2022 Midterm Elections|PBS NewsHour Special Coverage|Part 2
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2022 Midterm Elections|PBS NewsHour Special Coverage|Part 2
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Special | 2h 26m 44s | Video has closed captioning.
2022 Midterm Elections|PBS NewsHour Special Coverage|Part 2
Problems Playing Video? | Closed Captioning
JUDY WOODRUFF: Good evening and welcome to our continuing coverage of Election Night.
I'm Judy Woodruff, part of the "PBS NewsHour"'s reporting all night long on the results coming in across the country in these crucial critical midterm elections.
The polls have now closed 10 o'clock in the east in three more States, Montana, Nevada and Utah.
All out West, Nevada and Utah both have Senate seats up for election, this cycle and Montana's two congressional seats are on the ballot.
And while we wait for results for those races to come in, we do have a call to make the Associated Press looking at the state of Colorado, where the polls closed just an hour ago.
The AP says that Jared Polis has won reelection, he's the Democrat, he was being challenged by the chair of the member that is of the State Board of Regents, Heidi Ganahl.
But Jared Polis with what 45 percent of the expected vote in.
appears to be coasting to reelection 61 percent of the vote.
And while we let that numbers settle in and wait for some other, some other calls to be made and other results to look at, let's go over to our Amna Nawaz talking with public media reporter.
AMNA NAWAZ: That's right, Judy.
We're checking in with our friends over in public media stations across the country.
And right now we're going to look at Wisconsin.
Wisconsin Republican Senator Ron Johnson is hoping to retain his position in Congress.
He faces Democrat Mandela Barnes.
He's the state's current Lieutenant Governor.
Governor Tony Evers is also in a tight race against Republican challenger, Tim Michels.
Zac Schultz, is a reporter for PBS Wisconsin.
He's in Madison tonight.
And he joins us now.
It's good to see you.
Thanks for being with us.
Let's talk about that Evers race for the governor's race.
He's running for his second term.
He's presented himself as a check on the Republican led state legislature.
How is that message going over with voters?
ZAC SCHULTZ, PBS Wisconsin: Well, I think they understand that we've had a Republican legislature here in Wisconsin for the last decade, and with the latest redistricting cycle going through pretty much everyone understands the Republicans will control the Statehouse for at least the next few sessions.
And so Governor Evers is the only thing standing between them and complete control, which we saw a decade under Scott Walker when he actually rattled the nation a little bit with some of the changes that he brought here, some of the protests, if you remember way back to 2011.
So there are people that understand that Evers is an important barrier to preventing all that Republican power.
But Republicans say they need more change.
They need to have Tim Michels come in, because there's a lot of things that they still want to get accomplished with that Republican legislature.
AMNA NAWAZ: You know, Michels made a comment in recent days that got a lot of national attention.
He said something to the effect of, after I win Republicans and Wisconsin will never lose another election.
Did that have any kind of impact?
ZAC SCHULTZ: Well, it's hard to say.
A lot of the messaging from the Democrats has really been focused on abortion, not elections anymore.
We don't hear as much about January 6, or Donald Trump or even some of the election integrity or the Conspiracy theories.
But obviously, there was a lot of talk, a lot of that got circulated around.
It's hard to say on the ground, whether that changed minds and speaking with voters today at a number of different polling sites that never came up.
What they talked about were other issues closer to them.
We saw a really high turnout on the campuses.
We're just next to the University of Wisconsin Madison campus.
There were long lines of freshmen first time voters registering.
We have same day registration here in Wisconsin, so turn up was up considerably on campuses around the state.
Overall, we heard from a lot of people saying they're just happy to come back to the polls.
The number of absentee ballots has come down considerably over the last couple of elections as well.
AMNA NAWAZ: Zac, what about that Senate race?
We know a lot of people around the country are keeping a close eye on that it's become one of the most expensive races in this cycle.
What should we know about the core messages there?
ZAC SCHULTZ: Right now Ron Johnson has been running just a streamline of negative ads against Mandela Barnes, attacking him on crime on defund the Police messages.
And interestingly enough, Mandela Barnes messaging has been positive, even up to the last weekend, watching ads.
That's largely him at the ball game talking about his message for voters.
He has not run that negative a campaign.
And now he's running a couple of points behind Governor Evers tonight so far we've we're very early in the returns.
But right now, Evers is a couple of points ahead of Mandela Barnes so Johnson's campaign is very confident that they've got this one.
He's a known closer, he did it in 2010 and 2016, both times when he thought he was left for dead.
And now the polls show him with the solid leads, so they're very confident.
Mandela Barnes campaign is hoping that some of that boosted turnout, especially around liberal areas in the state in Milwaukee, in Madison, may be enough to get him over the edge.
AMNA NAWAZ: We've been seeing some of those early returns coming in right there.
We need to know we have not yet the-AP has not yet made a call in either of those races, we will continue to track them.
Zac Schultz from Wisconsin PBS joining us tonight.
Zac, thank you.
ZAC SCHULTZ: Thank you.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And thank you, Zac.
And thank you Amna for that update from Wisconsin.
One thing we have not been able to speak a lot about tonight are the many ballot issues that voters were looking at across the country and on a-an enormous variety of issues.
And one of those are on William Brangham has been looking at it has to do with climate and I believe in the state of New York -- William, over to you.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Hi, Judy.
Yes, there are two, actually, major ballot initiatives that are on voters minds these coming from New York state and from California.
And these, of course, come on the backdrop of the major un talks on climate change where all the world nations are focused on this issue right now while we go through this election here.
But these two initiatives in California and New York if they both pass, and we don't have final results on them yet, could be two of the biggest efforts that have come out of States in many, many years.
They could funnel billions of dollars into climate and environment initiatives.
The first one in New York is the is called the Clean Water Clean Air Green Jobs Act and it would funnel billions of dollars into different types of land restoration efforts, coastal restoration, trying to protect from flooding, protecting farmlands, and restoring wetlands and areas around New York State.
New York has been hit by several major storms and had a lot of damage.
Some of the money would also be used to buy up vulnerable properties to get homeowners to move away from those areas.
In California, the issue is called Proposition 30.
And it would raise income taxes on the wealthiest Californians on their incomes that are above $2 million, would raise those taxes by about 1.75 percent, which doesn't sound like a lot, but it could raise -- the estimates vary but three to $5 billion every year.
And this money would be used principally for rolling out electric vehicle infrastructure.
We know that California has a very big state pushing for this.
And it's got requirements that the states themselves -- that California buyers themselves would be buying only E.V.s or hybrids starting in 2035.
The politics on the California one are kind of interesting, because Gavin Newsom, the Governor, who has been a strong champion of climate initiatives and electric vehicle initiatives is not in favor of this Prop 30.
He argues that because of the way it's structured, it's actually going to end up being a big giveaway, to lift the driver app that people use, is that sort of taxi hailing app, it's a little bit arcane, the details of that I won't go into the details of it.
But again, we don't know whether this is going to pass.
But we've seen from President Biden passing the Inflation Reduction Act, which was a major, probably the most significant climate legislation that this country has seen in decades.
And now two of the biggest States in the country are possibly going to pass two similarly major initiatives.
So again, it's a very, very big issue that as we go through this process of what are the global community, what are these 200 Nations meeting in Egypt, right, as we speak, going to do about the global threat of climate change.
So we'll stand by looking for results on that tonight, but still no word on what's going to happen with those particular initiatives.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Really, interestingly, and, in particular, whether voters are prepared to take -- to accept what you describe is a relatively small tax increase, but still a tax increase.
And yet for something that people who care about the environment would argue it would bring benefits for decades and more than that, years and years to come.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Yes, that's right, Judy.
I mean, as I said that in California, Newsom has pushed this to be, again, continuing California's long history of being one of the most aggressive actors on climate change.
And when California changes rules on textbooks or automobiles or food safety, the rest of the nation has to follow suit, largely because it's such an enormous market.
If you have to sell cars in California that are electric or hybrid, automakers say we're not going to make one for the California market and for others elsewhere.
So what California does is enormous.
New York State also similarly very, very big state.
So those two could have major implications if those two initiatives pass today.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Really interesting update from William Brangham our "NewsHour" correspondent who has been following climate issues for a number of years following it all very closely.
William, Thank you so much.
And I now want to go back to the White House to our Laura Barron-Lopez.
Laura, as we've been saying all night, you are talking to the folks who are talking to the president, who they are all watching this.
They're sitting on the edge of their seats, as we are here in the "NewsHour" studio trying to see what which way the wind is blowing whether the Republicans definitely are going to take control of the House, what's going to happen in the Senate.
But what are you seeing and what are you reporting right now?
LAURA BARRON-LOPEZ: So, right now, the president just made some congratulatory calls.
He made a congratulatory call to Massachusetts governor elect Maura Healey, the Rhode Island governor, as well as Senator elect Peter Welch, who was a member of Congress ran for the Senate there.
And something also interesting though, Judy, is that the president appeared to call representative Abigail Spanberger.
She's in Virginia 7, a closely watched race and congratulate her even though the Associated Press has not called that race yet.
So the president appearing to think that that might be a done deal, even though we have not officially called it and the associated press has not.
he also made a congratulatory credit -- congratulatory call to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
And that's what the president is doing right now as he is watching races trying to keep some hope that potentially Democrats losses in the house are not as significant as people -- as we have been forecasting.
And definitely the White House really sees there is keeping an eye on the Senate, which is what they think they have the best chance of holding.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Laura Barron-Lopez, that's so interesting to the president calling Congresswoman Spanberger even though that race has not been called.
Whether -- we assume it's more than wishful thinking, or the White House wouldn't be putting this out.
But I guess we will see.
