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Midterm elections live updates: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott projected to win reelection

The Washington Post logo The Washington Post 11/8/2022 Amy Wang, Mariana Alfaro, Azi Paybarah, John Wagner, Eugene Scott, Derek Hawkins

Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) was projected to win reelection to his eighth term, prevailing over Democrat Mike Franken in his closest race in four decades. In Colorado, Sen. Michael F. Bennet (D-Colo.) was projected to win reelection, keeping a key battleground seat in Democratic hands.

Meanwhile, two Republican governors — Greg Abbott of Texas and Ron DeSantis of Florida — were projected to win reelection. Democratic gubernatorial candidates in two states made history, with Wes Moore projected to become Maryland’s first Black governor and Maura Healey projected to become the first female and first openly LGBTQ governor of Massachusetts.

Polls have now closed in almost all states, with preliminary results starting to come in. One of them is Georgia — where Sen. Raphael G. Warnock (D) and Republican Herschel Walker are locked in a tight race that will help determine which party controls the Senate — as well as in key states like Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Hampshire, Arizona, Michigan and Texas.

11:21 PM: Race call: Vance defeats Ryan in closely watched Ohio Senate contest

J.D. Vance was backed by former president Donald Trump. © Dylan Hollingsworth/Bloomberg J.D. Vance was backed by former president Donald Trump.

Republican venture capitalist J.D. Vance is projected to win the race for U.S. Senate in Ohio, defeating Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) and keeping the seat in the GOP’s hands.

Polls had shown a remarkably close race between Ryan and Vance, a venture capitalist and the author of “Hillbilly Elegy,” who both announced their candidacy shortly after Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) said he would retire at the end of his term.

Vance’s primary race was in part financed by billionaire Peter Thiel, who previously employed Vance at his venture capital firm. But the Trump-endorsed Vance was outraised 4 to 1 by Ryan in the second quarter of 2022. The close race prompted the Senate Leadership Fund — a political action committee associated with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) — to invest $28 million in radio and television ads in support of Vance weeks before the election.

Ryan, a 10-term congressman who ran for president in 2020, is a moderate Democrat who in his Senate campaign openly criticized his party’s leadership on several policies, most notably regarding trade and China. Vance also faced backlash from Ohio’s sizable Ukrainian American community for saying he wanted the United States to stop sending aid to Ukraine.

By: Amy B Wang and Mariana Alfaro

11:15 PM: Biden calls victorious Democratic candidates

President Biden has placed a number additional calls to Democrats who appear to have won their races, making a not-so-subtle point that many of the winners appeared with him on the campaign trail.

“Just got off the phone with some of tonight’s winners — including some folks I saw on the road this year,” Biden wrote in a Twitter post that included an image of the president on the phone, smiling. “If you’re in line to vote, remember to stay in line!”

The White House said Biden placed calls to Sens. Michael F. Bennet (D-Colo.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-Va.). The White House also said Biden called “Pennsylvania Governor-elect Josh Shapiro.”

The Washington Post hasn’t called all of those races.

In the picture, Biden was wearing a hat with the logo of Camp Hale, a national monument he designated during a trip to Colorado last month. Bennet, who had sought the designation and faced a competitive race for reelection, appeared with Biden during the visit.

While some Democratic candidates shied away from Biden during the campaign, the president’s tweet highlighted the fact that his party is outperforming expectations in the midterm elections so far.

By: Toluse Olorunnipa

11:14 PM: Race call: Longtime Sen. Crapo wins reelection

Sen. Michael Crapo (R-Idaho) is projected to win over Democrat David Roth in a race for a seat he has held for more than 20 years.

The 71-year-old was elected to the House in 1992 before being elected to the Senate six years later. Crapo has advocated for stricter immigration policies and backed legislation critical of educational instruction tied to LGBTQ issues.

By: Eugene Scott

11:14 PM: More than 100 election deniers have won their races

More than 100 Republicans who deny the results of the 2020 election have won their elections so far, according to projections. And dozens of others are leading their opponents.

The projected winners include nominees for governor and secretary of state, key roles for administering elections in their states.

At least two election deniers have won races for state attorney general. Several dozen others have won congressional races.

There haven’t been any major surprises or upsets yet — virtually all of the winners were running in Republican-leaning races.

But one candidate, Neil Parrott, a Republican state delegate from Maryland, was leading in a race that favored his Democratic opponent — incumbent Rep. David Trone — going into election night.

Six other Republican election deniers were leading in close races for the House and Senate. They included Senate candidates Herschel Walker in Georgia and J.D. Vance in Ohio, as well as Burt Jones, who is running for lieutenant governor of Georgia.

By: Derek Hawkins

11:12 PM: Wis. Democrats at Barnes’s party pin hopes on Dane County: ‘The Big Blue Machine’

Supporters of Democratic Senate candidate Mandela Barnes gather for his election night watch party in Milwaukee on Tuesday. (Photo by Sara Stathas for The Washington Post) Supporters of Democratic Senate candidate Mandela Barnes gather for his election night watch party in Milwaukee on Tuesday. (Photo by Sara Stathas for The Washington Post)

MILWAUKEE — Democrats in Wisconsin backing Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes in the Senate contest are keeping a close eye on Dane County, which they term “the Big Blue Machine.”

The vote-rich county has long served as a cushion for Democratic candidates, and strategists at Barnes’s election night party at the Turner Hall Ballroom, a concert venue, are hearing reports of near-presidential level turnout. They believe it will help them keep Democratic Gov. Tony Evers in office and could also push Barnes over the top in his race against Sen. Ron Johnson (R).

