CNN Projection: Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel will win reelection
From CNN staff
Democratic Attorney General Dana Nessel will be reelected, CNN projects, and defeat Republican Matthew DePerno.
DePerno was a leader in the efforts to challenge Michigan’s 2020 election results, including by filing a lawsuit claiming vote fraud in Antrim County. While the suit failed and DePerno’s theories about Dominion voting machines have been thoroughly debunked, he pledges to “prosecute the people who corrupted the 2020 election.”
9:06 a.m. ET, November 9, 2022
Georgia campaigns preparing for a runoff in critical Senate race
From CNN's Jeff Zeleny and Pamela Brown
Four Senate races must still be called, but only one offers a chance of a rematch: Georgia.
As day breaks the morning after the election, the campaigns of Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger Herschel Walker are starting to prepare for one more month of campaigning – not waiting for a runoff to be formally called by state election officials.
Both candidates are expected to speak later today, aides say, with specific plans still in flux.
Top officials from the Democratic and Republican parties also tell 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 a likely Dec. 6 runoff.
While Warnock holds a narrow edge over Walker of about 18,000 votes – out of more than 4 million ballots cast – Republican officials are alarmed by another tally from election night: Walker’s underperformance compared to Gov. Brian Kemp.
In his reelection victory, Kemp performed far stronger than Walker in suburban areas, earning about 163,000 more votes than Walker.
Georgia election official Gabriel Sterling told CNN that the state’s secretary of state office began making preparations last night for a runoff in the US Senate race. Preparations include building ballots and pushing proofs to counties starting Monday.
So far, neither candidate has reached the 50 percent needed to avoid a runoff, which makes a runoff a very real possibility.
9:15 a.m. ET, November 9, 2022
Arizona's Maricopa County official gives a breakdown of all the votes that are yet to be counted
From CNN's Aditi Sangal
There are at approximately 300,000 ballots left to be counted in Maricopa County, Board of Supervisors Bill Gates told "CNN This Morning" on Wednesday.
Approximately 17,000 ballots from Election Day, not including mail-in ballots, have yet to be counted, Gates said. Those ballots comprise roughly 7% of ballots that went into “Box 3,” meaning “they were not run through the tabulator there at the vote center, but they are secure and they will be tabulated in our central count facility,” Gates said.
In addition, there are 90,000 mail-in ballots that were received after Friday but before Tuesday that have not been counted, and approximately 200,000 mail-in ballots received Tuesday that also have yet to be counted, Gates told CNN This Morning.
He noted that they do not have a precise count of how many mail in ballots were received Tuesday, but said the roughly 200,000 “all came in late last night.”
Gates stressed that voters in Maricopa County “should not be concerned” about their votes being counted after a technical issue, telling CNN that the bottom line is that “everyone who showed up yesterday with a valid ID…they had the opportunity to vote a ballot and that vote is going to count.”
"Because of the great work of our poll workers and our technicians to determine what the issue was, we were able to get those tabulators back online," he said. "Everyone who showed up yesterday with a valid ID — because we have a voter ID law here in Arizona — they had the opportunity to vote a ballot, and that vote is going to be counted."
8:54 a.m. ET, November 9, 2022
The morning after the election, here are the remaining Senate and House races to watch
From CNN’s Tara Subramaniam, Eric Bradner, Dan Merica and Gregory Krieg
Election Day is over but many of the fundamental races of this election cycle remain uncalled.
Gubernatorial races in Alaska, Arizona, Kansas, Nevada and Oregon have yet to be called. And as the country begins to look towards 2024, the management of future elections in three key states remains unclear, with the races for Secretary of State in Arizona, Nevada and Wisconsin ongoing.
When it comes to Congress, control of both the House and Senate is still up for grabs.
In the Senate, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman's victory in Pennsylvania, flipping a GOP seat, gave Democrats a sigh of relief as they await results from Arizona, Nevada, Wisconsin and Georgia. Republicans need to win three of those four to claim a majority.
The shape of the House, too, remains uncertain.
Here are the remaining races, whose outcomes will determine which party controls the chambers:
Congress' 1st Gen Z representative says he and Biden shared experience of being elected young on call
The first member of Gen Z who is heading to Congress, 25-year-old Florida Representative-elect Maxwell Alejandro Frost, said that he and President Joe Biden bonded on a call about the president also first being elected at a young age.
Frost has received calls from Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi after his projected win in Florida's 10th District.
