The latest on the 2022 midterm election

By Aditi Sangal, Adrienne Vogt, Matt Meyer, Elise Hammond, Melissa Macaya and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 0251 GMT (1051 HKT) November 13, 2022
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10:01 a.m. ET, November 10, 2022

Georgia's GOP Lt. Gov Duncan says Trump "got fired" and DeSantis was praised after midterm elections

From CNN's Jeremy Hochman

Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis celebrates onstage during his 2022 U.S. midterm elections night party in Tampa, Florida, on November 8.
Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis celebrates onstage during his 2022 U.S. midterm elections night party in Tampa, Florida, on November 8. (Marco Bello/Reuters)

Republican Georgia Lt. Gov Geoff Duncan told CNN that after Tuesday night's election results, former President Donald Trump was fired by Republicans.  

"There's no way to deny the Donald Trump got fired Tuesday night. The search committee has brought a few names to the top of the list, and Ron DeSantis is one of them. Ron DeSantis is being rewarded for a new thought process with Republicans and that solid leadership," he said Thursday. 

Duncan also said that Georgia's Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker needs to make three important phone calls to win the runoff. 

"Make three successful phone calls. One is to tell Donald Trump to stay out of Georgia for four weeks. He is toxic, he would do nothing to help the ticket. Secondly, I would pick up the phone and call Brian Kemp and ask him for his help. Apologize for not endorsing him during the primary against David Perdue. And third, I would call Ron DeSantis and ask him to come to Georgia as often as he possibly can the next four weeks. That would be a winning recipe for Herschel Walker," Duncan told CNN.

Watch here for more:

8:22 a.m. ET, November 10, 2022

Money is pouring into Georgia runoff campaigns

From CNN's Kyle Blaine

Raphael Warnock and Herschel Walker
Raphael Warnock and Herschel Walker (Getty Images)

With the Georgia runoff campaign between Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger Herschel Walker already underway, money is pouring into the state as the parties and interest groups seek to shape its outcome. 

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee announced a $7 million field organizing investment to boost Warnock. 

“We know talking directly to voters through a strong, well-funded ground-game is critical to winning in Georgia, and we’re wasting no time in kick-starting these programs in the runoff,” said Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chair Sen. Gary Peters. “The DSCC is proud to partner with the Warnock campaign to build off their strong field programs and launch an unprecedented organizing effort in the runoff that will ensure we reach every voter we need to win on December 6th.” 

The DSCC has made investments in field organizing programs a top priority, spending more on direct voter contact programs this cycle than in the Independent Expenditure for the first time in recent history. 

An anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America and its partner group, Women Speak Out PAC, announced it will spend at least $1 million in the race to attack Warnock's position on abortion.

“Walker’s support for compassionate limits on abortion aligns with the people of Georgia and the overwhelming majority of Americans, in stark contrast to ‘activist pastor’ Warnock’s radical position of abortion on demand until birth, paid for by taxpayers. Our ground team will continue to visit voters at their homes to expose Warnock’s extremism and urge them to elect Walker as their champion in the U.S. Senate,” said SBA Pro-Life America President Marjorie Dannenfelser in a statement.

8:18 a.m. ET, November 10, 2022

At COP27, Pelosi says it's "hard to speak" about how midterms would impact US climate action

From Kevin Liptak

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at the COP27 climate summit in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, on November 10.
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at the COP27 climate summit in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, on November 10. (Emilie Madi/Reuters)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi acknowledged Thursday that after the midterm elections, Democrats will need to partner with Republicans on taking steps to fight climate change, even as she cast doubt on the opposing party's willingness to take action.

"It's hard to speak in terms of the midterm elections in this subject because we have had, shall we say, a disagreement on the subject," Pelosi said during an event at the COP27 conference being held in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.

"Our colleagues said why are we having this discussion, there is no climate crisis, it’s all a hoax," she said of the GOP reaction to investments meant to combat climate change that were included in the Inflation Reduction Act. "We have to get over that. I place my confidence in their children, who will hopefully teach their parents that this is urgent, long overdue."

Pelosi is leading a congressional delegation to the climate summit comprised only of Democrats. A separate group of House Republicans representing the Conservative Climate Caucus is also present.

Pelosi didn't respond to questions about whether Democrats can retain a majority at the end of her event.

7:00 a.m. ET, November 10, 2022

Voters in some states approved Medicaid expansion and a minimum wage increase

From CNN's Tami Luhby

"I Voted" stickers are separated for voters on Tuesday morning, November 8, at the downtown Siouxland Public Library branch in Sioux Falls, S.D.
"I Voted" stickers are separated for voters on Tuesday morning, November 8, at the downtown Siouxland Public Library branch in Sioux Falls, S.D. (Erin Woodiel/The Argus Leader/AP)

Voters in several states have approved progressive measures that could not get through a Democratic-led Congress or Republican-dominated statehouses. More low-income South Dakota residents will have access to Medicaid, and Arizona residents with medical debt will get more protections. Minimum wage workers in Nebraska will get a boost in pay.

