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Control of House, Senate hang in the balance as key races not yet projected

On Tuesday, millions of voters across the United States cast votes that will determine whether Republicans or Democrats control the House and the Senate.

Note: Live coverage on this page has ended. Please visit our new live blog for the latest updates and analysis.

2022 midterm elections: What to know

Control of the House and the Senate? TBD

Shawn Cox

After John Fetterman’s victory over Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania, Democrats can retain control of the U.S. Senate by winning just two more races.

Five Senate races have yet to be called by NBC News: Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, Wisconsin and Alaska. Democratic incumbents are running for re-election in Arizona, Nevada and Georgia. So it is certainly possible that Democrats could hold on to their Senate majority.

NBC News’ latest forecast model for the House suggests the GOP will still seize control when counting is complete — it needs 218 seats to win the majority. But Republican predictions of a massive “red wave” have not materialized.

Come back to msnbc.com/midterms beginning at 7 a.m. ET for more live election results and expert analysis.

The 2024 whispers get louder

Meredith Bennett-Smith

Coming into Election Day, Donald Trump was feeling confident. He teased a "very big announcement" on Nov. 15 that felt like a possible 2024 campaign kickoff. But Tuesday's results — in particular, the strength of Republican candidates in Florida and the relative weakness of MAGA candidates elsewhere — may take some of the wind out of the former president's sails. At least for now.

As Noah Rothman wrote earlier, "DeSantis is politically savvy enough to know that this is his moment. He has to know that new stars like Arizona’s Kari Lake are coming up behind him fast. He must know that it’s probably now or never. But if DeSantis decides to enter the national political arena in 2023, Florida’s voters have made his opening argument for him."

Fetterman says he ran for everyone who ‘ever felt left behind’

Shawn Cox

In his victory speech early Wednesday, John Fetterman began with mock surprise.

“What is it, it’s like 1:30 in the morning and you’re still here hanging in?” he said to supporters.

The Democrat, who defeated celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz in their U.S. Senate race, spoke in Pittsburgh for about seven minutes.

“This race is for the future of every community all across Pennsylvania,” he said, “for every small town or person that ever felt left behind.”

Watch more of Fetterman’s remarks below.

Voters in Missouri and Maryland say yes to recreational marijuana

Shawn Cox

Maryland and Missouri have become the 20th and 21st states in the U.S. to legalize recreational marijuana, according to NBC News projections. Voters in three other states — North Dakota, South Dakota and Arkansas — did not approve legalization measures on Tuesday’s ballot, per NBC.

According to an AP-NORC survey, about 6 in 10 voters support national legalization of recreational marijuana.


The debatable impact of the Fetterman-Oz debate

Julia Azari

Fetterman’s debate against Oz in the final stretch of the campaign has sparked a lot of, well, debate. Some pundits called it “painful to listen to,” inviting accusations of ableism and insensitivity. Recovery from a recent stroke has made speech and auditory processing difficult for Fetterman, and that was apparent in the debate. But supporters suggested that Fetterman’s decision to face those struggles publicly would invite empathy and understanding from anyone who had similarly struggled to overcome difficulties. 

There’s also a larger piece of context for Fetterman’s decision to show up: political candidates can be notoriously debate-averse. Until recently, it wasn’t that uncommon for frontrunners in presidential primaries to blow off debates. In 1960, people said Richard Nixon looked sweaty and had a five o’clock shadow, and there weren’t any more presidential debates for 16 years. (As an incumbent president, Nixon declined to debate in 1972 because he said the president’s words were policy and thus it was not appropriate to debate.) Debates are easy to roll your eyes at, with their canned questions and pat answers. But they do have an element of unpredictability, and politicians have often tried to avoid them, even when they’re not recovering from a major neurological event. Food for thought as Fetterman celebrates his win with supporters this morning.

Democrat Josh Green wins in the Hawaii governor’s race

MSNBC

Democrat Josh Green has won in the Hawaii governor’s race, NBC News projects. He defeats Republican Duke Aiona.

Democratic Sen. Brian Schatz wins re-election in Hawaii

MSNBC

Democratic Sen. Brian Schatz has won re-election in Hawaii, NBC News projects. He defeats Republican Bob McDermott.

Democrats continue to overperform in House races

Last month, FiveThirtyEight’s Nathaniel Rakich picked the race between Democrat Wiley Nickel and Republican Bo Hines in North Carolina’s 13th Congressional District as a likely bellwether in the race for control of the House. Nickel looks set to prevail by more than two percentage points. Democrats have already flipped a House seat in Ohio’s 1st Congressional District and may flip another in Michigan’s 3rd Congressional District . Another close race in Indiana’s 1st Congressional District looks likely to go blue. Perhaps most shocking of all, hard-right Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., still trails in her re-election bid with 81% of the vote counted.

Not everything’s gone the Democrats’ way: Things still might go south for Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney in New York, and Rep. Tom Malinowski appears likely to lose in New Jersey. But the fact that we’re past midnight and the balance of power in the House is still in doubt is not an outcome that many political prognosticators would have expected.

Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer wins re-election in Michigan

MSNBC

Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has won re-election in Michigan, NBC News projects. She defeats Republican Tudor Dixon.

Democratic Gov. Tony Evers wins re-election in Wisconsin

MSNBC

Democratic Gov. Tony Evers has won re-election in Wisconsin, NBC News projects. He defeats Republican Tim Michels.

Republican Sen. Mike Lee wins re-election in Utah

MSNBC

Republican Sen. Mike Lee has won re-election in Utah, NBC News projects. He defeats Democrat Evan McMullin.

When the president’s party doesn’t tank in the midterms

Julia Azari

It’s much too early to say anything for sure, but some commentators are throwing out the possibility that this will be the best midterm election cycle for a president’s party since 2002. For months, this possibility has been floated around, which points to the question of why some elections have been able to break this midterm curse.

Two related factors are at work: presidential popularity and exceptional circumstances. In 1998, Bill Clinton’s approval rating was over 60% for most of the year. The economy was strong and Clinton benefited from another exception and unexpected circumstance — he was being impeached by Congress, and the American public wasn’t really having it. The 1998 midterms were widely seen as a rebuke of that impeachment.  

In 2002, George W. Bush also enjoyed high approval, and the nation was still feeling the effects of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks. Bush and the Republicans had effectively defined the attacks and the subsequent war on terror, and the Democrats had little to offer to compete with Republicans on that terrain. 

In 2022, it’s certainly not the case that Biden’s approval numbers are good. But there are so many exceptional circumstances that it’s kind of tough to keep track of them all — the Jan. 6 hearings, the FBI raid of Mar-a-Lago back in August, the continued presence of Trump on the political scene, the lingering impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, and, perhaps most prominent in election decisions, the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

The 2022 results have followed a pattern

Julia Azari

In many ways, American party politics has become a lot less surprising. There are fewer competitive states than there were 50 years ago, and it’s hard for candidates to overcome basic partisan leanings.  Candidate quality, experience, and even national conditions don’t seem to matter as much as party. 

Political geography seems similarly calcified — rural areas have turned Republican, while cities, for the most part, are deep blue. This means that the handful of competitive areas — sometimes House districts, sometimes whole states — can come down to incredibly tight margins, and it seems like anything and everything can make the difference. 

So far, the 2022 results are following this pattern, with very few surprises. For the Senate anyway, the competitive races that have been called have mostly been victories for the incumbent party, and in line with how each state voted in the 2020 presidential race. But control of both the House and the Senate remains unclear, and with close races determining control of both chambers, it seems like anyone’s guess who will win and what factors will make the difference. 

'Pretty stunning': Fox News host reacts to midterm results

Pennsylvania progressive fends off AIPAC attack

Summer Lee won’t be the only progressive freshman in the 118th Congress. The incoming congresswoman from Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional District will be joined by Texas’ Greg Casar, Illinois' Delia Ramirez and Florida’s Maxwell Frost, among others. But what’s extra notable about Lee is who tried to beat her

Since Lee announced her campaign, she was a top target of the United Democracy Project, the political action committee for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. After spending $3 million to defeat her in the Democratic primary, the UDP spent hundreds of thousands more against her in the general election. The intervention in a Democrat vs. Republican contest was all but unprecedented for AIPAC, long one of the most prominent organizations in a studiously bipartisan Israel lobby. But in recent years, thanks in no small part to Benjamin Netanyahu’s embrace of Republicans, Democrats have become more sympathetic to the Palestinian cause. Don’t be surprised if that trend continues. 

Two tweets that sum up Election Day for Republicans

How it started:

How it’s going:

For context: Rep. Mayra Flores, R-Texas, won her South Texas seat in a special election this year that was seen as a bad sign for Democrats in the midterms. NBC News projected earlier tonight that she would lose her race to Democrat Vincent Gonzalez.

Fetterman’s roller coaster journey to the Senate

MSNBC

A lot was riding on Democrat John Fetterman’s run for Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate seat. Now that he’s defeated celebrity doctor-turned MAGA convert Mehmet Oz, as NBC News projects, Democrats are surely breathing a sigh of relief: Democratic control of the Senate remains in sight.

As Zeeshan Aleem writes, "Fetterman’s campaign came to be defined less by his policy platform than his clash with Oz, who, as a polished celebrity doctor, was a striking political foil." But in the end, Oz hitching his platform to Donald Trump, and earning a Trump endorsement in the process, was not the right move for Pennsylvania voters.

Democrat John Fetterman defeats Mehmet Oz in PA Senate race

MSNBC

Democrat John Fetterman wins Pennsylvania Senate race, defeating Republican Mehmet Oz, NBC News projects.

Kevin McCarthy must be sweating bullets right now

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., can’t be happy as the results are pouring in. Not only is the “red wave” that was supposed to make him speaker of the House not materializing, the NBC News Decision Desk says that we won’t know who controls the House tonight. Tellingly, the victory party at McCarthy’s headquarters more or less ended by around 9 p.m. local time.

