(WASHINGTON) — The 2022 midterm elections are shaping up to be some of the most consequential in the nation’s history, with control of Congress at stake.
All 435 seats in the House and 35 of 100 seats in the Senate are on the ballot, as well as several influential gubernatorial elections in battleground states like Arizona, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
Democrats are defending their narrow majorities in both chambers. Republican control of either the House or Senate would be enough to curtail most of President Joe Biden’s agenda, and would likely result in investigations against his administration and even his family.
Americans are already coming out in full force this cycle. As of Nov. 5, more than 38 million voters had already cast their ballot, according to data from the University of Florida’s U.S. Elections Project.
This is how the story is developing:
Nov 07, 11:27 PM EST
Trump teases ‘very big announcement’ for next week
On the eve of Election Day, former President Donald Trump teased Monday night that he will make a “very big announcement” on Nov. 15 at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida.
Trump was speaking at a final rally in Dayton, Ohio, for Republican Senate candidate J.D. Vance and others.
While the former president did not specify the nature of the upcoming announcement, sources told ABC News last week that he could announce a 2024 presidential run as early as next week — though the sources cautioned that discussions about the specifics, including a date, were still fluid.
“We want nothing to distract from the importance of tomorrow,” Trump said at the rally.
Nov 07, 8:21 PM EST
Biden makes closing midterms pitch: ‘We’ll meet this moment’
Biden made one last campaign pitch to voters Monday night from a rally at Bowie State University in Maryland. This cycle, he warned, will shape “what the next couple of decades look like.”
“Let’s be clear, this election isn’t a referendum, it’s a choice,” he said at the event in support of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wes Moore. “It’s a choice between two very different visions of America.”
Biden listed legislative accomplishments from Democrats during his first two years — including low unemployment, job creation, infrastructure investments and more — before turning to criticism of “MAGA Republicans.”
“The hypocrisy is unbelievable,” he said, slamming GOP lawmakers who oppose student loan relief despite receiving business loans and debt cancellation during the coronavirus pandemic, or who touted aspects of the American Rescue Plan despite not voting in favor of the bill.
Biden also called out election deniers within the Republican Party, saying they only see two outcomes: “Either they win, or they were cheated.”
“Today, we face an inflection point,” Biden said as he closed his remarks. “One of those moments that comes around every three or four generations. We know in our bones that our democracy is at risk, and we know that this is your moment to defend it, preserve and protect it, choose it. We’ll meet this moment.”
Nov 07, 6:37 PM EST
Georgia officials overnighting absentee ballots to 1,000 voters who never received them
Voters who were never mailed their absentee ballot in Cobb County, Georgia, will still be able to vote, according to a new court ruling.
Approximately 1,036 voters in the county had requested a ballot but never received them. Ballots are supposed to be mailed within three days after election officials receive ballot requests. However, election workers in the county failed to upload absentee voting information to a ballot mailing system on Oct. 13 and Oct. 22.
Now, the Cobb County Board of Elections will send ballots to those voters Monday by overnight delivery, according to the court ruling. Those voters can mail their ballots provided they are postmarked by 7 p.m. on Nov. 8 and returned by Nov. 14. Email and text updates will be provided to those affected voters so they are able to track their ballot.
Voters affected by the error will also be able to vote in person Tuesday or by a federal write-in absentee ballot.
One of the main criticisms from Democrats regarding SB 202 — the sweeping elections bill signed by Gov. Brian Kemp last year — has been focused on mail-in ballots. Previously, voters were able to request absentee ballots 180 days before an election and the county could start mailing them out 49 days before Election Day. Now, voters can only request ballots within 78 days of an election and they can’t be mailed until 29 days before.
-ABC News’ Lalee Ibssa
Nov 07, 5:16 PM EST
Biden says Dems will ‘surprise the living devil out of a lot of people’
President Joe Biden said Monday he thinks Democrats will “surprise the living devil out of a lot of people” in the midterm elections.
“Imagine what we can do in a second term if we maintain control,” Biden said during a virtual Democratic reception.
“I know that sounds like a very high expectation,” Biden said, adding, “I’m optimistic.”
At a second Democratic reception Monday, the president said, “We’re going up against some of the darkest forces we’ve ever seen in our history. These MAGA Republicans are a different breed … this is not your father’s Republican Party. It’s a different deal.”
Biden added, “We have a shot at keeping the Senate, increase in it, and I am optimistic about the House, as well.”
-ABC News’ Jordyn Phelps
Nov 07, 4:56 PM EST
Unofficial Pennsylvania results not expected for ‘at least a few days,’ official said last month
Unofficial results for the midterm elections in Pennsylvania are not expected for “at least a few days,” Acting Secretary of the Commonwealth Leigh Chapman told reporters on Oct. 24.
