Control of Congress remained up for grabs Thursday as vote counting continued in several states.
Control of Congress remained up for grabs Thursday as vote counting continued in several states. As of this writing, three Senate races and approximately 40 House seats have not yet been called, including several tight races in California.
- Republicans are close to clinching a narrow House majority and are within about a dozen seats of the 218 needed for a majority. The Senate majority hinges on uncalled races in Arizona and Nevada and a Dec. 6 runoff in Georgia between Sen. Raphael Warnock and Herschel Walker.
- Counting continues in Arizona, where Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate, governor, and secretary of state maintain small leads over their Republican opponents. Republicans are optimistic late-counted votes will break in their direction, but it will likely be several days before results are known.
- President Joe Biden praised Democrats’ “strong night” and gloated about the “giant red wave” that just “didn’t happen.” The President acknowledged voters are “still frustrated” but still insisted, “I’m not going to change anything in any fundamental way.”
- Incumbent Democratic governors had a good night with nearly every Democratic incumbent winning reelection, including top G.O.P. targets like Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly. Democrats also won full control of the state governments of Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, and Minnesota.
- While the so-called “red wave” didn’t materialize in the face of Democrats’ surprisingly strong midterm performance, House Democrats’ good fortune didn’t extend to their campaign chief. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney conceded to Republican Mike Lawler on Wednesday, making him the first House Democratic campaign chief to lose reelection since 1980.
- In Florida, Republicans “shattered the Democrats’ Miami-Dade firewall.” Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis and Sen. Marco Rubio won Miami-Dade County, a onetime Democratic stronghold, the state’s most populous county, and home to nearly 1.5 million Latinos, by punishing double-digit margins.
- G.O.P. candidates for governor in swing states who endorsed overturning former President Donald Trump’s 2020 defeat like Pennsylvania’s Doug Mastriano and Wisconsin’s Tim Michels all lost. Candidates for secretary of state in Michigan, New Mexico, Minnesota all lost after embracing 2020 conspiracy theories, while similar candidates in Arizona and Nevada are trailing but their races have not yet been called.
- Several candidates made history on Tuesday as Maryland elected its first black governor and Massachusetts elected the first lesbian governor. Vermont became the last state to send a woman to Congress. Florida elected the first Gen Z representative, 25-year-old Maxwell Frost.
- CNN reported the United States will have a record-setting number of female governors in 2023. Twelve women will serve as governors simultaneously after 8 incumbent governors won reelection and Massachusetts and Arkansas elected new female governors. The all-female gubernatorial races in Oregon and Arizona remain too close to call.
- The Intercept covered the failure of “turnout boss” Stacey Abrams to turn out Democratic voters in Georgia’s gubernatorial race. Even though almost the exact same number of people voted in 2018 and 2022 in Georgia, Abrams lost to Republican Gov. Brian Kemp by 300,000 votes, a wider margin than 2018.
- The New York Times covered the impact of ticket-splitting in the midterm elections. There was a significant amount of ticket-splitting in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Georgia and New Hampshire with each state seeing wide gaps between the victorious gubernatorial candidate and a more-polarizing Senate candidate. For example, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, an establishment Republican, prevailed by about 26 points while Trump-endorsed J.D. Vance won the Senate race by fewer than 7 points.
- Fox News covered the series of pro-life defeats at the ballot box. On Tuesday voters in Michigan, California, and Vermont passed pro-abortion initiatives by wide margins. Even strongly Republican Montana and Kentucky rejected anti-abortion ballot measures.
- The New York Post published a front-page editorial on “how Donald Trump sabotaged the Republican midterms.” The Post argued, “The surest way to lose in these midterms was to be a politician endorsed by Trump” as voters in competitive districts “took one look at Trump’s hand-picked acolytes and gagged.”
- National Review thanked Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin for his “strong, but losing, performance” in the New York gubernatorial election. Zeldin’s narrow 53%-47% loss to Gov. Kathy Hochul, the best G.O.P. performance in 2 decades, appears to have helped lift at least 4 G.O.P. House candidates to victory.
© Dominic Moore, 2022