We -- I'm told by my producer, Matt Laufman (ph) that she is up by what is at a point or two right now.
A point and a half in, in her race to reelection in state of Virginia.
We have another Senate race to call.
This is in the state of Colorado.
Michael Bennet, who was facing what some said was a surprisingly challenging opposition is now declared the winner by the Associated Press with 55 percent of the vote in.
He was challenged by Joe O'Dea, a construction businessman, a businessman in the construction arena who is described - - self-described as moderate.
He was not a fan of former President Donald Trump, he was carving out his own path in the Republican Party.
But he has fallen short according to the AP, as you see, again, with 55 percent of the expected vote in the AP is -- has called Michael Bennet the winner he will return to Washington and to the United States Senate.
So we have a little more information.
And now our own Geoff Bennett that's another - - following another race we're watching very closely.
Pennsylvania Senate, between John Fetterman, you're at his headquarters and Mehmet Oz.
Tell us what you're learning.
GEOFF BENNETT: And, Judy, the Fetterman headquarters here has filled up really with his supporters.
There's another network that shall not be named on the big screen behind me.
And every time they show the early vote totals, the crowd here erupts in cheers.
We have to say though, even though the ballot has closed two hours ago, polls are closed two hours ago, this is still very early in this process.
The acting secretary of state has said that there will not be a final result here tonight.
And she said quote, that is a fact.
And the expectation is that it will take somewhere between three and four, potentially five days to count all of the vote.
There are a few reasons for that.
I think it's important to keep people apprised of this.
One is because Philadelphia decided to change the way that they are counting votes here tonight.
They're using a process to make sure that people who voted in person did not also vote by mail.
So that will delay the vote tally.
There's also been legal action that has reached the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and that was the result of a Republican challenge to ballots that had the incorrect date on them.
So nothing else was wrong with these ballots.
They were submitted within the appropriate timeframe.
But these are situations where voters had put an invalid date.
The challenge from Republicans has been to set those aside and so there are roughly somewhere between 3000 to 5000 ballots now that have essentially been put aside and that as that case sort of works its way through the courts.
And then finally Pennsylvania State law does not allow for the vote counts to -- does not allow for the counting -- excuse me, it's - - there's, there's going to take this out here.
We need state law does not allow for mail in ballots to be counted until the morning of the election.
So all of the all of the prep work that is required to make sure that mail in ballots are scanned and appropriately tallied all of that started very early this morning.
So that is a long, laborious process.
And it will take time and matter of days for that entire vote to come in.
And so even as some have suggested that there might be something untoward happening here with a delay, it's important to remember that this is the process at work, Judy.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, we hope everybody brought several changes of clothes there at the Fetterman headquarters in Pittsburgh, so there'll be ready for the long for the long haul.
But again, Geoff, we thank you so much for that, for that update.
And sorry about all the noise in the background.
And we do have two more race calls to make from the Associated Press in the state of Missouri.
The winner, Eric Schmidt.
This is the seat that was remaining Republican Roy Blunt.
I'd held that seat for several terms.
Schmidt that this is a Missouri has been red, has been Republican, trending for a number of years in defeating a woman who is Trudy Busch Valentine, heiress to the to the Anheuser Busch, fortune, the Democrat, but it looks with just what 31 percent of the expected vote in the AP has declared that Eric Schmidt is the winner -- call that race for Eric Schmidt.
And in the state of Oklahoma.
Now, this is the other -- now,this is the governor's race in the state of Oklahoma, Kevin Stitt Republican seeking his second term, there was a question about whether Joy Hofmeister, who just in recent weeks, picked up the endorsement of five Native American tribes in the state of Oklahoma.
And, of course, that's a place where these, the tribes have enormous influence there, they had had a dispute with the Governor, and were very, very vocal in their opposition in endorsing her but the AP says that Kevin Stitt has won.
He is a Republican who's just been, as we said, called to win a second term.
So here we are back at the table trying to understand what's going on in Pennsylvania, what's going on, in Wisconsin, Georgia, you name it, North Carolina.
Perry Bacon, you've been looking at these results, and you've been looking at your own device, I see.
There, you're hiding it with your hands.
But it there's somewhere.
PERRY BACON, The Washington Post: But if we were going to see -- I thought tonight might be a huge Republican wave and Colorado State, I was looking at the Democratic States and Michael Bennet won and that tells me it's not going to be you know, every person is Democrats not going to lose in a in a state that's even close.
It looks like Abigail Spanberger in that swing district in Virginia.
JUDY WOODRUFF: The president thinks so.
PERRY BACON JR.: Looks likely to win, I think, yes, I think one of the other networks called it so I think that's partly why the president - - it wasn't totally random.
So, I think we're not -- at the same time every indication is still possible.
We get up on Thursday or Friday, and the Republicans have won the Senate and the House.
So I think we're still -- it's not, it doesn't listen, like it's a 2014 situation where the Democrats lost every close races eventually.
But it's still very possible the Republicans win a lot of races, win control of both chambers.
DAVID BROOKS: It could easily come down the senator in Nevada say that we could wind up with a 51:49 Senate or maybe a 50:50.
But it doesn't look like we're going to have some big majority either way.
And so you know, we'll spend the next two years, Why are we so evenly divided?
Why does it never change?
JUDY WOODRUFF: We keep asking the same questions over and over again.
But they're good questions.
So we should ask.
AMY WALTER, The Cook Political Report: And the hardest question to ask, though, is doing traditional election night coverage, because what we're learning is this is now taking a lot longer than it used to, in part because - - and I think it's the right thing to do, which is both the people calling the races and also the people tabulating the ballot, are being incredibly careful.
Nobody is saying we want to race out and be first, you know, call control of the House or the Senate.
Everybody's taking their time with every single one of these precincts, which matters, but it also means that our expectation -- I was reading a tweet somewhere that by this time, in 2010, the house had already been called.
And remember, Republicans needed to pick up a lot more than five seats in 2010 to win control of Congress.
There it felt like the dominoes fell really, really quickly.
So what I'm trying to figure out is how much of what we're seeing right now in this sense of oh gosh, is this a good night is a bad night is two things one?
Are we just watching just the process change from what we're used to watching.
And the second is, if we are back to where we were, a lot of this was in 2018, we're having the same conversations we didn't really know until later on in the night, where Democrats were in part, because I remember we were waiting on Virginia.
Virginia 7 was that same district that was going to tell us something in 2018.
And it took us a while to get there.
So this is, you know, one of those things where I think we all want to be able to do what we did in the old days and by midnight have a pretty good sense of, of where we're headed.
But I don't know that we're going to be able to do that.
JUDY WOODRUFF: We don't want to maybe spend, Marc Short, the next three or four days sitting here at the same desk.
AMY WALTER: At the same desk.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And we would do that.
MARC SHORT, Former Chief of Staff to Former Vice President Mike Pence: I'd be happy to spend it with you all, Judy.
(LAUGHTER) MARC SHORT: But I'm going to look, I still think it's I think it's where we started the night it appears it's going to be a good night for Republicans.
I mean, Amy's point is not 2010.
But we'd never was going to be because where we Republicans starting the house has a much higher number than they were in 2010.
But I still think we're going to wake up at the end of this process and see Republicans control the House, the Senate, but not sort of a landslide number of victories.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Faiz Shakir, you've watched a number of races over the years, you followed American politics closely, what is tonight feel like to you?
FAIZ SHAKIR, Democratic Strategist: So far - - you know, the -- as I mentioned earlier, the bottom hasn't dropped out suburbs performing, you know, roughly where you would assume in a midterm election year where turnout is going to be lower, not at the presidential level.
So, thus far, you know, no major surprises actually, that's that's one of the major stories.
You were covering ballot initiatives earlier.
And I think that's something I watch very carefully to there's a lot to learn.
Oftentimes, when you see voter behavior and some of these ballot initiatives, you're mentioning some of the climate ones, Judy, but in addition to those, you have Nebraska voting on a ballot measure to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour up to through 2026 winning by a large amount right now.
D.C. was going to end the tip minimum wage here winning by a large amount.
South Dakota is trying to pass Medicaid expansion.
It's right now ahead.
You look, at some other -- you know, Arizona's got an effort to try to end predatory medical debt practices.
So you can't put medical debt at certain levels and don't confiscate certain assets, that's also performing very well.
and you know, again, I go to voter behavior, what does it mean, right.
What do you take away from this?
There's a lot of these kinds of core economic issues, class-based issues that people tell you from both parties and in red States.
Hey, I like that.
I like that approach it progressive policy measures.
GARY ABERNATHY, Freelance Journalist: One - - one message that we think we know, is that, you know, Perry mentioned earlier, the Biden has tried to be a unifying president.
And I'm sure that in some ways he has.
It's not a unifying message to basically accuse millions of Republicans of being threats to democracy.
And by -- you know, by extension, the candidates he's referring to a lot of times, but the people who vote for them, like, well, I'm voting for that guy, and I don't think or that person or that woman, and I don't think I'm voting for a threat to democracy.
That's not -- that's not the way to call people out.
That's not a unifying message.
We need to get back to the point in this country where however, this election turns out tonight, we say congratulations, we fought hard.
You won, it's over and give the American people a break to say the election is over.
The election is over.
We're not litigating it forever, certainly Republicans and Trump has have been guilty of that.
but you know, Democrats, democratic - - Republicans need to stop accusing Democrats of rigging the last election, and Republican Democrats need to stop accusing Republicans of planning to rig future elections.
That's maybe a message to at least ponder tonight as we go.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, we did have an historic event series of events after the 2020.
GARY ABERNATHY: Absolutely.
