Nov. 6, 2022 US midterms coverage

By Matt Meyer, Maureen Chowdhury and Tara Subramaniam, CNN

Updated 7:53 a.m. ET, November 7, 2022
40 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
6:09 a.m. ET, November 7, 2022

Our live coverage has moved

Follow live updates on the US midterm election and early voting here.

5:42 a.m. ET, November 7, 2022

Frenetic last day on the trail as Republicans target big midterm triumph

From CNN's Stephen Collinson

Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a rally ahead of the midterm elections, in Miami, Florida, on November 6.
Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a rally ahead of the midterm elections, in Miami, Florida, on November 6. (Marco Bello/Reuters)

Republicans are increasingly bullish on winning big in Tuesday’s midterm elections, as they slam Democrats over raging inflation and crime while President Joe Biden seeks a late reprieve by warning that GOP election deniers could destroy democracy.

In a sign of the critical stakes and the growing angst among Democrats, four presidents – Biden, Donald Trump, Barack Obama and Bill Clinton – all took to the campaign trail over the weekend.

Ex-President Trump, edging ever closer to announcing a 2024 White House bid, will wrap up a campaign he used to show his enduring magnetism among grassroots Republicans, in Ohio, with a rally for Senate nominee J.D. Vance on Monday. In a speech that concluded in pouring rain for Florida Sen. Marco Rubio on Sunday, Trump predicted voters would “elect an incredible slate of true MAGA warriors to Congress.”

Biden, who spent Saturday getting out the vote in the critical Pennsylvania Senate race with Obama, warned the nation’s core values are in peril from Republicans who denied the truth about the US Capitol insurrection and following the brutal attack on Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband Paul.

“Democracy is literally on the ballot. This is a defining moment for the nation. And we all must speak with one voice regardless of our party. There’s no place in America for political violence,” Biden said.

The president will end his effort to stave off a rebuke from voters at a Democratic event in Maryland. The fact that he will be in a liberal bastion and not trying to boost an endangered lawmaker in a key race on the final night reflects his compromised standing in an election that has reverted to a referendum on his tattered credibility and low approval ratings.

Democrats are playing defense in blue-state strongholds like New York, Washington and Oregon and are waging a longshot struggle to cling to the House of Representatives. Republicans only need a net gain of five seats to win back control. A handful of swing state showdowns will decide the destiny of the Senate, currently split 50-50, including in Arizona, Nevada, Georgia and Pennsylvania. Republicans are also showing renewed interest in the race in New Hampshire between Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan and retired Army Brig. Gen. Don Bolduc, a pro-Trump candidate Democrats brand as an election-denying extremist.

Republican National Committee chair Ronna McDaniel predicted on CNN’s “State of the Union” her party would win both the House and the Senate and accused Biden of being oblivious to the economic anxiety among Americans with his repeated warnings about democracy.

Read more:

5:45 a.m. ET, November 7, 2022

A guide to how the US midterm elections work 

From CNN's Zachary B. Wolf and Ethan Cohen 

Here’s a quick lay of the land as you join us to follow the US midterm elections. 

When is Election Day? 

US elections are held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November every other year. Election Day 2022 is on Nov. 8. 

Who votes? 

American citizens over the age of 18 can vote. Some states make exceptions for people convicted of felony and some states require voters to register. 

Americans can also vote early — in person or by mail. 

Eight US states and the District of Columbia mail every voter a ballot. Some others allow early voting for everyone, and others require an excuse, although almost anyone can do some form of early voting (in person or by mail.) 

Who is being elected? 

The US Congress has two legislative bodies — the Senate and the House. 

Lawmakers elected to the Senate are called senators and they serve six-year terms. There are federal elections every two years. The seats are broken up into three classes, and about a third of the Senate is on the ballot every two years. The 2022 election features Class III senators. See the race ratings by Inside Elections. 

However, those elected to the House of Representatives are up for election every two years. Putting House members up for election every two years allows voters more direct and immediate control of the direction of their government since it’s the piece of federal government closest to the people. 

State governors are also up for election in 2022. Each state treats its governors slightly differently. Forty-eight of the 50 US states elect governors to four-year terms. Two states, New Hampshire and Vermont, elect governors to two-year terms. Most states, 36 of them, hold their governor elections in midterm election years between presidential elections. Three states, Kentucky, Mississippi and Louisiana, elect governors in off-year elections the year before a presidential election. Two states, New Jersey and Virginia, elect governors in off-year elections the year after a presidential election. 

What is the balance of power? 

Political parties have more power when they control the House or Senate by winning a majority of the seats in that chamber. The party in power controls committees that write legislation and decides which measures will get a vote on the floor. In the House, the party with at least 218 seats has the majority and, assuming it can unite behind one candidate, selects the Speaker of the House. In the Senate, the party with 51 votes has the majority. 

