LIVE: Control of the Senate is up for grabs as Republicans inch toward a House majority

Published November 10, 2022 at 6:51 AM EST

Though the "red wave" didn't hit as expected, a divided government is still looking likely as vote counting continues in the 2022 midterm elections. 

In the Senate, control will come down to three racesArizonaNevada and Georgia — which will be decided by a run-off on Dec. 6. 

In the House, Republicans are inching closer to taking control. As of 4 pm ET on Thursday, the party needed just 9 more seats with 37 races left to be called.

This blog is closing for the day. For the latest election news, race results and political analysis, listen to NPR on your local member station or tune in to the NPR Politics Podcast. 

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 trustworthy news and analysis are here for you when you need it.

What time will officials know the result for the Arizona and Nevada Senate races?

Posted November 10, 2022 at 4:29 PM EST

Here's the short answer:

NPR is relying on The Associated Press to make race calls, and the AP says there are still too many votes left to be counted to have a solid sense of the timing.

Here's the longer answer, according to the AP:

"We expect updates in Arizona to continue on their regular schedule throughout the evening, with Maricopa [County] generally around 9 p.m ET.

"The key question is the partisan split of the votes being tabulated today in Maricopa County. These ballots include a large number of advance votes dropped off on Election Day.

"How they break will be what determines if AP will be able to call the race for Senate and Governor; the race is tighter for governor, which will likely take more time and more votes counted to reach a call.

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"In Nevada, mail ballots are able to arrive and be counted through Saturday.

"Evening updates are expected all week, including in Clark and Washoe, the two largest counties and those that matter most. Officials in Clark said today they have 50,000 ballots to process and about 600 mail ballots had arrived today.

The ballots released on Wednesday were quite favorable for [Democrat Catherine] Cortez Masto. She has a smaller lead to make up than does [Democrat Steve] Sisolak in the governor’s race."

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Analysis

Here's where things stand in the House race

Posted November 10, 2022 at 4:03 PM EST
The chamber of the House of Representatives is seen at the Capitol in Washington, Feb. 28, 2022.
J. Scott Applewhite
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AP
The chamber of the House of Representatives is seen at the Capitol in Washington, Feb. 28, 2022.

By the numbers:

— The Republicans have 209 seats

— The Democrats have 189 seats

— 37 races are still uncalled

For control of the House, either party needs to reach 218 seats. Republicans need to win 24% of the remaining uncalled seats. Since last night, eight races called and Democrats have won six of them. When all is said and done, Republicans will need a net gain of 5 seats to take control, but likely, at this point, are on track for an estimated range of 7 to 11 Republican pickups.

That would give Republicans just a 2- to 6-seat majority.

But there are still nine close races we are watching, where the party that holds the seat continues to lead. If that changes, the estimate would change as well. Democrats are defending seven of those.

Analysis

A closer look at the Senate races we're still waiting on

Posted November 10, 2022 at 3:49 PM EST

Georgia

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Incumbent Raphael Warnock (D) and Republican challenger Herschel Walker (R) are officially headed to a Dec. 6 runoff because neither surpassed 50% on the ballot, according to the Associated Press. There is now 99% in in that race, and Warnock missed the threshold by just under 23,000 votes. There were more than 3.9 million total votes cast.

Arizona 

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Incumbent Mark Kelly (D) leads Republican challenger Blake Masters (R) 51% to 46% with 70% of the vote in. Democrats feel optimistic that Kelly will hold on and that there isn't enough outstanding vote for Masters to close the entire 95,000-vote gap, though they believe it will tighten significantly. Arizona's largest county, Maricopa isn't expected to finish counting until Friday. An automatic recount would get triggered if the margin is within 0.5 percentage points.

Nevada

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Adam Laxalt (R) leads incumbent Catherine Cortez Masto (D) by now less than 2 percentage points, or less than 16,000 votes, with 83% of the voting in. That is tighter than last night, when Laxalt was ahead by 3 points. There could be even further tightening with a potential path to a lead for Cortez Masto, depending on how Democrats do in the unspecified number of drop box votes that are still uncounted. Pro-Democratic union organizers were encouraging their members to use drop boxes. But it's not clear how the remaining votes that are out will break. Nevada is also accepting mail-in votes postmarkedby Election Day and received up to Saturday at 5 p.m. local time.

Alaska

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This is not a seat that would be a flip, because both candidates are Republicans. Incumbent Lisa Murkowski trails Kelly Tshibaka by less than 2 percentage points, or just over 3,000 votes, with 80% in. A lot will change. If neither candidate gets above 50%, this goes to a ranked-choice re-tabulation Nov. 23, and Murkowski would likely be favored to win that, as the Democrat in the race got 9.5% of the vote, or more than 20,000 votes. Another Republican got about 3%, or about 6,000 votes.

Recap

A quick by-the-numbers look at where thing stand in the Senate

Posted November 10, 2022 at 3:40 PM EST

Either party needs to win two of three of the remaining competitive seats to win control of the Senate. And it could all come down to a Georgia runoff on Dec. 6.