“We need to set realistic expectations,” Chapman said, stressing that the public and media should “not expect complete results on election night.”
Pennsylvania is one of nine states that by law cannot begin processing mail-in and absentee ballots until 7 a.m. on Election Day.
Voters with mistakes on their mail ballots have until Nov. 14 to cure them and military and overseas residents have until 5 p.m. on Nov. 15 to get their ballots in.
Chapman said fully certified results won’t come until the Nov. 28 deadline under law.
“We prioritize accuracy over speed,” Chapman said. “The delay doesn’t mean anything bad is happening.”
-ABC News’ Devin Dwyer
Nov 07, 3:14 PM EST
White House says Trump is not ‘our focus’ amid reports of 2024 bid
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Monday pushed back on questions about former President Donald Trump’s expected 2024 bid.
“I was asked this question the other day, and that’s not our focus,” she said.
Trump is leaning toward announcing a third run for the White House, possibly as early as the week of Nov. 14, sources with direct knowledge of the matter previously told ABC News.
At Monday’s briefing, Jean-Pierre also wouldn’t give any insight into whether Trump’s pending announcement will force Biden’s hand on making his own reelection decision. Biden has said he intends to run for a second term, though hasn’t made a formal decision.
“Again, I’m going to say what he has said many times and what I have said from here many times is that the president intends to run and I will just leave those words there,” Jean-Pierre told reporters.
-ABC News’ Cheyenne Haslett
Nov 07, 3:09 PM EST
White House says it’s ‘safe’ to go to the polls, doesn’t foresee threats
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters Monday there were no “specific credible threats” about a possible uprising this election cycle. “The president has been briefed on the threat environment and directed that all appropriate steps be taken to ensure safe and secure voting occurs right in this process,” Jean-Pierre said.
She cited a speech President Joe Biden gave last week against “political violence and voter intimidation.”
“You heard him say this last week, in his speech, and many times before: You can’t love your country only when you win,” Jean-Pierre said.
“But I want to be clear: Americans should feel safe going to the polls,” she said.
“It is important for Americans to do so. The administration has taken the issue of threats to the safety of voters and election officials seriously from day one,” she said.
Late last month, Attorney General Merrick Garland was asked about reports of possible voter intimidation in Arizona and said, “The Justice Department has an obligation to guarantee a free and fair vote by everyone whose qualified to vote and will not permit voters to be intimidated.”
— ABC News’ Cheyenne Haslett
Nov 07, 3:08 PM EST
WH urges patience with results, says Biden will address midterms on Wednesday
President Joe Biden will address the midterms on Wednesday, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said at a briefing on Monday, but she did not give specifics of how he will do so — at least in part because she said the full results of the elections will likely not be known by then.
Urging patience, Jean-Pierre said it’s important for people to understand that a days-long counting process is a sign that that the system is working as it should.
Jean-Piere also declined to offer any specifics on how the president will spend his Election Day but said he “will have a full schedule here at the White House.”
-ABC News’ Jordyn Phelps
Nov 07, 2:51 PM EST
Warnock says Walker ‘neither ready nor fit’ for Senate
One day before Election Day, Georgia Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock slammed his opponent, Herschel Walker, who he said “is neither ready nor fit to represent the people of Georgia in the United States Senate.”
“He’s pretty good at making up things. And now he wants to get the rest of us to imagine with him that he is of the timber to be a United States senator,” Warnock said.
Warnock said Walker’s decision to campaign with divisive figures like Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, another Georgia Republican, should show Georgians the former football player will not be a unifier.
“Herschel Walker is demonstrating to you what kind of Senator he would be based on the company he’s keeping,” Warnock said.
Split ticket voters will be key for Warnock’s pathway to victory and he made a point to talk about reaching across the aisle.
“Let’s bring this thing over the finish line. And let us not demonize those who do not share our political point of view,” he said. “We’ve got to find a way to pull this country together, to pull the state together, because the problems are too big and the stakes are too high.”
-ABC News’ Lalee Ibssa
Nov 07, 12:23 PM EST
Tom Cotton will not run for president in 2024
Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton said Monday he will not seek the Republican presidential nomination in 2024.
Cotton said a potential run would take him away from his two sons. The news was first reported by Politico and confirmed to ABC News by a source.
Over the past year, Cotton has traveled to several battleground states, campaigning for candidates. He’s been to Iowa and New Hampshire, which host the party’s first two presidential nominating contests.