Will we know who wins on Election Day? 

Don’t count on final answers in every race on election night. With so many people voting early and by mail and so many close elections, there’s a good chance that it will take days or weeks to figure out who won some races. The margins of power in both the House and Senate are close enough that it could take days to know who will have a majority of seats. 

Read more:

5:31 a.m. ET, November 7, 2022

Avalanche of early lawsuits could pave way for disputes over Tuesday’s election results

From CNN's Tierney Sneed and Fredreka Schouten

Scores of pre-election lawsuits have been filed in battleground states ahead of Tuesday’s election, signaling the possibility of even more high-stakes and contentious court fights as voting wraps up and local officials start counting ballots.

Much of the current litigation focuses on the processes surrounding how votes are cast and counted – with some lawsuits seizing on the same debunked conspiracy theories about election fraud that propelled the court efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

In all, 120 cases surrounding voting had been filed as of November 3 – more than half of which have sought to restrict access to the ballot– according to the Democracy Docket, a liberal-leaning voting rights and media platform that tracks election litigation. By comparison, 68 election lawsuits had been filed before Election Day in 2020, the group said.

“What we saw in 2020 was this effort to undermine the elections, but, for the most part, it happened after the elections,” said Sylvia Albert, director of voting and elections at the organization Common Cause, which advocates on democracy issues. “This time what we are seeing is the prep beforehand.”

Some of the cases have been brought by the same fringe legal groups that sought to bolster former President Donald Trump’s bid to overturn his 2020 electoral loss.

But a significant portion of the pre-election litigation – about 1 in 5 of the cases that seek new restrictions – have been brought by state GOP committees or the Republican National Committee, according to Democracy Docket. The RNC has sought to build out its operations around monitoring elections after being sidelined from that work with a court consent decree that expired in 2018.

RNC officials say they are trying to ensure their party has robust representation in how Tuesday’s elections are run and the votes counted.

The court fights over the midterms may play a pivotal role in determining the winners in this week’s elections and even, perhaps, the balance of power in Washington. They also could set the ground rules for the 2024 presidential election, as the parties and outside groups test their strategies for when Trump – whose lies about a stolen 2020 election have shaped the current legal environment – could be on the ballot again.

Read more:

5:19 a.m. ET, November 7, 2022

Klobuchar pushes back against Newsom’s claim that Democrats are ‘getting crushed on narrative’

From CNN's Devan Cole

Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar on Sunday pushed back on California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s argument their party is “getting crushed on narrative” by Republicans and right-wing media outlets.

“You know what? He’s out there in California right now, and I am out here and been all over Ohio with Tim Ryan, in Pennsylvania with John Fetterman, with Mandela Barnes in Wisconsin and Cheri Beasley in North Carolina. I think either we are ahead in these races or we are in striking distance,” Klobuchar told CNN’s Dana Bash on “State of the Union,” referring to Democratic Senate nominees in key contests.

“We’re going to win these races. So he can talk about all he wants out there. I am in the middle of it,” the Minnesota Democrat added.

Newsom told CBS in a recent interview he agreed with the sentiment a red wave was likely in this year’s midterm elections.

“It goes to my fundamental grievance with my damn party. We’re getting crushed on narrative. We’re going to have to do better in terms of getting on the offense and stop being on the damn defense,” the California governor said.

4:52 a.m. ET, November 7, 2022

Cheney endorses another Democratic congresswoman

From CNN's Shawna Mizelle and Jeff Zeleny

Wyoming Republican Rep. Liz Cheney endorsed Virginia Democratic Rep. Abigail Spanberger on Saturday, weighing in on another highly competitive House race in the final days of the midterm election campaign.

Spanberger, a former CIA officer who was among the class of national security Democrats first elected in 2018, is locked in a tough contest with Republican challenger Yesli Vega to represent Virginia’s 7th Congressional District.

“I’m honored to endorse Abigail Spanberger. I have worked closely with her in Congress, and I know that she is dedicated to working across the aisle to find solutions. We don’t agree on every policy, but I am absolutely certain that Abigail is dedicated to serving this country and her constituents and defending our Constitution,” Cheney said in a statement.

Spanberger's opponent, Cheney continued, is "promoting conspiracy theories, denying election outcomes she disagrees with, and defending the indefensible."

Spanberger has campaigned on issues like infrastructure and lowering prescription drug costs, while her opponent, Vega, has said she will work to keep the Biden administration in check if elected. CNN has reached out to Spanberger’s campaign for comment on the endorsement.