The Decision Desk’s model still projects that the GOP will win the House, but the margin will likely be thin. The model predicts 219 seats for Republicans — a literal one vote majority. (The model also currently has a margin of error of +/- 13 seats.) That is not the massive majority the GOP anticipated when polls closed. And given how Republicans have a habit of metaphorically cannibalizing their leaders at the best of times, McCarthy can’t be excited to wrangle a caucus where every vote counts. If the Decision Desk’s projection holds, McCarthy may wind up holding the speaker’s gavel next year, but how long that lasts will be much more of an open question.

In North Carolina, Democrats’ hopes are dashed again

Julia Azari

Democratic hopes of a Senate pick-up in North Carolina have been dashed again, just like they were in 2020. This time, there’s not a dramatic story of an affair over text messages, just a close race that drew less national attention than some of the other competitive Senate contests. 

But this has been the story for Democrats ever since 2008, when Obama won the state and the late Kay Hagan defeated Elizabeth Dole for the Senate. Obama couldn’t replicate his success there in 2012, and Hagan, like many Democrats, went down to defeat in 2014. 

The idea was that the state, particularly its growing “research triangle,” would have the kind of diverse and college-educated electorate that has turned neighboring states — like Georgia or Virginia — at least light blue. So far, this has worked at the state level — with Governor Roy Cooper elected twice — better than at the Senate or presidential level, where neither Hillary Clinton in 2016 nor Joe Biden at 2020 were able to fulfill expectations of winning the state.

Tim Ryan winks at election denialism in concession speech

Is Trump the biggest loser of the night?

Carlos Curbelo

If Republicans underperform nationally, DeSantis will be well-positioned to make the case that the GOP should close the Trump chapter for good and turn to him to lead the party into the future. Florida appears to be a very positive outlier for Republicans. Trump may well be the biggest loser of the night. 

Democrats lose case to extend polling hours in Nevada

Lisa Rubin

Just as Arizona Republicans struck out with their effort to extend polling hours in Maricopa County this evening, so too did Democrats with a similar effort in Nevada’s most populous county, Clark County.

Specifically, Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, locked in a tight reelection battle with the state's former attorney general Adam Laxalt, and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee alleged that “multiple polling locations in Clark County experienced delays and long lines due to polling locations running out of printer paper in the ballot printers.” Although Cortez Masto and the DSCC detailed how many printers were inoperative and how long wait times were at specific polling places, the court denied the emergency request.

However, because Nevada law allows anyone who was in line by 7 p.m. to vote, the reported thousands of voters who got in line and stayed there will have their votes counted.

Why 'progressive prosecutor' wins in the Heartland matter

The effort to elect progressive prosecutors picked up two significant wins tonight, a counterpoint to lots of the national reporting on criminal justice politics.

What’s more, the wins were not on the coasts, but rather, right in the middle of the country.

The largest counties in Minnesota and Iowa — Hennepin County, which includes Minneapolis, and Polk County, which includes Des Moines, respectively — elected former criminal defense lawyers to run their county prosecutor’s offices.

Mary Moriarty will be the next Hennepin County Attorney — a role occupied by Sen. Amy Klobuchar before she won a seat in the U.S. Senate. Moriarty, a decades-long public defender, was running in a race that the deputy director of the Legal Rights Center in Minneapolis told Bolts was a “referendum on what we want to do as a community moving forward since George Floyd was murdered.”

In a sign of how Moriarty’s opponent, Martha Holton Dimick, viewed the experience of a public defender, in their debate, Dimick said her experience as a former prosecutor under Klobuchar and later judge was better than Moriarty’s because Moriarty “has just worked with criminals.”

Tonight, though, Moriarty won. 

In Iowa, Kimberly Graham — who has experience as a criminal defense and juvenile lawyer — won election as Polk County Attorney on Tuesday in a campaign where she focused on promoting substantial reforms, including decreasing the use of cash bail. She defeated Republican Allan Richards.

“I’m running for Polk County Attorney so I can help create an equitable and effective justice system,” Graham said of her campaign, “where we seek to end racial and income disparities, we invest in our kids because no kid is disposable, and we use evidence-based policies to create a safe, healthy community.”

Abortion rights propositions win big tonight

California and Michigan joined Vermont in enshrining abortion rights in their state constitution tonight in the latest example of a backlash against the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v Wade.

California passed legislation to send the amendment to voters after the court struck down Roe. The move is also an undoubted boon to Gov. Gavin Newsom, who has attempted to make California a progressive haven. 

“The state shall not deny or interfere with an individual’s reproductive freedom in their most intimate decisions, which includes their fundamental right to choose to have an abortion and their fundamental right to choose or refuse contraceptives,” the text of the amendment reads. 

Michigan’s referendum also would protect constitutional rights in the state and it offered a boost to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who is seeking re-election in Michigan. 

