The Political Report – November 11, 2022

New York Times: “Two days after the election, House Republicans, still stung by a disappointing midterm performance, had won or were leading in the races for 221 seats — just three more than needed to retake the 435-member chamber… Democrats had won or were in the lead for 214 seats.”

“More than 30 races were still uncalled as of midday Thursday, and could still shift. But Democrats were left with only a narrow chance of retaining control of the chamber — an outcome even party operatives privately saw as a longshot. And Republicans could expand their advantage, with G.O.P. strategists believing they could push their total into the mid-220s or slightly higher.”

“Voters this fall were in the kind of sour mood that usually signals they are ready for change in Washington and state capitals. But in many cases, they were not looking for the change that Republican candidates were offering,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

Here are where each of the uncalled House races stand as of Thursday morning according to the Associated Press, as well as what percentage of the vote the AP estimates is reporting.

  • AK-AL: Democratic Rep. Mary Peltola leads Republican Sarah Palin 47-27 with 80% in, while Republican Nick Begich is at 24%. The state plans to run instant runoff tabulations on Nov. 23.
  • AZ-01: Democrat Jevin Hodge leads GOP Rep. David Schweikert 50.8-49.2 with 73% in.
  • AZ-04: Democratic Rep. Greg Stanton leads Republican Kelly Cooper 57-43 with 73% in.
  • AZ-06: Republican Juan Ciscomani leads Democrat Kirsten Engel 51.5-48.5 in this Democratic-held seat with 67% in.
  • CA-03: Republican Kevin Kiley leads Democrat Kermit Jones 53-47 in this GOP-held seat with 44% in.
  • CA-06: Democratic Rep. Ami Bera leads Republican Tamika Hamilton 56-44 with 29% in.
  • CA-09: Democratic Rep. Josh Harder leads Republican Tom Patti 56-44 with 43% in.
  • CA-13: Republican John Duarte leads Democrat Adam Gray 50.1-49.9 in this Democratic-held seat with 50% in.
  • CA-15: Assemblyman Kevin Mullin leads his fellow Democrat, San Mateo County Supervisor David Canepa, 56-44 with 46% in.
  • CA-16: Rep. Anna Eshoo leads her fellow Democrat, Rishi Kumar, 58-42 with 51% in.
  • CA-21: Democratic Rep. Jim Costa leads Republican Michael Maher 53-47 with 58% in.
  • CA-22: Republican Rep. David Valadao leads Democrat Rudy Salas 54-46 with 39% in.
  • CA-23: Republican Rep. Jay Obernolte leads Democrat Derek Marshall 61-39 with 40% in.
  • CA-26: Democratic Rep. Julia Brownley leads Republican Matt Jacobs 54-46 with 51% in.
  • CA-27: Republican Rep. Mike Garcia leads Democrat Christy Smith 58-42 with 44% in.
  • CA-29: Rep. Tony Cardenas leads his fellow Democrat, Angelica Duenas, 62-38 with 44% in.
  • CA-34: Rep. Jimmy Gomez leads his fellow Democrat, David Kim, 53-47 with 44% in.
  • CA-35: Democratic Rep. Norma Torres leads Republican Mike Cargile 56-44 with 41% in.
  • CA-37: State Sen. Sydney Kamlager leads her fellow Democrat, former Los Angeles City Councilwoman Jan Perry, 61-39 with 44% in.
  • CA-38: Democratic Rep. Linda Sanchez leads Republican Eric Ching 53-47 with 45% in.
  • CA-40: Republican Rep. Young Kim leads Democrat Asif Mahmood 59-41 with 58% in.
  • CA-41: Democrat Will Rollins leads Republican Rep. Ken Calvert 54-46 with 37% in.
  • CA-45: Republican Rep. Michelle Steel leads Democrat Jay Chen 55-45 with 56% in.
  • CA-46: Democratic Rep. Lou Correa leads Republican Christopher Gonzales 58-42 with 61% in.
  • CA-47: Democratic Rep. Katie Porter leads Republican Scott Baugh with 58% in.
  • CA-49: Democratic Rep. Mike Levin leads Republican Brian Maryott 51-49 with 51% in.
  • CO-03: Democrat Adam Frisch leads Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert by 64 votes with 98.5% in.
  • MD-06: Republican Neil Parrott leads Democratic Rep. David Trone 51-49 with 73% in.
  • ME-02: Democratic Rep. Jared Golden leads Republican Bruce Poliquin 48-45 with 95% in, while independent Tiffany Bond takes the balance. State election officials have already announced instant runoff tabulations will take place Nov. 15.
  • NV-01: Democratic Rep. Dina Titus leads Republican Mark Robertson 51-47 with 88% in.
  • NV-03: Democratic Rep. Susie Lee leads Republican April Becker 50.8-49.2 with 88% in.
  • NV-04: Democratic Rep. Steven Horsford leads Republican Sam Peters 51.5-48.5 with 88% in.
  • NY-22: Republican Brandon Williams leads Democrat Francis Conole 50.7-49.3 with 95% in.
  • OR-05: Republican Lori Chavez-DeRemer leads Democrat Jamie McLeod-Skinner 51.3-48.7 in this Democratic-held seat with 73% in.
  • OR-06: Democrat Andrea Salinas leads Republican Mike Erickson 49.7-48.1 in this brand new seat with 61% in.
  • WA-03: Democrat Marie Gluesenkamp Perez leads Republican Joe Kent 52-48 in this GOP-held seat with 70% in.
  • WA-08: Democratic Rep. Kim Schrier leads Republican Matt Larkin 53-47 with 65% in.

