2022 midterm election results

By Aditi Sangal, Adrienne Vogt, Elise Hammond, Maureen Chowdhury, Clare Foran, Meg Wagner, Melissa Macaya, Joe Ruiz and Seán Federico-OMurchú, CNN

Updated 5:55 a.m. ET, November 9, 2022
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6:40 p.m. ET, November 8, 2022

Exit polls: Voter views on Trump are even more negative than on Biden

From CNN's Ariel Edwards-Levy

While voters in this year’s midterm election hold negative views of President Joe Biden, their views of his predecessor are even more negative, according to the preliminary national results of the exit poll conducted for CNN and other news networks by Edison Research.

Only about 37% of voters in this year’s midterms expressed a favorable view of former President Donald Trump, with around 6 in 10 viewing him unfavorably. About 16% of voters said their House vote this year was intended to express support for Trump, with just under 3 in 10 saying it was intended to express opposition and the rest saying that Trump was not a factor.

Voters’ opinions of the GOP were slightly more positive than their views of Trump, with about 43% viewing the Republican Party favorably and just over half viewing it unfavorably. More than half, about 54%, say the GOP is too extreme.

6:40 p.m. ET, November 8, 2022

For Herschel Walker, the Trump playbook paid off — with no Trump

From CNN's Jeff Zeleny

Herschel Walker speaks at a campaign event in Hiram, Georgia, on November 6.
Herschel Walker speaks at a campaign event in Hiram, Georgia, on November 6. (Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images)

With polls in Georgia on the verge of closing, one thing is clear in the marquee Senate race here: Herschel Walker was never disqualified by myriad allegations against him – because Republicans made a strategic decision to circle the wagons around his candidacy and take a page out of the Trump playbook in responding to a political crisis.

Yet they did it without former President Trump himself.

In the final stretch of the race – as Trump traveled from rally to rally and state to state – he steered clear of Georgia, despite having recruited Walker to run for Senate in the first place.

A visit by Trump, many Republicans in Georgia say they feared, could be highly risky to Walker’s candidacy. The two men continued to speak regularly, aides say and reached an understanding that Trump would not visit the state.

Instead of Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock being able to tie Walker to Trump, it was Walker who tied Warnock to President Biden. And that, given the President’s unpopularity, kept Walker in the ballgame and kept the race in a deadlock.

6:48 p.m. ET, November 8, 2022

High stakes in deadlocked Wisconsin gubernatorial race as Evers stands as a safeguard against GOP legislature

Form CNN's DJ Judd and Omar Jimenez

While Wisconsin’s Senate contest has drawn national attention as a race that could decide the balance of the Senate, the state’s other marquee race — the gubernatorial election — could have equal, if not greater, ramifications for Wisconsinites. 

Democratic Gov. Tony Evers has served as a roadblock against Republicans in the State Assembly and Senate, vetoing a record number of bills out of the GOP-controlled chambers. Since taking office in 2019, the Democratic governor has blocked nearly 150 bills from becoming law, ranging on issues around the Covid-19 pandemic, election security and abortion in the state.

When the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June, the state reverted to an 1849 total ban on abortion.

In response, Evers called the legislature back for a special legislative session to overturn the law. Both chambers immediately gaveled out, leaving the law on the books. At the time, Evers warned, “We cannot afford to have Wisconsin become the worst state in the union. We have a great state here, people love living in Wisconsin, but by God, if we go down the wrong path Nov. 8, this will be a worse state.” 

Evers on Tuesday evening touted his veto on nine bills out of the GOP-controlled legislature that would’ve further restricted abortion in the state.

“I’ve vetoed 9 bills that would have restricted access to abortion in Wisconsin,” the Democratic governor wrote Tuesday. “As long as I’m governor, I’ll defend the right to safe and accessible reproductive healthcare. We need your support to keep this fight going. Head to the polls today.”

But even if Evers proves victorious over challenger Tim Michels, Republicans only need to flip five seats in the State Assembly and just one seat in the Senate to achieve veto-proof majorities in their respective chambers, allowing the party to push through legislation it has been trying to pass without success.

For his part, Michels has pledged to overhaul elections in the state, saying at a campaign stop last month in Jefferson County that "Republicans will never lose another election in Wisconsin after I'm elected governor."

Polls in the state close in just a little more than two hours.

6:28 p.m. ET, November 8, 2022

As polls begin to close, here are some terms to know while you follow along during election night

From CNN's Zachary B. Wolf and Ethan Cohen

A person walks out of a polling site at Brown University hours before the polls close in Providence, Rhode Island, on Tuesday.
A person walks out of a polling site at Brown University hours before the polls close in Providence, Rhode Island, on Tuesday. (David Goldman/AP)

Whether you’re the most hardened of political junkies or you only tune in every other November to vote, it’s always a good idea to brush up on some of the terms you will hear on election night.

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.

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.

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.

What is a CNN “key race”? Who decides that? “Key race” is a subjective term. Most politics watchers generally agree that only a subset of races is truly competitive in November, and these are generally considered the key races. Political parties spend more money on these races. Reporters spend more time covering them.

Of the 35 Senate races on the ballot in 2022, the election forecasters at Inside Elections consider three to be true toss-ups and another four to tilt toward either Republicans or Democrats. Nineteen House races are true toss-ups, although many more could wind up being closely contested. Five governor races are toss-ups. See the Inside Elections ratings for SenateHouse and governor. Key races can also be races that might be less competitive but have broader implications or feature especially notable candidates.

