Nov. 3, 2022 US election coverage

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

Updated 9:59 p.m. ET, November 3, 2022
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8:59 p.m. ET, November 3, 2022

VP Harris says Democratic candidates are the "last line of defense" against draconian abortion laws

From CNN's Jasmine Wright

Vice President Kamala Harris speaks during a campaign event for New York Gov. Kathy Hochul at Barnard College in New York, on Thursday.
Vice President Kamala Harris speaks during a campaign event for New York Gov. Kathy Hochul at Barnard College in New York, on Thursday. (Anthony Behar/Sipa/Bloomberg/Getty Images)

Vice President Kamala Harris urged Americans to vote Democrats into the office to serve as “the last line of defense” against Republicans trying to pass restrictive abortion bills and curtail other rights.

Stumping for Kathy Hochul, the vice president commended the New York governor for her efforts to preserve the right to an abortion after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. But she warned that voting for down-ballot races was essential to maintaining or expanding rights across the country as the decision about abortion rights has been kicked back to the states.

“We're going to need people in the state house and at a local level who have the courage to stand up and push back against what is happening in our country. And then that way, who is your governor matters. Who is your attorney general matters. Who is your lieutenant governor matters. Because they will be the last line of defense with what we're seeing happening around our country,” Harris told the crowd in New York, reciting threats of a national abortion ban.

The vice president joined former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in a high-profile rally for Hochul.

Harris touted the Biden administration’s accomplishments made so far, flexing on the decision to cancel student loans despite the fact it remains in limbo.

“Because you voted, in spite of all of the criticism, we are canceling debt up to $20,000 of student loan debt,” she said to applause.

7:02 p.m. ET, November 3, 2022

Why counting votes on election night will take some time

Analysis from CNN's David Chalian

CNN political director David Chalian explained why counting votes on election night will take some time, including in states like Pennsylvania where a high-stakes Senate race could determine which party controls the chamber.

"In Pennsylvania, the election officials are not even allowed to open and process the absentee ballots until polls open on election day. So it takes awhile then for them to process them, sort them, get them counted and report them out," he said.

Chalian noted that Republicans tend to show up in larger numbers on election day to vote in person. Meanwhile, Democrats tend to show up in larger numbers in the pre-election period or vote absentee by mail. 

On election night, Pennsylvania "will start filling in probably very red and then as those absentee ballots, which tend to be more Democratic in nature, get counted, get processed and counted and reported — then the blue will start filling in and we'll get a more realistic picture of what's going on there," Chalian said, as CNN's Brianna Keilar noted that what unfolds early on during election night could change drastically as time progresses.

Watch the full analysis:

7:34 p.m. ET, November 3, 2022

Biden reiterates warnings about the threat of democracy at New Mexico event

From CNN's Allison Malloy

President Joe Biden speaks at a rally in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on Thursday.
President Joe Biden speaks at a rally in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on Thursday. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

President Joe Biden returned to the campaign trail in Albuquerque on Thursday and while he mostly focused his remarks on the economy, he also warned about threats to democracy should Republicans take Congress. 

“They’re going after your right to vote and who’s going to count the vote,” Biden said of Republicans adding that “democracy is on the ballot.”  

Biden delivered a familiar campaign speech and warned once again that the upcoming midterm elections are “not a referendum” but a “choice between two vastly different visions for America.” 

The President called out several Republicans by name, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Florida Sen. Rick Scott for their positions on Social Security and Medicare, calling it “reckless and irresponsible.” 

“Five days – Five days to go until the most important election in our lifetime,” Biden told the audience. “So much is changing. This is not a referendum this is a choice — a choice between two vastly different visions for America.” 

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham spoke before Biden and acknowledged that Democrats are behind in polls, but said to the audience: “We’re a little behind but we catch up fast!”


7:25 p.m. ET, November 3, 2022

Hillary Clinton attacks GOP on crime and abortion while campaigning for New York Gov. Kathy Hochul

From CNN's Gregory Krieg

Hillary Clinton speaks during a campaign event for New York Gov. Kathy Hochul at Barnard College in New York, on Thursday.
Hillary Clinton speaks during a campaign event for New York Gov. Kathy Hochul at Barnard College in New York, on Thursday. (Mary Altaffer/AP)

Hillary Clinton rallied Democrats in New York City on Thursday for Gov. Kathy Hochul, who is locked in a tighter-than-expected race with Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin as she runs for a first full term.

