Nov. 6, 2022 US midterms coverage

By Matt Meyer, Maureen Chowdhury and Tara Subramaniam, CNN

Updated 7:53 a.m. ET, November 7, 2022
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3:49 p.m. ET, November 6, 2022

More than 40 million people have voted already. These states have the most pre-election votes cast so far

From CNN's Ethan Cohen

People wait in line for early voting on November 4, in Atlanta 
People wait in line for early voting on November 4, in Atlanta  (Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

More than 40 million pre-election ballots have been cast in 47 states, according to data from elections officials, Edison Research and Catalist.

Pre-election voting has been ahead of the 2018 pace across the states where data is available for the last three cycles. However, it’s still too early to know if overall turnout will reach 2018 levels, as voting patterns may have changed in the last few years.

Texas still has had the most pre-election votes, with more than 5.4 million ballots cast.

Florida has had more than 4.5 million ballots cast and California has more than 4.1 million.

Georgia, with more than 2.5 million ballots cast, and North Carolina, with more than 2.1 million, are the only other states with more than 2 million ballots cast so far.

That early turnout number in Georgia set a new state record for a midterm election.

Listen to the CNN Political Briefing podcast for analysis of the political landscape heading into the 2022 midterms.

2:45 p.m. ET, November 6, 2022

Watch: Republican elections official answers voting questions from skeptics

Misinformation about voting has grown rampant in the last two years and confidence in elections has fallen.

CNN asked an official in the key swing state of Arizona to respond directly to questions from supporters of Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake.

That elections official is a Republican: Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Gates. He addressed the verification process for mail ballots, the screening measures for election workers, the accuracy of vote-counting machines and more.

3:03 p.m. ET, November 6, 2022

Harris boosting women in elections during final days of the campaign

From CNN's Jasmine Wright

Vice President Kamala Harris, center, is joined on the stage by Massachusetts Attorney General nominee Andrea Campbell, left, and Attorney General and Democratic candidate for Gov. Maura Healey during a campaign rally on November 2, in Boston.
Vice President Kamala Harris, center, is joined on the stage by Massachusetts Attorney General nominee Andrea Campbell, left, and Attorney General and Democratic candidate for Gov. Maura Healey during a campaign rally on November 2, in Boston. (Mary Schwalm/AP)

Andrea Campbell first met Kamala Harris when the then-California attorney general gave the address at her 2009 UCLA Law school commencement. 

More than a decade later, Campbell watched as Vice President Harris rallied a gymnasium full of Democrats to support her in her bid to become the first Black woman to serve as attorney general of Massachusetts.

That full circle moment came as Harris makes her final round of stops before the final ballots of the midterm elections are counted. Harris, who has had a laser focus on abortion and women's rights issues while in office, is spending those last few days stumping for almost all women in Democratic stronghold states, going to friendly territory to serve as a closer in tighter-than-expected races.

Harris' last-minute travel emphasizes the high political stakes for Democrats in a midterm election that has largely focused on the question of whether President Joe Biden's party will be able to keep control of Congress — and if not, how much it might be able to minimize its losses. A source close to Harris says it's also reflective of a year-long strategy to put her in front of audiences where she could build important relationships for the future. 

"Over the next four days, Vice President Harris will continue to do what she has been doing and that's uplifting candidates up and down the ballot who are as equally committed to protecting reproductive rights and are committed to building on the progress the administration has been to bring the economy back," a White House official said. 

The vice president is expected to spend Monday in California, appearing with the state Democratic party for a rally on reproductive rights, according to a White House official. Los Angeles mayoral candidate Karen Bass is expected to attend, according to a California official.

On Sunday, Harris will appear with Sen. Tammy Duckworth and, later, with Gov. J.B Pritzker in Illinois, a day after Biden appears in the same state. 

That comes after back-to-back trips to boost women in elections. Harris spent Thursday in New York stumping for Gov. Kathy Hochul, who is in a tighter-than-expected reelection race, and Attorney General Letitia James alongside former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in a high-profile rally. 

Listen to the CNN Political Briefing podcast for analysis on the political landscape heading into the 2022 midterms.

2:18 p.m. ET, November 6, 2022

Kari Lake campaign headquarters received "suspicious" mail containing white powder, police confirm

From CNN's Michelle Watson, Kyung Lah, and Anna-Maja Rappard

Arizona Republican gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake attends a campaign rally on October 9, in Mesa, Arizona.
Arizona Republican gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake attends a campaign rally on October 9, in Mesa, Arizona. (Mario Tama/Getty Images/File)

Kari Lake's campaign headquarters in Phoenix received "suspicious" mail Saturday, according to her office and local police.

On Saturday, a staffer opened an envelope "that contained suspicious white powder," the Arizona gubernatorial candidate's team said.

