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With over 20 House races uncalled, Pelosi won't comment on future: Election updates

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 11/14/2022 Ken Tran, USA TODAY
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Republicans are grappling with disappointing midterm election performances across the country, and some members of the party have started to pivot away from former President Donald Trump. Others have balked at supporting a Trump candidacy in 2024. 

Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., refused to answer “a theoretical,” on Sunday when asked if he would support Trump running in 2024. Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., said he is saving his “endorsement for another place and time for the 2024 race.”

Previously outspoken Republican critics of Trump maintained their opposition to the former president. New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu said he wouldn’t support Trump in 2024 and Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said he was “tired of losing” because of Trump. 

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Democrats have secured control of the Senate with Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto's victory Saturday night, but control of the House of Representatives remains undecided, with a handful of competitive races yet to be called on Sunday. Republicans are forecasted to regain control of the chamber, but any GOP majority is expected to be as narrow as the Senate.

With that in mind, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday declined to comment on her future plans.

Looking to 2024: Trump is under fire over the midterms. DeSantis is rising. And a 2024 rivalry is just beginning.

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U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev. listens as Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak speaks at an election night party hosted by Nevada Democratic Victory at The Encore on November 08, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. © Anna Moneymaker, Getty Images U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev. listens as Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak speaks at an election night party hosted by Nevada Democratic Victory at The Encore on November 08, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

21 House seats still outstanding, and Democrats will have to run the table

Republicans have a much easier path to control of the House than Democrats. The GOP is sitting at 211 seats, while Democrats are at 203. With 21 races still outstanding, Democrats have an outside chance of maintaining control, but they’ll have to run the table as they fend off Republican challenges.

Many of those races yet to be decided are in the blue state of California, where Democrats are on the defensive. Just north, in Oregon, another blue state where Republicans have made inroads, two races are still close to call.

And in New York, where Republicans fared better compared to the rest of the country, one last uncalled race has Republican Brandon Williams has a tight lead of less than 2 percentage points over Democrat Francis Conole at 50.8%-49.2%.

Cotton: GOP needs ‘to focus on serious substantive accomplishments’

Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., conceded on Sunday morning that Republicans could have performed better in a political environment that favored the party from the get-go.

“Obviously, we hoped that we would have won more seats,” Cotton told CBS News’ Margaret Brennan on "Face the Nation.” Cotton alluded to other sentiments in the GOP that Republicans needed to focus on policy.

“We need to focus on serious substantive accomplishments and issues like crime, like our wide-open border, like addressing runaway inflation,” said Cotton, who remained optimistic about future elections.

Cotton also said Trump “is obviously very popular with many of our voters,” but did not answer if he should remain leader of the GOP. “When you're in opposition, you don't have a single leader,” said Cotton.

Democrats highlight goals for lame-duck session

With Republicans poised to control the House, at least narrowly, Democrats are jockeying to push through whatever they can in the upcoming weeks of the lame-duck session before the new Congress is seated.

Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin from Maryland told CBS’ Margaret Brennan on "Face the Nation” that Democrats are going to try to pass the Electoral Count Reform Act, legislation that seeks to remove legal ambiguity that Trump and his allies tried to exploit to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

“That’s the bare minimum of what we need to do,” said Raskin.

Anita Dunn, senior adviser to Biden, also told Brennan the White House will push for additional funding for Ukraine and emergency funding for Florida and Puerto Rico after Hurricane Ian and Fiona.

In an op-ed in the New York Times reacting to Democrats securing the Senate, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., called for her colleagues to make the next “lame-duck session of Congress the most productive in decades.”

“Where we can pursue legislative action, we should fight aggressively,” Warren wrote. “When Republicans try to obstruct such action and the president can act by executive authority, he must.

Election deniers denied: How did candidates who questioned, denied 2020 outcome fare in Tuesday's elections?

Cassidy: Republicans should focus on policy

Sen. Bill Cassidy told NBC News' Chuck Todd that Republicans will continue to not do well in elections without campaigning on policy issues “that actually help people’s lives get better.”

“Elections are about winning. And so if folks want to look at these election results and decide that’s where you want us to continue to be, then we’re not gonna continue to do well,” said Cassidy, of Louisiana, on "Meet the Press." “We care about being anti-woke. Now let’s have a series of policy initiatives that actually help people’s lives get better.”

Cassidy also said the Republican presidential nominee in 2024 “should be about the future.” When pressed if he would support Trump running again, he said he wouldn’t answer “a theoretical.”

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White House remains optimistic of a split Congress

Anita Dunn, senior adviser to Biden, expressed optimism of bipartisan cooperation between the White House and a GOP-led House.

“He’s (Biden) going to reach out his hand to work with the Republicans. And the question is whether they will reach out their hand to his.” Dunn told CBS’s Margaret Brennan on "Face the Nation." “Voters in this country are going to expect their leaders to work together.”