But most Americans didn't participate in that 800 People went into the Capitol, they're being prosecuted, millions of Americans who are voting for -- quote, unquote -- "MAGA candidates" tonight, they're not they're not wanting an Insurrection.
They're not they're not storming the White House demanding Biden leave it.
JUDY WOODRUFF: What should happen about January 6 after this election, David?
I mean, if Democrats lose control in the house, what happens to January 6 Committee?
DAVID BROOKS: Well, the committee goes bye-bye.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Yes.
DAVID BROOKS: But,you know, it's -- I've tried to think a lot about this.
So roughly 40 percent of Republicans are election deniers.
And that's got to be worrisome when 40 percent of the party.
And so I've wondered, are they really election deniers or as election denial become your emblem to show you're part of the team?
And we'll know the truth about that well, a little it within a couple days.
If a lot of election deniers get elected Secretary of State and governor.
But then we'll know the truth really about it in two years and we'll see if people are really willing to act on a close election.
And if there's anything we've seen from tonight, the 2024 election will probably be pretty close.
And so if you're worried about the state of our democracy, that if people are going to monkey with the election results or monkey mostly with the electoral count, 2024 it looks like it could be a test.
PERRY BACON JR.: I wish law and politics were separate, but they're obviously not.
So it seems to me that the January 6 investigation is about really, should Donald Trump face some kind of legal indictment punishment.
I don't know what the future is, but it's hard for me to, but my guess is the department has will be more reluctant to move forward if the Republicans win both chambers tonight, and so on Merrick Garland seems very cautious, very in sort of abiding by norms and not seeming partisan or political.
If there was a huge democratic sweep tonight, I think they'll be able to change the legal situation as well.
So we might end up looking at those hearings as being pretty interesting and pretty compelling and telling us how horrible that day was, but maybe not changing that much about electoral politics in the future.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Amy, just a quick reminder, what are voters telling us in the last few months, year, last two years, about what they think about the whole January 6, focus.
AMY WALTER: When you hear voters talk about this there, I think there in a couple of ways, one, across the board want to see the people who did do the storming, get prosecuted.
So those people do the crime, do the time situation.
There are a lot of folks who also are sort of frustrated, especially on the Democratic side, you talk to Democratic voters, and what they feel is, well, you know, what, Donald Trump's going to get away with it no matter what, there's never going to be any price for him to pay for what he did.
And so there's a sort of resignation about that.
But fundamentally, I agree with Gary, which is most people are ready to move on.
And they want to believe that the system is still going to work.
But there's a lot of concern about what comes next, right?
Is this going to be sort of the norm in our elections that we have to think about these things worry about these things?
I'll be very curious to see what the final turnout numbers look like, once we get all the data in.
But the fact that we've had all these conversations about right, are people going to be intimidated to go and vote?
Are they going to be intimidated dropping off their ballots?
I think they showed up and said, we're going to keep we're going to continue to be part of this process.
We don't feel as if our system is been -- is so stressed, or it's so under stress, that it's preventing me or dissuading me from showing up.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Marc Short, as someone who's very close to former Vice President Mike Pence, he was right in the middle of January 6.
Remind us what his views are on all of this that we're talking about?
MARC SHORT: Well, I think he has a his own story coming out in a book next week.
And he'll tell the American people all about that.
Well, as someone who was there the entire day with him, I can tell you, you know, my perspective is I agree with the commentary, I think the American people are ready to move on.
I don't think that people have been part of that committee, have been politically rewarded.
I do see another network has just called Jen Kiggans for -- over Elaine Luria, who was part of the committee.
And I think that the reality is that the vast majority of Americans had other issues that they were prioritized in this election cycle as opposed to that.
I probably I don't know firsthand but I do think the reason DOJ has not moved forward with anything yet is because they feel that would be political in the midst of an election cycle, a midterm.
I'm not so convinced that the results tonight is going to impact what DOJ does as far as future indictments.
JUDY WOODRUFF: You're not?
MARC SHORT: Correct, yes.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Having said that, it's hard to believe that the former vice president would wish to ever have to go through anything like that?
MARC SHORT: No, I think he's been very clear in saying this was a tragic day.
It was a terrible day for America.
But I think, you know, I've always been proud that he stood there, even when their efforts to try to remove him from the Capitol because he said, This is the hallmark of our democracy, it's important for the world to see it.
We're going to complete our business tonight, we're going to complete our work.
And I think that that'll always be a hallmark of his career.
And I think that again, you'll be hearing a lot more about in the coming days.
JUDY WOODRUFF: You just did a promotion for his book.
(LAUGHTER) JUDY WOODRUFF: Faiz Shakir, I think you mentioned this a minute ago.
But I mean, to what extent should Democrats keep talking up as President Biden has in the last few weeks democracy, January 6.
FAIZ SHAKIR: You know, is a marker of the Democratic Party's values that we believe in the democratic process, so they, you can't ever forsake it and walk away from what was a horrific moment.
But I also think if you're talking about persuasion, and you're trying to reach people, who are not currently True Blue and core democratic voters, you got to think about messages that are on their minds.
And this had to happens to not be one of the core ones it does revolve around economy it revolves around their you know where they are in their lives and then I asked everyone to emote about the feelings of somebody who's living it, you know, $14, $15 an hour and you're getting paid $1,000 a week, paycheck to paycheck, you get zero and you're checking zero and your savings, your economic anxiety is through the roof, you're worried your credit card debt is going to, you know, ransack you and your family.
And that's the pressure you face.
That's what you're in for the for those of us who are comfortable, it is sometimes easy to disassociate from the bubble of, you know, our own bubbles of what a working-class anxiety is.
And so you're talking to that person -- now, it's a persuadable person, you got to access the emotional anxiety of that and understand OK, now, if you're talking about democracy, Judy, right, and institution of government, what happened on January 6, is that to them the most relevant thing that is impacting their life?
No, it's not.
But let's talk to them about what is.
JUDY WOODRUFF: I hear you.
We are waiting for more calls to be made by the Associated Press tonight.
And as we do, we want to remind our audience, those of you who are watching a little bit about how we how these race calls are being decided, we've been talking to the Associated Press in depth here at the "NewsHour," because we do depend on them.
They are calling winners once they see there is no statistical way for a trailing candidate to catch up.
They are being as careful as they say it they can possibly be.
So as you as you all are seeing we have some tight races in key States, those might not be called this evening, in part because of the time that it takes to count those mail in ballots.
And, frankly, to just work through the system.
We're also using, as we've mentioned tonight, AP voter surveys, with over 100,000 voters around the country to talk about why people voted the way they did.
That's those voter interviews conducted over the last few days.
That's just another quick reminder as we go through the evening of just how seriously we take these, the not just the count, but the calls that are made.
We don't want -- we don't want mistakes, may the AP certainly doesn't want mistakes made.
They say they pride themselves on going back to the what the mid-1800s when they first started reporting on, on races across the nation.
So at this moment, while we wait, let's go back over to the other part of the studio, my colleague Amna Nawaz speaking with a public media reporter in a really important state, Nevada.
AMNA NAWAZ: That's right, Judy.
Nevada's Senate race is one of the most hotly contested this year.
Democratic Senator Catherine Cortez Masto is up against Republican Adam Laxalt.
He is Nevada's former Attorney General.
Colton Lochhead covers politics for the Las Vegas review journal.
And he joins us now.
Colton, I think you're going to join us in a second.
There you are.
It's good to see you.
And thank you for being with us.
This is a tight, tight race.
Tell us how Laxalt closed the gap.
What's been the strongest part of his message that's resonating with voters there in Nevada?
COLTON LOCHHEAD, Las Vegas Review-Journal: So, I think like we've seen across the country, I think his messaging on inflation has really hit home with a lot, a lot of Nevadans.
We've seen prices go up pretty astronomically here in the housing market, and especially in gas, you know, gas in a lot of parts of the state are north of $5 a gallon.
And I think when people see those types of prices and hit their pocketbooks, it's he's been hammering that message home the entire time.
It's something that Democrats have not nationally been trying to talk about as much.
Bernie Sanders was here just a few weeks back.
And that was kind of his main messaging, as he was trying to boost some of the Democrats here was trying to get them to talk about the U.S. economy, to talk about inflation.
But at this point, it seems like that is the message that Adam Laxalt Republicans have been dominating.
AMNA NAWAZ: We should mention too.
Laxalt is an election denier.
He led the charge in Nevada to challenge the results of the 2020 election there.
Also on the ballot, another Republican candidate running for secretary of state is another election denier.
Tell me about how much that issue is resonating specifically with Republican voters there is it?
Is it a strong message?
Does it get them out to vote in these midterms?
COLTON LOCHHEAD: It's definitely been something that has resonated in some parts of the Republican Party.
We've seen some Republicans coming out to kind of denounce some of the Republicans, Republican voters and Republican lobbyists, Republican activist come out and support other members of, you know, supporting some Democrats that are top of the ticket.
And I think part of that split is the election denialism at the top of the ticket rip those like Jim Marchant, who was running for secretary of state.
And so I do think that is a one of the issues and we asked our readers here in Las Vegas, kind of what was one of their top issues that they wanted to hear about.
They wanted to hear about election deniers being held accountable.
They wanted to hear about whether or not they would be holding, willing to accept the results of their 2022 elections.
So it is still something that is, you know, at the top of mind for voters, maybe not as you know as prominent as the inflation economy or as abortion but it's still something that is kind of up it's something that voters here in Nevada do want to hear about, quite hear about people being held accountable.
AMNA NAWAZ: I want to ask you, too, about who is voting there, we can't talk about Nevada without talking about the political bloc of Latino voters who are a major force.
They're also Asian American Pacific Islander voters who make up about 10 percent of the state's eligible voting population.