Virginia’s 7th District House race is rated as “tilt Democratic” by Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales.

Some context: The move is Cheney’s latest endorsement of a member of her opposing party. The Wyoming Republican campaigned for Michigan Rep. Elissa Slotkin on Tuesday and endorsed her last week.

Cheney is leaving Congress at the end of her current term after losing the Republican primary for her at-large Wyoming seat in August. Her continued criticism of former President Donald Trump for his role in inciting the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol was seen as a key factor in her defeat.

Cheney said last month she would not remain a Republican if Trump is the GOP nominee for president in 2024.

3:59 a.m. ET, November 7, 2022

You might hear a few new terms as you follow the US midterm elections. Here’s what they mean 

From CNN's Zachary B. Wolf and Ethan Cohen 

Like every country, the US has some terms and expressions unique to its election cycles. Here are explainers on terms you might hear as you read our coverage. 

What is a “flipped seat” or “pickup”? 

A flipped seat or pickup is one in the House or Senate that voters take from one party and entrust to the other party. Because of redistricting, nine House seats – including seven new seats where there is no incumbent and two where two incumbents are running against each other – cannot be classified as pickups for either party. 

What is an “incumbent?” 

An incumbent is a lawmaker or elected official running for reelection. 

What is a special election? 

When a senator retires, dies or leaves office before his or her term ends, the state’s governor usually appoints a placeholder to fill the seat. Then there’s often a chance for voters to have their say, usually at the next possible federal election. That’s how Democratic Sens. Mark Kelly of Arizona and Raphael Warnock of Georgia were first elected in 2020 in special elections and why in 2022 both men are running for a full six-year term. 

This year, there are special Senate elections in Oklahoma, where Republican Sen. James Inhofe will be resigning next year, and in California, where Democratic Sen. Alex Padilla, who was appointed to replace Vice President Kamala Harris, is running both to fill the remainder of Harris’ term (which ends in January) and to win the next term. 

House members cannot be appointed, so when a House seat becomes vacant there needs to be a special election to fill it. This year, there’s a special election in Indiana to serve the last couple months of Rep. Jackie Walorski’s term. Walorski died in August. 

What is ranked-choice voting? 

A number of cities and states are experimenting with ways to give voters more access to the political process and to potentially depolarize politics. Ranked-choice voting is a system in place for most elections in Maine and Alaska where voters rank their choices in order of preference instead of picking a single candidate. If no candidate gets more than 50% of the first-place votes, the bottom candidate is dropped and the second choice of the voters who selected that candidate gets those votes. That process repeats until a winner emerges. 

What does “estimated vote” mean? 

Based on data including turnout in previous elections, pre-election ballots cast or requested, and pre-election polling, organizations can anticipate how many votes are expected in a given election. An estimated vote can under- or overestimate the actual vote, and the percentage reporting may move up or down throughout Election Night depending on how those estimates are adjusted as analysts assess real-time data. As those estimates solidify, they can be useful in predicting how many votes remain to be counted. 

What are exit polls? 

Exit polls are large-scale polls conducted by a consortium of news organizations among early and absentee voters and voters on Election Day. They are conducted as voters leave polling stations, on Election Day and in many states at early voting locations, and also by telephone or online ahead of Election Day to account for mail-in and early voting. 

What does “down ballot” mean? 

The top of the ticket is the race that the largest number of people in a state will see on their ballot. In a presidential year, those candidates are at the top of the ticket. Candidates in more local races are down ballot. A candidate for the House, for example, is down ballot from a presidential candidate. A mayoral candidate is down ballot from a House candidate. 

Jeremy Baldwin tags young cannabis plants at a marijuana farm in Grandview, Missouri on Monday, Oct. 31. A proposed constitutional amendment in Missouri will give voters the option to end prohibitions on marijuana in the state and allow personal use.
Jeremy Baldwin tags young cannabis plants at a marijuana farm in Grandview, Missouri on Monday, Oct. 31. A proposed constitutional amendment in Missouri will give voters the option to end prohibitions on marijuana in the state and allow personal use. (Charlie Riedel/AP)

What is a ballot initiative? How does a state decide to put one on the ballot? 

While most laws are passed by state legislatures or Congress, many states put some questions directly to voters during elections. These can range from issues like marijuana legalization to abortion or tax measures. The ballot initiatives give voters a more active role in choosing the direction of their laws. 

Read more about US elections here.

1:40 a.m. ET, November 7, 2022

Trump and other Republicans are already casting doubt on midterm results

From CNN's Daniel Dale

Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally in Miami on November 6.
Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally in Miami on November 6. (Rebecca Blackwell/AP)

In 2020, Former President Donald Trump and his allies made a prolonged effort to discredit the presidential election results in advance, spending months laying the groundwork for their false post-election claims the election was stolen. Now, in the weeks leading up to Election Day in 2022, some Republicans have been deploying similar – and similarly dishonest – rhetoric.