“Most of the most prominent election-denying secretary of state candidates either suffered a rebuke by voters or appeared headed toward one if the current vote tally trends hold,” the Washington Post reports.

Here’s the rundown of uncalled contests for attorney general and secretary of state:

  • AZ-AG: Democrat Kris Mayes holds a tiny 50.1-49.9 edge over Big Lie promoter Abraham Hamadeh with 70% in.
  • AZ-SoS: Democrat Adrian Fontes leads Big Lie spreader Mark Finchem 52-48 with 70% in.
  • NV-AG: Democratic incumbent Aaron Ford leads far-right Republican Sigal Chattah 50-45 with 79% in.
  • NV-SoS: Election denier Jim Marchant leads Democrat Cisco Aguilar 48.3-47.6 with 79% in.
  • WA-SoS: Appointed Democratic incumbent Steve Hobbs leads independent Julie Anderson 50-47 with 63% in, while write-ins make up the balance. This seat will be next be up for a full four-year term in 2024.

The following contests have been resolved since Wednesday morning.

GEORGIA U.S. SENATOR. Strap in, folks, cuz we’re about to do it again: Media outlets have called a runoff in the Georgia Senate race, where Raphael Warnock currently has a narrow lead on Herschel Walker but is below the all-important 50% mark. The runoff will be much shorter than in 2020-21: It’ll happen on Dec. 6, rather than in January.

WISCONSIN U.S. SENATOR. A major bummer: CNN is calling the Wisconsin Senate race for Republican incumbent Ron Johnson, who has a 1-point lead on Democratic Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes with almost all votes counted. However, this outcome is a only a hold for the GOP. To somehow retake the Senate, Republicans would still have to win two of the three other uncalled races in Arizona, Georgia, and Nevada.

KANSAS GOVERNOR AND ATTORNEY GENERAL. In a huge victory, multiple media outlets have now called the race for Kansas governor for Democratic incumbent Laura Kelly, who defeats state Attorney General Derek Schmidt for a second term. It seems very possible that the GOP’s efforts to force an unsuccessful vote on a constitutional amendment to strip away abortion rights this summer activated new voters who may well have saved Kelly.

Unfortunately, the odious Kris Kobach has also made a successful comeback in his bid to replace Schmidt as attorney general, narrowly defeating Democrat Chris Mann despite a big underperformance in this decidedly red state.

AZ-02. Republican Eli Crane has ousted Democratic Rep. Tom O’Halleran, who decided to run for re-election even after redistricting left him with a sprawling seat that would have favored Trump 53-45. O’Halleran put up a tough fight in a contest that attracted last-minute outside spending from both parties, but it wasn’t enough.