Where do they tend to break what kind of an impact can they have in these races?
COLTON LOCHHEAD: Historically, they have broken more for the Democrats.
And but this is something that Republicans have seen.
They've seen it as a way to get in the way to make inroads as a voting bloc, since I've been really actively pursuing this election cycle.
And if you talk to Republican campaigns, Republican kind of campaign groups, they really feel like they've made those inroads this year.
And they do feel like they've been able to make a meaningful impact on the Republic, especially in the Hispanic community, they do feel like they're, they have made enough impact there to kind of help maybe mitigate some of what they've lost in other elections in the Hispanic votes.
AMNA NAWAZ: Colton, we're showing some of those results as they're coming in, you folks are going to see 0 percent.
So far, because it's been noted those votes are still being tallied and counted, no calls have been made.
But tell us about how folks in Nevada vote and when we should start to expect to see some of those races called.
COLTON LOCHHEAD: So we've seen we've seen quite a bit of Election Day turnout this year.
Even with rain in Las Vegas, pretty rare rain and snow in Reno or other one of our other bigger cities up north, we still see a significant amount of turnout.
One thing that is going to be a while for us is going to be the mail in ballots that were dropped off today.
So it's going to be a while for those registered voters in Fulton Clark and Washoe County, Las Vegas and Reno have said that they may not there's a good chance and almost guarantee that they will not get a chance to tabulate and count the ballots that were dropped off tonight.
dropped off in drop boxes today.
And that's in Washoe County, we know that about 16,000 votes or so 16,000 ballots and down here in Clark County, it's going to be significantly more tens of thousands, potentially much more than that.
And here, polls closed about a half hour ago.
But anybody in line at the time of close of polls can still vote.
And across Las Vegas, there are people hundreds of people still in line waiting to vote.
AMNA NAWAZ: We should point out those counts do take time.
That's not a sign of something going wrong.
That is just the process as it unfolds.
We are watching Nevada tonight.
As are you.
That's Colton Lochhead of the Las Vegas Review Journal joining us tonight.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Thank you, Amna.
And thanks to Colton and we now want to essentially stay out west we want to go to Arizona to our own Stephanie Sy, who is I believe inside one of the vote tabulating centers.
Stephanie, you can tell me if that's right or wrong?
STEPHANIE SY: That is right, Judy.
I am inside the tabulation center.
I've moved a couple of times.
I know this evening, and I do have the first results for Maricopa County to report to you.
We should see that this early batch consists entirely of early ballot returns.
These were all ballots that were cast early before Friday, actually.
So we're talking about 842,000 ballots that we're reporting on.
We really do see a Democratic lead in all of these early ballots in the key Senate race between Democratic incumbent Mark Kelly and Blake Masters.
Kelly currently has a 20-point lead over Mr. Masters.
In the governor's race between Democrat Katie Hobbs, who is the current Secretary of State and former television news anchor Kari Lake.
Katie Hobbs has a 16-point lead in these early results.
And finally, we're also watching the Secretary of State rates here in Arizona between Democrat Adrian Fontes, who is a former Maricopa County Recorder, used to work here.
And Mark Finchem, a Trump and Doris to Republican who was at the January 6 Insurrection.
There is currently a 22-point lead for the Democrat in that race.
So Judy, I think the key question here is what can we learn from these initial results?
And I'll say and warn viewers, not much.
Democrats historically return early ballots in Arizona at a much higher rate than Republicans.
And in this particular campaign, Judy, we have also had several Republican candidates encourage Republican voters to show up on Election Day and vote in person or turn in their ballots on election day.
So that is key to note.
Having said that, I have spoken to both a Democratic and a Republican consultant since these early results came in less than an hour ago.
The Democrat calls the results very urging the early results and the Republican agreed that this is a big spread with an advantage for Democrats.
That consultant will be watching very closely for the ballots that were turned in today.
So, the next question is who voted today in Maricopa County.
Again, this is the largest county in Arizona pretty much decides elections, more than 50 percent of the state's voters are here.
Over 247,000 voters cast a ballot in person today.
Plus, the county is expecting anywhere from 150,000 to 250,000 early ballots that were dropped off today.
So why are we standing in the tabulation center?
Because what will happen from here on in is all of the hard drives that tabulated the votes from the 223 voting centers in Maricopa County, all those hard drives are going to end up here, they will be uploaded, not to these machines, but to other tabulation machines in another part of the building.
And they will start to release more results as they get them.
That could take many hours into the early morning hours.
How long they stay here, I'm told will depend on staffing.
But some of those counties are, you know, an hour and a half away and they need to be driven here.
We should also say as part of the election, typical security measures, there are bipartisan watchers that are with these hard drives at every step of the process.
So it's going to be a long night.
But we do have those early results to report.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Really, really interesting to hear that and to hear all the detail that you're sharing with us, Stephanie, about the care that's being taken as these votes are counted, explaining that the early votes are, as we said, as you said that it's Maricopa County only is the area around Phoenix.
That is where the bulk of the vote is, but it's not the entire vote.
It's as if I heard you or I saw correctly, it's about 30 percent, 33 percent of the vote that has come in so far.
So we will count on you to continue to keep an eye on it wherever you show up in Phoenix and next time, Stephanie, will be interested in what you report.
And David Brooks, I want to come back to -- we were just having a conversation before we heard from Stephanie and from the reporter in Nevada.
In it particularly when it comes to Arizona these two races the Senate race and the Governor's race both have two individuals running, in Kari Lake and in Blake Masters who are endorsed by former President Trump very much election deniers who were sitting around the table talking about the need to move on from January 6.
But when you have candidates who were seriously in the hunt, to come to the United States Senate who say 2020 was not legitimately done.
There was a lot of fraud.
How do you square that circle?
DAVID BROOKS: Yes, lo these many months ago, I was sat in this room when Kari Lake won the Republican primary.
And I said she's just too conservative for Arizona.
It's not that kind of state.
Then she goes, she runs a great campaign and goes ahead.
Now you'd have to think it's close.
And it could be that both those Republican candidates, it's possible to lose which I would not have thought a week or two ago.
And Lake was the I think the if Tim Ryan was the star for the Democrats this year, Kari Lake was the star people were talking about as a future president, things like that.
She showed a lot, I thought, good political skills on the on the campaign trail.
But she did have this and maybe we'll hopefully learn from the exit polls that this stance on the elections will be an albatross around.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And Amy... MARC SHORT: I one thing I would probably take a little issue with David's analysis that I don't think Kari's a conservative.
Just couple of years ago, she was organizing for Barack Obama.
She was hosting drag queen parties in her house.
I mean, she is a performance artist.
And she's taken advantage of this moment.
But I don't think she's truly a conservative.
DAVID BROOKS: This is a good point how the word conservative have moved.
I didn't mean I thought she was sitting around reading Edmund Burke.
But conservative the way, I was using it was perform -- a Trumpian performance.
MARC SHORT: Yes, who was a Democrat just a few years ago and campaigning and organizing for Barack Obama.
JUDY WOODRUFF: But Republicans are presumably voting for her, conservatives are voting for her.
MARC SHORT: She clearly won the primary.
But I do think, you know, if you look at the results so far, I think Republicans were very encouraged because they were looking at the early vote of people who voted so far and more were registered Republicans.
If her numbers are trailing, you know, we have this conversation about January 6, maybe voters make up their own minds because it could be Republicans actually not voting.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Yes.
My question to David was, you know, when you may talk about wanting to put January 6 behind you, but if you're electing candidates who say that should be front and center that they deny the election.
We have a race to call and this is one President Biden let us know about and that's Abigail Spanberger.
We heard Laura Barron-Lopez reporting the president had already called her to congratulate her.
Very, shall we say tough race.
She was challenged and has been -- is challenged by Yesli Vega, who has been embraced by former President Trump, embraced by Governor Glenn Youngkin.
He's been campaigning with her actively out in the camp -- out on the trail with 99 -- AP was very conservative tonight -- with 99 percent of the expected vote and they are now calling Abigail Spanberger the winner.
AMY WALTER: Yes, this was a really important race for a couple of reasons.
One, it is a really swingy seat.
It's a new seat, it was almost entirely new, even though Spanberger is the incumbent, mostly new to her.
It's an issue.
It's a state district, sorry, it's a district that went for Biden by about seven points in 2020, but also went for the Republican candidate, Glenn Youngkin, for Governor by five points.
So this is definitely the kind of seat if you're going to see big swings, this is the place you'd see it.
It's also a place where abortion was centerpiece.
Certainly, the Democrat Abigail Spanberger made it the centerpiece of her election, really focusing on Vega's, not just anti-choice position, but on a position that she said was extreme, including a big as comments that rape does not result in pregnancy.
And this is where you know, you have a lot of Democrats that looking back saying, Boy, if the Roe v. Wade decision had come down in 2021, before the Virginia governor's race, what difference would that have made in that state?
These are the kinds of districts where you would think that would matter.
It's also important, I think, because, you know, one of the worries that Democrats have had is that their turnout is going to be much lower in States where there wasn't anything on top of the ballot.
There's no Governor's race there.
There's no Senate race in Virginia.
This is the classic situation where the out party really excited, they show up to the polls, the in party not paying as much attention.
But this is where, you know, the fact that Democrats targeted this race, that Spanberger is a very strong candidate, spent a ton of money really, really trying to get those voters out.
And this takes them a -- the possibility of Republicans picking up more than 20 seats.
That's really -- I won't say anything's off the table.