Here's where things stand, by the numbers (as of Thursday, 1:30 p.m. ET):

— The Republicans have 48 seats

— The Democrats have 46 seats

— 2 seats belong to independents who vote with Democrats

— 4 seats are still uncalled

Democrats are up one with their flip of the Pennsylvania Senate race.

That means Republicans need to hold on in Nevada, where they are leading, and flip either Arizona, which has not yet been called, or Georgia next month. 

To hold the Senate, Democrats would need to hold on in Arizona, where they are leading, and either make up ground in Nevada, which is possible, or win next month's Georgia runoff.

Read more here.

Anxious while awaiting results? Here's what a psychologist recommends

Posted November 10, 2022 at 3:24 PM EST
Mental health concept - person's head with chaotic thought pattern, depression, sadness, anxiety. Mixed media painting. My own work.
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Mental health concept - person's head with chaotic thought pattern, depression, sadness, anxiety. Mixed media painting. My own work.

As expected, election results are taking some time to come in. Control of the House and Senate is still unknown, and the Senate could come down to a Georgia runoff election next month.

That uncertainty can be stressful. NPR spoke with Kate Sweeny, a psychologist who runs the University of California, Riverside's Life Events Lab, about how to manage wait-related worrying.

Her main message is this: If you're having trouble with the anticipation, you're not alone. Humans actually have fairly well-developed coping strategies to process when bad things happen, she says, but they're not nearly as equipped to handle the period of not knowing whether a bad thing might happen.

"So we have had to be a little creative in thinking about maybe non-obvious strategies in terms of how to make waiting easier," Sweeny explains.

She offers us this hierarchy of coping strategies:

Channel worry into action: Sweeny says worry is "meant to be our friend," by alerting us to impending threats and prompting us to try to prevent them. That usually looks like making a doctor's appointment or putting on a seatbelt — and is a bit trickier in the case of elections, but not impossible to do. For example, Sweeny says, if you're stressing about the Georgia runoff, getting politically involved might help.

Change your perspective: The next layer of coping involves thinking differently about the potential outcomes, such as by managing expectations. Sweeny says research supports staying optimistic as long as possible, until it becomes time to "brace for the worst at the moment of truth." One of her recent papers, based on data from the 2016 and 2018 elections, explores the idea of "preemptive benefit-finding," or looking for a silver lining in advance. She says the data show that identifying the positives even in your worst-case scenario can be reassuring in the moment and also help if things don't go your way.

Managing your worry: If you're still doomscrolling or losing sleep, Sweeny says there are two main methods you can use to try to manage that worry. One is mindfulness and meditation, which she acknowledges is not always the answer people want to hear. The other is getting into a state of flow, which Sweeny calls "the best kind of distraction."

She describes it as not zoning out, but rather being in the zone, and says flow activities look different for everyone (and tend to involve a bit more challenge and reward than just reading or watching TV). Think of it this way: What's an activity that you can't start 30 minutes before leaving the house, because you know you'll lose track of time?

Some examples include games, from video games to phone games to even gamified tasks like the language-learning app Duolingo. People also find puzzling, gardening, home organization and playing with kids helpful. And certain work tasks could put someone in a state of flow, which Sweeny says is important because it shows that some of these distractions can actually be really productive.

As far as staying informed, Sweeny says that news consumption can both cause and alleviate worry, and different people have different levels of tolerance. Her best advice is to pay attention to how you're feeling: For instance, are you scrolling obsessively, or seeking out specific pieces of information?

Looking ahead, Sweeny says your election anxiety may not always go away once the uncertainty ends (even though it's true that most people prefer knowing to waiting). Plus, many questions will linger even after results are finalized — such as whether the outcome will be accepted, what legislators will actually do in power, what will happen in 2024, and so on. She says while chronic stress is different than a temporary waiting period, it's important to address those feelings nonetheless.

"The uncertainty does feel bad," she says. "And all you can really try to do is either use it productively to take action, or do your best to manage it."

Member Station Reports

Georgia elections officials are on a tight timeline to certify results ahead of the run-off

Posted November 10, 2022 at 3:05 PM EST
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger speaks at a press conference at the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta, Georgia.
Elijah Nouvelage
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Getty Images North America
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger speaks at a press conference at the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta, Georgia.

Georgia elections officials are facing a tight timeline to prepare for the Dec. 6 runoff elections while completing the certification process for this week’s election.

Counties must certify the results by Tuesday and conduct a risk-limiting audit of the Secretary of State’s race starting Wednesday, Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said Thursday.

The hand counted audit will examine random batches of ballots to confirm the vote tabulators worked properly and the outcome of that race was correct, and is not designed to check accuracy of particular counts.

From there, early voting can begin the Saturday after Thanksgiving and must start by the week before the runoff and end the Friday before. Voters can begin requesting absentee ballots now. Georgia’s sweeping 2021 voting law shortened the runoff time period from nine weeks to four.