Here’s a sampling of the ballot measures:

South Dakota will expand Medicaid in 2023

The measure passed 56% to 44%, according to South Dakota Secretary of State data, broadening Medicaid to roughly 42,500 low-income residents starting in mid-2023. It will open up coverage to adults making less than roughly $19,000 a year. Currently, childless adults are not eligible for Medicaid in South Dakota, and parents must have very low incomes to qualify – about $1,000 a month for a family of four.

Many Republican officials opposed the measure, citing its potential future costs. States are responsible for picking up 10% of the health care tab of the expansion enrollees. South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, a Republican, did not support the initiative. An expansion bill failed in a state Senate vote earlier this year.

The minimum wage will rise in Nebraska

Nebraska's minimum wage will increase to $15 an hour by 2026, up from the current $9 an hour. The vote was 58% to 42% in favor, according to Nebraska Secretary of State data. It is expected to benefit about 150,000 workers, according to the National Employment Law Project and the Economic Policy Institute, which are both left-leaning groups. Opponents, however, said that the initiative would hurt businesses in the state and reduce employment opportunities for youth.

Medical debt measures approved in Arizona

Proposition 209 passed overwhelmingly by a 72% to 28% vote, according to Arizona Secretary of State data. It will cap the interest rate on medical debt at 3% and limit wage garnishment for medical debt to a maximum of 30% of earnings. The measure will not forgive any medical debt, McLeod said.

Opponents argued the initiative will make it harder for Arizonans to obtain credit and for businesses in the state to collect on debt, as well as increase interest rates on consumer debt.

8:16 a.m. ET, November 10, 2022

Control of the US Senate could come down to Nevada and Arizona — states with prominent election deniers

From CNN's Maeve Reston

US Sen. Mark Kelly, left, and Blake Masters
US Sen. Mark Kelly, left, and Blake Masters (Reuters, Getty Images)

Control of the US Senate could hinge on Nevada and Arizona, two states where GOP victories could elevate some of the most prominent election deniers in the country even after other nominees who had amplified former President Donald Trump’s falsehoods about the 2020 election were rejected by voters in Tuesday’s midterm elections.

Those two western states – perpetual battlegrounds in presidential years – were still too early to call as of early Thursday morning, while a third Democratic-held seat, Georgia, will advance to a December runoff, CNN projects.

Republicans need to pick off two Democratic seats to win the majority. As ballots continue to be counted across the country, Republicans appear to be slowly inching toward the 218 seats that would deliver them a House majority, albeit one that’s much narrower than they’d hoped.

The struggle for the Senate, however, is still full of unknowns – including whether it will all come down once again to Georgia after the Peach State delivered Democrats the majority in 2021 with victories in twin runoffs. It’s Nevada and Arizona that will determine how pivotal Georgia becomes.

Arizona Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly was maintaining an edge over Republican Blake Masters as of early Thursday morning, while Nevada Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto was trailing Republican Adam Laxalt. CNN had estimated late Wednesday that about 600,000 votes remained to be counted across the Grand Canyon State and about 160,000 votes remained to be counted in Nevada.

Laxalt, Nevada’s former attorney general, was a co-chairman of Trump’s 2020 presidential campaign in the state and filed lawsuits attempting to overturn Nevada’s results in that election, which he said was “rigged.” Cortez Masto had argued that the lies and election conspiracies theories embraced by Trump and allies like Laxalt led to the attack on the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.

Masters, a venture capitalist and first-time candidate, released a campaign video as he was competing for the GOP nomination in which he said he believed Trump had won the 2020 election. Masters, like Laxalt, clinched Trump’s endorsement.

After winning the Arizona Senate primary, Masters briefly appeared to back away from some of that extreme rhetoric – scrubbing his website, for example, of language that included the false claim that the election was stolen. In a debate with Kelly, he also conceded that he had not seen evidence of fraud that would have changed the outcome of the election. But the Republican nominee seemed to reverse course after receiving a phone call from Trump urging him to “go stronger” on election denialism, a conversation that was captured in a Fox documentary.

Keep reading here.

8:17 a.m. ET, November 10, 2022

More cases of alleged voter intimidation in Arizona referred to federal law enforcement

From CNN’s Fredreka Schouten

Reports of alleged intimidation or harassment of Arizona voters continued to flow into the Secretary of State’s office in the runup to Election Day, with state officials forwarding a total of 21 complaints – including one threatening government officials — to federal and state law enforcement, according to information released Wednesday.