But it would mean that districts that we have not even talked about as being possible would suddenly have to come into play for Republicans to get that kind of... FAIZ SHAKIR: It's certainly going to be a better night, it seems like in the house for - - for the Democrats because of the bottom not dropping out and actually performance of I don't think the Republican enthusiasm was off the charts as we saw during the Virginia and New Jersey, gubernatorial is last year in 2021.
We're seeing more of a general enthusiasm on their side and general enthusiasm the Democratic side, which has meant that you've got a lot of House seats that are going to not only maybe stay Democratic, but there's some that might be leaning that way.
And one of the one that we're watching pretty closely is in Ohio, for a Congressional district, Steve Chabot, losing in that race where a Democrat could pick that up in Pennsylvania, there's an open seat that that used to be vacated, or it used to be kind of leave land seat is now open.
The Democrat running ahead there.
And so those are the types of things that had this been a red wave night, those would have moved pretty fast and you'd see a Democrat down by 510 points.
Instead, you see them up, and which you know, is a harbinger of things being open.
MARC SHORT: Agreed.
I mean, Spanberger is like the ideal candidate for Democrats in a swing district, that nature.
But the Amy's point, I don't I don't think the Democrats didn't try on the abortion issue.
I mean, they did spend $400 million advancing pro-abortion candidates.
I think if you also look to that primary, or that race, I'm sorry, I thought what most effective ad Spanberger did was with the Republican share from Culpeper, talking about favorable comments Yesli Vega made about the January 6 people who marched on the Capitol.
I found that that was a very effective ad as well.
PERRY BACON JR.: Yes, I was going to say Spanberger, she gets some credit as being effective politician.
JUDY WOODRUFF: She stood up for the president.
PERRY BACON JR.: I was going to say, remember last year, she famously told The New York Times, Nobody elected Joe Biden to be FDR.
I would like Joe Biden to be FDR personally.
But I think in the district, she's running, she strategically punches the president, punch of the party's left and did things -- ultimately, you got to win your district.
And I think Pelosi mentioned that interview today.
Some of the candidates that are winning are people who know their States and know their districts and that cannot be understated how important it is.
FAIZ SHAKIR: Oh, totally agree with that.
If Landsman does win against Chabot like that's a performance did very well in state.
But I think I agree with everything Perry is saying.
You see a lot of people overperforming Biden and overperforming the democratic brand because they've localized this and made the campaign about them and the choice between them and a Republican.
And if you're going to win an election in a tough year that's exactly how you got to do it.
GARY ABERNATHY: Yes.
Yes, no, it's not -- it doesn't appear to be -- you know, it's not a red wave night so far.
We don't have evidence of that.
It's early, and certainly not a tsunami, and certainly not what a lot of Republicans were very, very hopeful for and optimistic about coming into tonight.
AMY WALTER: Well, and I'm -- and I'm seeing a lot of folks on Twitter, especially those involved in the polling industry saying, Huh, looks like the polls were actually correct.
And this was the pushback throughout the election was, Well, how could it be everything we're hearing and feeling is all the fundamental suggest?
Everything's going to go terribly wrong?
What I was writing about today, looking at the generic ballot, right.
Do you want to vote for a Democrat or Republican?
It's somewhere between one and three points in the last polls.
We don't know where it is quite yet when we get the final House vote, but if it ends up in that range, which what is what it's looking like, that would be the smallest shift we've seen between a Presidential year and a midterm year.
This is not one of those like, coming strong.
So the polls are actually showing us which we're getting... JUDY WOODRUFF: Go ahead, go ahead.
DAVID BROOKS: You're the boss.
JUDY WOODRUFF: No, you are.
You're in this conversation.
(LAUGHTER) DAVID BROOKS: You know, but that's still a mystery to me.
You ask people have their personal finances are doing, pretty bad.
You ask people have the nation's finance is doing, pretty bad.
You ask people, are we on the right track or the wrong track?
I forget what the wrong track numbers are, but they're astronomical.
High inflation like people, should be wanting change.
This should be a change election.
And yet the polls were not showing it was a change election.
And apparently the results are not showing it's a change election.
Why is that?
I don't know.
I don't really... AMY WALTER: It's the same reason that Donald Trump in 2018.
You look at the polls, do you think Donald Trump's doing good job handling the economy?
Are you voting for Republicans?
Do you think do you like Donald Trump?
It personally -- so this ability to keep the issues -- this is what Perry was talking about.
That the issues fundamentally are not what are driving voters.
It's the fight that is driving and the partisan that's fighting it that is driving.
And you know, we can make the argument, What if Donald Trump were not part of the equation anymore?
If he had exited the scene?
He's not endorsing candidates.
He's not part of the conversation.
Whether -- I don't think he had much choice on January 6 Committee but Mar-a-Lago, I'm going to run for president etc.
Would this still any... JUDY WOODRUFF: And he hasn't exited.
As I hear you all saying it's not a red wave.
I think that's a tougher job for Kevin McCarthy.
Let's go to the White House, to Laura Barron-Lopez.
They are watching all this, Laura.
LAURA BARRON-LOPEZ: Yes, Judy.
And, right now, the president is again making more congratulatory calls this time to a number of Democrats who are winning reelection.
That's Maryland Senator Van Hollen, as well as Senator Mike Lee of Colorado, and Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker.
He also made a congratulatory call again seeming to get out ahead of us, Judy, and getting out ahead of AP calling the race he made a congratulatory call to Virginia Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton.
But again, AP has not called that and that's what the president is doing right now as of this hour congratulating Democrats he's able to on some victories in the house, as well as in the Senate and gubernatorial races.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, you need to keep us posted on the calls that he's making, because that may be how we are where things are headed.
Let us know if any event any of these close races he makes a call because we know he has his own sources of information that are include I'm sure the Associated Press but perhaps other sources as well.
I just -- Perry and David, I want to come back to the point that I made a minute ago which is that if it's not a red wave then Kevin McCarthy has his work cut out for him, doesn't he?
PERRY BACON JR.: I -- I no matter how many seats they want, he had his work cut out.
The speaker, as Paul Ryan and John Boehner can tell you, is a hard job.
And so -- and particularly in this Republican Party, so figuring out what bills are these will these guys vote for and what do they want to do with Marjorie Taylor Greene.
But yes, if the majority is smaller than obviously it's much harder as Pelosi would say this you know, the BBB Bill spend so much time fighting because they had such a narrow majority.
Yes, more seats would have helped and I don't think they're going to get there and I think if they have a smaller majority.
Also the question is about when you don't win by as much as you think you do, the question is like, where what's going wrong?
Does the do the voters want less Trumpism?
Some kind of Trumpism is different.
Do they want more Mike Pence-ism?
I think the question of like what the electorate gave tonight beyond, what message from the electorate but beyond inflation is high, I think is one message you have.
But he's got a lot of members who want to investigate everything Joe Biden has done and do lots of impeachments and so on.
I don't - - impeachments of officials and administration, not just Biden, but I think are not Biden necessarily.
But I think the question will be like, if you have a results, not that strong, maybe there's a divided about the divide about what to do next.
JUDY WOODRUFF: We do have a call to make just quickly governor's race, no surprise, Kristi Noem in the state of South Dakota.
She -- AP is declaring her the winner.
She has won reelection, this is someone we may look to who's made some noise about running for president.
So she can I guess has another notch in her belt.
Does that what we say, Gary Abernathy?
Go your head.
GARY ABERNATHY: And when we talk about Republicans not having the kind of night that a lot of people predicted, who did have a night that exceeded expectations, certainly for the governor, when you talk about the future of the party, and the guy who can come up, you know, the next few days and say, Hey, maybe you should follow my example., could be Ron DeSantis.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And what was it exactly that he did?
We've only got a few seconds left.
But what was it that he did?
Do you think this catapulted him?
GARY ABERNATHY: I think that Ron DeSantis is the perfect example of Trumpism without Trump.
A less abrasive -- some people will still find Ron DeSantis abrasive, but a less abrasive and bombastic character on the scene than a Donald Trump.
I think a lot of -- I hear Republicans say this all the time.
We - - yes, go ahead.
You don't have to worry about DeSantis's tweets every day.
JUDY WOODRUFF: OK, we will continue that conversation.
We are going to take a short break.
We will be right back.
AMNA NAWAZ: Continuing her series Leaving Congress, Lisa Desjardins speaks with another lawmaker leaving Capitol Hill at the end of this year.
LISA DESJARDINS: Congressman Peter Meijer represents Michigan's Third District, which includes parts of Grand Rapids and the coast of Lake Michigan, he lost a hard part primary and leaves after one term.
Congressman, what do you see now having been inside the rooms?
What's happening with leadership in Congress, in particular, in the Republican Party, what is the future here?
REP. PETER MEIJER (R-MI): We don't know what to do.
We don't really know what to trust.
And so they get into this sort of feedback loop of uncertainty that just reverts back to a status quo.
And that's how I described my party sort of after January 6, is a lot of people uncertain which way to go, or a lot of leaders hesitant to offer a pathway because with that power, comes responsibility, comes uncertainty.
LISA DESJARDINS: How do you describe the atmosphere in Congress right now?
Do members say what they think?
REP. PETER MEIJER: They certainly say what they think to each other.
I mean, I've had many a very frank conversation, and mostly frankly, other colleagues saying, I'm with you, I'm behind you.
It's like, yes, you're like, You're right behind me.
Can you be beside me?
Can you go with me?
LISA DESJARDINS: But do they say something different in public?
REP. PETER MEIJER: You know, it's never that clear.
I'm sure there are some extreme examples.
And they're probably not folks that I've talked to because I talked to people that I feel are interesting, are genuine.
Obviously, Trump adds a new dimension in sort of January 6 and stolen elections, adds in a new absurdity, because of its constitutional and sort of how we conceive of our government the way it erodes and undermine some of that foundation.