6:22 p.m. ET, November 8, 2022

Ohio election officials work to quash disinformation in real time

From CNN's Melanie Zanona 

Ohio election officials are working to swat down disinformation about polling places and election machines that have been circulating on social media. 

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose called out a post claiming that voting machines were breaking down at a polling place and a sheriff had to be called as false. The secretary of state tweeted that all machines “are working properly” and that a sheriff was called because of “an isolated instance of an individual harassing a poll worker. The situation has been peacefully resolved.” 

The Cuyahoga County Board of Elections pushed back on a viral tweet alleging that there were last-minute changes made to polling locations in Ohio. The county board of elections said this tweet is false, and all locations were confirmed two months ago.

Election officials have been actively preparing for potential disinformation and conspiracy theories about the election to spread online, and they have set up rapid response teams to spot and debunk falsehoods in real time.

6:23 p.m. ET, November 8, 2022

Officials in Pennsylvania's Allegheny County say in-person turnout is high

From CNN's Brian Todd

David Walchesky, left, judge of elections, and Evelyn Cain, majority inspector, prepare the ballot scanner at a polling place inside a private resident's garage in Pittsburgh on Tuesday.
David Walchesky, left, judge of elections, and Evelyn Cain, majority inspector, prepare the ballot scanner at a polling place inside a private resident's garage in Pittsburgh on Tuesday. (Rebecca Droke/AFP/Getty Images)

Officials in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania — the county seat of Pittsburgh — say there is high in-person voter turnout, as well as a signifiant mail-in and absentee vote count.

A county spokesperson, referring to absentee/mail-in ballots, told CNN that "employees continue to extract ballots from the secrecy envelopes and are flattening those ballots for scanning. Over 130,000 ballots have been scanned so far.”

That means more than three-fourths of the mail-in/absentee ballots that were filed in the county have been scanned so far. But they won’t be officially assigned to candidates until after the polls close. 

Officials in Allegheny County also say of the more than 1,000 absentee/mail-in ballots that were incorrectly dated and in danger of not being counted, only about 160 people have come into the county office to "cure," or correct, those faulty ballots. People have until polls close at 8 p.m. ET to cure their wrongly dated ballots. 

CNN spoke to one voter who mis-dated her ballot who said she was thinking about her daughter’s wedding next year and was so preoccupied with that, that she put the wrong date on there. That’s the kind of simple mistake many people are making. 

6:10 p.m. ET, November 8, 2022

Adviser insists the midterms won't have an impact on Biden's decision on whether to run again

From CNN's Phil Mattingly

President Joe Biden walks on the south lawn of the White House on November 6.
President Joe Biden walks on the south lawn of the White House on November 6. (Ting Shen/Bloomberg/Getty Images)

President Joe Biden’s top advisers acknowledge the outcome of the midterm elections will likely reshape Washington – and by extension, how the White House operates.

But on one specific issue, a senior adviser insisted the impact would be negligible: Biden’s looming decision on whether to run for reelection. 

The adviser noted that Biden’s two Democratic predecessors suffered midterm wipeouts, only to go on to win reelection two years later. 

But beyond that, the adviser framed it as far more about how Biden views the moment in the country and his ability to keep making progress on the issues he’s pushed to enact in his first two years in office. 

Biden, of course, has said he plans to run, but no final decision has been made. He is expected to start critical meetings with family members and close advisers in the coming weeks. 

6:04 p.m. ET, November 8, 2022

6 polling locations across Georgia have been ordered by courts to remain open after polls close 

From CNN's Jason Morris

Six precincts across Georgia have been ordered by courts to remain open past 7 p.m. ET, according to Gabriel Sterling, Georgia’s acting deputy secretary of state.

Sterling said two polling locations in Cobb County in Atlanta’s northern suburbs have been ordered to stay open until 7:45 p.m., two locations in DeKalb County in the Atlanta area have been ordered to stay open until 7:40 p.m. and 7:49 p.m., and two precincts in other counties will stay open until shortly after 7 p.m., when polls are scheduled to close.   

Sterling said that there are more than 2,600 poll locations in Georgia, and the hours were extended at these six locations because they opened late this morning.   

Sterling said that “steady turnout around the state” has continued, and there have not been any major voting issues in Georgia so far. Election Day has been “wonderfully, stupendously boring,” Sterling said during a news conference Tuesday afternoon.  

Sterling said that 2.5 million people cast ballots during early voting and they had 234,000 absentee ballots as of Monday. 

6:15 p.m. ET, November 8, 2022

With no evidence, Trump floats the possibility of mass voter fraud in the midterms

From CNN's Daniel Dale

Former President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly and falsely alleged that there was mass voter fraud in the 2020 election, baselessly suggested on social media on Tuesday that such fraud might be happening in the 2022 midterms.

"Same thing is happening with Voter Fraud as happened in 2020???" Trump wrote Tuesday afternoon on his Truth Social platform.

There was no evidence of widespread or outcome-changing voter fraud in the 2020 election, and there was no early sign on Tuesday of any significant voter fraud in the 2022 midterms. Voter fraud typically represents a tiny fraction of ballots cast in US elections.

Trump made his claim amid a series of social media posts in which he complained about assorted technical difficulties in some states. There was no evidence that any of these issues involved intentional malfeasance, let alone “voter fraud.”