Member Station Reports

Connecticut's next state treasurer makes history for the LGBTQ community

Posted November 10, 2022 at 2:46 PM EST

Erick Russell has made history as Connecticut’s next state treasurer, according to an AP race call.

Russell will be the first Black out LGBTQ person elected to statewide office in U.S. history, according to the LGBTQ Victory Fund. Russell is an attorney who specializes in municipal finances.

“I understand that me standing here as the treasurer-elect, in many ways, is an unlikely story,” Russell said on Wednesday afternoon during a press conference.

“That’s not lost on me, and I plan to bring that perspective every day to this job. So I’m excited to get to work ... to continue to move our state forward as we invest in our future."

➡️ Keep reading

More from Connecticut:
➡️ Election results
➡️ Election coverage from Connecticut Public

The Democrats’ strategy of boosting far-right candidates seems to have worked

Posted November 10, 2022 at 2:30 PM EST
Left to right: Don Bolduc and Maggie Hassan
Scott Eisen
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Getty Images
Left to right: Don Bolduc and Maggie Hassan

The political support ranged from money to TV ads and email blasts. What made it unusual is where it came from, and what it was meant to do: Back in the primary season, a number of Democrats tried to boost far-right Republican candidates whom they deemed easier to beat in November.

The strategy seems to have paid off: In high-profile races where Democratic candidates or groups successfully used the strategy during the primaries, all of the Republicans they helped have either lost or are trailing, two days after Election Day.

The tactic drew headlines and warnings that the Democrats were playing with fire — especially after polls showed some of the targeted races tightening this fall. After all, the Democrats were spending resources on their rivals' behalf, including several Trump loyalists. And they did so at the expense of moderates, writing off hopes of a less strident discourse.

Of course, not all of the far-right candidates supported by Democratic groups won their primary races -- in fact, far from it. In September, an analysis by The Washington Post found that 7 of 13 Democrat-backed Republican candidates lost their primaries after having more than a combined $12 million spent on their behalf.

Here’s a quick rundown of the results:

CONGRESS

New Hampshire Sen. Maggie Hassan (D) defeated Don Bolduc (R), whose primary bid was aided by the Democrat-aligned Senate Majority PAC. The PAC targeted Bolduc's rival Chuck Morse, an establishment Republican who is the state Senate president.

In another New Hampshire race, Rep. Annie Kuster (D) defeated Republican Bob Burns, whose primary run was helped by spending from a PAC called Democrats Serve.

In Michigan, Hillary Scholten (D) defeated John Gibbs (R) to win the House seat currently held by Republican Rep. Peter Meijer, who had voted to impeach former President Trump. Meijer lost his primary to Gibbs after the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee ran ads calling Gibbs “too conservative."

GOVERNOR’S RACES

In Pennsylvania, Josh Shapiro defeated Republican Doug Mastriano, months after Shapiro's campaign spent $840,000 on TV ads during primary season to raise the profile of Mastriano, an election denier who "took a busload of people to Washington, D.C. on Jan. 6th, 2021, [and] has been subpoenaed by the House committee investigating the attack on the Capitol," as NPR reported.

In Maryland, Democrat Wes Moore easily defeated Republican Dan Cox. In the primary, Cox was pitted against Kelly Schulz, the chosen heir of outgoing Gov. Larry Hogan. Schulz complained after the Democratic Governors Association threw financial support behind Cox.

In Illinois, incumbent Gov. J.B. Pritzker and the Democratic Governors Association spent tens of millions of dollars to aid the bid of Republican Darren Bailey — whom Pritzker handily defeated.

The Arizona race is very close, with Democratic candidate Katie Hobbs leading Trump-endorsed Kari Lake. During primary season, the state's Democratic Party sent an email blast highlighting Lake's GOP rival Karrin Taylor Robson's past support of Democrats, thanking her for her donations.

Maryland's outgoing and incoming governors promise an orderly transition

Posted November 10, 2022 at 1:20 PM EST

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and Gov.-elect Wes Moore met on Thursday morning before holding a joint press conference.

Hogan, a Republican who did not seek reelection because of term limits, told reporters that the two officials had a "really productive personal conversation" and that their teams have been meeting to ensure a smooth transition.

"I told him that our entire administration is going to do everything we possibly can to not only ensure the peaceful transition of power but to make sure that we can help them get up to speed with whatever information they want," Hogan said. "I told him I'm a phone call away, I gave him my personal cell phone. I said we're really excited as we get closer to the holidays and Government House is all decorated up, we're going to have the whole family over and give them a tour of the mansion and let them know what their new house is going to look like."

Moore, a Democrat who will make history as Maryland's first Black governor, agreed that a smooth and orderly transition is "the way it should be," and thanked Hogan for his partnership.

The two then spent nearly 20 minutes answering questions from reporters, about everything from previous transition processes to Hogan's advice for the incoming administration to their visions for their respective parties.