“This election, like every election is a choice. It’s not just a choice between two candidates, it is a choice between two very different ideas about who we are as a state and a country,” Clinton said.

Clinton, the first woman elected statewide in New York during her 2000 Senate run, made the case for Hochul, the state’s first female governor while hammering Zeldin over his votes in the House against the Violence Against Women Act, equal pay, raising the minimum wage and Medicare funding.

But Clinton’s speech offered a broader criticism of the Republican Party, especially on their messaging on crime — using the recent attack on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband, Paul, as her case-in-point.

“I want everybody to be safe. Honestly, who’s against that? But then a terrible crime happens in San Francisco. An intruder hits an 82-year-old man in the head with a hammer, who happens to be married to the speaker of the house, and Republicans joke about it. The woman running for governor in Arizona jokes about it. Now why would any sensible person want to give power to somebody who thinks it’s funny that someone gets assaulted in his own home,” Clinton said, referring to Arizona’s GOP gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake.

“They don’t care about keeping you safe, they want to keep you scared,” Clinton added.

Like Hochul, whom she introduced, and the speakers before her, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and New York Attorney General Letitia James, Clinton put a particular focus on Republican efforts to roll back abortion rights and other progressive advances from the past half-century.

“If you paid attention to this campaign, then Republicans make no secret about what they want to do. They actually say the quiet part out loud. Lee Zeldin, Kathy’s opponent, along with Donald Trump and their allies are literally fighting tooth and nail to turn back the clock,” Clinton said.

“Think about it, yes, of course, they want to turn back the clock on abortion. They spent 50 years trying to make that happen. But they want to turn back the clock on women’s rights in general, on civil rights, on voting rights, on gay rights. They are determined to exercise control over who we are, how we feel and believe and act in ways that I thought we had long left behind," she added.

6:59 p.m. ET, November 3, 2022

NAACP says it plans to have a strong presence in battleground Georgia in final days to election

From CNN's Eva McKend

The NAACP will have a significant presence in Georgia in the closing days to the midterm election, the group's president and CEO Derrick Johnson said in a statement to CNN.

"Americans need to go out and vote. The NAACP is nonpartisan, but we're not blind. And we recognize just how much is at stake in this election," Johnson said.

The areas of concern are reproductive rights, student loan cancelation, lowering the cost of healthcare and the future of American democracy, he said.

The CEO said he will attend a number of church events Sunday as part of an effort to reach Black voters.

NAACP attorneys will be on hand as part of the NAACP's voter protection program to monitor reports of any voter suppression. They'll additionally be on the lookout for intimidation and polling place irregularities in Georgia and eight other states. The goal is to address voter access problems that may arise. 

“NAACP attorneys will review reports, file any necessary claims, and be prepared to work with election officials, law enforcement and the DOJ, if necessary, to protect voters, poll workers and the right to vote. The NAACP will have an in-person command center with attorneys in Georgia," Jonah Bryson, spokesperson to the NAACP's national President and CEO, said.

The group says it has already sent over 8 million texts to voters, trained 30,000 volunteers, and offered free Lyft rides for voters to polling stations.

Bryson told CNN that the NAACP has spent approximately $2 million in radio ads across Georgia, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Florida, North Carolina, Nevada, Ohio, Wisconsin and Michigan to turn out voters.

CNN's Omar Jimenez contributed reporting to this post.

6:08 p.m. ET, November 3, 2022

Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson declines to commit to accepting midterm results: "Let’s see how this plays out"

From CNN's DJ Judd and Omar Jimenez

Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson speaks to reporters during a campaign stop in Kronenwetter, Wisconsin, on November 3.
Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson speaks to reporters during a campaign stop in Kronenwetter, Wisconsin, on November 3. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson declined to commit to accepting next week’s midterm election results, telling reporters in Kronenwetter, Wisconsin, Thursday, “let’s see how this plays out.”