“An individual’s right to reproductive freedom shall not be denied, burdened, nor infringed upon unless justified by a compelling state interest achieved by the least restrictive means,” the text reads. 

Michigan also has a constitutional amendment referendum while down in deeply Republican Kentucky, voters appear to be slightly pushing back on a constitutional amendment that says that the state constitution does not guarantee a right to an abortion

Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont wins re-election in Connecticut

MSNBC

Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont wins re-election in Connecticut, NBC News projects.

Tim Ryan follows the maverick playbook, still loses 

Julia Azari

After the 2016 election and the Democrats’ surprise losses in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, some commentators offered advice: Abandon cultural issues and so-called “identity politics,” and pay attention to Trump’s success with white working-class voters in those areas. This advice boiled down to taking a more protectionist stance on trade, talking about jobs, and tacking to the center on culture questions. 

Tim Ryan has made a point to do all of those things, and throughout his Senate campaign has stressed all the ways that he’s broken with the Biden administration and his party. But he still lost in Ohio, to a political newcomer. 

It’s possible that Ryan got closer than nearly any another Democrat would have. But his loss calls into question whether the strategy is a truly winning formula for Democrats.

Trump's weight on GOP candidates is obvious

Carlos Curbelo

The weight of Trump on Republican candidates in general elections is obvious with Mastriano in Pennsylvania and Bolduc in New Hampshire going down and with Herschel Walker in Georgia receiving significantly fewer votes so far than Gov. Brian Kemp, who won re-election tonight. There is a clear cost to election dishonesty.

The final moments of the Mastriano campaign

Behold: The final moments of the Mastriano campaign. This video was captured just over an hour before Mastriano’s opponent, Josh Shapiro, was announced the projected winner of Pennsylvania's gubernatorial match-up. 

Mastriano, a Christian nationalist and election denier, won’t be governor. But he might want to call up the Philadelphia 76ers pep squad — those throws were impressive.  

Lindsay Graham: 'Definitely not a Republican wave'

We’ve been saying over the last few hours that the odds of tonight being a “red wave” for Republicans seem to be dwindling. Looking at the results in New Hampshire, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., is thinking the same.

As he told NBC News:

What Brian Kemp’s déjà vu win over Stacey Abrams means for voting rights

MSNBC

Certainly nothing good, writes Hayes Brown. Among Kemp’s accomplishments is signing “a law that Kemp defends as making it ‘easy to vote and hard to cheat,’” Brown writes. "Kemp has cited high turnout ahead of Election Day as a sign that the law isn’t suppressing votes, but a breakdown of the results should see whether that claim pans out.”

Democratic Sen. Patty Murray wins re-election in Washington

MSNBC

Democratic Sen. Patty Murray wins re-election in Washington, NBC News projects. She defeats Republican Tiffany Smiley.

Republican Ted Budd wins Senate race in North Carolina

MSNBC

Republican Ted Budd has won North Carolina’s Senate race, NBC News projects. He defeats Democrat Cheri Beasley.

Vermont becomes first state to codify abortion rights in its constitution

While it isn’t clear whether the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade will save every Democrat, voters in Vermont just became the first state to enshrine abortion rights into its state constitution. 

The amendment says specifically that “an individual’s right to personal reproductive autonomy is central to the liberty and dignity to determine one’s own life course and shall not be denied or infringed unless justified by a compelling State interest achieved by the least restrictive means.”

“Vermont voters made history tonight,” The Vermont for Reproductive Liberty Ballot Committee said in a statement. The referendum is just the latest example of voters pushing back on abortion restrictions. In August, Kansas pushed back an amendment to its state constitution. 

Similarly, California and Michigan both have referendums to enshrine abortion rights in their constitution. Conversely, Kentucky has an initiative to say that the state constitution does not protect the right to an abortion. Montana, for its part has an initiative that if passed would mean that health care providers could face criminal charges if they do not take “reasonable actions” to save an infant born alive, including after an attempted abortion.

Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden wins re-election in Oregon

MSNBC

Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden wins re-election in Oregon, NBC News projects.

What to expect from J.D. Vance's Ohio win

MSNBC

Ohio has elected J.D. Vance to the Senate, NBC News projects, making the state red — again, as James Downie points out. The victory over Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan points to solidly MAGA-friendly policies from Vance, who has found his home in Trump’s graces after previously rejecting him. As a senator, Downie says we can expect to find Vance “showing fealty to whatever Republican voters want from him.”

Chuck Grassley, symbol the gerontocracy, wins again

NBC News projects that Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley has been re-elected for the roughly fifty-leventh time in Iowa. I’m not saying that Grassley is old, but he’s literally five years younger than sliced bread. He’s also been in the Senate since Microsoft first released the MS-DOS operating system.

Grassley’s lead has been steadily dwindling in his last few races and Democrats figured that this might be their chance for an upset. It was not to be.

And all joking aside, Chuck Grassley will be 95 years old when his next six-year term ends. This might be a good time to talk about age limits again — for both parties. 