In particular, Hogan said he has for years expressed concerns about the direction of the Republican Party, and that this week "we saw a very clear repudiation of crazy politics."

While he said he didn't want to get too political on this occasion, he mentioned that "we've got two years 'til the next election, we'll have plenty of time to talk about politics." Just the previous day, he told CBS News that the midterm results have pushed him closer to considering a much-speculated-about presidential run in 2024.

Watch the full press conference below:

Results still not in for one abortion related ballot measure

Posted November 10, 2022 at 12:52 PM EST

This summer's U.S. Supreme Court decision has left the issue of abortion rights to the states — and voters.

Polls leading up to Election Day indicated the issue was top of mind for voters, especially Democrats, and may have been motivating them to head to the polls.

Here's a look at how key ballot measures fared:

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Votes are still being counted in Montana, where anti-abortion-rights groups are championing a "Born Alive" measure that would require healthcare providers to treat infants born alive at any stage of development, including after an attempted abortion.

Reproductive rights groups, who opposed the initiative, noted that Montana law already prohibits infanticide.

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These are the House incumbents who have lost races so far

Posted November 10, 2022 at 12:22 PM EST

Democrat Gabriel Vasquez has won election to the U.S. House in New Mexico's 2nd Congressional District, beating Republican incumbent Rep. Yvette Herrell.

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That makes Herrell one of several House members — on both sides of the aisle — to lose their 2022 reelection bids. They include:

- Republican Rep. Steve Chabot of Ohio, who lost to Democrat Greg Landsman
- Republican Rep. Mayra Flores of Texas, who lost a competitive race to Democrat Vicente Gonzalez (he ran for the seat after redistricting)
- Democrat Cindy Axne of Iowa, who lost to Republican Zach Nunn
- Democrat Tom Malinowski of New Jersey, who lost to Republican Tom Kean Jr.
- Democrat Sean Patrick Maloney of New York, notably the House Democrats' campaign chief, who lost to Republican Mike Lawler
- Democrat Elaine Luria of Virginia, a member of the House Jan. 6 committee, who lost to Republican Jen Kiggans

Democrats hold 185 House seats to Republicans' 208 (just 10 shy of a majority) as of noon E.T. on Thursday, with 42 races still yet to be called. Republicans are poised to win back the House, but by a smaller margin than expected.

Race Result

Montana's Ryan Zinke, who was accused of misconduct under Trump, is elected to Congress

Posted November 10, 2022 at 11:55 AM EST
Ryan Zinke, shown here in 2018, has been elected to Congress.
Shawn Thew/Getty Images
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Getty Images North America
Ryan Zinke, shown here in 2018, has been elected to Congress.

Ryan Zinke, who faced misconduct allegations when he served as U.S. interior secretary under former President Donald Trump, has been elected to Congress.

“Truth matters, and now it’s time to fight for freedom and protect our way of life in Montana,” Zinke said in a statement. His campaign focused on inflation, healthy forests and border security.

The Navy SEAL veteran beat Democratic challenger, lawyer and Olympian Monica Tranel, for the seat in Montana’s 1st District. Zinke was previously elected to Congress in 2014 and 2016 and left when Trump nominated him to lead the Department of the Interior.

He famously arrived on horseback to his first day at the department, where he ultimately faced a series of ethics investigations.

“I cannot justify spending thousands of dollars defending myself and my family against false allegations,” Zinke said as he stepped down from the job in 2018.

The Interior Department’s inspector general’s office, which is led by a Trump appointee, concluded this year that Zinke continued to be involved in a Montana land development project after he took the DOI position, which constituted a breach of his ethical obligations.

Another federal investigation from the same office found that Zinke lied to investigators.

Federal prosecutors decided not to pursue charges for either set of findings, and Zinke representatives have described the investigations as politically motivated.

As Montana Public Radio’s Shaylee Ragar reported last month, this race was competitive even though Montana is a reliably red state.

“Montana hasn't elected a Democrat to the U.S. House since 1994. And Zinke has raised more than twice as much for the race,” Ragar reported. “But Tranel is winning endorsements from prominent Republicans, including a former governor, secretary of state and the former chair of the state GOP.”

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Sen. Cory Booker discusses how Democrats dodged a 'red wave'

Posted November 10, 2022 at 11:30 AM EST
U.S. Sen Cory Booker (D-NJ) speaks at a press conference on bank overdraft fees on July 12, 2022 in Washington, DC.
Kevin Dietsch
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Getty Images North America
U.S. Sen Cory Booker (D-NJ) speaks at a press conference on bank overdraft fees on July 12, 2022 in Washington, DC.

Democratic Sen. Corey Booker of New Jersey joined Morning Edition on Thursday to discuss the midterm election results and the future of the Democratic Party.

While votes are still being counted in many places, he notes that Democrats across the country bucked a significant historical trend by performing better than expected — as the party in power both during a midterm election and high inflation.

