Democrat Rep. David Trone will defeat Republican Neil Parrott in the highly competitive 6th Congressional District in Maryland, CNN projects.
In interviews following the midterm elections, some former and current Republican members of Congress wouldn't commit to a Donald Trump bid for the presidency in 2024.
With the results still being counted in some states, numerous sitting members and former lawmakers took aim at the former president for the party's subpar results:
Rep. Troy Nehls: "There's just a lot of negative attitudes about Trump," Nehls said on Houston Morning News. The Texas conservative once called Trump one of America's greatest presidents after winning his endorsement in spring 2022.
Former Sen. Rick Santorum: On the Dom Giordano program, a conservative talk radio station in Pennsylvania, Santorum compared Trump to Moses in the Bible — but said it was time to move on.
"He changed, he transformed the Republican party, but that doesn't necessarily mean he's the right guy to actually lead the party going forward into an era of governance and prosperity," Santorum said.
"Just be happy you're Moses, and it's time to turn the page," said Santorum, who endorsed Trump in 2016.
Former Rep. Mark Walker: On North Carolina talk radio on Thursday, Walker, the former vice chair of the Republican Conference, blasted Trump for backing Mehmet Oz and others, saying Trump picked the "wrong horse" in many races. Trump backed Walker's opponent in the Republican primary for North Carolina's Senate seat, Ted Budd -- who went on to win the race this week.
"You're looking long-term and taking a look, (Florida Gov.) Ron DeSantis may be the guy," said Walker, citing DeSantis' lopsided win.
Rep. Tim Walberg: On the Steve Gruber Show, Michigan's Walberg said the former president might need to change his message when he was asked about Trump-endorsed candidates losing around the country.
"I hope that President Trump, as he moves forward, really does a postmortem and thinks what this means to his message," said Walberg, who Trump endorsed this cycle.
Read more here.
In Maryland's highly competitive race for the 6th Congressional District, 92% of the vote is already counted — and incumbent Democratic Rep. David Trone trails Republican nominee Neil Parrott by only 1,277 votes.
In 2018, Trone earned 59% of the district-wide vote. But the recently redrawn district has become more competitive. On Tuesday, Parrot told a local reporter that he expects to beat Trone by a margin as narrow as 100 votes.
Here's a look at where voting stands as of Friday afternoon:
Election officials in Montgomery County say they have 37,864 mail-in ballots that are being prepared for counting.
Montgomery County will release another batch of results on Friday by 11 p.m. ET. Officials wouldn’t estimate how many of the 37,864 mail ballots will be included in the results on Friday.
Looking ahead, Election Board officials are scheduled to continue “canvassing” or processing ballots on Saturday, including signature verification. Officials will dedicate Sunday to scanning, sorting, and other administrative tasks. Ballot processing will resume Monday.
Frederick County is in possession of 13,420 mail-in ballots that will be processed soon. They also have 2,602 outstanding provisional ballots. County officials say they’ll release more results sometime after 8 p.m. ET on Friday.
Both Frederick and Montgomery County expect to receive more mail-in ballots throughout the next week. In Maryland, mail ballots can be accepted until Nov. 18, as long as they were postmarked by Election Day. These are often referred to as “late-arriving ballots,” because they arrive at election offices after Election Day.
Montgomery County officials said there were 25,097 mail-in ballots that were requested that haven’t been returned yet. Some of these, likely a small chunk, can continue to trickle in until the Nov. 18 deadline.
Colorado is still counting ballots — a process that could take into next week to be fully complete, according to Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold. The main reason why it takes so long is because of the state's election model, she said.
"The Colorado election model is extremely accessible,” she told CNN Friday, saying that in addition to voting in-person on Election Day, voters also have the option to vote early or vote by mail. Colorado sends all registered voters ballots ahead of the election.
“If voters really turn out in the days leading up to Election Day and on Election Day, that just means it takes time for the county clerks to process the ballots,” Griswold said.
Additionally, while votes are being processed, each county will hold some ballots until next Wednesday, she said. This is because that is the deadline for military and oversees ballots to be received by clerks, Griswold explained, adding that it is also the deadline for voters to fix any signature issues on mail ballots.
“The reason that they do that is because as voters fix their signatures and as overseas, the military ballots are continuing to come in, the vote of how a Coloradan casts the ballot has to stay anonymous,” she said, noting that the only way to ensure that the vote stays anonymous is to hold "a certain number of ballots in every county" so the way they vote "is actually disclosed in reporting.”
“So the process is ongoing and what is the most important thing is that every vote counts,” Griswold added.
New batches of votes were reported late Thursday evening in Arizona and Nevada – states with key races that will determine control of the Senate – but it’s still not clear when enough of the outstanding hundreds of thousands of ballots will be counted to call the Senate and gubernatorial contests in those states.