What to know about Hassan's key win in New Hampshire

Julia Azari

New Hampshire has a unique political culture and identity. But in some ways, Democrat Maggie Hassan’s race to keep the Senate seat she won in 2016 has been an encapsulation of many of the national issues shaping the 2022 elections.

Republican Don Bolduc’s victory in the primary showed the strength of Trump-endorsed, election-denying candidates within the party — even in independent-minded New Hampshire. And as with many competitive races, the polls tightened in early fall, suggesting a tougher-than-expected race for Hassan. Her victory may or may not have implications for what will happen elsewhere, but it’s one more piece of evidence for the limits of a red wave — and of Trumpist politics in a state he lost twice.

Greg Abbott’s re-election is a reminder that ads don’t vote

Every election, it seems, a Democratic candidate or a liberal political group releases an ad against a conservative in a solidly red jurisdiction that has Democrats standing and applauding.  This year, the leading contender for that distinction was the first ad released by Mothers Against Greg Abbott, which featured women calling Abbott an opponent of family values. MSNBC columnist and Texas native Anthea Butler hailed the ad as “a litany of the horrible policies promoted by Abbott and his Republican colleagues that have made the state a hell for anyone with a working conscience.”  

Arguably, a subsequent ad by the group was even more powerful.  It begins with a 12-year-old being denied a foolish request to adopt a child and ends with a worried-looking 12-year-old being told she can’t have an abortion.

Despite the commercials’ high production values and poignant messages, NBC News has projected that Abbott has won reelection in Texas.  It’s the latest reminder that even the best political ads are rarely game changers and no matter how good they are, that ads can’t vote.

Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul wins re-election in New York

MSNBC

Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul wins re-election in New York, defeating Republican Lee Zeldin, NBC News projects.

Republican Sen. Mike Crapo wins re-election in Idaho

MSNBC

Republican Sen. Mike Crapo wins re-election in Idaho, NBC News projects.

Republican Gov. Brian Kemp defeats Stacey Abrams in Georgia

MSNBC

Republican Gov. Brian Kemp defeats Democrat Stacey Abrams in Georgia, NBC News projects.

Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom wins re-election in California

MSNBC

Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom wins re-election in California, NBC News projects.

Democratic Sen. Alex Padilla wins re-election in California

MSNBC

Democratic Sen. Alex Padilla wins re-election in California, NBC News projects.

Josh Shapiro’s win as Pennsylvania governor spares the state an election denier

MSNBC

Democrat Josh Shapiro will be the state’s next governor, NBC News projects. As Hayes Brown writes, it’s “a major relief for fans of American democracy” and means Pennsylvanians are spared the policies of Shapiro's opponent, Trump-aligned election denier Doug Mastriano. Shapiro’s win is also a crucial measure for protecting access to abortion in the state.

MSNBC

Republican JD Vance wins Ohio Senate race

MSNBC

Republican JD Vance wins Ohio Senate race, defeating Democrat Tim Ryan. NBC News projects.

Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal wins re-election in Connecticut

MSNBC

Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal wins re-election in Connecticut, NBC News projects.

Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan wins re-election in New Hampshire

MSNBC

Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan wins re-election in New Hampshire, NBC News projects.

Greg Abbott's MAGA politics live on in Texas

In a predictable win for Republicans, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has been re-elected, NBC News projects. A steady Trumpification of Abbott’s politics over his past two terms have inspired groups like Mothers Against Greg Abbott and Coulda Been Worse LLC to organize against him, and devastating mass shootings like the Uvalde school shooting at one point appeared to put a strain on Abbott's loose stance on gun control; but Abbott’s hard-line policies won over in the end, and Democratic opponent Beto O’Rourke failed to nudge Texas voters toward the left.

The limits of the GOP’s reach

Two House districts high on the GOP’s list of targets in dark blue territory appear to be out of the Republican Party’s reach this cycle, and it tells you a lot about the party’s appeal in the post-Trump era.

In Rhode Island’s 2nd Congressional District, local Republican mayor and prized recruit, Alan Fung, narrowly trails Democrat Seth Magaziner. Fung seems likely to come up short in a district Joe Biden won in 2020 by just under 14 points. And in Virginia’s 10th Congressional District  incumbent Rep. Jennifer Wexton has emerged victorious against Republican Hung Cao. He currently trails Wexton by about six percent in a district Joe Biden won by 19% two years ago.

If these results hold and are indicative of the state of play in the rest of the country, it tells you something about the GOP’s image. These relatively affluent, well-educated, highly suburban districts ran screaming in the Democrats’ direction during the Trump administration. The Republican Party has not, it seems, convinced enough of these voters to reconsider — and it is hard to blame them. Both the party’s elected officials and their primary voters have given the suburban voters who abandoned the GOP four years ago few reasons to revise the verdict they rendered in 2018.

The fundamentals that favor the Republican Party have already delivered a number of districts to the GOP, and it may yet deliver majorities in one or both chambers of Congress. But the more difficult-to-reach districts Republicans fantasized about retaking in recent weeks will remain just beyond their grasp.

Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham wins re-election in New Mexico

MSNBC

Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham wins re-election in New Mexico, NBC News projects.

Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley wins re-election in Iowa

MSNBC

Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley wins re-election in Iowa, NBC News projects.

Still no sign of that red wave

It’s still early, so all the results we’re seeing should be taken with a grain of salt. But so far we’re not seeing much indication of a true red wave. In New Hampshire, incumbent Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan appears to be holding her own — either matching or besting Joe Biden’s numbers in the state in 2020. (Biden won New Hampshire with 52.7% of the vote.) 

I’m also looking at the pure toss-up race that is North Carolina’s 13th District, where Democratic candidate Wiley Nickel is leading his MAGA opponent, Bo Hines with over 60 percent of the results in. 

In Rhode Island’s 2nd District, Democrat Alan Magaziner is leading. In Virginia’s 10th and 7th Districts, Abigail Spanbeger and Jennifer Wexton have now been called for Democrats. If there was a red wave, Republicans would likely be ahead in all three states. 

In Colorado, it only took about 30 minutes after the polls closed for the race to be called for incumbent Democratic Sen. Michael Bennett. If this was a red wave, that’s a race that would likely be far more competitive. In Pennsylvania and Georgia there’s an anecdotal evidence that Democrats are out-performing Joe Biden’s 2020 numbers (the president won both seats).

The exception is Florida, where Democrats are getting crushed. They’ve already lost the governor and senate race and may lose multiple House races.

Oh and more thing: There was a lot of speculation that New York Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul might be in danger of losing. And that’s yet another dog that hasn’t barked.

Again, it’s still possible if not probable that Democrats will lose the House. But so far we’re not seeing the kinds of massive gains Republicans were predicting.

Republican Eric Schmitt wins Missouri Senate race

MSNBC

Republican Eric Schmitt wins Missouri Senate race, defeating Democrat Trudy Busch Valentine, NBC News projects.

Uvalde shooting sparks gun reform calls — but Abbott prevails

Democrat Josh Shapiro wins Pennsylvania governor's race

MSNBC

Democrat Josh Shapiro wins the Pennsylvania governor’s race, defeating Republican Doug Mastriano, NBC News projects.

Republican Gov. Greg Abbott re-elected in Texas

MSNBC

Republican Gov. Greg Abbott wins re-election in Texas, defeating Democrat Beto O'Rourke, NBC News projects.

Why Democrats are more likely to vote early

Julia Azari

How people vote — with a mail-in absentee ballot, early in-person, or in-person on election day — wouldn’t seem like it should map onto any party or ideology. But the partisan split in methods widened a great deal between 2018 and 2021.

The growing gap is due almost entirely to a drop in Republican support for from 57% to 38% for “no excuse” early or absentee voting. This is almost certainly due to party leaders, including former President Trump, making statements about mail-in votes and baseless accusations of fraud in the 2020 election. But even in 2018, the issue was much more popular among Democrats than Republicans, suggesting that partisan differences go back further than the 2020 election.

Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds wins re-election in Iowa

MSNBC

Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds wins re-election in Iowa, NBC News projects.

One of the first House races to flip in the GOP’s favor

Republican Cory Mills just won Florida’s 7th congressional district, becoming one of the first seats to flip from Democrat to Republican so far tonight. The seat is currently held by outgoing Rep. Stephanie Murphy, who rose to national prominence due to her role on the House's Jan. 6 Committee. Remember: Republicans only need a net gain of five seats to win the House.

This pick-up was relatively predictable, so it isn’t necessarily a source of concern for Democrats. But they will need to look for other opportunities if they want to keep control of the House.

Why Spanberger’s re-election matters

NBC projects that Democratic Rep. Abigail Spanberger of Virginia has been re-elected. This is a big one for those of you on “red wave” watch. 

Spanberger’s district, Virginia’s 7th Congressional District, was considered a battleground showdown, and her victory could be a bellwether for other toss-up races across the country.

A centrist who flipped a reliably red district to blue in 2018, Spanberger represents an area in which her opponent’s messaging about crime and inflation could’ve easily swept away a Democrat with high Republican turn-out. Spanberger’s narrow lead in the polls earlier in the race was reduced to a complete toss-up by Election Day, but she managed to pull off a win. Maybe other vulnerable Dems in competitive districts will be able to pull it off too. 

Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker wins re-election in Illinois

MSNBC

Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker wins re-election in Illinois, NBC News projects.

Democratic Sen. Tammy Duckworth re-elected in Illinois

MSNBC

Democratic Sen. Tammy Duckworth has been re-elected in Illinois, NBC News projects.

Wes Moore, and his bestselling back story, makes history

Image: Maryland Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wes Moore on stage
Maryland Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wes Moore on stage at Bowie State University on Nov. 7, 2022. Julio Cortez / AP

Maryland Democrat Wes Moore is the winner of his state’s gubernatorial election, NBC projects, making him the first Black governor in Maryland’s history. 

