Coverage of the November 8, 2022 US Elections
The battle for control of Congress – both the House and the Senate – comes down to a dwindling number of key races, with Democrats dashing Republicans’ hopes of a red wave and both parties clinging to hope to win narrow majorities.
Republicans started the night with a rout in Florida, where Gov. Ron DeSantis overwhelmingly won Latino, historically Democratic regions, en route to a landslide victory that could serve as the launch pad for a 2024 presidential election.
But in the hours that followed, Democrats fought back. In Pennsylvania, Democratic Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman defeated Republican Mehmet Oz for the seat of incumbent Republican Senator Pat Toomey.
Meanwhile, the battle for the House majority — the one that favored Republicans, who expected to benefit from high inflation, historic trends and friendly new district lines after the 2021 redistricting — remains volatile. .
Here is some takeaways as votes continue to be counted in key races:
Democrats are doing a lot to protect their Senate majority: Republicans weren’t shy about the importance of the Pennsylvania Senate race: “It’s a race to be won. We believe that if we win Pennsylvania, we win a majority,” said Steven Law, chairman of the preeminent Republican Senate super PAC. Early Wednesday morning, CNN predicted that Fetterman would be Pennsylvania’s next senator, beating Oz in the country’s most expensive and riskiest senatorial campaign. Fetterman’s victory was a thunderclap for Democrats.
The Democrats and the Suburbs: Suburban areas across the country have been instrumental in helping Democrats avoid a major red wave. Republicans can still win the House, but if the 2022 election were to be a red wave, it was likely to result in suburban victories that have yet to materialize. The Republicans won a few victories in the suburbs — CNN projected Brandon Ogles winning in a district around Nashville, Tom Kean Jr. winning in a suburban New Jersey district, and Rich McCormick winning in a district including the northern suburbs of Atlanta — but it’s their defeats that speaks volumes about the size of the GOP wave.
Virginia’s split decision offers early signals: Three Democratic-controlled home races in Virginia were widely seen as an early warning signal of the night’s results. Democrats held seats in two Virginia districts that Biden won in 2020. CNN predicted Democrat Jennifer Wexton won her re-election bid in Virginia’s 10th district. In an even more competitive race, CNN projected Rep. Abigail Spanberger was also re-elected in Virginia’s 7th District. But the Democrats lost in southeast Virginia, with CNN predicting Republican Senator Jen Kiggans defeated Democratic Representative Elaine Luria.
Another member of the January 6 committee loses: Luria, a member of the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, lost his seat in Virginia Beach, CNN reported. She had beaten former GOP Rep. Scott Taylor in 2018 and 2020. But the district had become slightly more favorable ground for Republicans in the redistricting: Biden carried the previous version by 5 points, and would have lost the new district of 2 points.
DeSantis and 2024: Governor Ron DeSantis led a dominant Republican ticket in Florida – delivering historic margins in Democratic territory when he defeated Democratic Rep. Charlie Crist on a night that provides him with a powerful argument if he seeks the presidential nomination of the GOP in 2024. Easy wins for DeSantis, who led by nearly 20 percentage points with 92% of the estimated votes counted, and Sen. Marco Rubio, who was up 17 points, were enough to cast doubt on the Florida’s status as a national flag.
GOP makes gains with Latinos in Florida: Republicans were hoping to build on Trump’s inroads among Latino voters in 2020, a trend that could reshape political landscapes in several swing states if it continues. The strongest early signal that the GOP had continued to make gains came from Miami-Dade County, home to a large Cuban population. But it will take some time to fully assess whether these GOP gains are taking place outside of Florida.
Win for the right to abortion: In Michigan, Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer – who has staked her re-election campaign on her successful efforts to block enforcement of the state’s 1931 law banning abortion in almost all cases – defeated the Republican challenger Tudor Dixon, who had waged a campaign focused on cultural battles. Michigan voters also approved a Whitmer-backed amendment to the state constitution that will remove that 1931 law and guarantee the right to abortion. Voters in California and Vermont also approved constitutional amendments enshrining the right to abortion.
A night of firsts: Up and down the ballot, in red and blue states, candidates from both parties celebrate groundbreaking victories. Read about some of them here.