AZ-05. Republican Andy Biggs decisively defeated Democrat Javier Ramos in a dark red seat; it’s not clear why the AP waited until Wednesday afternoon to call this one.

CA-25, 28, 31, 33, 39 and WA-10. California Democratic Reps. Raul Ruiz, Judy Chu, Pete Aguilar, Grace Napolitano, and Mark Takano, as well was Democratic Rep. Marilyn Strickland of Washington, have all easily prevailed in races that likely weren’t called on election night because so many votes remained uncounted.

CO-08. Democrat Yadira Caraveo captured this newly drawn seat for her party after Republican Barbara Kirkmeyer conceded on Wednesday evening, when Caraveo led 48.4-47.7 with 89% in.

CT-05: The AP has called Democratic Rep. Jahana Hayes the winner here; she led Republican George Logan 50.4-49.6 with 95% in.

IA-03: Republican Zach Nunn won a tight race against Democratic Rep. Cindy Axne in a seat that Trump very narrowly would have carried. Nunn’s victory means that Iowa will have an all-Republican congressional delegation next year, something that last happened in the GOP’s 1994 midterm rout.

IL-17: Democrats made Illinois’ 17th District (open because former DCCC chair Cheri Bustos is retiring) bluer in redistricting, and it worked, as Democrat Eric Sorensen says his Republican opponent, Esther Joy King, has conceded. Sorensen is up 52-48 with most votes counted.

MI-08: Another big call out of Michigan as Democratic Rep. Dan Kildee has held off Republican Paul Junge in what was an extremely expensive race.

MI-10: The GOP has flipped Michigan’s open 10th District, but wow it did not go as planned. Republicans thought they had a superstar recruit in Army veteran John James, who had lost two previous bids for Senate, and were sure he’d steamroll. That didn’t happen. Democrat Carl Marlinga has conceded, but James is leading by less than 1% of the vote, in a race where the major outside Democratic groups spent nothing. Had Democratic Rep. Andy Levin sought re-election here rather than wage a quixotic bid against fellow Rep. Haley Stevens in the primary in the 11th, the outcome could have been very different.

NJ-07: Media outlets have declared Republican Tom Kean Jr. the winner in his rematch with Democratic Rep. Tom Malinowski, making this a flip for the GOP. New Jersey Democrats actually hung Malinowski out to dry in redistricting, proposing a map (which the tiebreaking member of the state’s bipartisan redistricting commission ultimately agreed to) that shored up several other Democratic seats while making Malinowski’s redder. The race was still fairly close, though: With most votes counted, Kean is up 52-48.

NM-02: Democrat Gabe Vasquez won a very competitive contest against far-right Rep. Yvette Herrell, who conceded Wednesday evening. Democratic map makers transformed the freshman’s southern New Mexico constituency from a 55-43 Trump seat into one Biden would have taken 52-46, but major groups on both sides spent hefty amounts here.

NY-04: New York continues to be one of Tuesday’s few dark spots for Democrats, as Republicans have now flipped a second open House seat on Long Island, the 4th District. There, Hempstead Town Councilman Anthony D’Esposito has defeated former Hempstead Town Supervisor Laura Gillen, leading 52-48 with most votes counted. On Tuesday night, Democrats also lost the neighboring 3rd District.

NY-17: DCCC chair Sean Patrick Maloney, who set in motion a very unwelcome chain of events when he selfishly decided to switch to a more favorable district that only included a quarter of his constituents (instead of staying in the district where the remaining three-quarters of them lived), has conceded. He falls to Republican Assemblyman Mike Lawler, making him the first party committee chair to lose a race since 1980.

NY-18: Democratic Rep. Pat Ryan, who was elected in August in a big special election upset in the old 19th District, has turned back Republican Colin Schmitt 50.4-49.6 in a bright spot for Empire State Democrats.