“Barnes is running a bit behind Evers,” said Joe Zepecki, a Democratic strategist in Wisconsin at Barnes’s election night party. “But because of Dane County, it might not matter.”

11:11 PM: Arizona voters appear set to approve ballot measure on ‘dark money’

PHOENIX — Early returns in Arizona pointed to a lopsided margin favoring a ballot measure, Prop 211, taking aim at “dark money,” or resources put into nonprofits and other entities exempt from disclosing their donors under federal law.

The state measure would require groups making independent expenditures of at least $50,000 in statewide races — or $25,000 in other races — to report donors making contributions more than $5,000.

The first round of returns showed 76 percent of voters favoring the ballot measure.

It is part of a wave of efforts throughout the country to put the decision about new disclosure rules directly to voters, as campaign finance reform fails to muster the GOP support necessary to advance at the federal level.

By: Isaac Stanley-Becker

11:07 PM: Race call: California Sen. Padilla wins full term

Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) with his sons Roman, left, and Diego at a voting station in Pacoima, Calif. © Ringo H.W. Chiu/AP Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) with his sons Roman, left, and Diego at a voting station in Pacoima, Calif.

Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) is projected to win, defeating Republican Mark Meuser, an attorney who questioned the outcome of the 2020 election.

The 49-year-old will now serve a full term in the Senate after being appointed by fellow Democrat California Gov. Gavin Newsom to replace Vice President Harris following her 2020 vice-presidential election victory. As a former secretary of state in the Democratic-leaning state, Padilla has been one of the most vocal lawmakers pushing voting rights legislation during his tenure in Congress.

By: Eugene Scott

11:07 PM: Race call: Gov. Little earns second term in Idaho

Idaho Gov. Bradley Little (R) is projected to win his bid to remain in the governor’s mansion by defeating Democrat Stephen Heidt.

During his first term, a little-known rule in the state in which the lieutenant governor assumes executive power when the governor is out of state led to Little having to repeal two measures put in place by Janice McGeachin — whom he went on to beat in May’s primary.

By: Eugene Scott

11:04 PM: Race call: Sen. Grassley wins eighth term in unexpectedly close contest

Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) is projected to win reelection to the Senate seat he has held since the Carter administration, winning an eighth term.

The 89-year-old lawmaker defeated Democrat Michael Franken in a race that unexpectedly tightened in its final weeks.

As chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee during part of Donald Trump’s presidency, Grassley pushed through the nominations of dozens of judges as well as two Supreme Court justices, including the divisive nomination of Brett M. Kavanaugh.

By: Eugene Scott

11:04 PM: Race call: California Gov. Newsom cruises to another term

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) is expected to be a future presidential candidate. © Rich Pedroncelli/AP California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) is expected to be a future presidential candidate.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom is projected to win his race against Republican Brian Dahle for a second term in the governor’s mansion.

The Democrat, who is rumored to be entertaining a 2024 presidential run, has faced several recall efforts while leading the state — most recently in 2021.

The former mayor of San Francisco — the city’s youngest in a century — has used his tenure as California executive to champion liberal stances on immigration, LGBTQ protections and criminal justice issues.

By: Eugene Scott

11:03 PM: Runoff for Senate race in Georgia is possible

ATLANTA — Sen. Jon Ossoff (D) took the stage at Sen. Raphael G. Warnock’s (D) election night party, telling attendees that there is still a long night ahead, before a full picture of the results will be in.

He acknowledged that a runoff election on Dec. 6 between Warnock and Republican Herschel Walker is possible.

“I am counting on you to stay here through the evening and I’m counting on you to do what is necessary if we must to fight on December,” Ossoff said.

Afterward, Warnock’s campaign manager assured the crowd that Warnock will be speaking at the party later in the night.

By: Sabrina Rodriguez

11:03 PM: Key Senate races are tight in Georgia, Wisconsin and North Carolina

Senate races in Georgia, Wisconsin and North Carolina — any of which could be key to either party’s prospects of controlling the chamber — remain close.

In Georgia, Republican Herschel Walker had a slight lead over Sen. Raphael G. Warnock (D) with an estimated 72 percent of votes counted. Warnock, whose win in a 2021 special election flipped the Senate to Democratic control, is running for his first full term. If neither candidate gets 50 percent of the vote, they will face a Dec. 6 runoff election.

North Carolina Rep. Ted Budd was leading Democrat Cheri Beasley with about 77 percent of votes counted. Budd, an election denier endorsed by Donald Trump, and Beasley, a former state Supreme Court chief justice who would be the state’s first Black senator, are vying for an open seat vacated by retiring Sen. Richard Burr (R).

In Wisconsin, Democratic Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes was ahead of incumbent Republican Sen. Ron Johnson with an estimated 60 percent of votes counted, giving Democrats a chance to flip a seat. Johnson is seeking a third term; Barnes would be the state’s first Black senator. Because Wisconsin state law doesn’t allow elections officials to begin processing mail-in ballots until Election Day, full results may be delayed as ballots are counted.

By: Justine McDaniel

10:58 PM: Race call: Gov. Abbott fends off O’Rourke in Texas

A couple celebrates as results for Texas Gov. Greg Abbott are shown. © David J. Phillip/AP A couple celebrates as results for Texas Gov. Greg Abbott are shown.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) is projected to have fended off an energetic challenge from Beto O’Rourke, a once-rising star in the Democratic Party who has now run three unsuccessful races since 2018.