Booker has a few theories as to how that happened:

"First and foremost, that this idea of protecting our democracy was salient, and the fact that the Republicans fielded literally hundreds of candidates that were denying elections," he says. "Second, I think that there was a significant Republican overreach on issues that the majority of Americans on both sides of the aisle support, like the ability to control your own body, as well as things they were openly talking about taking away — privatizing social security, cutting Medicare. And then the final thing ... we are in an economic crisis, and which party would have your back the most?"

He continues: "When the Republicans were in charge, when Donald Trump was there, their signature bill was a massive tax cut to the wealthiest amongst us, who just didn't need it. When Democrats were in charge they lowered prescription drug prices, lowered medical costs, helped people out who were struggling with evictions and the kind of common sense, bread and butter things that were fighting for working people."

Listen to his full conversation with host Steve Inskeep, and read more highlights below.

On what would change in Washington if Republicans win control of the House, as predicted:

I listen very closely to what colleagues on the other side of the aisle say, and one of the biggest themes they had in this election was going after Joe Biden in a very personal way. So I imagine, if they take the House of Representatives, a lot of their time will be dealing with investigations of Joe Biden — they've personalized the efforts, and I think unfortunately we're going to see a lot of that kind of politics of personal destruction again.

On what Democrats would want to get done in a lame-duck session:

I think there are a lot of things that are urgent for Democrats. No. 1, given what Clarence Thomas wrote in the Dobbs decision, we want to secure marriage equality. No. 2 ... I would like to make the child tax credit permanent, it would be a massive help to a lot of families. In addition to that, we've got to do basic things like fund the government, as well as what we're continuing to do which is balance the judiciary by passing and confirming a lot of judges.

On whether he'd rather his party face Trump or Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis as the Republican presidential nominee:

I understand that Ron DeSantis had a very good day in Florida, I know that the congressional races there, much of that was the result of serious gerrymandering in that state. But we've got two years to work for the American people. God, I know people want to focus on 2024. But we've got to still get through 2022, and 2023, and we're a country that still faces challenges with COVID, it still has high inflation. We've got work to do.

Maxwell Frost will be the first Gen Z congressman. Here's what he wants to do in office

Posted November 10, 2022 at 10:57 AM EST
Maxwell Frost is shown here participating in the Pride Parade in Orlando last month.
GIORGIO VIERA/AFP via Getty Images
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AFP
Maxwell Frost is shown here participating in the Pride Parade in Orlando last month.

As congressman-elect Maxwell Frost prepares to join the House as its youngest member, he’s been spelling out what he wants to do in office.

Frost, 25, ran for the seat in Florida’s 10th District after years spent organizing for gun control. And pushing for stricter gun laws is high on his agenda.

“Something like universal background checks, ensuring guns are not getting in the wrong hands, it’s increasingly popular in this country and we just need to muster up the political will,” he told CBS after winning his race. “I’m very excited to get to Congress to work, yes, with people across the aisle and in my own party to push this forward. It’s something that is often put on the back burner, but we are losing lives, people are dying every single day, and we can’t just sit around. ”

Abortion rights are another issue that Frost says he plans to focus on in office.

“We need to make sure we protect safe and legal access to abortion,” Frost said to the network. “We need to protect states, especially, that have Republican governors and state legislatures that are going to prey on the most vulnerable people and take away their rights.”

President Biden called Frost to congratulate him on his victory. Biden told reporters that “I have no doubt he’s off to an incredible start and what I’m sure will be a long, distinguished career.”

Biden also talked to Frost about the fact that he was historically young when first elected to the Senate. “He understands that experience,” Frost told CNN.

Frost tweeted that the two share an understanding of the importance of the youth vote. “Looking forward to working together to bring young people to the policy making table.”

These were the most expensive midterm elections yet

Posted November 10, 2022 at 10:32 AM EST

These were the most expensive midterms so far, with candidates and political action groups spending nearly a combined $17 billion on state and federal campaigns. That's according to the nonpartisan research group Open Secrets.

Ciara Torres-Spelliscy, a fellow at the Brennan Center who specializes in campaign finance and election law, tells Morning Edition that she sees "the Supreme Court's fingerprints all over this election."

She says the court has been laying the groundwork for the past 46 years, starting with Buckley v. Valeo — which allowed wealthy individuals to spend all they want on elections — and expanding that right to spendto corporations in 2010's Citizens United v. FEC ruling.

"And the result has been the federal election was $9 billion, and the state elections were $7.8 billion," she says. "Both of those numbers are up from the last midterm."

And that's not a good thing, Torres-Spelliscy says — she believes this increase in spending (and emphasis on fundraising) "distorts our politics and ... warps who can even be elected."

For one, she says that candidates have to go through a money primary before they go through a real primary, and candidates who can't fundraise are written off as being unserious — even though "the ability to fundraise and the ability to govern are two different skill sets."

Plus, there's the question of where — and who — this money is coming from. Torres-Spelliscy says just 10 wealthy individuals pored more than half a billion dollars into this year's election, according to Open Secrets. This election saw a lot of money coming from cryptocurrency and the tech sector in particular.