Arizona’s most populous county, Maricopa, is expected to begin reporting votes from the critical batch of roughly 290,000 early ballots turned in on Election Day – and the partisan composition of those votes could determine who wins the state’s Senate and governor’s races.
More votes are expected to be reported on Friday as counting continues. If you're just joining us, here’s what to know about where things stand:
- CNN and other news networks have yet to call the Senate race between Democratic incumbent Mark Kelly and Republican challenger Blake Masters, or the governor’s race between Democrat Katie Hobbs and Republican Kari Lake.
- The CNN Decision Desk estimated there are roughly 540,000 ballots still to be counted, as of late Thursday evening. The majority of those, about 350,000 ballots, are in Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix.
- The biggest chunk of uncounted ballots, about 290,000, are votes that were dropped off at vote centers on Election Day. A top official told CNN late Thursday that Maricopa County expects to start releasing the first results from those outstanding ballots Friday evening.
- Those ballots could be key in determining who will win the statewide races for governor and Senate. The mail-in ballots reported so far in Arizona lean heavily Democratic while Election Day ballots strongly favor Republicans – but it’s still too early to know which way the mail-in ballots turned in on Election Day will fall.
- In addition, Maricopa County has about 17,000 ballots that were not read by the tabulator on Election Day because of a printer error, and those ballots still need to be counted, too.
- Maricopa County updated an additional tranche of just over 78,000 ballots on Thursday night.
- In Pima County, Arizona’s second-most populous and home to Tucson, a new batch of 20,000 ballots was reported Thursday evening. Elections Director Constance Hargrove told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer and John King that the county has been able to report batches of approximately 20,000 ballots per day, and anticipated another ballot drop of 20,000 on Friday.
- Key races in the Silver State, including the Senate contest between Democratic incumbent Catherine Cortez Masto and Republican challenger Adam Laxalt and the governor’s race between Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak and Republican Joe Lombardo, have not been called as of Friday morning.
- The CNN Decision Desk estimated there were about 95,000 votes outstanding as of Thursday evening.
- In Clark County, the state’s largest, which includes Las Vegas, there are more than 50,000 ballots still to be counted, Clark County registrar Joe Gloria said Thursday.
- Nevada state law allows mail-in ballots to be received through Saturday, as long as they were postmarked by Election Day, meaning counties are still receiving ballots to be counted. But many ballots now arriving are being disqualified because they were postmarked after Election Day.
- Jamie Rodriguez, interim registrar of votes for Washoe County, said the county disqualified 400 mail-in ballots on Thursday – about two-thirds of the mail-in ballots the county received – because they were postmarked late.
- Washoe County, which includes Reno, still has about 22,000 ballots left to count, Rodriguez said, and the county expects to get through most of them on Friday.
- Clark County added around 12,000 votes on Thursday night. The county says it will provide an update Friday on its remaining ballots to count.
What is causing the delay? The biggest reason the vote counting is taking so long is the way that each state handles the ballots outside of those cast at polling places on Election Day, including both early votes and mail-in ballots.
When races are within a percentage point or two, those outstanding ballots are enough to keep the election from being projected. Of course, the lag was anticipated – it took news organizations until the Saturday after Election Day in 2020 to declare Joe Biden the winner in the presidential race, following a massive increase in mail-in voting amid the pandemic.
Former President Donald Trump has never stopped posting false claims about the 2020 election. Now he is also posting false claims about the 2022 election.
Even as he proclaims the midterms a “Big Victory,” Trump is making a variety of baseless declarations that various 2022 races were rigged or stolen.
On his social media platform on Thursday and Friday morning, Trump:
- Falsely insinuated that Pennsylvania’s US Senate race was stolen — even though Republican candidate Mehmet Oz, who trailed by more than 200,000 votes as of the time of Trump’s post, had conceded defeat to Democratic candidate John Fetterman without a fuss more than 30 hours prior.
- Falsely claimed that Republicans would win the Senate “if we can stop their very obvious CHEATING.” Democrats have a solid and entirely legitimate chance to maintain control of the Senate. There was no sign of cheating. Key Senate races in Arizona and Nevada are still too close to call, leaving control of the Senate undecided.
- Falsely claimed that Clark County, Nevada, a populous Democratic stronghold that is home to Las Vegas, “has a corrupt voting system.” There was no basis for this claim. Clark County Registrar of Voters Joe Gloria responded that Trump clearly remains “misinformed.”
- Falsely claimed that Arizona officials who said the count would take additional days “want more time to cheat!” There was no basis for this claim; the count is proceeding as normal.
- Baselessly claimed that “very strange things are happening with the votes cast in Nevada and Arizona,” and that, in Arizona, “their [sic] finding some very strange ballots?” It was not clear what Trump was talking about here, but there has been nothing strange reported about the votes cast in those states.