NY-19: But here’s another sucky New York result, this time from the upper Hudson Valley. Republican Marc Molinaro, who lost that famous special election this summer for the previous version of the 19th District, has now won a full term for the redrawn seat. With most votes counted, he’s leading Democrat Josh Riley 51-49. This is yet another New York flip for Republicans.

OR-04: NBC has called Oregon’s open 4th District for Democrat Val Hoyle, who has a 51-43 lead on Republican Alek Skarlatos with a sizable chunk of votes still left to count. This is one of several House seats Democrats were defending in the state that had looked dicey toward the end, so chalk this one up as another good win.

PA-07: Democratic Rep. Susan Wild has won her rematch against Republican Lisa Scheller, an impressive feat given that Biden’s margin of victory dropped from 52-47 to just 50-49 following redistricting.  

PA-08: We keep saying it, but it keeps happening: another crucial hold for Democrats as Rep. Matt Carwright hangs on in Pennsylvania’s Scranton-area 8th District, defeating Republican Jim Bognet.

PA-12: Democrat Summer Lee has held Pennsylvania’s open 12th District in the Pittsburgh area, meaning she’ll become the first Black woman to ever represent the state in Congress. Republicans hoped confusion caused by the name of her GOP opponent—Mike Doyle, who just happens to have the same name as the retiring Democratic congressman who represents this district—would lead them to an upset.

PA-17: Here’s yet another major hold for Team Blue: Democrat Chris Deluzio successfully defended Pennsylvania’s 17th District in the Pittsburgh suburbs, beating back Republican Jeremy Shaffer for the seat that Conor Lamb left open to unsuccessfully run for Senate. With most votes tallied, Deluzio is up 53-47.

WI-03: Other media outlets had called the race on Tuesday night, but the AP (usually the most cautious of the race-callers) waited until Wednesday morning to declare Republican Derrick Van Orden the winner in Wisconsin’s 3rd District. This was a seat left open by Democratic Rep. Ron Kind’s retirement, so this is a flip for the GOP. The big national Democratic groups mostly triaged this race, which took place in an area that had been moving away from Democrats for some time. But the final result won’t be a blowout: With most votes counted, Van Orden has a 52-48 lead.

CO-AG: Democratic incumbent Phil Weiser turned in a convincing victory over Republican John Kellner, a Denver-area district attorney. Kellner had very narrowly won re-election two years ago against strong headwinds at the top of the ticket, but Team Blue’s solid showing in Colorado in 2022 was far too much for him.

CO-SoS: Democratic incumbent Jena Griswold secured a second term by turning back Republican Pam Anderson.

CT-SoS: Democrat Stephanie Thomas held this open seat for her party by beating Republican election denier Dominic Rapini, a victory that makes her the first woman of color elected statewide.

FL-AG: Republican incumbent Ashley Moody pulled off a landslide victory over Democrat Aramis Ayala in what was a very strong night for her party in Florida.

GA-AG: Republican Chris Carr has fended off Democrat Jen Jordan; Carr previously survived a Trump-driven primary challenge in May.

GA-SoS: Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who is one of Trump’s least favorite Republicans in the nation, won a second term by beating Democrat Bee Nguyen.

IA-AG: Republican Brenna Bird narrowly defeated the longest-serving attorney general in American history, 10-term Democratic incumbent Tom Miller, after an expensive bout. Miller was first elected in 1978 on his second try, left in 1990 to wage an unsuccessful primary campaign for governor, and regained the office four years later.

IN-SoS: Election denier Diego Morales beat Democrat Destiny Wells by double digits about a month after two women charged that the Republican nominee sexually harassed and groped them in the late 2000s. Morales previously beat incumbent Holli Sullivan at the spring party nominating convention by calling the 2020 presidential election a “​​scam” and pledging to “secure our elections.”

MI-AG, MI-SoS: Democrats have held both key downballot statewide posts in Michigan, fending off election deniers. Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson has turned back Kristina Karamo while Attorney General Dana Nessel has defeated Matthew DePerno on what was a very good night for Wolverine State Democrats indeed.

MN-AG: Democrat Keith Ellison, Minnesota’s attorney general, has survived a very close shave. With nearly all votes counted, he’s up by less than a point, prompting the AP to call the race for him over Republican Jim Schultz.