Abbott, who turns 65 next week and is completing his second term, spent much of this election year putting Texas at the center of the Republican Party’s biggest fights over abortion, immigration and transgender rights.

Democrats had hoped the backlash to Abbott’s policies and an influx of cash could be a winning formula for O’Rourke, a former congressman who ran unsuccessfully for Senate in 2018 and president in 2020.

In February, Abbott ordered state agencies to open child abuse cases against parents who sought gender-affirming care for their kids. In early April, he announced plans to send busloads of migrants to Washington. Days later, Abbott created a multi-mile traffic jam along parts of the U.S.-Mexico border after ordering additional inspections of vehicles there.

In May, he signed a bill banning abortions as early as six weeks into pregnancy. And after a teenager used an AR-15 to kill 19 children in an elementary school in Uvalde, Abbott rebuffed calls to raise the age for purchasing those guns, saying it was unconstitutional and “focusing our attention on the wrong thing.”

By: Azi Paybarah

10:56 PM: Sarah Sanders wins election as first female governor of Arkansas

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Former White House press secretary Sarah Sanders will become the first female governor of Arkansas.

The 40-year-old Republican cruised to victory over Democratic nominee Chris Jones, winning 62 percent of the vote in the deep-red state with more than half of the ballots counted.

Sanders, who served under Donald Trump from 2017 to 2019, will be one of the highest-profile former Trump administration officials in elected office. She’s also among a minority of Republican candidates this year who didn’t deny the results of the 2020 election.

“One of the most amazing things about tonight is that no matter how it turned out, Arkansas was going to make history tonight,” she said of Jones, who is Black, in a victory speech. “I know it will be the honor of a lifetime to serve as Arkansas’s 47th governor and the first female governor.”

By: Derek Hawkins

10:52 PM: Democrats appear to avoid a worst-case House scenario

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) waits for election results in Washington. © Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) waits for election results in Washington.

With polls still open on the West Coast and vote counting still underway in most House districts, we don’t have perfect clarity on the composition of the 118th House of Representatives. But one thing does seem quite clear: For Democrats, it could have been worse.

Several races that seemed as though they might be early bellwethers of an unexpected Republican surge in House — like Rhode Island’s 2nd District and Virginia’s 7th — appear to be likely to remain in Democratic hands. Both backed President Biden in 2020 by decent margins but, if the GOP was to start rolling up big wins, those would have been more obviously in play. (And, sure enough, as I was writing this, Virginia’s 7th District was called for Democratic incumbent Abigail Spanberger.)

Sure, the results in Florida have not been what Democrats hoped to see. But in other races mentioned as potentially in reach for the Republicans, Democrats have similarly held on. CBS News’s Kabir Khanna plotted vote shares for Democrats relatively early in the evening against Biden’s share in 2020, finding that — excluding Florida — the Democrats were doing about a point worse than they did two years ago.

Consider what history suggests about the first midterm election of a new president’s administration. With Biden’s approval at about 41 percent in FiveThirtyEight’s average, history would suggest a loss of as many as 60 seats for his party. If, instead, the Democrats lose somewhere around 20, it’s far better than what might have been predicted based on midterms elections stretching back to 1954.

This is not much consolation for the party, of course. A Republican majority in the House, which remains very likely, still means a stymied policy agenda and, almost certainly, headaches for Biden himself in advance of 2024. (A narrow Republican majority probably also means headaches for whichever Republican is elected to serve as speaker.) It is likely some consolation for Democrats, though, on a night when many in the party didn’t expect to see much of a silver lining at all.

By: Philip Bump

10:51 PM: Pittsburgh mayor promises ‘safe and secure’ count

Ed Gainey greets supporters at the election night headquarters of Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D) in Pittsburgh. © Joe Lamberti for The Washington Post Ed Gainey greets supporters at the election night headquarters of Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D) in Pittsburgh.

At John Fetterman’s election night party in Pittsburgh, Mayor Ed Gainey (D) assured the crowd that the city has robust election security.

“We won’t stop until every vote is counted because we believe in the system,” he said. “We know that the last election wasn’t rigged and we know that this election will be just as safe and secure.”

By: Camila DeChalus

10:47 PM: Spanberger fends off stiff challenge from Vega

Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.) greets Spotsylvania County residents. © Craig Hudson for The Washington Post Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.) greets Spotsylvania County residents.

Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.) fended off a challenge by Republican county official Yesli Vega in the race for Virginia’s 7th Congressional District.

Spanberger and Vega were locked in a highly competitive race that Republicans had seen as a pickup opportunity.

Vega, a former police officer and the daughter of Salvadoran immigrants, drew support from national Republicans — including former president Donald Trump and Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin — who saw her candidacy as a way to highlight a broader trend of the GOP fielding more diverse candidates.

Vega has denied the results of the 2020 presidential election and has voiced sympathy for Jan. 6 Capitol rioters, saying they were unfairly persecuted. Spanberger, meanwhile, was the third congressional Democrat endorsed by Republican Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyo.), who became a pariah in her own party for her condemnation of Trump’s connection to the Jan. 6 insurrection.

In a statement, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Sean Patrick Maloney (N.Y.) celebrated Spanberger’s win, saying her “love of country” is “at the center of everything she does.”

The DCCC spent more than $3.2 million on Spanberger’s campaign.