Cotton’s announcement was made days afterABC News reported that former President Donald Trump could announce a presidential bid as early as the week of Nov. 14.
Nov 07, 11:07 AM EST
Where Biden, Harris and Trump are spending election eve
Political heavyweights are hitting the trail for one final day of campaigning before voters head to the polls Tuesday.
President Joe Biden will join a virtual reception Monday afternoon for the Democratic National Committee before heading to Maryland with first lady Jill Biden to stump for gubernatorial candidate Wes Moore and the Democratic Party. The rally at Bowie State University will kick off at 7 p.m. ET.
Jill Biden’s also headlining a rally for Democratic Rep. Jennifer Wexton in Virginia at 11:45 a.m. ET.
Vice President Kamala Harris will spend the day in her home state of California. She and second gentleman Doug Emhoff are delivering remarks at a political event at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Former President Donald Trump is going to Dayton, Ohio, to rally GOP voters. Senate candidate J.D. Vance, who faces Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan in tomorrow’s race, will speak ahead of Trump. Trump will take the stage at 8 p.m. ET.
Nov 07, 10:39 AM EST
NASED urges patience
The National Association of State Election Directors is urging patience ahead of the midterms, saying officials have been working nonstop to ensure the election is secure.
“State and local election officials have contingency plans in place so voters can have confidence in our elections and that the results will be tabulated accurately,” the National Association of State Election Directors said in a statement Monday. “As with any election, it is important to note that operational challenges may arise.”
The group says it’s normal for ballots to be counted in the days following the election.
“While the focus on election night is on who won and who lost, election night results are always unofficial. In the days and weeks to come, election officials will count every eligible ballot within the bounds of state laws, including provisional ballots, mail ballots, and ballots cast by military and overseas voters,” the statement said. “This critical process is normal, as it takes time to accurately tabulate millions of ballots. Some races will be close and may require a recount or a recanvass, depending on the state, but every eligible ballot will be counted as cast.”
Nov 07, 7:31 AM EST
When we will know the results
Americans may not know the results of each race on Election Day, or even the following day.
“It takes time to count all legitimate ballots in a legal and orderly manner,” President Joe Biden advised last week.
Elections in the U.S. are decentralized, and each state has different systems for regulating races. Some, such as Arizona and Colorado, allow officials to start processing mail-in ballots before Election Day. Others, like Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, can’t begin counting these ballots until Election Day.
FiveThirtyEight has created a sliding scale estimating how long it may take each state to count ballots based on when each state reported results in its primary elections earlier this year.
Nov 07, 6:55 AM EST
Election denialism is on the ballot
Nearly 200 candidates running on Tuesday have rejected President Joe Biden as the legitimate winner of the 2020 election. These candidates have either stated the election was stolen or took action themselves to try to usurp the results.
According to FiveThirtyEight, 60% of Americans will have an election denier on their ballot.
Not all Republicans on the ballot, however, are embracing former President Donald Trump’s lies about the race. A total of 77 have fully accepted the results while another 93 have accepted the outcome, with some reservations.
Nov 07, 6:34 AM EST
What the midterms mean for U.S. foreign policy
Domestic issues like abortion rights and the economy have taken center stage this cycle, but the elections could also have a big impact on foreign policy.
Experts told ABC News that the outcome of the races will drive the U.S. response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, as Republicans in Congress have hinted at curbing the steady stream of financial assistance to Ukraine. They also said the elections could also impact efforts to revive the Iran nuclear deal, as Republicans have generally opposed a return to the agreement all along.
“If there is a change in control of Congress, because of how partisan unfortunately a lot of Iran policy has become, there would be more pressure–given that the current administration and many Democrats in general campaigned on resurrecting a deal and engaging with Iran,” Behnam Ben Taleblu, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told ABC News. “There certainly will be desire for more scrutiny and oversight.”
Nov 07, 6:17 AM EST
Biden implores voters to save democracy
President Joe Biden is casting the midterms not as a referendum on his leadership, but an inflection point for the nation amid threats to democracy.
“We must with an overwhelming voice stand against political violence and voter intimidation, period,” he said at a Democratic National Committee event the week before Election Day. “Stand up and speak against it. We don’t settle our differences in America with a riot, a mob, or a bullet or a hammer. We settle them peacefully at the ballot box.”
In the speech, Biden specifically referenced the assault on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband and the swath of candidates running this cycle who’ve embraced Donald Trump’s lies about the 2020 election.
“American democracy is under attack because the defeated former president of the United States refuses to accept the results of the 2020 election,” Biden said. “He refuses to accept the will of the people, he refuses to accept the fact that he lost.”
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