Nov. 2, 2022 US election coverage

By Adrienne Vogt, Aditi Sangal, Elise Hammond and Maureen Chowdhury, CNN

Updated 1:14 p.m. ET, November 4, 2022
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3:53 p.m. ET, November 3, 2022

Stacey Abrams: "Voter suppression is not negated by voter turnout"

From CNN'S Eva McKend

Stacey Abrams speaks to the press in Atlanta on July 20.
Stacey Abrams speaks to the press in Atlanta on July 20. (Nathan Posner/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Stacey Abrams, the Democratic candidate for governor of Georgia, on Wednesday denied that her argument about voter suppression is becoming harder to make given the massive early voter turnout in the state.

"Voter suppression is not negated by voter turnout. It is overwhelmed by voter turnout," she told CNN.

"Voter suppression makes very little sense to those who've never faced it," Abrams said. "When you've had your right-to-vote challenged, when you've been told that you are inadequate as a citizen, then you understand what voter suppression is – but for those for whom it has always been easy, they will not necessarily have a visceral understanding."

She continued, "But you talk to someone who has stood in line for four and a half hours to cast a ballot, only to be told that they are not on the rolls. You talk to someone who faced a voter challenge by a White right-wing supremacist group that has decided to challenge you because of your race, and you now have to prove your right to vote... then you will understand it."

With less than a week away from Election Day, Abrams took some time on her campaign bus to discuss a range of issues between stops in McDonough and Riverdale.

Abrams has faced persistent criticism from conservative media for comments she made during the final debate Sunday with her Republican opponent, incumbent Gov. Brian Kemp. 

"I don't have 107 sheriffs who want to be able to take Black people off the streets, who want to be able to go without accountability. I don't believe every Sheriff wants that," Abrams said in response to Kemp continually touting his law enforcement endorsements. 

Asked if she misspoke, Abrams stood by her debate comments, "I very clearly said that we need to have public safety and accountability in the state of Georgia."

As to whether she had received support from Black Democratic sheriffs or reform-minded sheriffs in the state, Abrams said she had but did not feel the need to validate her campaign by putting out a list of names.

Though there has been consternation among some Democratic strategists that Republicans nationwide will run up their numbers, including among Black men, Abrams swatted away that concern, suggesting there has been no real evidence beyond singular anecdotes. 

"I am deeply saddened that they [Black men] have become the most recent target of misinformation campaigns," she said.

"But what I'm so proud of is that Black men are showing up, they are voting in record numbers, and they are voting for their families. They're voting for themselves, and they're voting for their futures. And we will see those votes, I believe, turn into victories in November," Abrams added.

9:24 p.m. ET, November 2, 2022

Hassan breaks with Biden on Afghanistan withdrawal during debate with GOP challenger

From CNN's Eric Bradner


New Hampshire Sen. Maggie Hassan, in a debate with Republican challenger Don Bolduc on Wednesday, criticized President Joe Biden’s administration over its handling of the withdrawal from Afghanistan. 

Distancing herself from the President, she said she supported an investigation “to hold the administration accountable.” 

Bolduc said the US under Biden has “no diplomatic leadership; no political leadership” in international affairs as a result of the Afghanistan withdrawal. 

He predicted that China would invade Taiwan, “and we won’t do anything about it – because we can’t, because we’re weak.” 

Hassan, a former governor who is seeking a second Senate term, and Bolduc debated for the third and final time Wednesday night. 

Here are two more takeaways from their debate, in addition to an early clash over abortion rights.

"Stoking the big lie": Hassan attempted to highlight Bolduc’s history of embracing and parroting former President Donald Trump’s lies about widespread fraud in the 2020 election. 

She said the retired Army brigadier general spent a year “stoking the big lie, saying it was stolen.” 

“He then has begun to cast doubt on the 2022 election, now saying that there will be ballot dumps in the middle of the night,” he said. 