"It was one of two envelopes that were confiscated by law enforcement and sent to professionals at Quantico for examination, and we are awaiting details," campaign spokesman Colton Duncan told CNN via text message. "The staff member is currently under medical supervision."   

Phoenix police told CNN in an email it responded to a "property call" at an address matching the headquarters.

"When officers arrived, they learned there were suspicious items located inside the mail. Additional resources responded to collect the items and secure the area," police Sgt. Phil Krynsky told CNN. "There have been no reports of injury and the investigation remains active."

CNN has reached out to the FBI Phoenix office for more information.  

Lake's team said it's taking the "threat incredibly seriously," and thanked authorities for looking into the incident.

"In the meantime, know that our resolve has never been higher, and we cannot be intimidated. We continue to push full speed ahead to win this election on Tuesday," Duncan added. 

Her opponent, Katie Hobbs, responded to the incident, saying through a spokesperson:

“The reported incident at Kari Lake’s campaign office is incredibly concerning and I am thankful that she and her staff were not harmed. Political violence, threats or intimidation have no place in our democracy. I strongly condemn this threatening behavior directed at Lake and her staff.”

Some background: Arizona has been a hot bed of extremist anger and threats against political and election officials. Those threats have been leveled against both Democratic and Republican leaders.

Lake has been one of the loudest proponents of the lie that the 2020 election was stolen. The former TV anchor spent over two decades at a Phoenix TV station, Fox 10. 

1:31 p.m. ET, November 6, 2022

Michigan elections chief says she needs all the federal help she can get securing election

From CNN's Sonnet Swire

One of the nation’s top cybersecurity officials said state election workers in Wisconsin and Michigan have told her they’re “pleased” with the federal government’s support leading up the 2022 midterm elections, while some state officials say they’re not getting enough.

Jen Easterly, the director of the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, or CISA, was asked by CNN’s Alex Marquardt Saturday about state officials in Wisconsin and Michigan who say they aren’t getting enough federal backing for elections and personnel security.

“I actually was just in Michigan and Wisconsin last week,” Easterly said, adding she met with Wisconsin Elections Commission administrator Meagan Wolfe and an elections director appointed by Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson.

Easterly said she “asked if they were getting everything they needed from us,” adding, “they were actually pleased with everything we’ve been providing,”

Michigan secretary of state responds: Asked by Marquardt on Saturday about Easterly’s comments, Benson said “we appreciate the federal support that’s been provided — it’s simply not enough.”

“In many ways, we are more prepared and better funded than we were in 2020,” Benson added. “But the challenges we are facing are escalating. So it’s gonna create a need for a regular stream of resources moving forward.”

Combating voter intimidation: Benson told Marquardt that “we are at a pivotal point" for the threat of people challenging voters' eligibility or otherwise intimidating them, "as a way of promoting a political strategy."

Benson, whose family was harassed during the 2020 elections, added she met with the Wayne County sheriff Saturday to discuss voter intimidation in the Detroit metro area.

“We have folks who are prepared to immediately respond to anyone who tries to intimidate any voters,” Benson said, adding “we will hold them accountable."

Read more on election security here. You can also read CNN's guide to navigating intimidation and other obstacles to voting.

2:25 p.m. ET, November 6, 2022

Oz is no moderate after sharing stage with Mastriano, Fetterman says

From CNN's Kit Maher

John Fetterman, Democratic candidate for Pennsylvania's Senate seat, speaks during a campaign event in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, on November 6.
John Fetterman, Democratic candidate for Pennsylvania's Senate seat, speaks during a campaign event in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, on November 6. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

John Fetterman, the Democratic candidate for Pennsylvania's Senate seat, criticized his opponent Mehmet Oz for sharing a stage with GOP gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano at former President Donald Trump’s rally Saturday. 

“He wants to try to portray himself now a moderate,” Fetterman said in Harrisburg Sunday morning, in conversation with Rep. Patty Kim. “There’s no moderating, no moderate, if you're willing to, to share a stage with somebody like Doug Mastriano.” 

Fetterman contrasted Trump’s stage last night with his own appearance on the same day with gubernatorial candidate Josh Shapiro, former President Barack Obama and President Joe Biden.

“Our team is 100% sedition free, and of course no one on the stage, in our stages, ever supported pardoning all of the Jan. 6 kind of insurrectionists. We also support on our stage that the choice of abortion belongs only to women and their doctor,” Fetterman said. 

Rep. Kim chimed in: “Oh by the way, who did Oprah endorse?”

The crowd cheered, but Fetterman remained silent in his signature Carhartt hoodie, with a slight smile on his face. 

Fetterman emphasized the high stakes nature of the Senate race and how he will be traveling across the Commonwealth to deliver his message to voters until the very end.

Mentioning how he won his mayoral race by one vote, Fetterman said, “It’s a jump ball. On Tuesday, it’s going to come down to every single vote.”

Listen to the CNN Political Briefing podcast for analysis on the political landscape heading into the 2022 midterms.

