getty Images
New Hampshire Republican Senate candidate Don Bolduc and incumbent Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan.

New Hampshire Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan is facing a challenge from retired Army Brig. Gen. Don Bolduc, the GOP candidate.

Hassan stresses that New Hampshire is a purple state and will be a close race. She has touted her bipartisan record, passing bills to lower prescription drug costs, boost manufacturing jobs, and invest millions in roads, bridges and rail projects.

Hassan has distanced herself from President Biden, saying he was too slow to respond to inflation. She argues her opponent is an extreme Republican who opposes abortion rights.

Bolduc, for his part, has walked back some of his statements saying the 2020 election was stolen and says abortion should be decided at the state level.

➡️ NHPR's Voter Guide [En español]
➡️ Live Blog: N.H. Elections 2022

Money

Election spending is up by billions — and boosting GOP candidates

Posted November 8, 2022 at 12:46 PM EST

The nonpartisan group OpenSecrets projects that more money will be spent on federal elections (House and Senate races) in these midterms than ever before, to the tune of $9.3 billion. That's a massive escalation from recent years — a 32% increase from four years ago and almost double the spending in 2014.

And a big chunk of that money is going into TV ads. In the 12 most competitive Senate races, more than $1.6 billion had been spent as of Oct. 17.

But, indicative of just how narrow the Senate landscape is and just how critical control of the chamber is to each party and interest groups, $1.3 billion of that spending is going toward just six states — Georgia, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Wisconsin, Nevada and Ohio, according to an NPR analysis of data from ad-tracking firm AdImpact.

And here's another indicative measure: 86% of the money going toward pro-GOP TV ads, roughly $1 billion, is coming from outside groups. In contrast, outside groups have made up 55% of the spending on TV ads for Democrats.

NPR's senior political correspondent Domenico Montanaro writes that these outside groups, which have little-to-no donor transparency, are actually spending more for less if you factor in the ad rates. That's how motivated they are to boost GOP candidates.

And without the influence of outside groups, Republican candidates would be swamped on the airwaves.

Read more on what the numbers say here.

What history tells us about the party out of power

Posted November 8, 2022 at 12:16 PM EST

Here's some good news for the Republicans: Since World War II, the party out of power has gained an average of two Senate seats and 28 House seats in a president's first midterm.

Remember, Republicans need to net just five House seats and one Senate seat to win both chambers.

History tells us the party out of power has also had more luck when a president’s approval rating is below 50%, as President Biden's has been.

SOURCE: The Brookings Institution’s Vital Statistics on Congress for House and Senate results and The American Presidency Project at UC-Santa Barbara, UCSB and Gallup data were used for approval ratings.
SOURCE: The Brookings Institution’s Vital Statistics on Congress for House and Senate results and The American Presidency Project at UC-Santa Barbara, UCSB and Gallup data were used for approval ratings.

Member Station Reports
WFPL in Louisville

A Kentucky amendment could make it harder to challenge abortion restrictions

Posted November 8, 2022 at 11:55 AM EST
Kentucky Right to Life Executive Director Addia Wuchner, a former Republican state representative, displays a brochure following a rally to encourage voters to support Amendment 2 to add a permanent abortion ban to Kentucky's state constitution, on the steps of the Kentucky State Capitol in Frankfort, Ky., on Oct. 1. (Photo by Stefani Reynolds / AFP) (Photo by STEFANI REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)
Stefani Reynolds
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AFP via Getty Images
Kentucky Right to Life Executive Director Addia Wuchner, a former Republican state representative, displays a brochure following a rally to encourage voters to support Amendment 2 to add a permanent abortion ban to Kentucky's state constitution.

Kentucky voters are casting ballots today on a constitutional amendment that would make it harder to challenge abortion restrictions in the state. Aprile Rickert reports:

Amendment 2 would add language saying there is no right to an abortion under the Kentucky constitution. That would mean the state’s Republican-controlled legislature would decide abortion access, and courts would be prevented from interpreting a right to abortion using the state’s fundamental legal document.