“I sure hope I can, but I can't predict what the Democrats might have planned,” Johnson said. “You know, we're not trying to do anything to gain partisan advantage, we're just doing whatever we can to restore confidence. It sure seems like there's an awful lot of, in the past, a lot of attempts on the part of Democrats to make it easier to cheat.” 

More context: The Wisconsin Republican has drawn fire for his part in a scheme to pass Vice President Mike Pence a false slate of electors for Wisconsin and Michigan during the certification of the 2020 election. Since then, he’s continued to sow doubt about the legitimate results of the 2020 election and even hired a lawyer involved in the false electors scheme for “recount consulting.” Johnson has attempted to downplay his role in the scheme, telling reporters his involvement only lasted “a matter of seconds.”

At a campaign stop Thursday, Johnson pointed to a report that a Milwaukee election official allegedly directed fake military ballots to a Wisconsin state representative, calling the reports “shocking.” He blasted Democratic Gov. Tony Evers for blocking legislation that would make it more difficult to vote absentee in the state.

“We're trying to, we're trying to stop and deter fraud on the front side so we can have confidence in the election result,” Johnson said. “I just wish Democrats would cooperate. Gov. Evers obviously hasn't. If he was trying to cooperate, if his goal was to restore confidence, he would’ve signed those pieces of legislation.”

He also attacked President Joe Biden’s Wednesday speech outlining threats to democracy, telling CNN that the President’s address was “a classic leftist tactic of accusing falsely accusing your opponents of doing exactly what you've been doing.”

5:49 p.m. ET, November 3, 2022

Candidates make final pitch to voters. Here are some of Thursday's top headlines

From CNN staff

With just a few days left until Election Day, some big names are hitting the campaign trail as voters get to decide which party will control both chambers of Congress as well as weigh in on key issues, including abortion and the economy.

Here's a roundup of some of the top headlines Thursday:

A tighter-than-expected New York race: Hillary Clinton is set to take the stage on Thursday in New York City to boost Democrats in her deep blue adopted home. Her event with New York Gov. Kathy Hochul will be the first candidate-specific rally she will headline this year. That New York Democrats are asking for her help to juice turnout in Manhattan, with Hochul locked in a tight race against Republican Lee Zeldin.

Clinton accuses Republicans of hypocrisy: Hillary Clinton said the Republican focus on crime ahead of the midterm election was clear hypocrisy, telling CNN that the party is not “concerned about voter safety, they just want to keep voters scared.” She said she agreed that crime should be a concern but said Republicans “don’t want to solve a problem, whether it is crime, inflation or anything else — they just want an issue.”

Trump on the trail: Starting Thursday night, the former president is back in a new way – four rallies in five days – for his sprint to Election Day, putting himself at the forefront of the GOP fight for control of Congress. The rallies in Iowa, Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio serve another purpose as well – to buttress Trump’s increasingly likely 2024 presidential campaign.

Some top issues for voters: Republican Ron Raduechel, who lives in Waukesha, Wisconsin, said the two issues he is most focused on are election security and the economy. Raduechel is one of nearly 2,000 Wisconsin Republicans who say they’ve been recruited to work as a poll worker this cycle, saying, "I wanted to experience that, to confirm for myself firsthand how it's done, how it can be an honest vote." Keith Greenberg, a registered Republican in Arizona, told CNN he is concerned about democracy. He said he wasn’t voting for Democrats in this election, he is voting against the Trump ticket.

Early voting: More than 30.1 million ballots have been cast in 46 states, according to data from elections officials, Edison Research and Catalist.

Here are some of the key campaign events still ahead:

  • In Albuquerque, New Mexico, President Joe Biden will stump for Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham at 5:45 p.m. ET in what is poised to be one of his final western campaign stops of the midterms.
  • In New York City, Vice President Kamala Harris attends the Women's GOTV rally at 5:50 p.m. ET with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, and New York Attorney General Letitia James.
  • In Iowa, former President Donald Trump will attend a rally with Gov. Kim Reynolds and Sen. Chuck Grassley at 8 p.m. ET.
  • In California, Biden will be at an event for Rep. Mike Levin, who is running in the 49th Congressional District, at around 9:30 p.m. ET.
  • On Saturday, first lady Jill Biden will appear at three events, two of them in support of Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly, according to a release from the East Wing. She will also attend a political event with the Arizona Education Association and National Education Association.