A Baltimore native and Rhodes Scholar, Moore is a charismatic newcomer to politics whose life story is documented in a New York Times bestselling autobiography, “The Other Wes Moore.” The book contrasts Moore’s life trajectory with that of another man named Wes Moore, also raised in Baltimore, who struggled to overcome systemic inequality and had frequent encounters with law enforcement. 

Moore is touted as a rising member of the Democratic Party, to the extent that some of his backers are even floating him as a potential presidential candidate, according to Politico

Republican Jim Pillen wins Nebraska governor’s race

MSNBC

Republican Jim Pillen has won the Nebraska governor’s race, NBC News projects. He defeats Democrat Carol Blood.

Texas Supreme Court orders county to segregate ‘later cast’ votes

Lisa Rubin

As Ja’han Jones wrote earlier, a Texas state trial judge ordered Harris County polling places to stay open for one extra hour until 8 p.m. But Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton challenged that order, asking the state’s Supreme Court to reverse that mandate.

Minutes ago, even though 8 p.m. had already passed, that court issued an order staying the extension of voting hours — and requiring that any votes cast between the ordinary 7 p.m. deadline and 8 p.m. be “segregated.” Watch this space.

Republican Gov. Mark Gordon wins re-election in Wyoming

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Republican Gov. Mark Gordon has won re-election in Wyoming, NBC News projects. He defeats Democrat Theresa Livingston.

Republican Sen. John Kennedy wins re-election in Louisiana

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Republican Sen. John Kennedy has won re-election in Louisiana, NBC News projects. He defeats Democrat Gary Chambers.

Polls held open in Texas’s largest county

Polls have been held open in Harris County, the largest county in Texas. A state district judge ordered that they stay open until 8 pm local time because several polling places opened at least an hour late this morning. Texas Republicans have instituted a raft of voter suppression measures across the state to place their thumbs on the scale ahead of this year’s midterms. 

But local Democrats have worked hard to turn out young voters with hopes they can help realize liberals’ dreams of turning Texas blue. Anecdotally speaking, this clip shot by Gen Z for Change activist Olivia Julianna suggests they’ve done a decent job on that front.

Wisconsin voters weigh in on marijuana and guns  

Julia Azari

The Senate and governor’s races have gotten a lot of attention here in Wisconsin, but there were other interesting things on the ballot this Election Day. In Milwaukee County, for example, there were two “advisory referendums” — non-binding policy proposals that voters can use to express where they stand on these two major questions of the day. These might provide some leverage for politicians hoping to introduce policy changes, even as the referendums themselves don’t have any official impact.

One was on the legalization of the consumption and sale of recreational marijuana, an area in which Wisconsin lags behind some of its neighboring states that have already made this policy change. The other was whether the state legislature should ban assault-style weapons, which may prove to be popular in Milwaukee County, but it seems unlikely to happen statewide.

Delays in Clark County, Nevada may produce a ‘red mirage’

Jon Ralston of The Nevada Independent has a warning for election watchers: Mail-in ballots dropped off today in Clark County probably won’t be counted until later this week, which could give the illusion Republicans are ahead. The GOP might try to assert victory early, in order to undermine more Democratic-friendly results once all the votes are counted. This state subsequently may end up producing some of the messiest races across the country.

Republican Gov. Kristi Noem wins re-election in South Dakota

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Republican Gov. Kristi Noem has won re-election in South Dakota, NBC News projects. She defeats Democrat Jamie Smith.

Arkansas chooses political nepotism over a nuclear physicist slash preacher

NBC News projects that Sarah Huckabee Sanders, former President Donald Trump’s former press secretary, will follow in her father’s footsteps as governor of Arkansas.

But let’s remember for a second what her opponent, Democrat Chris Jones, brought to the table. As I noted in June 2021, Jones was has a ridiculously impressive résumé and really highlighted how “exceptional” a Black man has to be to be seen as a viable candidate:

Consider that just five years after earning dual master’s degrees in nuclear engineering and technology and policy from MIT, he was named the school’s assistant dean for graduate students. He got his doctorate from MIT while managing a multimillion-dollar budget as executive director of Boston’s Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative. He was leading a nonprofit, the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub, which as the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette put it in a profile of Jones “promotes and encourages innovative ideas among, and creates opportunities for entrepreneurs, students and other makers” in the state until he resigned to run for governor.

He also checks all the boxes that we don’t say a Black man running for office needs to have — but they absolutely do. Jones is overly educated, far beyond the average white candidate. His wife, Dr. Jerrilyn Jones, and their daughters are featured prominently in the ad — no single, promiscuous African Americans here, just a wholesome upper middle-class family. His last role was all about jobs and businesses and other respectable capitalist ventures, not something confusing like “community organizer.” And the issues he focuses on — education, infrastructure, and “living out our values” — are solidly middle of the road, not too progressive — or too , well, Black — for Arkansas voters.