None of the reports involve physical violence, but they do describe voters feeling uncomfortable or nervous as people surveilled drop boxes. 

In one complaint lodged this week, a voter in Surprise, Arizona, a community northwest of Phoenix, recounted dropping off a completed ballot Monday at city hall and encountering four individuals, including one wearing a “MAGA” shirt, sitting nearby.

“One of them approached me, encouraging me to vote tomorrow instead because ‘your vote won’t count the same if you vote early,’" the voter said. “I'm concerned that this group may have dissuaded people from voting today.”

The voter said the men had no identifying credentials.

The names of people making the complaints are redacted in the documents the secretary of state’s office has publicly released. 

One of the 21 complaints involved a threat against government officials. The Oct. 22 email, which said it was a warning to “Corrupt and Treasonous Government Officials”, mentioned the violence of the French Revolution and promised to use property tax records to find workers’ homes. The Secretary of State’s office has referred it to the FBI. 

All of the complaints forwarded to federal and state law enforcement so far involve reports of alleged intimidation before Election Day.

Earlier this month, a federal judge blocked members of a right-wing group from openly carrying guns or wearing body armor within 250 feet of drop boxes in Arizona or from speaking to or yelling at voters dropping off their ballots.

5:07 a.m. ET, November 10, 2022

Here's what Biden said about the midterm elections

From CNN's Kevin Liptak and Maegan Vazquez

President Joe Biden speaks in the State Dining Room of the White House on Wednesday, November 9.
President Joe Biden speaks in the State Dining Room of the White House on Wednesday, November 9. (Susan Walsh/AP)

In his first speech since polls closed around the country Tuesday night, President Biden called out detractors who he said doubted his “incessant optimism” about Democrats’ ability to stave off resounding Republican wins in the midterm elections – even as his presidency is now likely entering a new period of divided government.

The results, he said during a press conference at the White House Wednesday, are a sign American democracy is intact, despite coming under threat over the past several years.

“We had an election yesterday,” Biden said. “And it was a good day, I think, for democracy.”

“Our democracy has been tested in recent years, but with their votes, the American people have spoken and proven once again that democracy is who we are,” he continued, adding that “while the press and the pundits are predicting a giant red wave, it didn’t happen.”

The results were neither the “thumping” George W. Bush described during his own post-midterms press conference in 2006 nor the “shellacking’” Barack Obama said Democrats endured in 2010.

Instead, the failure of a so-called “red wave” to materialize Tuesday night had Biden appearing confident, reflecting the mood of Democrats, including those inside the White House, who are feeling enthused and vindicated following an election season where the president’s political aptitude was questioned. At the time of Biden’s remarks, CNN has not been able to project the future majorities of the House or the Senate.

Read the full story here.

8:17 a.m. ET, November 10, 2022

Key things to know about the Georgia Senate runoff — and how it will work

From CNN's Paul LeBlanc

If Georgia voters were hoping to avoid talking politics at Thanksgiving, the state’s tightly contested Senate race has other plans.

Neither Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock nor Republican challenger Herschel Walker surpassed the 50% threshold needed to win the race outright Tuesday evening, CNN projects, forcing a runoff election set for Dec. 6.

But what exactly does that mean? And how will the runoff election work?

Here’s what you need to know:

What is a runoff and how does it work? A runoff is an additional election used to determine the winner of a certain race when neither candidate earns the required threshold for victory – in this case, 50%.

In Georgia, runoffs are more straightforward than general elections in that the candidate with the most votes wins regardless of whether they reach 50% or not.

Georgia’s top elections official, Brad Raffensperger, said counties are already preparing for the Dec. 6 election, and voters can request absentee ballots starting Wednesday through November 28 via the state’s online portal.

Early voting must begin by November 28 in all counties, but Raffensperger said his office anticipates some counties could have early voting on Saturday, November 26 or Sunday, Nov. 27. “We are working with the counties to find out what their plans are on this front,” he said.

Notably, the logistics of the 2022 runoff will be different than in years passed. The 2021 Georgia law that cut the length of runoffs from nine weeks to four means that the deadline for a new voter to register for the runoff election has already passed.

What is at stake? Put simply, a lot.

Depending on the outcome of Senate races in Arizona and Nevada, voters in Georgia could then – for the second consecutive election cycle – have the Senate majority in their hands.

Top officials from the Democratic and Republican parties told CNN they intend to double down on their significant investments in Georgia, with an increasing assumption that control of the Senate could hinge on the outcome of the runoff.