5:33 p.m. ET, November 3, 2022

Fetterman defends record on crime and reaffirms his commitment to strengthen the "union way of life"

From CNN's Kit Maher in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania

John Fetterman, Democratic candidate for Pennsylvania's Senate seat, speaks during a campaign event in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, on November 3.
John Fetterman, Democratic candidate for Pennsylvania's Senate seat, speaks during a campaign event in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, on November 3. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

John Fetterman, Democratic candidate for Pennsylvania's Senate seat, defended his record on crime and reaffirmed his commitment to strengthen "the union way of life" at a campaign event Thursday in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.

"In this race, we're the only candidate that has hands on experience fighting against crime and gun violence," Fetterman said in a conversation with Democratic Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey. "Dr. Oz has never done any kinds of hands-on, kind of approach in fighting against crime, let alone being successful."

Several union workers were in the crowd, a group Fetterman has always vowed to defend. 

"Nobody could have a stronger advocate in the Senate," Fetterman said. "Expanding and strengthening the secure of the union way of life here in Pennsylvania is critical." 

Much like the event Fetterman held with Democratic Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar in October, screens sat in front of the stage showing closed captioning — technology that helps Fetterman overcome auditory processing issues after his stroke. 

Fetterman's answer to how the stroke has affected him as a candidate remained unchanged from his most recent speaking appearances: "It really knocked me down, but we got back up on that."

Rebuking his colleagues across the political aisle, Casey pointed the finger at Washington Republicans for inflation. 

"Based upon their voting record in the last two years, the Republicans in Washington are the party of inflation. They are the ones that have caused us problems," Casey said. "When you go down the list of, of steps we can take to mitigate the cost of inflation, the impact of inflation, Republicans are going against everything."

Fetterman said, "Inflation is really a tax on working families," adding, "We have to be pushing back on the corporate greed."

The race between Fetterman and Republican Mehmet Oz represents one of the Democrats' best chances of taking a seat in the Senate.

3:37 p.m. ET, November 3, 2022

Analysis: Battle over House seat in California is a wake-up call about the importance of Asian American voters

Analysis from CNN's Brandon Tensley

California’s 45th Congressional District, straddling Orange and Los Angeles counties, is as perfect an illustration of the diversity and power of Asian American voters as might be possible.

The contest features a duel between two Asian Americans: Jay Chen, a Democrat, is battling Michelle Steel, the Republican incumbent, for a House seat. And the Asian American voters who make up about a third of the district’s electorate will play a significant role in determining the outcome of the intensely competitive race.

“I think that this race epitomizes the diversity of the Asian American community. You’re seeing a Korean immigrant incumbent, who’s a Republican, being challenged by a Taiwanese American Democrat, and her strategy is to stoke anti-Chinese sentiment by campaigning in the Vietnamese immigrant community,” Connie Chung Joe, the CEO of Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles, told CNN, referring to criticisms that Steel is seeking to tap into anxieties about China’s influence in the region by calling Chen “China’s Choice” in some of her attack ads. “And when you look at the district, you see that it’s heavily Asian American.”

Experts hope that the contest will do two things: underline the fact that Asian American voters are no monolith, and snap into focus the importance of investing in campaign outreach to a ballooning electoral force.

“I see this race as a kind of wake-up call that the API community is vast and important,” Joe said. “Asian Americans are the fastest growing racial demographic in this country, and they do vote. Georgia showed us in 2020 how critical these voters can be in swinging things. And we’re seeing that again today.”

Just a few years ago, Asian Americans emerged as a key voting bloc and helped to put Joe Biden in the White House and Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock in the US Senate.

Karthick Ramakrishnan, the founder and director of the nonprofit group AAPI Data and a professor of political science and public policy at the University of California, Riverside, echoed some of Joe’s sentiments.

“The Asian American vote, even though it’s not large, is big enough to make a difference,” he explained. “This district in California is part of that story.”

Read the full story here.