He also checks all the boxes that we don’t say a Black man running for office needs to have — but they absolutely do. Jones is overly educated, far beyond the average white candidate. His wife, Dr. Jerrilyn Jones, and their daughters are featured prominently in the ad — no single, promiscuous African Americans here, just a wholesome upper middle-class family. His last role was all about jobs and businesses and other respectable capitalist ventures, not something confusing like “community organizer.” And the issues he focuses on — education, infrastructure, and “living out our values” — are solidly middle of the road, not too progressive — or too , well, Black — for Arkansas voters.

Look, is it surprising that someone with basically 100% name recognition and Trump’s backing won in the state, which has changed markedly since sending Bill Clinton to the governor’s mansion? No. Especially given how the polls out of the state have looked for the entire general election. But man … I hope that Jones figures out another way to serve.

Image: Sarah Huckabee Sanders at the America First Agenda Summit on July 26, 2022 in Washington.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders has been elected Arkansas governor, NBC News projects.Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt re-elected in Oklahoma

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Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt win re-election in Oklahoma, NBC News projects.

Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet wins re-election in Colorado

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Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet wins re-election in Colorado, NBC News projects.

Democratic donors light $15 million on fire

Few politicians are a bigger embarrassment to this country than Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga. So it’s not surprising that her opponent in this election, Marcus Flowers, would have it easy getting Democrats to open their wallets. But frankly, he had it a little too easy: Flowers raised an eye-popping $15 million for a race that was called almost immediately in Taylor Greene’s favor, in a district that has consistently voted 75% for Republicans.

As campaigns have gotten more expensive, small donors in both parties have made a habit of dumping millions and millions of dollars into hopeless races. Two years ago, Democratic Senate candidates Amy McGrath and Jaime Harrison raked in a combined $220 million, only to get crushed by Sens. Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham anyway. Republican challengers to Reps. Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez raised over $10 million each, to no avail. The first political party that recognizes how to head off this sort of waste will see a huge payoff.

Democrat Wes Moore wins Maryland governor's race

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Democrat Wes Moore wins Maryland governor’s race, NBC News projects.

Democratic Sen. Chris Van Hollen wins re-election in Maryland

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Democratic Sen. Chris Van Hollen wins re-election in Maryland, NBC News projects.

Democratic Gov. Jared Polis wins re-election in Colorado

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Democratic Gov. Jared Polis has won re-election in Colorado, NBC News projects. He defeats Republican Heidi Ganahl.

Congress officially has its first Gen Z member

Maxwell Frost has won his House race in Florida, NBC projects, succeeding Val Demings, who gave up her seat in an unsuccessful bid to challenge Marco Rubio’s seat in the Senate. Frost’s victory makes him the very first member of Generation Z to be elected to Congress. The 25-year-old’s win was historic — and frightening to some, who suddenly feel a lot older (Frost was born in 1997). 

Frost has chartered an unlikely and unusual path to Congress. He was an organizer for both March For Our Lives and the American Civil Liberties Union. As a 15-year-old, he volunteered for Barack Obama’s second campaign and, unrelatedly, got his high school salsa band a gig to play in the presidential inauguration. Adopted into a working class family, Frost has yet to graduate from college (though he is nearing completion of his degree online), and has driven an Uber throughout his campaign to make ends meet.

“I’m not afraid to pull up,” Frost told The Guardian. “I have been Maced. I’ve been to jail for talking about what I believe in. So the threshold for un-comfortability is higher than the average person’s.”

In August, Frost won in a crowded Democratic primary against nine other candidates. “We won because of our message: Love. That no matter who you are, you deserve health care, a livable wage, and to live free from gun violence. We made history tonight,” he tweeted then. Frost echoed a similar sentiment on Twitter tonight after his race was called.

Is Trump’s touch damaging in Georgia? 

As The Atlantic’s Ronald Brownstein has pointed out, Georgia’s Republican governor, Brian Kemp, is currently outperforming Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker at the same polling stations across the state.

Here’s why that’s striking: Kemp is a deeply conservative politician, but he’s one of Donald Trump’s nemeses due to his refusal to comply with Trump’s pressure campaign to overturn Biden’s victory in the state in 2020. Meanwhile, Walker is close to Trump, backed by Trump, and running on a straightforward MAGA campaign. Current trends suggest that Republicans are making a distinction between the two politicians instead of voting straightforwardly along party lines.

Assuming this pattern holds, one explanation could be that Republican conservatives are still not fully on board with the MAGA agenda. Another explanation could be that the many questions surrounding Walker’s temperament and history of lies and mistreatment of people are making otherwise sympathetic Republicans skip his name on the ballot. And of course there are other confounding variables, like Kemp’s inherent advantage as an incumbent, while Walker is not yet in office. In any case, this bodes well for Walker’s Democratic opponent, Sen. Raphael Warnock.

Republican Sarah Huckabee Sanders wins Arkansas governor's race

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Former Trump White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders won the Arkansas governor's race, NBC News projects.