The latest on the 2022 midterm election

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

Updated 9:51 PM ET, Sat November 12, 2022
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9:23 a.m. ET, November 10, 2022

GOP Representative-elect Lawler tells CNN he wants party to "move forward" from Trump

From CNN's Jeremy Hochman

New York Representative-elect Michael Lawler appears on CNN on Thursday morning.
New York Representative-elect Michael Lawler appears on CNN on Thursday morning. (CNN)

New York Republican Representative-elect Michael Lawler told CNN that he wants the Republican Party to "move forward" from former President Donald Trump.

“I would like to see the party move forward,” Lawler told CNN. “I think anytime you are focused on the future, you can't so much go to the past. And I think people are really excited about the opportunity to address the challenges that we’re facing as a country, and I think more focus needs to be on the issues and the substance of those issues than on personalities.” 

Lawler added, "I think moving in a different direction as we move forward is a good thing, not a bad thing. But ultimately, look, the voters will decide what they want to do, and the former president will decide what he wants to do.” 

Lawler was asked if he is interested in focusing any time on investigations and potential impeachments of this administration.

"I think the top priority is to deal with inflation and the cost of living. That is what I ran on and that is what my focus will be ... I don't want to see is what we saw during the Trump administration where Democrats just went after the president and the administration incessantly," he said. "I don't want to go from one issue to the next without dealing with the issues that got me elected in the first place."

9:18 a.m. ET, November 10, 2022

What's left to count in Arizona's Maricopa County

From CNN's Ellie Kaufman

Boxes of scanned ballots sit on a pallet Wednesday at the Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center in Phoenix.
Boxes of scanned ballots sit on a pallet Wednesday at the Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center in Phoenix. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

There are about 400,000 to 410,000 ballots left to count in Maricopa County, the most populous county in Arizona, Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chair Bill Gates told "CNN This Morning" on Thursday. 

Out of the 400,000 to 410,000 left to count, about 290,000 of those ballots were dropped off on Election Day at voting places, Gates said. 

Out of the remaining 110,000, about 90,000 ballots were received before Election Day. 

“These are early ballots that we would have received over the weekend, or, specifically 290,000 that were dropped off on Election Day at our vote centers,” Gates said.

About 17,000 of the remaining 110,000 are ballots that were attempted to be counted on Election Day but were not read by the tabulator because of a printer error. These are referred to as "Box 3" ballots, Gates said.

Gates said he could not predict which votes would be counted first out of the remaining votes to be counted, but he said the ones they received earlier would likely be counted first.

“We can’t really zero in on that with specificity, but they would tend to be those we received earlier first, and then as we move on we’re getting more into those Election Day mail-in ballots that we received on Election Day,” Gates said.

Maricopa County is expected to report more results tonight. 

 

9:11 a.m. ET, November 10, 2022

Ohio Gov. DeWine: Some voters said they "would not vote for me" because they "disagreed with me" on abortion

From CNN's Aditi Sangal

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine talks to CNN on Thursday.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine talks to CNN on Thursday. (CNN via Skype)

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, who is projected to win reelection in the midterms, said a number of voters told him they could not vote for him due to his stance on abortion.

"Certainly, there were people who came up to me and said, 'Mike, I like what you're doing, I think you've been good on education, you were good during the pandemic, you protected us, you did this, but I can't vote for you because of abortion. We certainly did have that," he told CNN Thursday.

To these voters, abortion "was a defining issue," he added. "They simply would not vote for me because of the fact that they disagreed with me on the issue."

However, DeWine said he also met people who voted Republican because they liked his accomplishments in office so far. 

"We also, though, had a lot of people who came up to me and said, 'I don't really vote for Republicans, but I like what you've done in regard to job training,' or 'I like what you've done in regard to mental health and I'm going to vote for you," he said.

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

Sen. Klobuchar says GOP fell short in midterms due to candidate quality, Trump factor and abortion rights

From CNN's Daniella Diaz

Minnesota Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar said Republicans underperformed in the 2022 midterms because of many reasons, including Democrats' candidate quality, the Supreme Court's decision on abortion and voter response to former President Donald Trump's role in the party.

"We had some incredible candidates in the Senate and the House," she said on "CNN This Morning." "No. 2, when you have a situation that defies the tides of history, it's got to be something monumental going on and in this case, it was a rejection of the orthodoxy of the Republican's position. You have so many of their candidates, basically, wanting an abortion ban put in place."

"And finally, democracy was on the line. If the Republican Party wants to keep allowing Donald Trump to pick their candidates, you're gonna see the kind of results that you're seeing in red states, blue states and purple states," she added.

She also said a major priority for her and her colleagues is to pass the Electoral Count Act during the lame-duck session. 

"In Washington, we have a bunch of things on our plate, including getting the defense bill done with Ukraine right before us and the strides that [Ukrainian President Volodymyr] Zelensky is making against [Russia President] Vladimir Putin. On our plate is the end-of-the-year budget bill to make sure we get that right. As you know, the Electoral Count Act, an effort that I'm leading with Susan Collins and Joe Manchin and others, so we don't have Jan. 6 happen again. All of that is immediately when we get back."

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.