Bolduc, though, attempted to avoid revisiting or repeating his false claims about election fraud, accusing Hassan of “grandstanding” and saying that “we need to focus on the future.” 

He also criticized the debate’s moderators, calling the question about election denialism a softball. 

“That’s exactly what she needed, right, because she can’t hit a fastball,” he said. 

Combatting fentanyl: Hassan sought to demonstrate her bipartisan bona fides in a discussion of slowing the flow of fentanyl into the US, saying she “stood with President Trump as he signed a bill into law that gave our border patrol better technology” to detect the synthetic opioid in 2018. 

She said she supports “much stronger security at our border, including personnel, including advanced technology.” 

Bolduc, meanwhile, said the US has left its border with Mexico “wide open” for drugs and human trafficking. 

“This is a problem that the Biden administration and Maggie Hassan has created,” he said. 

#Key Races##

9:19 p.m. ET, November 2, 2022

Hassan and Bolduc battle over abortion rights in final debate in New Hampshire's Senate race

From CNN's Eric Bradner


New Hampshire Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan and Republican challenger Don Bolduc opened their third and final debate Wednesday night with a clash over abortion rights.

Bolduc — who earlier in the campaign said Granite Staters should “rejoice” over the Supreme Court’s decision to reverse Roe v. Wade in June — said he would vote against any federal abortion ban. 

“I have promised all Granite Staters that I will not vote for any federal legislation that has to do with abortion. It is a state’s rights issue,” Bolduc said. 

Hassan said that Bolduc was trying to gloss over comments he’d made earlier in the race. 

She did not directly answer a question about whether she would support any limits on abortion rights or would be willing to strike a compromise on the issue. 

“This is about a fundamental right of a woman to make her own healthcare decisions and her own health and safety. And I believe strongly those decisions have to be made by a woman and her doctor,” Hassan said. 

The Democratic senator said Bolduc would be “a yes vote for a nationwide abortion ban.”

“That is an absolute lie,” Bolduc shot back.

Key race: New Hampshire’s Senate seat is a critical one for Democrats to hold if the party is to retain a narrow majority in the chamber.

Hassan is widely viewed as the favorite in the race, but there are signs it remains competitive: Senate Majority PAC, the top Democratic super PAC engaged in Senate races, added $600,000 to its final week ad reservations in the New Hampshire race. 

The Democratic spending comes after the top GOP super PAC, Senate Leadership Fund, pulled out of the race in mid-October amid concerns about Bolduc’s electability. 

8:13 p.m. ET, November 2, 2022

Biden issues start set of warnings about candidates who threaten American democracy

From CNN's Maegan Vazquez

(Alex Brandon/AP)
(Alex Brandon/AP)

President Biden used his Wednesday night speech to issue stark warnings about election deniers running for office around the country, calling out the surge in political violence that has ensued since the 2020 election and underscoring that the fate of American democracy is now in the hands of voters.

Speaking just six days before the midterm elections, Biden began his remarks by discussing the recent violent attack against Paul Pelosi, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's husband, which authorities say was politically motivated.

Biden directly connected the violence against Pelosi to the individuals who stormed the US Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

"My fellow Americans, we're facing a defining moment, an inflection point. We must with one overwhelming, unified voice speak as a country and say there's no place – no place – for voter intimidation or political violence in America, where it's directed at Democrats or Republicans," Biden declared.

The will of the voters during the midterm elections, which are already taking place with mail-in ballots and early voting, will determine "whether democracy will endure," he said.

"Make no mistake, democracy is on the ballot for all of us," Biden added.

The President specifically called out candidates who have declined to commit to accepting the results of the upcoming election.

"I wish the assault on our democracy ended that day, but I cannot. As I stand here today, there are candidates running for every level of office in America … who won’t commit to accepting the results of the election that they’re running in," he said. "This is a path to chaos in America. It’s unprecedented. It’s unlawful. And it's un-American."