By: Mariana Alfaro

10:44 PM: Sen. Tim Scott hints at potential presidential run

Sen. Tim Scott (R), who won reelection in South Carolina on Tuesday night, hinted at a potential presidential run during his victory speech.

“My grandfather voted for the first man of color to be elected as president of the United States,” Scott told supporters. “I wish he had lived long enough long enough to see perhaps another man of color elected president of the United States.”

“But this time,” he added, as the crowd cheered, “let it be a Republican, and not just a Democrat.”

Scott is the only Black Republican in the Senate. During this year’s campaign, he dodged questions on whether he’d like to see former president Donald Trump run for the GOP presidential nod in 2024 — as well as questions on whether he’d like to run himself.

According to the Des Moines Register, during a visit to Iowa earlier this year, a supporter yelled “Tim Scott for president!”

“Of my homeowners’ association, yes!” Scott replied.

By: Mariana Alfaro

10:40 PM: Becca Balint becomes first Vermont woman in Congress

Becca Balint. © Bonnie Jo Mount/The Washington Post Becca Balint.

Vermont will send its first woman to Congress.

Becca Balint, a liberal Democrat, won the election for the state’s at-large House seat. Not only will she become the first woman from Vermont in Congress, she will also become the first openly gay person from the state in Congress.

Balint, a state senator who has served as president pro tempore and majority leader, defeated Liam Madden, a Marine Corps veteran and self-described independent candidate running on the Republican ticket, by a large margin.

By: Mariana Alfaro

10:39 PM: Maryland set to legalize recreational marijuana use

Marylanders voted heavily Tuesday to legalize recreational marijuana use, according to an Associated Press projection, joining the wave of legalization that has swept the country since 2012.

Under the initiative, listed as Question 4 on the ballot, adults over 21 in Maryland will be allowed to possess up to 1.5 ounces of marijuana and grow two plants out of public view beginning July 1, 2023.

Maryland will join a growing list — 19 states, including Virginia, three territories and the District of Columbia — that have legalized recreational adult use of the drug.

Voters in more conservative Arkansas, Missouri, North Dakota and South Dakota were also deciding on recreational legalization Tuesday, signifying increasing support for and consideration of the once-liberal issue.

“The amount of people who are comfortable using cannabis has increased,” Kristen White, a 29-year-old event planner, said at a polling site in Silver Spring, Md. “Less people are afraid of it.”

By: Karina Elwood

10:34 PM: Analysis from Joanna Slater, National correspondent

The result of the race for Vermont’s lone seat in the House of Representatives is one for the history books. Democrat Becca Balint’s victory means that every state in the country has now elected a woman to Congress. Vermont, much to the chagrin of some residents, was the last state to reach that milestone. The second last? Mississippi.

10:33 PM: House Democrats hold onto critical Rhode Island seat

House Democrats dashed Republicans’ goal of flipping a Rhode Island district, ensuring that their New England “Blue Wall” holds for another term.

The Washington Post has not called the race, but Allan Fung (R), the former mayor of Cranston, conceded his race to Seth Magaziner (D) during a Tuesday evening speech.

Republicans invested heavily in the open seat, hoping that clinching it would pave the way for a seismic win for the party, which is trying to win back the House majority.

By: Marianna Sotomayor

10:29 PM: These states’ polls will close during the 11 p.m. Eastern hour

Polls closing at 11 p.m. Eastern (dark purple) and already closed (light purple). Polls closing at 11 p.m. Eastern (dark purple) and already closed (light purple).

Four states are closing polls at 11 p.m. Eastern. Here’s what we’re watching:

  • California. Democrats and Republicans are competing in 11 closely watched House races. Among them are reelection campaigns by Rep. Katie Porter (D) in the 47th District and Rep. Young Kim (R) in the 40th District.
  • Idaho. Three Republican incumbents who deny or questioned the outcome of the previous presidential election are expected to win reelection: Reps. Russ Fulcher and Mike Simpson, and Gov. Brad Little.
  • Oregon. The race between Democrat Tina Kotek and Republican Christine Drazan for an open governor’s seat is a nail-biter, thanks to Betsy Johnson, a former legislator who quit the Democratic Party to mount an independent bid.
  • Washington. In the race for an open House seat, Democrat Marie Gluesenkamp Pérez is running against Republican Joe Kent, a 2020-election denier.

By: Azi Paybarah

10:29 PM: How different groups are voting according to exit polls and AP VoteCast

See how various groups across the country voted for Congress in the 2022 midterm elections by reviewing data from the network exit poll conducted by Edison Research and the AP VoteCast poll. Charts show estimates for the share of each group that supported Democrats and Republicans for Congress.

Read the full story here

By: Janice Kai Chen, Chris Alcantara and Emily Guskin

10:29 PM: Dismay among Iowa Democrats as Reynolds claims victory

Gov. Kim Reynolds and Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg greet supporters during an Iowa Republican Party election night rally in Des Moines. © Charlie Neibergall/AP Gov. Kim Reynolds and Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg greet supporters during an Iowa Republican Party election night rally in Des Moines.

There were scattered groans and boos at an Iowa Democratic Party event as Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) appeared on a television screen to deliver a victory speech. The Associated Press had earlier called the race for the incumbent, who ascended to governor in 2017 and won her first full term the next year.

In her victory speech, Reynolds complimented her Democratic opponent, saying that Deidre DeJear had worked hard and that “while we have our differences, we both want Iowa to succeed.”