Should the GOP regain control of the House, Republicans are expected to aggressively investigate Biden. Dunn said the White House plans to cooperate with any investigations opened.

“Obviously the White House has and will continue to play with fair and legitimate oversight because we are a White House that respects norms and the rule of law,” Dunn said.

Biden in Asia: Biden works to shore up friendships with Asian countries on Cambodia trip

Pelosi says Biden should run again and leaves her leadership unclear

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Sunday she thinks President Joe Biden should run for a second term and expressed full support for a Biden candidacy.

“President Biden has been a great president for our country. He has accomplished so much,” Pelosi told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos. “He has a great record to run on.”

With control of the House still undecided, she also left her leadership position in the Democratic Party unclear, saying she won’t make any comments until Tuesday’s elections are settled. If Republicans do take the House, Pelosi told CNN’s Dana Bash she doesn’t think House Minority Kevin McCarthy has what it takes to become speaker.

“No, I don't think he has it. But that’s up to his own people to make a decision as to how they want to be led or otherwise,” said Pelosi.

Maryland's Hogan calls for the GOP to leave Trump

Republican Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland issued a sharp rebuke of Trump’s role in the midterm elections, largely casting blame on him for disappointing Republican losses.

“This should have been a huge red wave. It should have been one of the biggest red waves we’ve ever had,” Hogan told CNN’s Dana Bash on Sunday. Hogan has been one of the most outspoken Republicans against Trump’s leadership in the party.

Hogan said the midterm election was "basically the third" consecutive contest that Trump "has cost us the race."

“I’m tired of losing. That’s all he’s done,” Hogan said of Trump.

Whitmer: ‘Fundamentals’ won Democrats the midterms

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who won her reelection bid by more than 10 percentage points, told CNN’s Dana Bash on Sunday that “fundamentals” delivered for surprising Democratic wins across the country.

“I can tell you we stay focused on the fundamentals, whether it’s fixing the damn roads or making sure our kids are getting back on track,” said Whitmer, also attributing her victory to abortion rights as a campaign issue. Whitmer cruised to reelection in part with the heavy support of female voters.

“I know a lot of folks kind of wanted to say, should we talk about the economy or abortion?” Whitmer said. “But the fact of the matter is the ability to decide when and whether to have a child is the biggest economic decision a woman will make over the course of her lifetime.”

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What races are uncalled?

Neither Republicans nor Democrats have reached the magic number of 218 for a majority in the House. As it stands, Republicans have 211 seats to Democrats' 203.

In Colorado, Democrats still have a rare opportunity to pick up a House seat. Republican firebrand Rep. Lauren Boebert is still locked in a dead heat with Democrat Adam Frisch with Boebert leading by less than half a percentage point at 50.2%-49.8%. 

And in southern California, Democratic Rep. Katie Porter is playing defense but has slightly expanded her lead against Republican Scott Baugh, at 51.3%-48.7%. 

Arizona's governor's race between an outgoing Democratic secretary of state and a fervent Republican election denier is up in the air. Democrat Katie Hobbs and Republican Kari Lake are neck-and-neck, with Hobbs slightly leading at 50.7%-49.3%. There are around 265,000 votes yet to be counted. 

Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake speaks to supporters at a campaign event in Queen Creek, Ariz., Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022. Lake will face Democrat Katie Hobbs in the general election in November. © Ross D. Franklin, AP Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake speaks to supporters at a campaign event in Queen Creek, Ariz., Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022. Lake will face Democrat Katie Hobbs in the general election in November.

Karen Bass takes lead in tight LA mayoral race

Democratic Rep. Karen Bass has taken the lead over businessman and fellow Democrat Rick Caruso in Los Angeles' competitive mayoral race. 

Bass leads Caruso by little less than 2 percentage points at 50.8%-49.2%. But the race's outcome is still a toss-up, with only 67% of the votes counted so far. 

The candidates have campaigned as stark contrasts to each other. Bass, a longtime Democrat who has served southern California for more than a decade, is hoping to become the city's first female mayor. Caruso on the other hand, has depicted himself as a political outsider seeking to upend the Democratic establishment. 

Democrats flip a House seat in southwest Washington

In southwest Washington, Democrat Marie Gluesenkamp Pérez prevailed over Joe Kent, a hard-right Republican endorsed by former President Donald Trump. 

Gluesenkamp Pérez's victory is an important pickup for Democrats hoping to maintain control of the House. Kent's defeat will add to the growing conversation around Trump's role in disappointing results for Republicans. 

The seat is currently held by Republican Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, who voted to impeach Trump in 2021 for his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol attack. Trump, seeking to oust any Republicans perceived as disloyal, endorsed Kent who later defeated Herrera Beutler in a primary earlier this year.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: With over 20 House races uncalled, Pelosi won't comment on future: Election updates

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