And Biden called on Americans to consider whether the votes they will cast will preserve democracy or put it at risk.

"This year, I hope you’ll make the future of our democracy an important part of your decision to vote and how you vote," he said.

Biden added: "The fate of the nation, the fate of the soul of America lies where it always does, with the people. In your hands. In your heart. In your ballot."
7:44 p.m. ET, November 2, 2022

Biden on political violence: "Silence is complicity"

President Biden urged the American people to stand up against political violence and voter intimidation during his speech on Wednesday night.

"We must, with an overwhelming voice, stand against political violence and voter intimidation, period. Stand up and speak against it. We don't settle our differences, America, with a riot, a mob or a bullet, or a hammer. We settle them peacefully at the ballot box," the President said.

He described an alarming rise in people condoning political violence or just remaining silent.

"Silence is complicity — to the disturbing rise of voter intimidation, the pernicious tendency to excuse political violence or at least, at least, explain it away," Biden said. "We can't allow this sentiment to grow. We must confront it head-on now. It has to stop now."

7:23 p.m. ET, November 2, 2022

"It's damaging, it's corrosive, and it's destructive," Biden says, referencing election deniers on ballots

(Alex Brandon/AP)
(Alex Brandon/AP)

President Biden highlighted the dangerous impact of having election deniers on the ballot in this year's midterm elections during his speech tonight.

"It's estimated that there are more than 300 election deniers on the ballot all across America this year. We can't ignore the impact this is having on our country. It's damaging, it's corrosive and it's destructive," Biden said.

He continued:

"And I want to be very clear, this is not about me, it's about all of us. It's about what makes America — America. It's about the durability of our democracy. For democracies are more than a form of government. They're a way of being, a way of seeing the world, a way that defines who we are, what we believe, why we do what we do. Democracy is simply that fundamental. We must in this moment dig deep within ourselves and recognize that we can't take democracy for granted any longer."

8:10 p.m. ET, November 2, 2022

Biden says US democracy is at stake as Americans vote in the midterm elections

(Andrew Harnik/AP)
(Andrew Harnik/AP)

President Joe Biden called for voters to think about the future of the US democracy when casting a ballot in the midterm elections, arguing that they need to consider more than just policies.

"We must vote knowing what's at stake and not just the policy of the moment — but institutions that have held us together as we've sought a more perfect union are also at stake," the President said during remarks in Washington, DC, on Wednesday.

"We must vote knowing who we have been, what we're at risk of becoming," he said.

The President acknowledged there were issues at stake as well, such as the economy, personal freedoms, the future of healthcare and of social security. And voters would have different opinions on many of them. "That's what it's supposed to be," he said.

But he added: "There's something else at stake: democracy itself."

7:35 p.m. ET, November 2, 2022

Biden squarely blames Trump for current threats to democracy

From CNN's Maegan Vazquez

President Biden used his remarks to call out former President Donald Trump for fomenting lies about the 2020 elections, squarely blaming his actions for current threats to American democracy.

"American democracy is under attack because the defeated former president of the United States refuses to accept the results of the 2020 election. He refuses to accept the will of the people. He refuses to accept the fact that he lost. He’s abused his power and put the loyalty to himself before loyalty to the Constitution," Biden said.

Trump has made "a big lie an article of faith of the MAGA Republican party, a minority of that party," the President said.

Earlier in his remarks, Biden said the mob that attacked the Capitol Building on Jan. 6, 2021 "had been whipped up into a frenzy by a president repeating over and over again the Big Lie, that the election of 2020 had been stolen."

That lie, Biden said, has "fueled the dangerous rise in political violence and voter intimidation over the past two years."

7:06 p.m. ET, November 2, 2022

Happening Now: President Biden is delivering a speech on the state of American democracy


President Joe Biden is delivering a speech, warning that American democracy is under assault from election deniers who are running for office at all levels as he tries to make defending democracy a top issue in next week’s midterm elections.