Special interest groups on both sides of the issue have been campaigning for months to get voters to the polls on this issue.

In Kentucky, Abortions are banned in most cases, as legal challenges to state laws continue. The state supreme court is expected to hear oral arguments next week in one of those cases.

➡️ Live updates from Kentucky
➡️ Kentucky Public Radio's Statewide Voter Guide

The DOJ is monitoring midterm elections in 24 states today to protect voting rights

Posted November 8, 2022 at 11:35 AM EST
Palm Beach County is one of 64 locations around the U.S. that the Justice Department is monitoring during the 2022 midterm election. Here, people cast their ballots Tuesday at a drop-off box in West Palm Beach, Fla. (Photo by Saul Martinez/Getty Images)
Saul Martinez
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Getty Images
Palm Beach County is one of 64 locations around the U.S. that the Justice Department is monitoring during the 2022 midterm election. Here, people cast their ballots Tuesday at a drop-off box in West Palm Beach, Fla.

The Justice Department is sending election monitors to the polls in 24 states on Election Day as part of its effort to ensure compliance with federal voting rights laws. The locations vary from Palm Beach County, Fla., to Maricopa County, Ariz., and Cuyahoga County, Ohio.

Monitors will be present at 64 jurisdictions in all, the DOJ said. The workers are drawn from the agency’s civil rights division and U.S. attorneys’ offices, along with, in some cases, staff from the Office of Personnel Management.

The federal personnel will be in contact with state and local election officials, the Justice Department said. But officials in Missouri say they won’t let the DOJ employees into polling places in Cole County, which is on the DOJ’s list because of complaints alleging ballot access problems in possible violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft says he fully supports Cole County Clerk Steve Korsmeyer, whom Ashcroft says “rightfully declined to allow this overreach” by the DOJ.

A DOJ official told NPR that monitors would be outside polling locations in Missouri.

Missouri has only one county on the federal monitoring list; the state with the most locations is Massachusetts, with eight. In response to an NPR query Tuesday, Debra O’Malley, director of communications in the secretary of the commonwealth’s office, said the DOJ typically sends observers to places with language requirements.

Of the Massachusetts locations, O’Malley said, “All of the jurisdictions DOJ is visiting today are places with relatively new language requirements, where DOJ has not previously observed voting since those language requirements were put in place.”

Election security has been a hot topic in recent years. But the DOJ says its civil rights division has regularly monitored U.S. elections since the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was approved.

The DOJ’s civil rights arm also has a national call center (800-253-3931) to take complaints about possible rights violations, as well as a website.

Gas prices are a key indicator of Biden's popularity

Posted November 8, 2022 at 11:05 AM EST
Gas prices are displayed at a Mobil gas station in Los Angeles on Oct. 28.
Mario Tama
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Getty Images
Gas prices are displayed at a Mobil gas station in Los Angeles on Oct. 28.

What's the latest on President Biden's approval rating? For the past few months, you could've guessed it based on the price of gas.

When gas prices peaked at more than $5/gallon in June, Biden's approval rating in the following month's NPR/PBS Newshour/Marist poll was at 36%.

When the average price of gas dipped down to $3.79 per gallon in October, Biden's approval rating rose to 44%.

Is gas the only factor behind Biden's unpopularity? Probably not.

An increase in Democratic approval has made up a significant portion of Biden’s climb in ratings. But Biden has also improved with independents — and the economy and inflation are top concerns for them.

Of course, elections aren’t won nationally, and in some key contested states, gas prices are still high. Nevada, one of Republicans’ top Senate race targets, has had the second-highest prices in the country for months. As of late October, it was averaging above $5 a gallon. Arizona and Pennsylvania, two hotly contested states, are also above the national average.

That’s a tough landscape for Democrats in those states. They control the White House and Congress. And Americans are in a sour mood.