But it also has a lot of dark money, or money spent on political campaigns that voters can't trace to the original donor.

Torres-Spelliscy says there was at least $100 million of dark money in the 2022 election, which is lower compared to the billion dark money dollars spent in the 2020 election (and it's not surprising that midterms spending would be lower). Even so, she sees it as cause for concern:

"If we don't know where money is coming from, it could be coming from an illegal source — including a foreign source, which is not allowed under our laws."

Listen to her conversation withMorning Edition's Steve Inskeep.

Vermont, Oregon, Alabama and Tennessee voted to ban slavery

Posted November 10, 2022 at 10:07 AM EST

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Five states put forth ballot measures to ban slavery in their state constitutions in the 2022 midterm elections: Vermont, Oregon, Alabama, Louisiana and Tennessee.

Voters in every state except Louisiana approved the measures.

Of those eight states, Louisiana's ballot measure was the only one that did not directly mention slavery or racism, but instead referred to "involuntary servitude." The measure’s sponsor, State Rep. Edmond Jordan, withdrew his support before Election Day due to changes in the text, according to reporting by member station WRKF.

Colorado became the first state to remove slavery from its state constitution by ballot measure in 2018, and other states have followed suit, including Nebraska and Utah in 2020.

The 13th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution abolished slavery except as “punishment for crime.”

According to Ballotpedia, 15 state constitutions expressly allow slavery or involuntary servitude as punishment for a crime. Eight will expressly forbid it once this year’s ballot measures go into effect, and the remaining 27 make no mention of the practice.

For an example of a divided government, look to Wisconsin

Posted November 10, 2022 at 9:29 AM EST
Voters enter a polling place in Madison, Wisc.
Jim Vondruska
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Getty Images
Voters enter a polling place in Madison, Wisc. The swing state reelected its Republican senator and its Democratic governor.

We don't yet know who will control the U.S. House or Senate, and probably won't for some time.

But what is clear is that Democrats still have the White House for two more years and that if Republicans do end up winning the House — as predicted — and regardless of what happens with the Senate, a potentially divided Congress would still need to work with President Biden.

For this, Wisconsin could be a useful case study.

The swing state reelected Republican Sen. Ron Johnson (who referred to the Jan. 6 attack as a "peaceful protest"), as well as Democratic Gov. Tony Evers — quashing a GOP effort to recapture all branches of the state's government. Evers spent much of his first term battling with Wisconsin's entrenched Republican legislature.

It seems like at least some Wisconsin voters split their ticket. So how are residents feeling about the balance of power in their home state?

Morning Edition brought us several voices on Thursday morning, highlighting a mix of optimism and apprehension (you can listen here).

"Maybe it is a good thing that it's split," says Nessah Jones. "Maybe it'll give them an opportunity to show that they can work together. Maybe. Or it's all just gonna blow up."

"All they'll do is gaslight everybody," says Eric Carlson. "Either party never does anything and then at the end of the day, everyone just gets mad at each other. All they do is divide the people."

Taryn Shuster says she's optimistic, especially that Gen Z might be able to "get everybody on the same page." But that comes with a caveat:

"We haven't been able to do it so far," she adds. "What says we're going to be able to do it in the future?"

Gun rights advocates claim victory in Iowa while an Oregon measure remains too close to call

Posted November 10, 2022 at 9:05 AM EST
An assortment of rifles and other gear are seen in a gun shop in Salem, Ore., last year. (AP Photo/Andrew Selsky)
Andrew Selsky
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AP
Oregon voters approved a measure that adds new requirements to the gun-buying process. Here, an assortment of rifles and other gear are seen in a gun shop in Salem, Ore., last year.

Iowa voters revised their state’s constitution to make it harder to impose new gun limits, while a measure in Oregon that would instill tighter purchase rules and a ban on large-capacity magazines is still too close to call.

Backers of Oregon’s Measure 114 declared victory on Wednesday, but the vote has not yet been called by the AP. As of Thursday morning, the measure had 50.86% of the vote, compared to 49.14% against.

Local media outlets are projecting that it will pass, based on support for new gun safety laws in the counties where all of the votes have not yet been tallied.

The Oregon ballot measure “would require people who want to buy a gun to pay a fee, take a safety course, submit fingerprints and pass a background check to obtain a permit,” as NPR’s Katia Riddle has reported.

The measure defines large-capacity magazines as those holding 10 or more rounds of ammunition. It would also require the Oregon State Police to maintain a searchable database of permits and to report statistics drawn from permit data.

The measure is coming down toa thin margin that's still too close to call. As Oregon Public Broadcasting reports, “Gun deaths have been rising in Oregon. Nearly 600 people died by gun in 2020 — 77% of them by suicide.”

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The Iowa ballot measure passed by roughly 65% to 35%. It states, “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. The sovereign state of Iowa affirms and recognizes this right to be a fundamental individual right. Any and all restrictions of this right shall be subject to strict scrutiny.”