CNN has yet to make projections in several races as control of the House and Senate hangs in the balance and votes continue to be counted in key states.
Here is where things stand in both chambers — and which races are yet to be called:
SENATE: CNN has not made a projection in two seats – Arizona and Nevada. Georgia's Senate race is headed to a runoff, CNN projected earlier this week.
- In Nevada, Republican Adam Laxalt currently leads Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto by about 9,000 votes. As of Thursday evening, CNN’s Decision Desk estimated that approximately 95,000 votes remained to be counted in the state. By-mail ballots can be received in Nevada through Saturday as long as they were postmarked by Election Day.
- In Arizona, CNN's Decision Desk estimates that about 540,000 votes remain to be counted. Vote reports from Thursday night expanded Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly’s lead, and he’s currently ahead of Republican Blake Masters by about 115,000 votes.
We expect vote reports tonight from the largest counties in both states.
HOUSE: CNN is yet to make a projection in 26 races.
- CNN made nine House projections Thursday, seven for Democrats and two for Republicans. These include two seats in California with two Democratic candidates. While CNN cannot yet project which candidate will win those seats, CNN put both in the Democratic column.
- Republicans need to win seven more seats to reach the 218 needed to control the House, Democrats need to win 20 more seats to reach 218.
Nearly all of the House races yet to be projected are in states with a significant number of votes left to count, such as California, Arizona, and Oregon, which could mean it will be some time before control of the House is determined.
Members of the pro-Trump House Freedom Caucus are withholding their support for House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy’s speakership bid and have begun to lay out their list of demands, putting the California Republican’s path to securing 218 votes in peril if the party ultimately takes the House with a slim majority.
McCarthy and his team are confident he will ultimately get the votes to be speaker. But the conservative hardliners are emboldened by the likelihood of a narrow House GOP majority and are threatening to withhold their support – something that could imperil his bid or force him to make deals to weaken the speakership, something he has long resisted.
Rep. Chip Roy of Texas told reporters that “no one currently has 218” votes for speaker, which is the magic number McCarthy would need to secure the speaker’s gavel on the House floor in January, and said he wants McCarthy to list in greater detail his plans for a wide array of investigations into the Biden administration. And Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona complained that McCarthy seemed to backpedal on whether he’d be willing to launch impeachment proceedings into President Joe Biden or members of his Cabinet.
“I’ve heard from multiple of my constituents who question the wisdom of proceeding forward with that leadership,” Biggs said, adding that there needs to be a “frank conversation” about who they elect for the top job.
Members of the group are also pushing to make it easier for lawmakers to call for floor votes on ousting a sitting speaker. That is something that McCarthy is adamantly against and was wielded over former Speaker John Boehner before he eventually resigned.
Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado said it was a “red line” for her, but not everyone in the Freedom Caucus is united on whether to make that a hard line.
The Freedom Caucus, a group that includes dozens of hardline members, have been meeting in Washington, DC, this week for their new member orientation, where they have begun to plot out their strategy for the speaker’s race. With a slimmer-than-expected majority, they see an opportunity, and are planning to use their leverage to get more power in a GOP-led House.
Ballots are still being counted in Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert’s Colorado district, where she is in a tight race against Democrat Adam Frisch.
CNN has not made a projection in the race yet, but Boebert was ahead of Frisch by 1,122 votes as of 9 a.m. ET Friday.
The boundaries of the 3rd Congressional District shifted after Colorado added a new district because the 2020 Census showed population growth, with the state’s independent redistricting commission creating a map that added an eighth seat in the northern suburbs of Denver.
Encompassing the western and southern portions of the state that includes Grand Junction, the majority of residents living in Boebert’s district are White and many residents have traditionally registered as Republican.
As of Sept. 1, nearly 31% of registered voters were Republican, nearly 24% were Democrat and 44% were unaffiliated with a political party, according to the state’s independent redistricting commissions.
Boebert won the county in the 2020 election with 51.4% of the vote, defeating Democrat Diane Mitsch Bush who had 45.2%. Under the new redrawn district, former President Donald Trump would’ve won the district by nearly 8 percentage points but would’ve won by about 5.5 percentage points under the older map.
Boebert suggested to CNN on Thursday that a lack of voter enthusiasm for her party’s candidates for governor and Senate caused her race to be much closer than anticipated.
She noted that Gov. Jared Polis and Sen. Michael Bennet, who are both Democrats, skated to reelection. “I think Polis and Bennet definitely carried the ticket for the Democrat Party,” she told CNN.
She added, “I don’t know if there wasn’t enough enthusiasm for our top ticket candidates for governor and Senate or what happened there. But there was a lot of shifting of the votes there.”
Boebert still expressed confidence she would eke out a victory. “Of course, I expect to win.”