Sen. Mark Kelly urges Arizonans to consider the person over the party when casting ballots

Posted November 8, 2022 at 10:39 AM EST
Arizona Sen. Mark Kelly speaks during a campaign event with former President Barack Obama in Phoenix last Wednesday.
Patrick T. Fallon
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AFP via Getty Images
Arizona Sen. Mark Kelly speaks during a campaign event with former President Barack Obama in Phoenix last Wednesday.

Even as he’s facing a tough reelection campaign in Arizona, Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly is hopeful that he’ll be able to continue working in Congress with his Republican colleagues after today.

Kelly has sided with his party on abortion rights, Medicare and social security, but he says he has also pushed back and criticized President Biden when he feels it's necessary.

“I had to tell the White House when they weren’t doing enough about bringing down gas prices and, you know, told them that they need to increase the number of leases in the Gulf of Mexico,” Kelly told NPR’s Morning Edition.

“They did some of that, not enough. We put it in legislation, now it’s the law that the president signed. Now we have to get the oil companies to step up because they’ve been reluctant. They’ve got outsized profits right now.”

Arizona’s border with Mexico is another issue on which Kelly shares some of the same views as Republicans, calling it a crisis and arguing for more resources and better pay for Border Patrol agents.

His willingness to work in a bipartisan manner and his views on key issues are points he hopes voters in his state will take into consideration, even if they are not Democrats.

“I’ve always voted for the person my entire adult life,” Kelly said. “I try to set the party politics aside. I was in the military, 25 years in the Navy. I spent also 15 years of that at NASA. I didn’t care about the party of the person sitting next to me. I mean, decisions should be about what does the individual represent.”

Kelly is facing GOP candidate Blake Masters. NPR reached out to Masters in the days leading up to Election Day. We were told he wasn’t available for an interview.

from NPR Newscast

All eyes on Pennsylvania as Democrats hope to retain control of the Senate

Posted November 8, 2022 at 10:20 AM EST

The hotly contested U.S. Senate race in Pennsylvania is one of the most closely watched matchups, and one of the most expensive. NPR's Windsor Johnston reports:

Democrats are hoping to flip the state's open Senate seat, which has been held by a Republican for more than a decade. Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman, a Democrat, has picked up the endorsements of President Biden and former President Barack Obama, and other prominent Democrats.

Fetterman is locked in a tight race with celebrity TV show host doctor Mehmet Oz, a Republican who has the support of former President Donald Trump.

Both candidates have spent millions of dollars on attack ads in the run-up to the election. Oz and Fetterman criss-crossed the state in the final week of campaigning, trying to appeal to last-minute voters.

The Pennsylvania senate race could be key in helping Democrats retain control of the evenly split Senate.

Voters in Montana will brave snow and subzero windchills to reach polls

Posted November 8, 2022 at 10:04 AM EST

A strong cold front is hitting Montana on Election Day, forcing voters to cope with snow, slippery roads and subfreezing temperatures to reach polling places. The wind chill in Billings was minus 11 degrees in the predawn hours, the local National Weather Service office said. The high is expected to reach 24 on Tuesday.

“The National Weather Service urges people headed outdoors to bundle up, drive with caution” and check for updates on road conditions before heading out, as Montana Public Radio reports.

Many Montanans still need to vote: As of midday Monday, a little more than half of the state’s registered absentee voters had returned a midterm ballot. Polls start closing in the state at 8 p.m. local time.

Snow began falling in western Montana early Monday and was expected to continue to fall in eastern parts of the state through Tuesday night, the NWS office in Billings said.

Temperatures could drop close to record levels in some areas, raising the threat of wet or slushy roads quickly refreezing, said the NWS office in Missoula.

Along with elected officials, Montanans will vote on a ballot measure to adopt the “Born-Alive Infant Protection Act” — a measure that declares an embryo or fetus is a legal person with a right to medical care if it survives an abortion or delivery.