LISA DESJARDINS: Do you think the times are now are dangerous for democracy?
Or do you think this is something we will get through soon?
REP. PETER MEIJER: We are in this bizarre moment where both parties are feeding the excesses are feeding off the excesses of the other and it's granting a permission structure.
So yes, I think we're in a very dangerous moment.
But I'm as worried about the sort of the agitators who are who are undermining democracy.
As I am about some of the responders who maybe destroy it in order to save it.
LISA DESJARDINS: What are you most proud of from your time in Congress?
REP. PETER MEIJER: I'm really proud of our team.
And we have tremendous staff and from the beginning, it was a freshman member of Congress in the minority.
That's not exactly the most powerful person in D.C. but you know, big believer that you can make you can take advantage of a political moment to try to get some things done in a substantive way.
It's easy to just measure yourself on whether or not you get reelected.
But what you do with the time that constituents or your electorate gives you, I think is just as important.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Welcome back to our live coverage of the 2022 midterm elections.
The polls have now closed in four more States including California and Idaho this hour.
This is also the deadline for voters to return their ballots in Washington State and in Oregon, which conduct their elections largely by mail.
And we are prepared now to announce some more races that have been called at this time.
We have three Senate races that the AP is calling a winner in.
This is the state of Louisiana, Republican John Kennedy.
He is called at to return to the Senate.
He faced a Democrat Gary Chambers, but John Kennedy will return to the Senate.
Another Senate call we are going to make in this one, the Republican Mike Crapo, who was running for reelection in Idaho, he is going to be returning to the United States Senate.
And finally in this another Senate race to call and that's in California.
In this case, it's the senator, new senator Alex Padilla, who was named to that position after Kamala Harris was chosen to be President Biden's Vice President, vice presidential running mate.
So he has run for his first full term in the Senate and AP has called him the winner.
We have a few governor's races to call.
We can do those right now as well.
In the state of Texas, Greg Abbott, prevailing over former Congressman Beto O'Rourke, who of course, you all remember ran for president a few years ago.
He has failed in his bid to unseat the Republican Governor Greg Abbott, who himself is talking about running for president.
Texas is a big state.
California, the incumbent Governor Gavin Newsom, another somebody who's talked about running for president winning reelection, just as the polls close in the state of California, the AP announcing that he has won, and that means by a significant margin.
And finally, the last governor's race, we want to call is in the state of Idaho, Brad little defeating Democrat Stephen Heidt.
So we have a little more information on the boards a little bit more that we can that we can look at and talk about and I want to go right away to my colleagues Amna Nawaz and Lisa Desjardins who are following not only these races, but a number of House races and others.
Over to you Amna.
AMNA NAWAZ: That's right, Judy.
We're following those races, also following the issue of election denialism.
Hundreds of Republican candidates up and down the ballot who perpetuated the lie of this stolen election in 2020.
Yes, there's a number of races, Lisa, in which this is a key issue.
And that includes gubernatorial races, you're tracking one in Wisconsin.
LISA DESJARDINS: Very close race.
We thought coming into this Wisconsin governor, Tony Evers right now is 65 percent of the expected vote in look at this race, just three points separating him from Tim Michels, the Republican.
Tim Michels is someone who earlier this summer, when asked if the election was stolen, he said maybe but he has also said on a campaign stop that if there had been election integrity, then President Trump would be -- Trump would be president.
This is why we've categorized him as an election denier.
He's someone who has run and lost office -- in statewide office in Wisconsin two other times, but this is his closest race.
And you can see, it is still very close.
So we're getting enough of these races from the governor -- gubernatorial races to take a look at where kind of all of the Republicans stand.
Let's take a look at these columns.
The check marks mean someone who has won their race.
There you see Kay Ivey in Alabama.
But notice this Amna, these X marks, these are candidates who did not win their race.
Geoff Diehl in Massachusetts, Dan Cox in Maryland, Darren Bailey there in Illinois, these are election deniers who voters rejected.
But you can see mixed results more with those who have fueled or allowed doubt to fester.
Some of these candidates winning in their races, most of them winning, but also some of those who have defended the election integrity like Chris Sununu in New Hampshire, Kevin Stitt in Oklahoma, and Phil Scott in Vermont are winning.
So mixed results where we are seeing voters reject some election deniers.
Of course, these are mostly democratic states at this point, but this is something we're watching closely.
AMNA NAWAZ: In some places that message is resonating.
Others it is not.
Meanwhile, we should check in with a few key races and some very competitive House races you've been tracking, none more so than Michigan Seventh.
LISA DESJARDINS: This is going to be the new Spanberger race, I think for the night, now that that race is called.
Let's look at Michigan Seventh another CIA analyst.
Biden, President Biden won this district by nine points.
This is a major Republican target.
Inflation, health care cost of living, huge in the Seventh District of Michigan.
Let's look at the candidates in this race.
Elissa Slotkin, someone that our viewers may be familiar with.
She is a CIA analyst.
Do you want to look at her and then her opponent we may have them side by side.
There we go, Tom Barrett.
He is right now leading this race 55 percent, just 40 percent of the expected vote.
David Brooks will be happy to know, he is actually a former helicopter pilot, alongside a CIA analyst.
But here's the thing about this race, I looked into it and the largest county in this district, Ingham County, which is where Lansing is the capital and where Old Michigan State University is, no results yet.
So that is something that could propel Elissa Slotkin back ahead in this race.
But here's where it stands now.
AMNA NAWAZ: 40 percent of the expected vote in.
We will update as we know more.
No call to make at this time.
In New Jersey, the seventh congressional district features a rematch of a 2020 face-off.
LISA DESJARDINS: That's right.
Another major target here.
But look at Tom Malinowski, who - - thought to be one of the most vulnerable Democrats in the country is so far ahead of Tom Kean with a well-known name in New Jersey, State Senator and the son of the former governor.
And also the counties that have yet to report their major vote totals yet, they're going for Malinowski so far, so let's watch this.
He may yet survive.
AMNA NAWAZ: Another key race in New York.
That's the 17th Congressional District.
A lot of folks know this, for sure.
That's why it's gotten a lot of attention.
LISA DESJARDINS: Look at this.
Sean Patrick Maloney, the Democratic incumbent here.
He is in charge of all of the House races trying to keep control of the House.
Democrats had to spend a lot of money on his race when he decided to run in this district in particular.
Michael Lawler right now.
He is someone who's a first time State Assemblyman, I raise this because he's kind of a generic Republican.
It's almost sort of like Sean Patrick Maloney vs. any Republican.
This Republican is winning right now.
We're going to keep an eye on this race all night.
AMNA NAWAZ: Meanwhile, some history made in Vermont tonight.
LISA DESJARDINS: Yes, look at this.
Democrat Becca Balint, we've had her on the show, our producers know her well.
She is -- she is going to be the first woman from in Congress from Vermont, which was the last state to never send a woman to Congress.
So now every state will have a woman in Congress, Becca Balint, also a lesbian.
And so in making history there as well.
AMNA NAWAZ: There you go.
Always nice to add a little bit of history, we'll keep tracking the other races and update when we know more.
Judy, back to you.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Thank you both.
Really interesting results to look at.
It fills in the picture just a little bit more, which is what we're all trying to -- we want those results.
We want to understand what the map is going to look like, by the end of this evening or this week, or this month or this year.
Whenever, whenever it all comes together.
We do have a few more race calls from the Associated Press.
Chuck Grassley going back to the Senate, 89 year old Chuck Grassley will be serving, I believe his eighth term, somebody can correct me in the United States Senate.
I am told that's correct.
I got something right tonight.
That's with 66, two-thirds of the expected vote in.
Chuck Grassley will be returning to the U.S. Senate.
He was challenged by former - - former Admiral Military veteran, Michael Franken had been challenging him, the Democrat.
And another race to call.
This is a House race.
This is one we've been looking at very closely.
Elaine Luria, who served on the very visible and vocal member of the January 6 Committee has lost her bid for reelection defeated by Republican Jen Kiggans.
This is House District Two in the state of Virginia.
It is one example of the Republicans taking that issue of January 6 and asking voters is this what matters to you.
And we have another race to call, this as a House race in the state of Rhode Island.
There was and that's close look at that.
This is reliably blue Rhode Island with 83 percent of the expected vote in.
The AP says that the winner is the Democrat Seth Magaziner and that the challenger, Allan Fung, who came much closer than Republicans often do in Rhode Island where you see they're 50 to 47 percent.
We don't know what the final vote will be.
But that is one that was being watched very closely.
And that gives us something to talk about.
People at the table who are looking... AMY WALTER: Who are looking desperately for more information.
GARY ABERNATHY: Well consider that control of the Senate, if this sounds like deja vu, may well come down to a run-off in Georgia.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Yes, well, which we thought might happen.
FAIZ SHAKIR: But on that point on senate, you look at I think the story that so far for me personally is Pennsylvania, I'm watching it and I know we're still tracking some final results here.
But you're watching counties come in for Fetterman across the eastern part of the state.
You know and across the western part of the state, not only for him doing well but also the congressionals that many Republicans were hoping you know, that would do well for them.
We're looking at you know placed like Susan Wild vs. Lisa Scheller, Wild ahead.
Matt Cartwright ahead.
Summer Lee winning big.
Chris Deluzio, you know, all Democrats doing very well in Pennsylvania and the top of the ticket doing well there Shapiro and Fetterman, which would be a big move in many ways for Democrats.
MARC SHORT: I think it's our challenge for some of these House candidates was the top of the ticket in the state.
So if you're underperforming in the governor and the Senate, it's going to make a lot harder to win some of those House seats.