1:04 p.m. ET, November 6, 2022

Sen. Scott: "Absolutely" Republicans can win majority in the Senate without Pennsylvania

From CNN's Sarah Fortinsky

GOP Sen. Rick Scott speaks during an event on October 20, in Macon, Georgia.
GOP Sen. Rick Scott speaks during an event on October 20, in Macon, Georgia. (Jessica McGowan/Getty Images/File)

GOP Sen. Rick Scott would not say whether he plans to run for Senate majority leader if Republicans regain control of the chamber, nor would he commit to supporting former President Donald Trump if he entered the 2024 presidential race.

“I’m not focused on anything except getting a majority Tuesday night,” the Florida Republican said in an interview on NBC’s "Meet the Press" Sunday.

Scott’s comments come amid tension between the senator, who heads the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

That tension has only increased in the weeks leading up to the midterm elections. The two have found their strategies at odds as they seek to win back the Senate chamber this November, as CNN recently reported.  

On Trump in 2024: Scott was also asked whether he would support Donald Trump in another presidential bid.

“There is going to be a lot of people probably announce. We’ll watch what happens. I’m focused on getting a majority in the Senate,” Scott said told NBC's Chuck Todd.

On recapturing the Senate: Scott addressed a range of other topics, including GOP prospects this coming Tuesday and plans the party has if they take back the Senate. 

“We’re going to get 52-plus,” Scott said, referring to the number of seats he believes could be held by Republicans. “Mehmet Oz is going to win, Ted Budd’s going to win, Herschel Walker’s going to win. Adam Laxalt’s going to win. I think we have a really good shot in Arizona. I think we have a shot, a really good shot in New Hampshire. I think we have a shot in Washington and Colorado. We maybe even have a shot, depends on the voters, in Connecticut.”

He said “absolutely” Republicans can win without Pennsylvania and later added that he also predicts Republicans will win in Arizona and New Hampshire, when pressed on his answer. 

On whether he will accept all results of the election, Scott said, “absolutely,” but hedged, adding Republican leaders are prepared to combat any "shenanigans" in the process.

11:52 a.m. ET, November 6, 2022

On the campaign trail: Economic anxiety top of mind for voters

From CNN's Dana Bash and Abbie Sharpe

People walk towards an early voting location in Stafford, Virginia, on November 3.
People walk towards an early voting location in Stafford, Virginia, on November 3. (Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

Sometimes you hit the campaign trail and there is an issue voters care so much about, that its dominance is inescapable. In 2006, it was growing opposition to the Iraq war. In 2010, it was the backlash against big government spending and bailouts coupled with fear about what Obamacare would look like. This year, it is deep concern about affordability

That is not to say that other issues, from abortion to crime to the climate and beyond, don't matter a lot to voters — but anxiety about the high cost of the basics is palpable.

We learned that traveling to five pivotal states since Labor Day weekend: Michigan, Ohio, Virginia, Nevada and Arizona. We covered competitive races and talked to scores of voters in diners, gas stations, grocery store parking lots, construction sites, outdoor markets and more.

"I drive a truck and it does not get very good gas mileage. I actually had to quit my last job because I couldn't afford to drive all the way out there," Amanda Cleaver told us at the Michigan State Fair on Labor Day weekend.

Greg Steyer, as he sat with a group of friends at Bud's Restaurant in Defiance, Ohio, expressed his exasperation as well.

"Why is the price of gas where it is today?" Steyer asked the second week of September.

"You can't just overlook that issue," he added.

As Joseph San Clemente put his groceries in his car in a Virginia Beach parking lot in late September, he couldn't get over the prices of what he had just purchased.

"Vegetables have gone up 20 to 30%," he said. "Growers locally in the farms are not carrying things they did last year because people don't have the money."

Dave Dent, who manages a construction company in Tucson, Arizona, said in late October that inflation in his line of work is as high as 30%.

And Maria Melgoza, who cleans homes in Las Vegas, told us how hard it is to make ends meet these days.    

"Food is high, gas is high, rent is high," she said, speaking in Spanish.

We heard from many frustrated voters — especially those among the working class and in rural areas — who feel forgotten by politicians in Washington.

"I came up in a union household. My dad was a Teamster for 30 years, voted Democrat. But they're completely out of touch with what everyday Americans want," lamented Jason Fetke in Virginia Beach.

A current union member we met in Toledo, Ohio, says he is voting for Democrats this year, but still feels like neither party is doing enough.

"I think there should be a lot more focus on working class people," said Joe Stallbaum.

"It just seems like we always get left behind for either the high or the low," he added. 

Read more from the campaign trail here.

11:24 a.m. ET, November 6, 2022

CNN's John King: Republicans have a huge advantage going into Election Day

From CNN's John King

Republicans have an advantage going into Election Day, CNN's John King reports, as he breaks down the key races to watch on Tuesday.