A record number of women are on the ballot for governor and state legislatures

Posted November 8, 2022 at 9:44 AM EST

Although women have made up a majority of the electorate for decades, they are still underrepresented in elected office. Concerted efforts among political organizations, political action committees and donors are trying to usher in a new era of change.

Is it working? Kind of.

This year, there are a record number of women who are major-party nominees in races for governor and state legislative seats, according to the Center for Women and Politics at Rutgers University. Republican women have continued a steady increase in running for state legislative seats.

But the number of women running for the House and Senate has declined some since a peak in 2018 (for the Senate) and 2020 (for the House).

Here's the breakdown by the numbers:

20 women are major-party nominees for the Senate (13 D, 7 R).

25 women are major-party nominees for governor (16 D, 9 R).

259 women are major-party nominees for the House (178 D, 81 R).

3,614 women are nominees for state legislatures (2,306 D and 1,289 R).

Read more about the efforts to train women to run (specifically, moms) from NPR's Jaclyn Diaz.

State Races

Officials prep for a secure vote count in hotly contested Wisconsin races

Posted November 8, 2022 at 9:23 AM EST
Voters wait in line to cast their ballots at the Oshkosh Town Hall on Tuesday in Oshkosh, Wis.
Chip Somodevilla
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Getty Images
Voters wait in line to cast their ballots at the Oshkosh Town Hall on Tuesday in Oshkosh, Wis.

In the sharply divided state of Wisconsin, significant safeguards are in place to ensure a secure election.

Election officials say there are no credible cyber-security or polling place threats, but nonetheless, they're working with state and local law enforcement to ensure ballots will be secure.

Wisconsin Election Commission Administrator Meagan Wolfe says anyone questioning the fairness of the election is welcome to watch in person.

"Elections don't happen behind closed doors. Every aspect of the election process will be open to the public on Tuesday, from the moment the doors open at each polling place at 7 a.m., 'til the moment the last absentee ballot is counted."

With 2.7 million Wisconsin voters expected to cast ballots, it could take until the wee hours Wednesday to get results.

What the polls say

Republicans hold the edge on enthusiasm

Posted November 8, 2022 at 9:03 AM EST

As we headed into the final week of voting, it looked like some of the Democrats' key bases were less enthusiastic about voting than the Republicans' bases, according to an NPR/PBS Newshour/Marist poll.

Kaitlyn Radde/NPR

NPR Senior Political Editor Domenico Montanaro writes that this has changed in the last few weeks, as more voters have begun tuning in. Here's a bit of his reporting:


With inflation persistently high, Republican enthusiasm has outpaced Democrats'. It's not so much that Democrats aren't gaining in their enthusiasm levels — they are — it's that Republicans have increased theirs by more in that time.

While white women with college degrees, who are an important bloc for Democrats, are among the most enthusiastic to vote, Black voters, Latinos and young voters are among the least.

At the same time, older voters, Trump voters, white evangelical Christians and rural voters — all key GOP groups — are fired up to vote. Those without college degrees are less enthusiastic about the election, but that's driven by voters of color without degrees.


You can read the full story here.

Must Read

Quick reminder: We may not know the results for a while

Posted November 8, 2022 at 8:20 AM EST
Election workers prepare vote by mail ballots at the Los Angeles County Registrar vote by mail operation center on Nov. 4, for the midterm elections.
Robyn Beck
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AFP via Getty Images
Election workers prepare vote by mail ballots at the Los Angeles County Registrar vote by mail operation center on Nov. 4, for the midterm elections.

We want to take a quick moment to remind everyone that, though the polls will start to close today, it may take a long time — even days or weeks — to see the full results.

Here's a note from an NPR Washington Desk editor, Ben Swasey, who covers election administration:


Recent years have seen a rise in mail voting, and states have different rules for when those mail ballots are due, and states have different procedures for when those ballots can be taken out of their envelopes to be processed and tallied. This can lengthen the count.

Wisconsin, for example, doesn't allow election officials to begin processing mail ballots until polls open on Election Day.