He and Biden discussed how the president was elected to the Senate when he was 29 years old and how had to wait until after his 30th birthday to be sworn in.
"He asked me if it was the same situation. I said 'no, Mr. President, you have me beat on that. I'm already old enough to be sworn in on Jan. 3.' It was great to talk to him. He was elected at a very young age, too, and so he understands that experience," he told CNN's Poppy Harlow.
Generation Z refers to those born after 1996. Frost will succeed Democrat Val Demings, who vacated the seat to run for Senate.
Frost said when organizers in Orlando first approached him about running last year, his first reaction was "no," but he told CNN that a call to his biological mother changed that.
"I was at a crossroads. ... Hearing that she had me at the most vulnerable point in her life really reaffirmed what I believe in and why I ran for Congress," he said.
Frost said he wants to push for gun violence legislation, including universal background checks.
When asked about Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis winning a resounding reelection victory, Frost said, "What we saw was not a red wave. ... What we saw is there was a blue deficit. Democrats did not turn out the way they needed to. And I think as Democrats, we need to have year-round organizing."
Watch here for more:
8:08 a.m. ET, November 9, 2022
Biden world is in especially good mood about Fetterman's win in Pennsylvania Senate race
From CNN's MJ Lee and Betsy Klein
President Biden and his advisers are in a particularly good mood about one candidate who scored a major victory overnight: John Fetterman.
The Pennsylvania lieutenant governor was in one of the most closely watched Senate races of the cycle, and ultimately defeated celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz. Biden texted Fetterman to congratulate him, and a White House official even made a rare comment on this specific win: “The president had a great time with the senator-elect on Saturday,” a White House official told CNN overnight.
That comment served as a reminder, of course, that the president had campaigned alongside Fetterman in Pennsylvania in the final stretch of the midterms. That move had stood out because towards the very end, Biden was sticking to safer, blue states such as New York, Maryland and California.
In the end, one of the most important Senate race results of the election was Democrats picking up a Senate seat in Pennsylvania where both Biden and former President Barack Obama went all out in the end – efforts that ultimately could have made a difference in Fetterman’s favor.
7:42 a.m. ET, November 9, 2022
Biden world feeling vindicated that abortion and protecting democracy were serious motivators for voters
From CNN's MJ Lee
In the final stretch of the midterms, President Biden and his White House were starting to be on the receiving end of a whole lot of criticism that went something like this: Why wasn’t the president focusing solely on the economy when it is the top, overwhelming issue for most voters?
That criticism took aim at the fact that Biden and his advisers were choosing to spend a good amount of effort and time in the final stretch discussing abortion rights and issues related to protecting democracy and election integrity. This included a major evening speech by the president last week in Washington, DC, in the aftermath of a violent attack against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband.
The morning after the election, Biden advisers say they feel even more vindicated on their messaging decisions – pointing to various exit polls that indicate yes, the economy was a huge motivator for voters – but so were other issues such as abortion and protecting democracy.
Even as they wait to learn what the balance of Congress will ultimately be, Biden advisers say some of the most important bright spots around the country that they’ve isolated are ballot initiatives aimed at protecting abortion rights.
7:49 a.m. ET, November 9, 2022
These maps show how the election unfolded — so far
As some key races remain uncalled as of Wednesday morning, here's a look at the states and districts that CNN projected for Democrats or Republicans over the course of election night.
In the Senate:
And in the House:
8:04 a.m. ET, November 9, 2022
Georgia's GOP lt. governor: Republicans are waking up wishing they "picked a better candidate" than Walker
From CNN's Aditi Sangal
Georgia's Republican Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan lamented on Wednesday that the GOP Senate candidate in Georgia was Herschel Walker.
"I think a lot of Republicans like me are waking up this morning going 'what could have been if we picked a better candidate that could have won with a margin like Brian Kemp that would have been able to put real leadership on display, real ideas on display, win the hearts and minds of Georgians, and get the state back to fully red?'" he told CNN.
"I think it sends a message to the country, along with other states, that this is a pivot point for the Republican Party. This is a time that Donald Trump is, no doubt, in the rear view mirror. It's time to move on with the party, it's time to move on with candidate quality," Duncan added. "If they would have just woke up 12 months ago and stopped taking [Trump's] lead and took the lead of what real Republicans, real Republican policies mattered, we'd be in a different place."
Duncan has been a critic of Trump for some time now, urging Republican leaders and voters to move on from the former president.
"I think Donald Trump's moving from a movement to a distraction for the Republican Party now," Duncan told CNN Wednesday.