FAIZ SHAKIR: I would say on the Democratic side, I agree with that.
The arguments being made by Fetterman and Shapiro were very good, strong economic base arguments.
I'm proud of the way that -- and I think had he not had to go through, you know, a difficult human tragedy, Fetterman, I think he would perform even stronger so it's really a testament to the kind of campaign they ran.
MARC SHORT: To back to Gary's point about the Georgia potential run-off that I think what's interesting is, I think that Herschel would stand a better chance if we had not yet taken the majority.
That if it's 50/50, and it's a proxy on McConnell vs. Schumer, that's going to fare better in Georgia.
If Republicans have already taken the majority.
I think there's a lot of Republican voters who are more pro-Kemp and not necessarily supportive Herschel's candidacy, and that would actually benefit Warnock.
AMY WALTER: I also want to go back, I think, Marc, maybe you made this point about the January 6 Commission, and you look at the makeup of that commission, and how many of the members who served on it... JUDY WOODRUFF: Committee, right.
AMY WALTER: ... are not -- committee members, right, the members of Congress, are not coming back to Congress, either because they are retiring, which we saw with Adam Kinzinger, a Republican.
We have that with Stephanie Murphy, the Democrat from Florida.
But we've had now two losses, Liz Cheney, of course, losing her primary.
And now Elaine Luria losing in the Virginia district.
So I don't know that that this is a necessarily a proxy for what -- how that issue plays.
But it does go to show that that -- this issue in and of itself, did not transcend the other issues going on underneath in this election.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And it wasn't just that she served on the committee.
She talked about it.
She made it... AMY WALTER: Well, she -- her closing came from this.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Element of her campaign.
AMY WALTER: Her closing message was basically I'm here saving democracy if you don't like that, sorry.
JUDY WOODRUFF: That's right.
And so that may... AMY WALTER: But she ran against a very good Republicans and we talked about Spanberger, being a very good candidate, Republicans found the perfect candidate to run against her.
She -- Luria herself is a Navy veteran, a Navy veteran challenging her who flies, helicopters.
You know, this is a very good matchup.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And it was interesting that Liz Cheney endorsed Abigail Spanberger, which... AMY WALTER: That's right.
JUDY WOODRUFF: ... struck me.
AMY WALTER: That's right.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Perry, David, what do you hear?
PERRY BACON JR.: Well, I'm still -- I came in tonight watching their five States that flipped in 2020 from 2016, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgia.
We don't have any full results yet.
But I still will feel much more confident where things are going if one of those States is called.
It looks like the governor's race in Pennsylvania will probably be the first one to get called.
It looks like the Democrats won that race.
And that's a big indication if they do but I think those five states are kind of where our politics is being changed the most.
And I still think the fact that those are close, are still sort of close tell us how we're still stuck in two teams that are sort of the 45 percent or so.
DAVID BROOKS: And I would say I'm now, we're thinking more about Arizona.
If the Republicans lose at the top of the ticket there, I think that says something about Jan 6 and that says something about Trump embrace.
So I think that would be a place that would show up.
Otherwise, I'm just looking at the Fetterman thing, I think it's interesting how well he seems to be doing and how Oz seems to be underperforming Trump in place after place.
I contrast that with J.D.
Vance who seems to have been doing quite well, may be up by eight and so these are neighboring states to the message -- was it, just may be the states are diverging, that was the message.
Difference of J.D.
Vance to Oz.
GARY ABERNATHY: I always felt I was just handled the Fetterman situation terribly throughout the whole thing, especially for a doctor.
You know, from a campaign point of view, Dr. Oz should have expressed nothing but empathy, for Fetterman and even admiration and I think voters -- there was a backlash to Oz's, you know, the approach he did take.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Humanity comes through.
GARY ABERNATHY: Yes.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Sometimes.
Often comes through.
We're watching one of the states Perry mentioned.
I think this is right.
PERRY BACON JR.: Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgia.
JUDY WOODRUFF: OK, Georgia.
We have a little bit of sound from a Herschel Walker who is the Republican candidate there he is apparently addressed his supporters and we're going to take a listen.
MAN: In Arizona, it was a free and fair election.
JUDY WOODRUFF: We're almost there and that's not quite it.
Do we think we have it or should we have a conversation, just let me know.
We do have something that Herschel Walker said which is worth looking but it does -- I want to come back to you Gary, Ohio vs. Pennsylvania, the way these messages land or they don't land.
GARY ABERNATHY: Yes.
Well, you know, very -- first of all, Oz was, you know, accused of being a carpetbagger in the Pennsylvania race.
And Vance is, you know, from Middletown, Ohio.
I think that Ryan, you know, tried to be the Sherrod Brown type of candidate, the blue collar candidate we talked about.
but you know, at the end of the day, Ohio, I've been arguing that Ohio is still a swing state, despite recent, and very shakiness despite recent evidence.
I mean, Obama won the state twice, right?
And then Trump wins it twice.
It's hard for me to believe it shifted that much.
But if Vance holds on as poor of a campaign as I think he ran and wins by a comfortable six to eight point margin, I'm going to have to rethink whether Ohio really has just gone undeniably red.
PERRY BACON JR.: Super popular governor on top in the way that Pennsylvania and the way Oz did.
DAVID BROOKS: Super popular, but not as I mentioned, not necessarily with Republicans, he -- DeWine, he got 48 percent of the vote in his primary so.
JUDY WOODRUFF: All right, we do have that Herschel Walker, chunk of comment, let's listen.
HERSCHEL WALKER (R), Georgia Senatorial Candidate: I'm telling you right now, I'm like, Ricky Bobby.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) HERSCHEL WALKER: I don't come to lose.
And I told you, he's going to be tough to beat.
He's going to be tough to beat.
But let me tell you what.
He got it wrong on Georgia, don't here?
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) HERSCHEL WALKER: So I want to tell you all, if you can hang in, hang it out a little bit longer.
Just hang it there a little bit longer, because something good, it takes a while for it to get better.
And it's going to get better.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) HERSCHEL WALKER: So I wanted to thank you guys for hanging in.
And if you -- some of you have to go home, you can wake up tomorrow morning and see that -- the new senator for the great state of Georgia!
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) JUDY WOODRUFF: So, Marc Short, it was said that this the fact that the University of Georgia Bulldogs were doing well would help Herschel Walker, but back to what we're talking about tonight.
What do you think of that race?
MARC SHORT: Well, I think that probably did help and I think without that it'd be very much worse.
And I am -- I certainly am a big supporter of Ricky Bobby, too so I fully support that movie, but I'm not sure what the rest of what he said.
(LAUGHTER) MARC SHORT: So, I think it gets -- as I said before, I think if it gets to a run-off that I think that's going to be a challenge if - - if Republicans are taking the majority.
If not, I think that favors Herschel, because I think that Georgians will prefer a Republican Senate.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Yes.
And in the state of Georgia, you do have to reach 50 percent to avoid a run-off, and... MARC SHORT: And Perdue last time, was it 49.6?
I mean, he was right there.
And then he lost in the run-off.
JUDY WOODRUFF: He lost in the run-off.
Amy, do you want to give us the mathematical calculation at this point.
AMY WALTER: For where we go when all of this, the mathematical cut calculation that says that once again, we don't get a Thanksgiving because we have a run-off in Georgia to follow.
At least this year, it's December 6, not January.
So we get our December holidays that hopefully protected in that sense.
Though we may be waiting for results in these other states till December.
JUDY WOODRUFF: So and producer Matt Laufman is telling, reminding me my ear that there could be a recount, even before there is any kind of... AMY WALTER: Well, that's a very good point, too.
JUDY WOODRUFF: So I want to -- I want to come back to something that -- we've spoken about President Biden, and actually we touched on it, but we haven't really developed it as we have some other things.
And that is David, I want to come to you on President Biden, as he thinks about running again, he is sending all the signals that he's going to do that.
How do you think tonight does or doesn't affect his thinking?
You talk to him every once in a while.
DAVID BROOKS: Chuck Grassley's win is big, older guy.
You know, you know, I think the most recent data we have is from our friend Jonathan Capehart, who talked to him a week or two ago and got the strong impression he's going to run and that his wife wants him to run.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Yes.
DAVID BROOKS: I've only heard that he likes a job, wants to run, thinks he could beat Trump, thinks it's good for the country.
I also have talked to senior Democrats who surprised me by not saying this in public, but really not wanting him to.
And so both those facts are true.
And sometimes the president gets to do what he wants.
Sometimes the president doesn't get to do what he wants.
So the short answer is I really don't know.
I do think he's -- we've undercounted him.
That he's a good -- he was a strong candidate... JUDY WOODRUFF: Underappreciated.
DAVID BROOKS: Underappreciated him, yes.
And that, tonight, the Democrats will not be as much in a mood to we got to change everything possibly because of tonight.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, here's a call that will be a disappointment for Democrats in the state of Ohio and you all have been talking about it, J.D.
Vance, the AP says is the winner in the state of Ohio for that Senate seats so Republicans will hold on.
Rob Portman's stepping down retiring.
Vance defeating Congressman Tim Ryan.
We've been talking about that race.
Now we see the result.
Gary Abernathy, you get first dibs.
You live in Ohio.
GARY ABERNATHY: Yes.
and you know, that was, as I said earlier in the night, to be right about something once in a while too.
Tim Ryan ran a better campaign, had more money, had more energy, even Republicans were complaining about J.D.
Vance, came out of a very divisive primary.
But just in Ohio, you know, I'm going to have to start, as I said earlier, conceding the fact that maybe it's a much redder state, and no longer the swing state.
It was fun living in Ohio, most of my life, where Ohio was always the center of the universe come election time, as Ohio goes, so goes the nation type of thing.