The Iowa measure’s language makes it more likely that future challenges to any state law restricting guns would succeed, as Todd Pettys, a law professor at the University of Iowa, told Iowa Public Radio.

For the 2022 midterms, Oregon and Iowa were the only two states with gun measures on the statewide ballot. The debate over gun control has grown this year, fueled by public outrage over horrific shootings in Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo and New York.

On Wednesday, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence applauded the Oregon measure, and it welcomed the return to office of federal lawmakers who helped Congress approve its first major gun safety legislation in nearly 30 years.

The organization also hailed the election of Maxwell Alejandro Frost to the House, noting that he is “a gun violence survivor who will be the first Generation Z member of Congress at 25 years old.”

As of Nov. 7, 589 mass shootings had occurred in the U.S. during 2022, according to the Gun Violence Archive tracking site.


Correction: An earlier version of this post incorrectly indicated that the Oregon gun measure had been officially called. As of 10:30 a.m. ET on Thursday, the Associated Press still considered it too close to determine if the measure had passed. Also, an earlier version of this headline incorrectly said gun control advocates claimed victory in Iowa; in fact, the ballot measure makes it harder to set gun restrictions.

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Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez loses his seat to a political newcomer

Posted November 10, 2022 at 8:39 AM EST

Unofficial results from Tuesday’s Navajo Nation presidential vote show political newcomer Buu Nygren will take over as the tribe’s top elected official.

His apparent victory also means a woman will be elected as Navajo vice president for the first time.

➡️ Keep reading

A recount is looming in the race between Boebert and Frisch

Posted November 10, 2022 at 8:21 AM EST
Adam Frisch - Democrat Adam Frisch has captured just over 50% of the vote in his tight race to unseat Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/AP
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AP
Democrat Adam Frisch has captured just over 50% of the vote in his tight race to unseat Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Two days after Election Day, many eyes are on Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert, who is trailing Democratic challenger Adam Frisch by the narrowest of margins: just 64 votes, giving Frisch a lead of 50.01% of the vote to Boebert's 49.99%.

That’s as of late Wednesday night, when election workers last updated the tally.

“We're feeling good and going to make sure every valid ballot counts,” Frisch said last night in a tweet.

“Hang tight. Keep the faith!” Boebert said via Facebook.

Extremely tight races like this bring talk of recounts and runoffs. In Colorado, the law requires a recount for any race where the gap between the top two finishers is 0.5% or less. And whoever has the most votes will win, rather than face a runoff: Like most U.S. states, Colorado requires only a plurality of votes to win office.

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The More You Know
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It's been a good election for animal lovers (according to the Humane Society's political arm)

Posted November 10, 2022 at 7:58 AM EST
A small dog perches in their owner's arm as she sits waiting to vote.
Ringo H.W. Chiu
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AP
Candy Campos and Bella wait at a voting station in Los Angeles on Tuesday.

The 2022 midterms — even with some races outstanding — were another win for animal advocates, according to the Humane Society Legislative Fund (HSLF).

The group, which describes itself as the nation's largest and most impactful political advocacy organization for animals, issued a news release on Wednesday outlining its campaign efforts and celebrating the successes of some of its endorsed candidates.

"We knew for certain coming into this election season that it would be a fateful one for animals, and we mobilized accordingly," wrote President Sara Amundson, adding that the organization made substantial commitments, contributions and endorsements at the state and federal levels.

"We’re confident that we’ll be able to report on the success of a number of candidates we endorsed and supported," she added.

Among them:

— Pennsylvania's U.S. Senate race: HSLF described animal welfare issues as especially prominent in this race, after Republican candidate Mehmet Oz was accused of animal testing. The group launched a TV ad lauding the positive record of his Democratic opponent, John Fetterman — a rescue dog dad who ended up winning the race.

House members: HSLF states, "Several of the most prominent pro-animal congressmen made it clear that ours is a winning issue by securing re-election in the U.S. House, and we did our best to help them." Those include Reps. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., and Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., who co-chair the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus, as well as newly elected House members Laurel Lee, R-Fla., and Nikki Budzinski, D-Ill.

Governors: The group says it also supported the election of animal-friendly candidates at the local and state levels, including Democratic Gov. Jared Polis of Colorado and Republican Gov. Chris Sununu of New Hampshire.

"We know good public policy comes from electing humane candidates to office—and that’s why we work so hard to accomplish that goal, in every election cycle," Amundson said, thanking supporters for their help and urging patience while the remaining votes are tallied.

Here's more on the candidates HSLF endorsed and the animal welfare issues at stake this election season.

Analysis

Clear communication could be key to helping Biden govern with a divided Congress

Posted November 10, 2022 at 7:38 AM EST
U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks in the State Dining Room, at the White House on November 09, 2022 in Washington, DC.
Samuel Corum
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Getty Images
U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks in the State Dining Room, at the White House on November 09, 2022 in Washington, DC.

Control of Congress remains uncertain as various contests have yet to be called.