Voting in Pennsylvania should be faster this year than in 2020, considering there will be fewer mail-in ballots likely, but those mail ballots will still take longer and will lead to the confusion of a “red mirage” or “blue shift” [...].

And those are just two states. If that’s not enough, keep in mind also that election officials first report unofficial results. Certified results come days, if not weeks, later.

Legal challenges and recounts can also lengthen the time before a winner is determined. The battleground state of Arizona, for instance, has recently switched to automatic recounts for any contest that's separated by 0.5% or less."


TL;DR: Keep your patience handy today.

You can read more about election timing here.

Inflation, democracy and abortion converge as top issues for voters

Posted November 8, 2022 at 8:20 AM EST

What's the top issue that voters are rallying around this election? It depends on which voters you ask.

Inflation has continued to be the top overall issue of concern for voters this year.

In an NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll from late October, 36% of those polled said inflation was top of mind when they thought about issues they would be voting on. Included in that is gas prices, which have tracked with Biden’s approval rating and is something the White House watches very closely.

Among Republicans, 54% said inflation was their top issue, while only 17% of Democrats said the same.

Democrats have been saying that democracy itself is threatened by Republicans who refuse to accept the results of the 2020 election. Preserving democracy was the top issue for 42% of Democrats polled in October.

For Democrats, abortion rights has also been a big issue. In early September, three-quarters (77%) said the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe V. Wade makes them more likely to vote. That's about the same as it was in the immediate aftermath of the June Dobbs ruling.

Republicans have also been spending millions on immigration and crime-related ads in key races as a way to fire up their base and to try to offset Democrats’ perceived advantage with suburban women over abortion rights.

State races

Democrats are clinging to power in the closest gubernatorial races

Posted November 8, 2022 at 7:58 AM EST
Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak, Arizona Democratic gubernatorial candidate Katie Hobbs and Incumbent Democratic Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly are among the gubernatorial candidates that are too close to predict, according to The Cook Political Report.
Justin Sullivan and Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images
Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak, Arizona Democratic gubernatorial candidate Katie Hobbs and Incumbent Democratic Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly are among the gubernatorial candidates that are too close to predict, according to The Cook Political Report.

Thirty-six governor seats are on ballots this year, and of those, only nine races are ranked as competitive by The Cook Political Report.

These five are too close to predict:

1. Arizona
Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, who played a central role in pushing back on false election-fraud assertions in her state, is running against Trump-backed former television news anchor Kari Lake.

2. Kansas
Democratic incumbent Laura Kelly is in a tight bid against Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt, a Republican, in a race that's centered on inflation, education and abortion.

3. Nevada
Democratic incumbent Steve Sisolak is virtually tied with Republican challenger Joe Lombardo, sheriff of Clark County, in a race where the high rate of inflation has taken center stage.

4. Oregon
Oregon hasn’t had a Republican governor in four decades, but Democrat Tina Kotek, a former state representative, is facing a tougher campaign than expected from Republican candidate and former state Rep. Christine Drazan. That’s in large part because independent candidate Betsy Johnson — backed by billionaire Nike co-founder Phil Knight — has siphoned off support from Kotek from moderate voters.

5. Wisconsin
Incumbent Tony Evers is neck and neck with Trump-backed, self-funded Republican Tim Michels.

State races

Republicans hold the power in state legislatures

Posted November 8, 2022 at 7:35 AM EST

When it comes to state legislative elections, Republicans are dominating.

Before 2010, Democrats had control of 60 legislative chambers, compared with 37 for Republicans. But during the Obama years, Democrats lost about 1,000 state legislative seats.

