GOP, Democrats Claim Victories in Competitive Midterm Races – Orange County Register

By SARA BURNETT, JILL COLVIN and WILL WEISSERT

WASHINGTON (AP) — Control of Congress was at stake early Wednesday as both parties picked up victories in some of the hottest races in a midterm election focused on voter frustration at high inflation and sudden curbs on abortion rights .

Democrats held a crucial Senate seat in New Hampshire, where incumbent Maggie Hassan defeated Republican Don Bolduc, a retired Army general who originally encouraged former President Donald Trump’s lies about the 2020 election but sought to break away from some of his more extreme positions to solve during GOP elementary school. Republicans held Senate seats in Ohio and North Carolina.

A fight for control of the House of Representatives was going on from district to district, with Democrats holding closely monitored seats in moderate suburban districts from Virginia to Kansas and Rhode Island. Rep. Elaine Luria, a Navy veteran who serves on the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot, was the first Democratic incumbent to lose a hard-fought representative district. Many of the counties that could control home inspections in states like New York and California had not been called.

The outcome of the House and Senate races will determine the future of President Joe Biden’s agenda and serve as a referendum on his administration as the nation reels from record-high inflation and concerns about the country’s direction. Republican control of the House of Representatives would likely trigger a round of investigations into Biden and his family, while a GOP Senate takeover would affect Biden’s ability to schedule court dates.

Democrats faced historic headwinds. The ruling party almost always suffers losses in the first presidential midterm election, but Democrats had hoped anger at the Supreme Court’s decision to scrap abortion rights could push their constituents to buck historic trends.

In Pennsylvania, Democratic Attorney General Josh Shapiro defeated Republican Doug Mastriano to keep the governorship of a key presidential battleground state blue. Shapiro’s victory repelled an election denier some feared would not certify a Democratic presidential victory in the state in 2024. Democrats Kathy Hochul of New York, Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico and Janet Mills of Maine also fended off Republican challengers.

Georgia GOP Gov. Brian Kemp won re-election, defeating Stacey Abrams in a rematch of their 2018 race. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, two future possible Republican presidential candidates, are beating off Democratic challengers to get in the two biggest reds States of the country to win.

In Georgia, Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger Herschel Walker were vying for a seat that could determine control of the Senate.

AP VoteCast, a broad poll of national voters, showed voters were heavily influenced by high inflation and concerns about the fragility of democracy.

Half of voters said inflation was factored in significantly, with groceries, petrol, housing, groceries and other costs skyrocketing over the past year. Slightly fewer – 44% – said that the future of democracy was their main concern.

Overall, 7 out of 10 voters said the ruling overturning the 1973 decision enshrining abortion rights was an important factor in their midterm decisions.

VoteCast also showed that the reversal was largely unpopular. About 6 in 10 say they are upset or dissatisfied with this, while about 4 in 10 were satisfied. And about 6 in 10 say they support legislation that would guarantee access to legal abortion nationwide.

No widespread problems with ballots or voter intimidation were reported across the country, although there were hiccups typical of most election days.

Voters also decided high-profile races for Senate or governor in places like Pennsylvania, Nevada, Wisconsin, Arizona and Michigan. There were also competitions for foreign ministers on the ballot, roles that usually garner little attention but have come under increasing scrutiny as GOP candidates, who refused to accept the results of the 2020 campaign, stepped in to administer future elections to control.

In the first national election since the Jan. 6 riot, some involved in or near the attack on the US Capitol were poised to win elected offices, including several running for seats in the House of Representatives .

In Ohio, Rep. Marcy Kaptur defeated Republican JR Majewski, who was in the US Capitol during the deadly riots and misrepresented his military service.

Democratic Representatives Abigail Spanberger and Jennifer Wexton held back spirited Republican challengers in the Virginia districts that the GOP had hoped for.

The 2022 election is on track to cost an estimated $16.7 billion at the state and federal levels, making it the costliest midterm election of all time, according to non-partisan campaign finance tracking organization OpenSecrets.

All House seats were up for grabs, as were 34 Senate seats – with cliffhangers particularly likely in Pennsylvania, Georgia and Arizona.

Trump has led two Republican Senate candidates to victory in Ohio and North Carolina. JD Vance, the best-selling author of “Hillbilly Elegy,” defeated 10-term Congressman Tim Ryan, while Rep. Ted Budd defeated Cheri Beasley, the former chief justice of the state.

Thirty-six states elected governors. The GOP faced unexpected headwinds as it flipped the governor’s office in conservative Kansas. Meanwhile, Democrats were nervous about their prospects in the governor’s race in Oregon, typically a liberal bastion.

Democrats have easily fended off Trump-backed Republicans in several left-leaning states, while tougher tests that could decide control of Congress and the future of Biden’s presidency are expected in a more competitive territory.

Despite their liberal history, states like Massachusetts, Maryland, and Illinois have historically elected moderate Republican governors. But Republicans have appeared overly conservative in those states this year, handing Democrats easy victories in midterm elections that could otherwise prove difficult for the party.

Massachusetts and Maryland also saw historic firsts: Democrat Maura Healey became the first woman elected governor of Massachusetts and the first openly lesbian governor of a state, and Wes Moore became Maryland’s first black governor.

Healey defeated Geoff Diehl in Massachusetts and Moore defeated Dan Cox in Maryland, while Illinois Governor JB Pritzker defeated state Senator Darren Bailey. Bolduc, Cox and Bailey were among the far-right Republicans that Democrats spent tens of millions of dollars to bolster during the primary, betting they would be easier to beat in the general election than their more moderate rivals.

A particularly strong pick for the GOP could put pressure on Biden to opt out of re-election in 2024. Trump, meanwhile, could look to cash in on GOP gains by formally making another bid for the White House during a “very big announcement” in Florida next week.

The former president endorsed more than 300 candidates in the midterm cycle and hopes to use Republican victories as a stepping stone to a 2024 presidential campaign.

“Well I think if they win I should get all the credit. And if they lose, I shouldn’t be blamed at all. But it will probably be the exact opposite,” Trump said in an interview with NewsNation.

It could be days or even weeks before the races — and possibly congressional scrutiny — are decided. Some states with ballot-by-mail, like Michigan, saw an increase in ballots cast compared to the 2018 midterm. Counting those votes can take longer because many states require ballots to be postmarked by Tuesday, but may not arrive at polling stations until days later. In Georgia’s Senate campaign, candidates must win at least 50% of the vote to avoid a December 6 runoff.

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Associated Press writers Corey Williams in Southfield, Michigan, Anita Snow in Phoenix, Claudia Lauer in Philadelphia, and Jacquelyn Martin contributed to this report.

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Follow AP’s coverage of the 2022 midterms at and learn more about the issues and factors at play in the midterms

https://www.ocregister.com/2022/11/08/gop-democrats-notch-victories-in-competitive-midterm-races-2/ GOP, Democrats Claim Victories in Competitive Midterm Races – Orange County Register

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