MN-SoS: Democratic Secretary of State Steve Simon beat Republican Kim Crockett, a conspiracy theorist who dubbed the 2020 election “the big rig.”

NM-AG: Raul Torrez won the race to succeed his fellow Democrat, termed-out Attorney General Hector Balderas, by decisively defeating Republican Jeremy Gay.

NM-SoS: Democratic incumbent Maggie Toulouse Oliver convincingly turned back Republican Audrey Trujillo, an election denier who has shared a QAnon conspiracy theory insinuating that President Joe Biden is dead and has been replaced by a clone.

TX-AG: Republican Ken Paxton, who has spent most of his two terms under federal indictment for securities fraud, won re-election against Democrat Rochelle Garza.

VT-AG: Democrat Charity Clark reclaimed this office for her party by easily defeating Republican Mike Tagliavia, a win that will make her the first woman to hold this post. The GOP temporarily took control of the attorney general’s office in June after Gov. Phil Scott appointed Susanne Young to succeed Democrat TJ Donovan, who resigned shortly after announcing that he would not seek re-election, but Young did not seek a full two-year term.

WI-AG: Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul held on in this swing state by turning back Republican Eric Toney.

As of Thursday, it’s still too early to tell which party will control the Senate and House after the widely expected “red wave” turned out to be more of a pink dribble.

Control of the Senate is now down to three key races that haven’t been called yet:

  • Sen. Mark Kelly (D) vs. Republican Blake Masters in Arizona.
  • Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D) vs. Republican Adam Laxalt in Nevada.
  • Sen. Raphael Warnock (D) and Republican Herschel Walker in Georgia. Warnock and Walker are headed to a runoff that’ll be held on Dec. 6.

The Alaska Senate race between Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) and Trump-backed Kelly Tshibaka hasn’t been called yet either, but that seat’s staying red either way since both candidates are Republicans.

The House is also up in the air, and if Republicans do win back the chamber, they’ll have a much slimmer majority than they’d hoped for.

Playbook: “According to the latest numbers from Jon Ralston and Sean Golonka of the Nevada Independent, there are about 110,000 mail ballots left to be counted from the two big urban counties, Clark (Las Vegas) and Washoe (Reno).”

“Even if Cortez Masto and Laxalt split those ballots well below her current rate of 65%-30%, Ralston notes, she will overtake Laxalt. There are also some outstanding rural ballots that will help Laxalt, and there are things like provisional ballots and cured ballots that all have to be tabulated by Saturday.”

“But according to the data nerds here, based on the known universe of outstanding ballots, Cortez Masto has a path to victory. And with Sen. Mark Kelly leading Blake Masters in Arizona by five points with 76% of the vote in, the Democrats could keep the Senate even without winning the Dec. 6 Georgia runoff.”

GEORGIA U.S. SENATE RUNOFF. “Herschel Walker performed significantly worse than Gov. Brian Kemp, who easily won reelection Tuesday while Walker failed to crack 50% of the vote,” Axios reports.  “Republicans turning out to vote for Kemp may have helped pull Walker’s scandal-plagued campaign close to 50% — meaning he could have a harder time rallying support on his own in the runoff.”

“And if Democrats control the Senate even without Georgia, motivating Republicans to turn out for Walker could be even more challenging.”

“The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is spending $7 million on field operations in the Georgia Senate runoff, kicking off an expensive overtime race that could give the winning party control of the Senate,” Politico reports.

The Hill: Democrats, GOP brace for brutal Georgia Senate runoff.

Herschel Walker (R) hauled in $3.3 million in fundraising on the first day of his Senate runoff campaign with Sen. Raphael Warnock (D), Fox News reports.

“The head of the Senate Republican campaign committee pledged Wednesday to raise whatever money he can and begin an advertising blitz this week for Herschel Walker’s runoff in Georgia against Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock,” NBC News reports.  “But there’s one aspect Sen. Rick Scott of Florida won’t weigh in on: whether former President Donald Trump should stay out of the runoff in December.”