These seats have gained more attention in recent years as some of the country's most hot-button issues are increasingly shaped by the states. Think of issues like these:

  1. Abortion.
  2. Gun control.
  3. Voting security and access.
  4. Gerrymandering and redistricting.

Reflecting that, both parties and their allies are spending record sums on state legislative races. (One legislative race in Maine, for example, has already topped $1 million with late spending.)
Here's a look at what that money is fighting for:

  1. There are 7,383 state legislators in total, including 3,991 Republicans (54%) and 3,272 Democrats (44%), plus lawmakers from other parties and vacant seats.
  2. Of state senates, 32 are controlled by Republicans and 18 by Democrats.
  3. Of state houses, 30 are controlled by Republicans and 18 by Democrats (one chamber is splitting power).
  4. Twenty-three states are under full control (senate, house and governorship) by Republicans and 14 by Democrats.

What time will we start seeing race results?

Posted November 8, 2022 at 7:15 AM EST
Voters wait for the doors to open at 6 a.m. ET to cast their ballots at a fire station on Election Day in New Gloucester, Maine, on Tuesday.
Robert F. Bukaty
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AP
Voters wait for the doors to open at 6 a.m. ET to cast their ballots at a fire station on Election Day in New Gloucester, Maine, on Tuesday.

NPR will be relying on the Associated Press to help us call races today, and we know the AP won't start calling a state's results until all the polls in that state are officially closed.

So here's a look at what time the last of a state's polls will close. You can consider it a rough guide to when we might start seeing results.


7 p.m. ET: Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia.

7:30 p.m. ET: North Carolina, Ohio, West Virginia.

8 p.m. ET: Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee.

8:30 p.m. ET: Arkansas.

9 p.m. ET: Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, Wisconsin, Wyoming.

10 p.m. ET: Montana, Nevada, Utah.

11 p.m. ET: California, Idaho, Oregon, Washington.

12 a.m. ET: Hawaii.

1 a.m. ET: Alaska.


One BIG word of caution here: Given the way voting has shifted since the pandemic, waiting for these results to come in will require patience.

House races will be a key bellwether of the predicted Republican wave

Posted November 8, 2022 at 6:55 AM EST

Control of the House of Representatives, which currently rests with the Democrats, is looking quite likely to shift to Republicans.

The Republican Party needs to net just five seats to take control. And thanks in part to redistricting, seven seats currently held by Democrats are now favored to be won by Republicans, according to The Cook Political Report.

But, in total, 35 of the 435 House seats are considered a toss-up, where either party has a good chance of winning. The Cook Political Report is forecasting that the GOP could take anywhere from 12 to 25 seats.

The number of seats that Republicans take will be read as a key indicator of the overall size of the party's wave this election season.

NPR senior political correspondent Domenico Montanaro outlines the top 21 bellwether districts to watch here.

Your simple, by-the-numbers guide to the seats at stake in this election

Posted November 8, 2022 at 6:35 AM EST
The U.S. Capitol is seen on Tuesday.
Stefani Reynolds
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AFP via Getty Images
The U.S. Capitol is seen on Tuesday.

If you, like me, struggle with numbers sometimes, here are the ones you need to remember today:

The House of Representatives

Current control of the House rests with the Democrats, 220 to 212, with three vacancies. Republicans need to pick up five seats to win control of the House, and there are 64 House districts that are considered competitive, according to the Cook Political Report.

The report forecasts Republicans will make a net gain of anywhere from 12 to 25 seats.

The Senate

Democrats currently have a slight upper hand in the Senate thanks to 48 Democratic senators, two independent senators who consistently vote with them and the tie-breaking vote of Vice President Kamala Harris. Republicans need to net just one seat to comfortably control the Senate.

There are 35 seats up for election, with four being in toss-up territory, where either party could win.

Control of the Senate could come down to these four races

Posted November 8, 2022 at 6:13 AM EST

The fight for control of the Senate is neck-and-neck. Democrats currently hold the upper hand here thanks to 48 Democratic senators, two independent senators who consistently vote with them and the tie-breaking vote of Vice President Kamala Harris.

That means Republicans need to net just one seat to comfortably control the Senate.

NPR's Senior Political Editor Domenico Montanaro reports that there's four races we should be watching:

1. Pennsylvania (R-Open) —> if it's an open seat, why do we have a party affiliation here?

"Pennsylvania is so important to Democrats," Montanaro writes.

