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
30 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
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.

2:27 p.m. ET, November 3, 2022

Wisconsin voter says she was "apolitical" before the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade

From DJ Judd and Omar Jimenez in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin

(CNN)
(CNN)

                                                        

Wisconsin voter Erika Nelson voted for Donald Trump in 2016 and for Joe Biden in 2020. She says she considered herself “apolitical” until the Supreme Court made its landmark decision to overturn Roe v. Wade in June this year.

“I would almost have called myself apolitical in the past, just my focus was elsewhere, that wasn't a realm that I was real familiar with. But since Roe v. Wade got overturned, that completely changed everything for me, and I started to pay more attention,” the Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, resident told CNN. “I wouldn't say I’m for abortion, but I am for a woman's right to choose. Absolutely. That is not for any man or other woman to decide. That's an individual thing among each person.”

For voters like Nelson, the issue is number one ahead of next week’s midterm elections.

“I was sick inside. I feel like we moved back decades, and it's, it was very concerning to be a woman and to know that suddenly I did not have autonomy over my body. That was a scary thought,” she added.

This midterms, Nelson, who works as a counselor and author, says she’s backing Democratic Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes over incumbent Republican Sen. Ron Johnson.

Johnson has co-sponsored legislation in the past to ban abortion at the federal level, but has come out against legislation sponsored by his colleague, South Carolina Republican Lindsey Graham, establishing a national ban on abortion, instead saying the issue should be left to individual states.

But in an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in 2019, Johnson told the paper, “if you don’t like the result in your state that you currently reside in, you can move.” 

Meanwhile, Barnes has leaned into the issue in Wisconsin, holding a statewide “Ron against Roe” bus tour hitting his opponent’s position on abortion.

“I don't feel like [Johnson’s] with me. I don't feel like he's with us. I feel like he's in his own realm, in his own reality, so to speak, and, whereas I feel like Mandela Barnes is one of us,” Nelson told CNN during an interview.

4:02 p.m. ET, November 3, 2022

Michigan Supreme Court allows new set of rules restricting party-appointed election challengers

From CNN's Jessica Schneider

Just days before the election, the Michigan Supreme Court is allowing a new set of restrictions to be imposed on partisan election challengers at polling places across the state. The list of rules was issued by Democratic officials in the state earlier this year, and has been challenged by Republicans in the courts.  

The new rules will prevent election challengers from possessing any electronic device at absentee ballot processing facilities, will mandate that partisan challengers submit a specific credentialing form, and will require political parties name their election challengers prior to Election Day.  

Other restrictions about the type of challenges that can be mounted, and who those challenges should be reported to, will also be in effect.

A lower court blocked the rules, but this action by the state’s Supreme Court will allow the rules to be in effect on Election Day.

For context: In Michigan, political parties may credential election challengers to inspect precincts and absentee ballot counting locations, provided they don’t impede the process.

During the 2020 presidential election, Republican challengers accused election officials of unfairly keeping them outside the vote tally room at the TCF Center in Detroit after they were told it was filled to capacity.  

Several challengers pounded on the doors and windows and were eventually pushed back by police. Democratic challengers also said they were kept out because of capacity issues.

1:21 p.m. ET, November 3, 2022

First lady Jill Biden is traveling to Arizona ahead of the midterms

From CNN's Kate Bennett

First lady Jill Biden will spend part of the final weekend before midterms in Arizona, appearing at three events Saturday, two of them in support of Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly, according to a release from the East Wing. 

The first lady will begin her schedule at a political event with the Arizona Education Association and National Education Association. Later, she and Kelly will appear together at two Phoenix campaign events.

Biden has traversed the country in the last two weeks as elections in several states grow increasingly tight for Democrats. She has been to Georgia, Tennessee, Wisconsin, New York, Rhode Island, California and Pennsylvania.

12:41 p.m. ET, November 3, 2022

Election Day is only a few days away. These are the races spending the most in the sprint to the finish

From CNN's David Wright

The final weeks leading up to the midterms have spurred a frenzy of ad spending activity, with campaigns and groups tailoring their reservations and redirecting money to the most competitive battleground races in the closing stretch. 

Here are the races that are drawing the most ad spending in the final week of the campaign — Nov. 1 through Nov. 8 — taking a look at the top Senate, House and gubernatorial contests. 

Senate:

  • The most expensive Senate races in the final week: $29.1 million in ad spending was spent in Pennsylvania, $24.5 million in Georgia, $19.9 million in Arizona. Nevada with $14 million and Wisconsin with $11.4 million round out the top five most expensive states. 
  • Across that top 5, both parties — candidates and outside groups — are set to spend nearly $100 million combined on ads in just the final seven days of the race. 
  • Senate Leadership Fund, a top GOP super PAC, has done heavy lifting for the party all cycle, directing hundreds of millions to races where Republican candidates have struggled to fundraise and keep pace with Democrats on the air. The group is set to spend $22.1 million in the final week. 
  • Senate Majority PAC, a top Democratic super PAC, is spending $23.3 million in the final week. 

House:

  • Nine of the 10 House races seeing the most ad spending in the final week feature vulnerable incumbent Democrats, reflecting the party’s defensive posture at the close of the cycle.
  • Leading the list is the race for New York's 17th District, where Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney is fighting for reelection in a competitive redrawn district. The race is set to see over $6.6 million in ad spending in the final week — more than US Senate races in Colorado and Florida. 
  • Further underscoring Democrats’ defensive crouch, all of the districts seeing the most ad spending in the final week come from states Biden carried in 2020 — New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maine, Minnesota, Illinois, Nevada and California. 

Governor:

  • Some high-profile gubernatorial races expected to be competitive are seeing little ad spending activity in the final week — neither the Arizona or Georgia races are at the top of the list when it comes to ad spending.
  • The race that’s set to see the most final week ad spending is one Democrats would prefer not to contest at all — in deep-blue New York, where incumbent Gov. Kathy Hochul has shown signs of vulnerability, provoking a rush of ad dollars behind her GOP challenger Lee Zeldin. The race is set to see $11.5 million over the final week, and Republicans are set to outspend Democrats $6.7 million to $4.9 million. 
  • The second most expensive final week contest is Wisconsin, where Democratic Gov. Tony Evers is in a tight race against GOP challenger Tim Michels, with Democrats outspending Republicans by about $6.7 million to $3.6 million.