LOS ANGELES MAYOR. “Rick Caruso and Karen Bass both asserted their optimism Wednesday about an eventual victory in the Los Angeles mayor’s race, with both saying they would not let the slowly unfolding tabulation get in the way of their plans for a quick transition into the city’s top job,” the Los Angeles Times reports.

Billionaire developer Rick Caruso is edging out Rep. Karen Bass 51-49 with 44% of the AP’s estimated vote in; no new ballots are set to be counted until Friday. Caruso led Bass 42-37 the day after the June nonpartisan primary only for the congresswoman to finish with a 43-36 advantage once all the votes were in, and she’s hoping for a repeat.

LOS ANGELES COUNTY SHERIFF. Los Angeles County, CA Sheriff: Challenger Robert Luna leads conservative incumbent Alex Villanueva 57-43 with 44% of the estimated vote in; Los Angeles County is not scheduled to count more ballots until Friday. Both candidates identify as Democrats, but Villanueva has become a Fox News regular who, among many other things, has raged against the “woke left.”

COLORADO 3RD CD. Denver Post: “If neither candidate gains a wide enough margin, election officials might not declare an official winner in the race for weeks, depending on how the process plays out.”

“Not only would a slim margin of victory trigger an automatic recount but either candidate can also request a recount so long as they’re willing to pay for it. The process could then extend into December.”

2024. Several consultants in Florida say Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) “likely won’t formally jump into the presidential field until after state lawmakers meet for their annual legislative session,” CNN reports.  “That would put DeSantis on a timeline of a May or June announcement.”

Outgoing Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) told CBS News that he’s considering a 2024 bid following Tuesday night’s election results: “I felt like I was on a lifeboat all by myself with everybody on the Trump Titanic. Now, we need a bigger boat.”

Politico: “Republicans critical of the former president were resigning themselves to another reality: they may be stuck with Trump anyway in 2024.”

New York Times: “Trump has built a deep well of loyalty with Republican voters, and party officials cautioned that it was too soon to tell whether he would suffer any lasting political damage beyond a flurry of bad headlines, or whether a rival will emerge to challenge him.”

“The Democratic National Committee is planning to pick up a big project after the midterm election: shaking up its presidential nominating process and changing the states that get to vote early. But a potential Republican wave on Tuesday could suddenly limit Democrats’ options for upending the primary calendar,” Politico reports.

“Sweeping legislative or statewide losses could jeopardize some state Democrats’ ability to reschedule their primaries to jump into the early-state window, like Michigan, or to compete for the first-in-the-nation primary, like Nevada. Without full or partial Democratic control of government, passing state legislation to change primary dates and overturn the existing early-state nominating lineup — the longtime quartet of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina — quickly gets more complicated.”

“The Senate Democratic campaign arm shared its final spending numbers, revealing that for the first time in recent history officials spent more on the party’s field operation than on television advertising in their bid to keep the majority,” Politico reports.

“As Democrats secured key electoral and historic victories up and down the ballot in states such as Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, they shored up their position in the Rust Belt ahead of 2024, rebuilding the so-called blue wall states that Donald Trump won in 2016,” Politico reports.  “If the dismantling of the blue wall states came at Trump’s own hand in 2016, so too did its reconstruction this week, as Democrats handily ousted candidates endorsed by the former president.”

Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

3 comments on “The Political Report – November 11, 2022

  1. cassandram

    Delaware is absolutely in the hunt to be one of the first in the nation Presidential primaries. The DNC wanted to wait until after the General was completed to see if there were local legislatures who *could* take the votes to make changes to their calendars. I think that the fight is between us and New Hampshire.

  2. cassandram

    NY is a failure of gerrymandering ONLY. NY (Cuomo) decided that an aggressive gerrymander instead of one that would hew more closely to the redistricting law pretty much allowed the court to redraw those maps. Some of these newly red flips are just gonna be vulnerable — possible that some of these winners won’t want to indulge in the current wingnuttery just to try to survive. On the other hand, Republicans gonna Republican so any expectation of moderation is always a risky one.

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