"If Lt. Gov. John Fetterman can hold on against celebrity TV doctor Mehmet Oz, then Republicans would need to win two of three [races in] Georgia, Nevada and Arizona.

"If Oz is able to pull it out, then Republicans' path to control opens up."

2. Georgia (D-Warnock)

This race pits Democratic incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock against former University of Georgia and NFL star Herschel Walker.

"Republicans have struggled to define Warnock in this race, though they have tried to tie him to Biden's policies in this state that leans Republican, especially in a midterm with high inflation and Biden's approval rating under water," Montanaro writes.

"But then there's the complication that is Walker for Republicans."

3. Nevada (D-Cortez Masto)

Montanaro reports that Republicans have started to feel confident about their chances here in recent weeks.

"Trump-backed challenger Adam Laxalt, a former state attorney general who denies the result of the 2020 presidential election, is a political scion in the state. His father was a senator, and his grandfather a governor," he writes.

"Democrats continue to say incumbent Catherine Cortez Masto is running a good campaign, but the political environment makes it an uphill battle. [...] Latinos are a key voting bloc here for Democrats, and the party needs them to turn out to vote."

4. Arizona (D-Kelly)

The last few weeks has seen a lot of tightening in the race pitting incumbent Democrat Mark Kelly against the Trump-backed Republican challenger Blake Masters.

"Arizona is a place where Republicans outnumber Democrats and where independents really matter. That's the hurdle for both incumbent Kelly and Masters," Montanaro writes.
 
You can read Montanaro's full story, which covers other key Senate races, here.

Turnout numbers suggest early-voting measures are effective

Posted November 8, 2022 at 5:59 AM EST
Mail-in ballots are processed at the Salt Lake County election headquarters on Monday in Salt Lake City, Utah.
George Frey
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Getty Images
Mail-in ballots are processed at the Salt Lake County election headquarters on Monday in Salt Lake City, Utah.

If you haven’t heard by now, Election Day is old news. It’s nowvoting season.

As of last Friday afternoon, more than 33 million votes had already been cast in this year’s midterm elections. That’s the most early votes ever cast at this point in a midterm cycle, according to University of Florida political scientist Michael McDonald, who runs the U.S. Elections Project.

It’s also a continuation of 2020, when COVID-19 flipped American voting behavior on its head.

Virtually every U.S. jurisdiction did something to expand access and make voting easier and safer during the early months of the coronavirus pandemic, and voters responded: For the first time ever, more than half the electorate cast ballots before Election Day.

The question this year was whether that was a blip or whether we’d look back on 2020 as the election that changed how America votes for good.

Judging by the early vote numbers, experts say it’s looking closer to the latter.

And a big reason for that, says Charles Stewart, an elections expert who founded the MIT Election Data and Science Lab, is a trend toward more early-voting access over the past two decades, even as some far-right Republicans push back against early voting and mail voting.

A recent report from the Center for Election Innovation & Research found that most U.S. states are offering options to vote early in person or by mail to all voters this year.

"The immovable force in elections over the last 20 years hasn't changed," Stewart told NPR. "And that is voters really demanding more convenience."

Live from NPR

Welcome, and thanks for joining!

Posted November 8, 2022 at 5:59 AM EST

Happy Election Day! Voting is underway for the 2022 midterm elections, with today being your last chance to submit your ballot to be counted.

A lot is at stake:

  1. Rising prices and the threat to abortion rights have emerged as this election cycle's top issues.
  2. Historically, the party out of power has the advantage in the midterms. That feels especially true this year, with Republicans projected to pick up 12 to 25 seats in the House of Representatives.
  3. The current Senate is divided 50-50, with Democratic Vice President Harris as the tie-breaking vote, so with many Senate races in toss-up territory, the balance of power could easily shift.

We'll get into all of that in this space today as we wait for polls to close (which will start in some states at 7 p.m. ET) and as we parse through the live results.

Thanks for being here!