By: Brittany Shammas

10:28 PM: Daniel Goldman, Trump impeachment prosecutor, wins N.Y. House race

Democrat Daniel S. Goldman, a former federal prosecutor who was the lead lawyer in former president Donald Trump’s first impeachment trial, is projected to win an open U.S. House seat in New York’s 10th District, defeating Republican Benine Hamden.

The district, which includes much of Lower Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn, was drawn during a contentious redistricting process. Goldman faced a competitive primary, but was endorsed after his win by Democratic leaders including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

The area was represented by Rep. Jerrold Nadler, but Nadler ran in the 12th District after the redistricting. Nadler was projected the winner of that race, handily defeating Republican Michael Zumbluskas.

By: Justine McDaniel

10:23 PM: Sarah Sanders celebrates win in Arkansas gubernatorial race

© Provided by The Washington Post

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Republican Sarah Sanders is celebrating her win as the first woman elected as the governor of Arkansas.

Sanders, who was White House press secretary under President Donald Trump, spoke to a packed ballroom at the Statehouse Convention Center in downtown Little Rock on Tuesday as results came in.

“No matter how it turned out tonight, Arkansas was going to make history tonight,” she said, mentioning her opponent, Democrat Chris Jones, who would have been the state’s first Black governor.

Sanders centered her campaign platform on a message of pushing back against the “radical left.” She has said she will lower taxes, support law enforcement and empower parents while also promoting education.

She has been criticized for avoiding local media during her campaign, with one outlet reporting in October that she had declined 28 interview requests.

Sanders is the daughter of former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee. Her election makes them the first father-daughter pair to lead the state.

The future governor walked out onstage with her husband and three children. Her parents, Janet and Mike Huckabee, and other family members joined her after she spoke.

“I look forward to being Arkansas’s very best governor for the next eight years,” she said.

By: Erica Sweeney

10:20 PM: Schumer wins unprecedented fifth term in N.Y., criticizes GOP

Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) celebrates after winning reelection. © Sarah Yenesel/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) celebrates after winning reelection.

NEW YORK — A huge cheer broke out at a Democratic watch party for Gov. Kathy Hochul (N.Y.), as U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer was announced the winner of a fifth term — a first for a senator from New York. It was not a surprise, but it’s still a win on a night when Democrats may not have many.

“It’s deeply humbling and deeply motivating to me,” Schumer said onstage, touting Democratic accomplishments over the last term.

“We took on special interests time and time again and won,” he said, citing the passage of climate change legislation, gun-control legislation and the appointment of a Black woman to the Supreme Court.

“We did this, by the way, with the help of zero Republicans,” he said, adding that the other side had a tendency toward “authoritarian rule.” (A 2022 gun-control bill passed the Senate with bipartisan support.)

Abba and Billy Joel music played over the loudspeakers and drinks flowed from a blue-lit bar in Capitale, a Lower Manhattan event space that has a 65-foot coved ceiling.

Schumer shushed the crowd as he talked about how his father, an exterminator who died in November 2021, taught him to never give up in the face of a challenge. “There’s no bigger challenge these days than trying to get the Republican Party to do the right thing,” he said.

By: Jada Yuan

10:18 PM: Race call: Republican Schmitt wins open Senate seat in Missouri

Republican Eric Schmitt wins his first term in the Senate. © David Carson/AP Republican Eric Schmitt wins his first term in the Senate.

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt (R), who worked to overturn the 2020 presidential election, is projected to win a Senate seat, defeating Democrat Trudy Busch Valentine, a philanthropist and heiress to a brewery company fortune.

Schmitt’s victory keeps a Republican-held Senate seat in GOP hands, but helps reorient the caucus closer to former president Donald Trump’s base. The 47-year-old Schmitt succeeds Sen. Roy Blunt, the No. 4 Republican in the Senate who announced in March 2021 that he would not seek reelection, after seeing his cordial, transactional style grow increasingly out of step with the mood of his party’s base.

By: Azi Paybarah

10:14 PM: Race call: Gov. Stitt fends off well-funded challenger to win

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) is projected to win a second term, holding off a well-funded challenge by longtime Republican-turned-Democrat Joy Hofmeister in the reliably Republican state.

Stitt, 49, in May signed one of the nation’s strictest antiabortion laws and has enacted laws aimed at transgender youths.

By: Azi Paybarah

10:12 PM: Analysis from Robert Klemko, Reporter covering policing and criminal justice reform

In Nevada’s Clark County, long lines continued beyond the 7 p.m. poll closures, with candidates encouraging last-minute voters to get in line by closing time. Inclement weather across the state slowed both voters and the count process in the swing state. Election officials in Clark and Washoe counties have said it’s unlikely all ballots will be counted on Tuesday night.

10:12 PM: Inflation and abortion top issues, according to preliminary exit polls

Zoe Johnson, 20, is voting Democratic down the ticket with one issue in mind: abortion. “This is my first time voting in an election that actually has an impact on my life and other women's lives,” said Johnson, who is studying communications prelaw. She voted at the University of Ohio in Columbus. © Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post Zoe Johnson, 20, is voting Democratic down the ticket with one issue in mind: abortion. “This is my first time voting in an election that actually has an impact on my life and other women's lives,” said Johnson, who is studying communications prelaw. She voted at the University of Ohio in Columbus.

According to preliminary national network exit polling, inflation and abortion were the top issues for voters this year, with about 3 in 10 voters citing each as the issue that mattered most to deciding how they voted.