If Republicans retake control of one or both chambers of Congress, a new era of divided government will follow. How can lawmakers and the president govern in a divided country with a narrowly split Congress?

Jim Messina, former White House deputy chief of staff under President Barack Obama, told NPR's Juana Summers that this particular power dynamic means the Biden administration will have to "find things [to] do with the Republicans."

"He has three tools in [a] narrowly divided Congress. The first is the veto pen, and he can definitely express his displeasure. The second thing [he] can do is executive orders, and that's what President Trump did after he lost the House," Messina said. "And the third thing is compromise."

That means working with Republican leadership. The House's current minority leader, Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California, has already announced his bid for House speaker should his party retake the chamber.

Republican strategist Ron Bonjean predicts there will be "a lot of pressure on likely incoming Speaker McCarthy to start using the House as a loudspeaker for the 2024 election."

McCarthy may also have his hands full with various factions within the Republican Party.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Calif., speaks at an election event, early Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022, in Washington.
Alex Brandon
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AP
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Calif., speaks at an election event, early Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022, in Washington.

"One of the philosophies that we had in the 2000s is that we didn't bring anything to the floor unless we had a majority of members supporting it," said Bonjean.

"That could mean that there will be a lot of backroom negotiating and deal-making before we get to that point. The Freedom Caucus and other members are going to be very outspoken and demanding. ... We've already seen lots of documents being put forward by the Freedom Caucus on what they are planning to do next year, which shows how forceful their loudspeakers [are] going to be."

Messina and Bonjean offer some advice for governing a divided country effectively: Clear communication is crucial.

"[Make] sure people understand exactly what you're doing and why you're doing it," Messina said.

"And then, second, never forget the people that elected you and what they want. And they keep saying over and over and over to both parties, 'We want you to work together. We want you to figure out some of these things.' And my advice would be, listen to the voters. They're much smarter than they're given credit for in Washington, D.C."

Bonjean agrees and suggests keeping communication lines open among the White House, the Senate majority leader and the House speaker.

"We have seen a number of members not win their elections because they didn't listen to the voters back home," he said.

"They got caught up in the national spotlight and the attention you get from taking more hard-line positions and ... many of them aren't coming back. So I think it's really important to stay in touch with your elected leaders to find out where the pressure points are to get things done."

Here's where things stand for the House of Representatives

Posted November 10, 2022 at 7:19 AM EST

Here's a quick look by the numbers:

— 44 House races have yet to be called.

— 15 races are considered to be toss-up races.

— 184 races have been called for Democrats.

— 207 races have been called for Republicans.

— 218 is what either party needs to be in the majority come January.

The Associated Press estimates the margin of victory for either Democrats or Republicans in the House will be quite close. Ballots continue to be counted across the United States.

If Republicans win a majority of seats, it will set up a divided government in Washington. The party in power historically loses House seats in midterm elections. And Republicans need a net gain of only five seats to cement control in the House.

The last time the president and congressional leaders were from different parties was 2019, when Democrats retook control of the House in the 2018 midterms, which saw a "blue wave."

These are the Senate races we're still waiting on (and could be for a while)

Posted November 10, 2022 at 6:51 AM EST
Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., left, and Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker, right.
Amanda Andrade-Rhoades (left photo/Ben Gray (right photo)
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AP
Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., left, and Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker, right.

Control of the Senate is still hanging in the balance as several key races remain too close to call.

Democrats picked up a seat Tuesday night in Pennsylvania, where John Fetterman defeated Mehmet Oz to flip a Senate seat most recently held by a Republican. And Republicans held onto a seat when Wisconsin's U.S. Senate race was called in favor of incumbent Ron Johnson on Wednesday.

That leaves several crucial Senate races still undecided: Georgia, Arizona and Nevada. We're also waiting on Alaska, which will take two weeks and where the top two candidates are both Republicans.

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We won't know the results of Georgia's race for even longer, as incumbent Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger Herschel Walker are heading to a runoff election on Dec. 6 (since neither candidate got more than 50% of the vote).

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In Arizona, Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly holds an early lead over Republican Blake Masters, with just 67% of votes tallied as of 7 p.m. ET Wednesday. Maricopa County, the state's most populous county, said on Wednesday that hundreds of thousands of ballots still need to be counted and that full results aren't expected until later this week.

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In Nevada, Trump-backed former state Attorney General Adam Laxalt is challenging Democratic incumbent Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto and holds a lead of roughly 2 percentage points, with an estimated 77% of votes counted. State officials say it could be a few more days until all the mail-in ballots in the two most populous counties — Clark and Washoe — are counted.

In other words, we could still be waiting for a while.

As senior political editor and correspondent Domenico Montanaro put it on Wednesday morning: "So, let's say if Democrats hold on in Arizona, but lose in Nevada, then Georgia will decide control of the Senate in a runoff in about a month, Dec. 6. Wow."

Meanwhile, Republicans are poised to regain control of the House of Representatives, albeit by a smaller margin than expected.