Trump posted on social media on Tuesday to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the midterm election in the critical swing state of Pennsylvania. “Here we go again!” he wrote. “Rigged Election!”

Trump’s supposed evidence? An article on a right-wing news site which demonstrated no rigging. Rather, the article baselessly raised suspicion about absentee-ballot data the article did not clearly explain

Trump is not the only Republican trying to baselessly promote suspicion about the midterms in Pennsylvania, a state which could determine which party controls the US Senate.

After Pennsylvania’s acting elections chief, Leigh Chapman, told NBC News last week it could take “days” to complete the vote count, Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano, who has repeatedly promoted false conspiracy theories about the 2020 election, said on a right-wing show monitored by liberal organization Media Matters for America: “That’s an attempt to have the fix in.”

It isn’t. It simply takes time to count votes – especially, as Chapman noted, because the Republican-controlled state legislature has refused to pass a no-strings-attached bill to allow counties to begin processing mail-in ballots earlier than the morning of Election Day.


The city of Detroit, like other Democratic-dominated cities with large Black populations, has been the target of false 2020 conspiracy theories from Trump and others. And now the Republican running to be Michigan’s elections chief is already challenging the validity of tens of thousands of Detroit votes in 2022.

Less than two weeks before Election Day, Kristina Karamo, a 2020 election denier and the Republican nominee for Michigan Secretary of State, filed a lawsuit asking a court to “halt” the use of absentee ballots in Detroit if they weren’t obtained in person at a clerk’s office and declare only those ballots obtained via in-person requests can be “validly voted” in this election. The request would potentially mean the rejection of thousands of votes already cast legally by Detroit residents – in a state whose constitution gives residents the right to request absentee ballots by mail.

Karamo’s lawyer vaguely softened the request during closing arguments on Friday, The Detroit News reported. And other prominent Republicans have so far kept their distance from the lawsuit. 

Nonetheless, the suit sets the table for Karamo, who is trailing in opinion polls, to baselessly reject the legitimacy of a defeat.


The Daily Beast reported Blake Masters, the Republican Senate candidate in a tight race in Arizona, told a story at an October event about how he can’t prove it’s not true that, if he beats Democratic incumbent Sen. Mark Kelly by 30,000 votes, unnamed people won’t just “find 40,000” for Kelly. He told a similar story at an event in June.

There is no basis for the suggestion there could be tens of thousands of fraudulent votes added to any state’s count. But Masters’ comment, like Karamo’s lawsuit, achieves the effect of many of Trump’s pre-Election Day tales in 2020: prime Republican voters to be distrustful of any outcome that doesn’t go their way.

You can read more here.

1:33 a.m. ET, November 7, 2022

What early voting data can and cannot tell us

Analysis from CNN's Zachary Wolf

When Democrats won the House in 2018, they did it with help from a great uptick in turnout that achieved the highest voter turnout for a midterm election in more than 100 years. 

Still, half the voting eligible population didn’t take part.

This year, early voting has surged in some of the key states, but Michael McDonald, the University of Florida political scientist known for tracking early voting data, has predicted turnout would fall below 2018 levels.

McDonald cautions against relying exclusively on early voting or polls as a definitive gauge of the situation.

"To answer the question about where we are in the early vote … what you want to do is you want to take all the bits of information you can weave together and try to get a picture of where we are," McDonald said. "So I don’t think early voting alone tells the picture just like I don’t think that polling alone tells you a definitive picture about where the election is going. "

"Polls have errors. Early voting has its nuances and measurement issues," McDonald said.

When it comes to the current election, McDonald says early voting is especially present in specific high-profile races.

"We’re certainly seeing a lot of interest in voting, especially in those really high-profile, high-tier elections that are going on for the US Senate or some of the gubernatorial races. Those seem to be drawing voters out. What we’re seeing in those states is high levels of early voting. We’re seeing a lot of democratic engagement," McDonald said.
"If you look elsewhere in the country, we’re not seeing that same level of engagement. Lacking that engagement, the election becomes more of a referendum on Biden, and that’s where we could see a split outcome, like many of the polls are showing." 

"If Democrats do lose the House, it will likely be at least partially because their voters just didn’t find a reason to vote in a state like California," McDonald said.  

"As we entered this last week of early voting, that’s the challenge for the Democrats. How do you fire up your base to vote at the same level that the Republicans are in places where you don’t have this high-profile marquee race that’s driving people to the polls?" McDonald said.