Those who said inflation was their top voting issue supported Republican candidates for the House by about 3 to 1, while those naming abortion as their top issue backed Democratic House candidates by about the same margin.

Smaller shares of voters — about 1 in 10 — named gun policy, crime or immigration as their top voting issue.

About three-quarters of voters who ranked immigration as their top issue favored Republican candidates, as did roughly 6 in 10 of voters who cited crime as their top issue.

About 6 in 10 voters who said gun policy was their top issue cast their ballots for Democratic House candidates.

By: Jocelyn Kiley

10:10 PM: Analysis from Tyler Pager, White House reporter

President Biden made a host of calls Tuesday night to victorious Democrats across the country, a White House official said. Among those he congratulated in governor’s races: Maura Healey in Massachusetts, Dan McKee in Rhode Island, Jared Polis in Colorado. He also called Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), Sen.-elect Peter Welch (D-Vt.) and Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Del.), who all won Tuesday. The president also made a congratulatory call to Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.), but her race has not been called.

10:08 PM: Republican House candidates have advantage among older voters

Early exit polls indicate Republican U.S. House candidates have a double-digit advantage over Democratic candidates among older voters.

In the 2018 midterm election, voters 45 and older were roughly split in their support for Democratic and Republican House candidates; this year, more than half of them supported Republicans.

Meanwhile, there isn’t a clear advantage for either party among voters 30 to 44 years old. In 2018, Democratic U.S. House candidates won this group of voters by nearly 20 percentage points.

The only group where Democratic House candidates hold a similar advantage compared to 2018 is the youngest group of voters, those between 18 and 29, with nearly twice as many voters in this group voting for Democratic candidates as Republican House candidates.

By: Ashley Kirzinger

10:08 PM: Race call: Democratic Sen. Bennet fends off O’Dea to win third term

Sen. Michael F. Bennet (D-Colo.) embraces his family after he defeated Republican candidate Joe O’Dea at a Democratic election night watch party in Denver. © Matt McClain/The Washington Post Sen. Michael F. Bennet (D-Colo.) embraces his family after he defeated Republican candidate Joe O’Dea at a Democratic election night watch party in Denver.

Sen. Michael F. Bennet (D-Colo.) is projected to win reelection to his third term, defeating Republican construction executive Joe O’Dea and keeping a key Senate seat in Democratic hands.

Bennet, who ran for president in 2020, tried to tie O’Dea to Donald Trump, even as O’Dea sought to distance himself from the former president. In an interview last month, O’Dea said he would “actively” campaign against Trump if he were to be the GOP’s 2024 presidential nominee — prompting Trump to lash out at O’Dea as a “RINO,” or a Republican in name only.

Bennet also seized on abortion as a key issue in the race after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, saying women’s bodily autonomy was on the line. O’Dea, who once supported a stricter abortion ban in Colorado, said during the campaign that he would not support Sen. Lindsey O. Graham’s (R-S.C.) bill to ban abortion nationwide after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

By: Amy B Wang

10:03 PM: Most important issues in key swing states: abortion, inflation

A news correspondent sets up a shot before a watch party hosted by the Michigan group Reproductive Freedom for All in Detroit. © Nick Hagen for The Washington Post A news correspondent sets up a shot before a watch party hosted by the Michigan group Reproductive Freedom for All in Detroit.

In Michigan, where voters weighed in on an amendment that would codify the right to an abortion in the state’s constitution, nearly half of voters said abortion was the most important issue deciding their vote, followed by about 3 in 10 who said inflation was their top concern.

In Pennsylvania, where Republican gubernatorial nominee Doug Mastriano has indicated he would sign an abortion ban if elected, roughly 4 in 10 voters said abortion was the most important issue in deciding their vote, according to early exit polling.

About 3 in 10 Pennsylvanians cited inflation as the most important issue, while about 1 in 10 or fewer listed crime, gun policy and immigration.

Inflation was the top concern for voters in Georgia, with nearly 4 in 10 Georgia voters saying it was the most important factor in deciding their vote. Abortion was the second-largest concern according to early exit polling, with about a quarter naming it.

By: William Bishop, Ashley Kinzinger and Alana Safarpour

10:02 PM: Midterm voters motivated by abortion favor Democrats nationally

In a year dominated by Democratic candidate advertising focused on threats to abortion access following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, voters who named abortion as their top issue supported Democratic candidates by about a 3-to-1 margin.

Of the roughly 6 in 10 voters who said they were angry or dissatisfied by the decision to overturn Roe, about 7 in 10 backed Democrats.

Of the roughly 4 in 10 voters who said they were enthusiastic or satisfied with the court’s decision, about 9 in 10 supported GOP House candidates.

About 6 in 10 voters in early exit polling said abortion should be legal in all or most cases, and about 7 in 10 of them supported Democrats for the U.S. House.

By: Alauna Safarpour

10:01 PM: Race call: Gov. Polis (D) wins reelection in Colorado

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis is projected to win his race against Republican Heidi Ganahl for a second term in the governor’s mansion. Polis, the first openly gay man elected governor in the United States, was previously a member of the House of Representatives and launched several successful start-ups before getting involved in politics.

The Democrat became known for his blunt messaging during the pandemic, notably saying during a 2021 interview that, “At this point, if you haven’t been vaccinated, it’s really your own darn fault.”

By: Eugene Scott

10:00 PM: These states’ polls will close during the 10 p.m. Eastern hour

Polls closing at 10 p.m. Eastern (dark purple) and already closed (light purple). Polls closing at 10 p.m. Eastern (dark purple) and already closed (light purple).

