Here’s where Democrats, GOP stand in the midterms
Midterm election results have been trickling in on Thursday after initial results showed modest gains for Republicans on election night earlier this week.
Control of the Senate has yet to be determined, with results from Nevada and Arizona still coming in and a runoff in Georgia’s Senate race slated for December.
The battle for the House, meanwhile, is proving to be a nail-biter, with many toss-up races still uncalled but Republicans holding an edge.
In the states themselves, key gubernatorial races in Nevada and Arizona have yet to be called, while Democrats have made gains in some legislatures across the nation.
Here are where the midterm results currently stand.
The Senate spotlight is on Arizona and Nevada as votes continuing to trickle in. As of Thursday, Democratic incumbent Sen. Mark Kelly led his GOP challenger Blake Masters 51.4 percent to 46.4 percent with roughly 70 percent of votes counted, according to The Associated Press. The state’s most populous county, Maricopa County, is currently in question, with the county’s election officials saying it could take until Friday for all of its votes to be counted. County officials said they expect 90 to 95 percent of ballots to be counted by Friday. The county is expected to favor Kelly, given its heavily Democratic lean.
Up in Nevada, an even closer race is unfolding, with incumbent Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto trailing her GOP challenger Adam Laxalt by roughly 2 points as of Thursday afternoon, according to The Associated Press. More than 80 percent of ballots have been counted, but mail-in ballots from Clark and Washoe counties still need to be counted. Democrats say they are feeling optimistic given the Democratic lean of those two counties.
Democrats and Republicans need two states to reach the majority in the upper chamber, meaning that if one of the parties clinches both Arizona and Nevada it would gain control. However, if one party were to win Arizona and another win Nevada, control of the Senate would hinge on what happens in Georgia in December.
This is because Georgia’s Senate contest went to a runoff after neither candidate reached the 50-percent threshold needed to win outright. Now, incumbent Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican Herschel Walker are set to face off on the ballot again on Dec. 6.
Both parties are already ramping up their efforts in the Peach State. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee announced a $7 million field organizing investment in Georgia on Thursday. Warnock’s campaign also rolled out a memo explaining why Warnock can win, pointing to his experience running in a runoff in 2021 and what they called Walker’s “weak performance [in] an environment that set him up for success.”
“Not only did Walker underperform Governor Kemp, he earned fewer raw votes than every single Republican on the ballot,” wrote Warnock’s campaign manager Quentin Fulks. “Of nine statewide Republican candidates, Walker was one of only two who failed to clear two million votes.”
Meanwhile, Walker’s campaign said on Thursday that he raised $3.3 million on the first day of his runoff campaign. The Republican candidate is also getting a boost from outside of his campaign. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is slated to campaign for Walker on Thursday and the anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America said that it will invest at least $1 million into Walker’s runoff effort.
As of Thursday afternoon, the GOP had won 209 seats, while the Democrats had won 191, according to The Associated Press. Republicans appear on track to win back control of the lower chamber, but the Democrats’ better-than-expected performance has certainly lessened the blow and could give the GOP less leverage when the new Congress convenes next year.
On Thursday, Democrats scored wins in Connecticut’s 5th Congressional District, which incumbent Rep. Jahana Hayes (D-Conn.) was defending, and in Illinois’ 7th Congressional District, where Democrat Eric Sorensen defeated Republican Esther Joy King in one of the most competitive races this cycle. Meanwhile, former Interior secretary under Trump, Ryan Zinke, won his congressional race in Montana’s 1st Congressional District on Thursday.
But one of the most-closely-watched races hanging in the balance is incumbent conservative GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert’s reelection bid in Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District. The race was not expected to be tight, yet Boebert is currently leading by just over 400 votes.
Republican governors and candidates have won in 24 states while Democrats have won in 22. Incumbent Republican Govs. Ron DeSantis (Florida), Greg Abbott (Texas) and Mike DeWine (Ohio) sailed to reelection in their states, while incumbent Democratic Govs. Gavin Newsom (California), Laura Kelly (Kansas), and Kathy Hochul (New York) were able to protect their seats as well.
Four governor races have yet to be called in Nevada, Arizona, Oregon and Alaska. Like in Arizona’s Senate race, the ballots are still being counted in the state’s governor’s race. According to The Associated Press on Thursday, Democratic candidate Katie Hobbs leads Republican candidate Kari Lake by roughly 13,000 votes. In Nevada’s gubernatorial contest, Democratic incumbent Gov. Steve Sisolak is trailing GOP challenger Joe Lombardo by roughly 34,000. Further up north in Oregon, Democrat Tina Kotek is leading Republican Christine Drazan by roughly 44,000 votes.
In Alaska’s governor’s race, which uses ranked-choice voting, GOP incumbent Mike Dunleavy handily leads his Democratic challenger Les Gara by over 62,000 votes. The race has not yet been called by The Associated Press.
Democrats saw a particularly good night in state legislatures. The party took control of state legislatures in Minnesota, Michigan and Massachusetts. Like in races further up the ballot, results are still coming in from the races in Arizona, where Republicans hold slim majorities.
The race for the majority in Pennsylvania’s state legislature is also a nail-biter. While Republicans remain in control of the state’s Senate, as of Thursday Democrats were only two seats away from flipping the Key Stone State’s lower chamber.
While Democrats are touting their gains in state legislatures this cycle, Republicans still remain in control of the majority of state legislatures. The GOP saw major victories in Florida’s state legislature races, securing super majorities in both chambers.
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