Three states are closing polls at 10 p.m. Eastern. Here’s what we’re watching:

  • Montana. A ballot measure there would require that medical care be given to any infant born alive, at any stage of development. It would cover infants born as a result of induced labor, Caesarean section and even an attempted abortion to receive appropriate medical care.
  • Utah. Evan McMullin is running as an independent against the Republican incumbent, Sen. Mike Lee. McMullin has said he will not caucus with either party if he wins.
  • Nevada. Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) is facing one of the most competitive gubernatorial contests in the country against Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo (R), a Trump endorsee. And Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D) is fending off a challenge from former state attorney general Adam Laxalt (R). Republicans see this as a good opportunity to pick up a Senate seat.

By: Mariana Alfaro

9:57 PM: Iowa Democrats cautious about chances in state

As polls closed in Iowa, some Democrats were striking a cautious note about their chances in the state, which for years has been Republican-led.

Taking the stage at the party’s election-night event, Iowa House Democratic leader Jennifer Konfrst said she had three scenarios in mind: “a good night, a medium night and a bad night.”

“I’m not saying a bad night’s going to happen, people,” she told the crowd. “I’m saying, we’re going to hope for the good night and here’s what we’re going to know: that in 12 hours we’re going to wake up, and I don’t care what happens tonight, we’re going to keep fighting.”

Applause filled the Fort Des Moines Hotel ballroom, where Democrats sipped drinks and gathered in front of two large screens — one showing results on MSNBC and the other, a local television station. Many wore shirts supporting Democratic Senate candidate Mike Franken, including one reading, “I believe Mike Franken can defeat Chuck Grassley.”

Even before results started coming in, some voters said they feared the night would not go well for Democrats.

Shaking her head, Susan Craighton, who wore an “I voted” sticker and a “Defend choice” pin, said she was not feeling especially hopeful about the night. The 52-year-old woman, a mother of three daughters, said she feared for the future of abortion rights if Republicans remain in control.

“I think it’s really grim,” she said. “I mean, I’m a very positive person, but I just think that they’re out to take away women’s rights.”

Konfrst told those gathered they “can’t control everything that happens tonight” but urged them to keep their energy up, saying that on issues including reproductive rights, higher wages and marijuana legalization, “Iowans are with us.”

By: Brittany Shammas

9:50 PM: Race call: Gov. Scott wins reelection in Vermont

Vermont Gov. Phil Scott prepares to cast his ballot Tuesday in his hometown of Berlin. © Wilson Ring/AP Vermont Gov. Phil Scott prepares to cast his ballot Tuesday in his hometown of Berlin.

Vermont Gov. Phil Scott (R) is projected to defeat his little-known Democratic challenger, Brenda Siegel.

The 64-year-old did not offer many new policies during his reelection campaign and reiterated his plan to address the state’s drug overdose problem by expanding access to Narcan and needle exchange programs, rather than opening safe injection sites.

By: Azi Paybarah

9:49 PM: Kari Lake’s campaign says it had 1.4 million voter contacts

Nov. 8 | Phoenix Republican candidate for Arizona governor Kari Lake, center, talks to journalist after voting at a United States Post Office polling station. © Joshua Lott/The Washington Post Nov. 8 | Phoenix Republican candidate for Arizona governor Kari Lake, center, talks to journalist after voting at a United States Post Office polling station.

PHOENIX — Republican Kari Lake’s campaign for Arizona governor had 1.4 million voter contacts over the course of the race, according to the campaign’s field director, Matthew Martinez.

He said most of those contacts focused on persuasion rather than turnout, a sign of the campaign’s efforts to win over voters in this once solidly red but now more purple state. They extended beyond the candidate’s slash-and-burn style that seemed to cater to the GOP base.

Martinez is himself a reflection of the campaign’s unusual approach. At 21, he directed the campaign’s field effort, taking a year off from college to do so. The campaign relied on an army of young staffers and volunteers and largely skimped on traditional consultants.

By: Isaac Stanley-Becker

9:48 PM: Voting ‘wonderfully, stupendously boring’ in Georgia county

ATLANTA — Fulton, Georgia’s most populous county, reported no long lines or major election issues, a marked shift from recent years when long lines and election incidents put the metropolitan Atlanta area in the national spotlight.

“There are always hiccups in any kind of election; but as I have learned, as long as you can track the problems and understand things and fix things, then you let the redundancies work and that is what we’ve seen today,” said Cathy Woolard, chair of the Fulton County election board.

Election offices across Georgia described short lines and few issues at polling places.

Election Day was “wonderfully, stupendously boring,” said Gabriel Sterling, the Georgia secretary of state’s chief operating officer, during an afternoon news conference.

Voting rights groups echoed a similar sentiment, though they expressed worry about scattered instances of polling places opening late and the potential intimidation of voters.

“It’s been a relatively smooth day at the polls, but we’ve seen some incidents, including increased police presence at several polling locations and a few last-minute polling place changes,” said Maya Brown-Laws, a spokesperson for the New Georgia Project, a voting rights group.

Ballots from across the county began arriving at Fulton’s election hub in Atlanta shortly after polls closed. The county immediately submitted its absentee ballot counts as polls closed, a sign of fast administration and increased efforts to comply with stricter reporting deadlines as part of Georgia’s 2021 election law.

By: Matthew Brown

9:47 PM: Trio of Virginia House races shows state’s rightward tilt

Two Virginia Democratic incumbents who entered the night running in competitive races are now in danger of losing their House seats. A third is in a closer race than anticipated, given the margin by which President Biden won the district in 2020.

In the state’s 7th Congressional District outside Washington, Rep. Abigail Spanberger is trailing Republican Yesli Vega by two percentage points with more than 80 percent of the votes counted. A loss for Spanberger would be a major reversal for the district, which Biden carried by seven points in 2020.

Farther south, in the 2nd District, Democratic Rep. Elaine Luria was running 10 points behind Jen Kiggans, a Republican state senator, with about two-thirds of the votes counted. Biden and Trump roughly split the southeastern district, which includes Virginia Beach and part of Norfolk.

Both races had been in toss-up territory ahead of Election Day.

Rep. Jennifer Wexton was performing better in Virginia’s 10th district, leading Republican Hung Cao by six points with about 83 percent of ballots counted.

But it’s still a stunning change from just two years ago, when Biden won the district by a whopping 18 points.

By: Derek Hawkins

9:46 PM: Analysis from Ashley Parker, Senior National Political Correspondent

Biden has made clear that, for now, he plans to run for reelection in 2024. But almost since the day Biden, now 79, was elected, Democrats have begun quietly searching for the party’s next leader. Expect any Democrat who wins an unexpected victory Tuesday night, who narrowly staves off a Republican opponent in a critical swing state, or who emerges with a compelling personal story to garner outsize buzz. Wes Moore — Army veteran, Rhodes Scholar, son of a Jamaican immigrant, and soon to be Maryland’s first Black governor — is an obvious up-and-comer. But there may be more before the night — or, at least, the week — is out.

9:44 PM: Analysis from Caroline Kitchener, Reporter focusing on the politics of abortion

I just got off the phone with Planned Parenthood officials in Kentucky. They say they are “cautiously optimistic” about the returns they are seeing on the Kentucky ballot initiative, which is underperforming Republicans running statewide. If the amendment fails, it would be a massive victory for abortion rights advocates. Tamarra Wieder, director for Kentucky Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates, said, “A very unifying message is going to come out tonight: Abortion transcends party lines.”

9:41 PM: Emphatic DeSantis victory shows his national appeal, allies say

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis addresses supporters during a rally for himself and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-F) on Monday. (Phelan M. Ebenhack/for The Washington Post) Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis addresses supporters during a rally for himself and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-F) on Monday. (Phelan M. Ebenhack/for The Washington Post)

Allies of Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) trumpeted his resounding reelection on Tuesday as a sign that national GOP energy is behind him.

The governor had opened a wide lead over Democrat Charlie Crist and looked set to win Miami-Dade County, which hasn’t been claimed by a Republican since Jeb Bush in 2002.

DeSantis, considered a top potential Republican presidential candidate in 2024, has “rendered Democratic candidates up and down the ballot irrelevant,” said a person close to the governor, adding that “Republicans around the country” were taking note.

The victory came at a decisive moment, as former president Donald Trump publicly attacked DeSantis at a recent rally, labeling him “Ron DeSanctimonious.”

By: Isaac Stanley-Becker

9:37 PM: Republican Anna Paulina Luna flips House seat in Florida

Anna Paulina Luna is heading to Congress. © Thomas Simonetti/For The Washington Post Anna Paulina Luna is heading to Congress.

Republican Anna Paulina Luna, an Air Force veteran who has denied the legitimacy of the 2020 election, is projected to win the House seat in Florida’s 13th District, defeating incumbent Democrat Eric Lynn. The redrawn district, which includes St. Petersburg, leaned decidedly more red than before.

A frequent guest on far-right talk shows and self-described “pro-life extremist,” Luna was among a group of hardline Republican House candidates aligned with the House Freedom Caucus and former president Donald Trump. Her campaign received more funding from the caucus’s campaign arm than any other non-incumbent.

On Tuesday, Luna joined at least 17 Florida Republicans who deny the results of the 2020 election and who won their House races.

By: Justine McDaniel

9:35 PM: Analysis from Annie Linskey, National reporter covering the White House.

Democratic House candidate Seth Magaziner appears to be holding his own so far in Rhode Island’s competitive 2nd District — giving Democrats some optimism that the floor is not completely collapsing. “Pour one out for McCarthy’s top recruit,” texted one Democratic aide, based on early returns. It’s a district that President Biden won overwhelmingly, but the race has become a toss-up in recent weeks. House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy heavily recruited the Republican candidate, Allan Fung, the former mayor of Cranston.

9:35 PM: DeWine reelected: ‘Thank you for giving us this chance’

Mike DeWine was reelected for a second term as governor of Ohio. © Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post Mike DeWine was reelected for a second term as governor of Ohio.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The GOP party attendees spilled into the corridor of the ballroom at the Renaissance hotel in Columbus as Gov. Mike DeWine (R) celebrated his reelection with an acceptance speech alongside his wife, Fran.

He thanked his eight children and 26 grandchildren, many of whom packed the stage.

“The people of Ohio, thank you for giving us this chance,” DeWine said. Ohio has “been through a lot” in the last four years, he added, “but we’re resilient, tough people.”

Before DeWine took the stage, Lt. Gov. John Husted (R) thanked the state and said, “We’re going to make Ohio the best state for entrepreneurs.” He promised to bring more manufacturing to the state, send “cartel” criminals to prison and give parents more control over what their children learn in school.

By: Cara McGoogan

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