And that just doesn't seem to be the case anymore.
AMY WALTER: No, now it's Phoenix.
Where so goes the nation and it's true.
This is what's fun about covering politics.
As we watch these states that were once bellwethers.
Missouri was the one that was the show me state, if you won that state as a candidate for president, you were going to win the election.
That state has not been a bellwether for quite some time.
JUDY WOODRUFF: So it's red, but Marc Short, is it red -- is it Trump red or is it red in some other direction with the election?
MARC SHORT: Well, I think you know, David said, when we started tonight, he said that the nation's static but some of these States are dynamic.
Ohio is clearly not a swing state anymore.
It is definitively Republican state.
And there's no doubt that Donald Trump's candidacy in 2016, brought along a lot of disaffected voters in Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin.
Some of the same voters that you've tapped into.
And I think that that was -- that that helped our party.
But Ohio is in a very different place than Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.
Ohio is a decidedly Republican state today, whether or not your governor DeWine, Senator Portman, or Donald Trump on that ticket.
PERRY BACON JR: Biden won -- Biden lost Ohio by eight, Tim Ryan lost Ohio Bay by eight.
So I think that goes to the fact that people aren't changing in a lot of these states.
The candidates often don't matter, just the name of the back of your jersey is all we need to know, in a lot of races.
I'm going to jump back just on Herschel Walker.
He did a lot of bad things in his campaign, he actually does have some level of charisma.
And I wonder if that's sort of helping him.
you know, I mean, I've seen other -- other appearances too.
So I think it goes to the fact that Georgia is also the state that is very partisan, that is aren't a ton of star, some swing voters there.
But again, if you're a Republican, or you're breathing, you're going to -- you're probably guaranteed 47 percent and Herschel's getting, you know, kind of close to that.
So I'll be interested to see if we have a run-off if he can still win, because he's a Republican in a state that has a lot of Republican voters in it.
DAVID BROOKS: Can I pick on one thing Amy said, which got me thinking.
You know, we think of the swing states as the industrial Midwest.
But you mentioned Arizona, and we might want to throw it in Nevada onto that list.
And so suddenly, a different kind of state with a very different demographic mix.
Suddenly looking swingy, and we talked about the Latino population early in the night.
And so those are two states with a significant slipping voter bloc, that voter bloc is super important.
JUDY WOODRUFF: We're looking -- we're talking about senators, and we have a balance of power.
I think this is a Senate balance of power picture.
Is that right?
That we're going to look at right here.
This is the races so far.
So you have 44 called for the Republicans, for Republican candidates so far.
43 for the Democrats, but my very elementary math, that's 87.
So we still have a number to go.
We assume a number of them are going to go where they're going to go.
But the ones we're watching are Georgia.
Certainly you want to put the map back up there for a second.
Certainly Georgia, certainly Pennsylvania.
And where else?
A lot of -- a lot of spaces to be colored blue or red, yet.
Faiz, we haven't heard from you in the last few minutes.
FAIZ SHAKIR: I was intrigued by your question about how you'd be thinking about Biden's presidency.
Now honestly... JUDY WOODRUFF: yes, I want to come back to that.
FAIZ SHAKIR: I ran a campaign against them.
And we have obviously differences of opinion and approach.
But if I were sitting in the White House and have a lot of respect for the people who work around him including Ron Klain, who I think is a top notch public servant and you think about the validation, I think that they'd have to feel around that people.
If you listen to the right beat up on this guy.
Oh, he's baffling, can't get words out of his mouth, doesn't know what he's doing, people are going to hate this guy, there's going to be red wave, they're going to condemn everything about what he has fought for.
And it's a reevaluation, I think, for the right, but also a validation of, I hope, where Biden feels like he's trying to lead this Democratic Party.
And he started off on a very strong foot, I thought with the American rescue plan.
They got some things done in a bipartisan way passing, you know, some measures through Congress that I think that now he's going to have an opportunity to complete in executing through the government agencies and distributing those monies out and helping to turn this economy around as he's been doing, I think as management of COVID.
You know, those have really accrued to their benefit.
I think he's still in the process of remaking a Democratic Party on the politics side of it.
So, while he's doing, I think, starting to move the gears on policy, the politics is going to start to catch up too but I would hope that one of the takeaways is the progress of economics, the antitrust agenda, the issues around competent governments around giving money to it, showing the power of federal government to do good in people's lives is one of the key takeaways.
And the Democrats are moving along with him and animating it around good politics.
JUDY WOODRUFF: All right, I want to -- I want to have one of our panelists respond but I need to make a call.
MARC SHORT: You should be a little bit careful about celebrating Joe Biden's presidency when you actually hear he's going to lose the House, likely lose the Senate.
He's still sitting in the low 40s.
I don't think it's really a triumph of his policies that's happening tonight.
I do think there's a question some candidates that Republicans put forward.
If they want to continue to advocate socialist economic policies, that's going to accrue Republican benefit.
FAIZ SHAKIR: I -- you know, I appreciate where you're coming from on in partisan perspective.
I'm not trying to fully triumphalizing or trying to proclaim that everything he's doing is wonderful.
However, he's also shepherding an economy in which two-thirds of the country thinks it's on the wrong track.
He's dealing with inflation, got a war in Ukraine, driving up energy prices, and in the midst of all that, you would assume in a situation where that that kind of environment is going on that maybe the alternative is better.
And the alternative isn't better, actually.
And this course, could be stronger and better around I think, certain approaches, but that is this is the direction we got to go.
I think that's what... MARC SHORT: You know, I think his policies are harmful.
I do think it's true that we've said already then in 94, if Republicans took over Congress had benefited Bill Clinton's reelection.
In 2010, if Republicans took over.
It benefited Barack Obama's reelection.
And so, you know, politically I'm sure this isn't what Democrats want to do is lose control of Congress, but politically, Americans like divided government.
FAIZ SHAKIR: If you look back at the agenda, right, that was before over last year, he fought for Build Back Better.
Some of those pieces didn't get through, right, Judy?
I'm saying the White House I'm saying, hey, that those are still popular.
Let's go for paid sick leave, let's go for childcare.
Let's go for free tuition at community college as a public university, let's increase taxes on the rich.
That's the -- what I would be taking away.
I'd say hey, people would appreciate -- we'd left certain things on the table.
If we still have a Senate, let's keep rolling.
MARC SHORT: I think if he does that it's going to again, benefit Republicans.
If instead what Joe Biden does is say, hey, let's let's work on crime together.
Let's work on a border solution together.
Let's work on the issues that Republicans are focused on like inflation, that I think that's a pivot like you saw Bill Clinton make it after the '94 midterms.
DAVID BROOKS: I'd like to arbitrate the Pence-Sanders campaign that we're about to see.
(LAUGHTER) DAVID BROOKS: I do -- I do think, you know, I saw an exit poll, and we got to be cautious about them.
But do you want government to be more active or less active?
And it was more active, and which is not how I think were the American... JUDY WOODRUFF: That's the current exit poll?
DAVID BROOKS: Yes, that was just today.
FAIZ SHAKIR: And FOX News had an exit poll and said, you know, do you want the government to guarantee health care?
Sixty-five percent yes.
I mean, I think people... MARC SHORT: You looked at FOX News?
FAIZ SHAKIR: Yes.
(LAUGHTER) FAIZ SHAKIR: I read Fox News.
I think that people miss, you know, when this progressive, great progressive vs. nonprogressive debate, the ideological -- ideological judgments around people are way more nuanced and indifferent, particularly when you talk about class based issues that are often discussed in media.
Albeit there is a lot of consensus around a class based approach that Bernie Sanders has been talking about for 40 years of his life.
That, you know, I think Marc wants to have that debate.
And I would love to have that debate publicly, like, OK, what's the role of government spending?
What's the role of taxation?
What's the role for working families?
That is the core of the difference between the parties here?
GARY ABERNATHY: Here's the question I have, though.
Is there a leader available to us, whether it's Joe Biden, Chuck Schumer, Kevin McCarthy, who have the leadership ability to say, we're going to overcome and break this partisanship and get something done?
And I'm afraid the answer is no.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And either -- are you saying in neither party?
GARY ABERNATHY: Right.
In neither party.
PERRY BACON JR: Isn't that because the division is pretty deep.
GARY ABERNATHY: But a great leader overcomes that division.
A great leader gets the American people behind him and says, we're going to you know, or her says, we're going to do something special here.
And I just -- I don't see that special leader... JUDY WOODRUFF: Abraham Lincoln?
GARY ABERNATHY: ... among us.
(CROSSTALK) GARY ABERNATHY: And, in my view, Ronald Reagan - - that's from my perspective, but someone like that who rallies the American people and says -- and they -- their support, and I'm not sure in this media landscape that we're in that that's even possible to do that either.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Tough.
GARY ABERNATHY: Yes.
JUDY WOODRUFF: I think it's fair to say it's tough.
We are glad to have somebody disagree with me.
(CROSSTALK) (LAUGHTER) PERRY BACON JR: D-INOØ I think it's tough.
I mean, maybe Joe Manchin, if he could win the -- but... GARY ABERNATHY: Yes.
(CROSSTALK) JUDY WOODRUFF: We have a race call in Minnesota.
The governor, Tim Walz, the Democrat, has won reelection.
This -- these polls closed at, I think, at nine o'clock.
I'm looking here from Minnesota.
Polls closed at nine o'clock.
So, it's taken two and a half hours.
This was -- he was challenged by Republican Dr. Scott Jensen.
And, we're reminded, the campaign centered largely on public safety, and on Walz's record handling COVID.
It is something - - it's interesting to me, we haven't spent more time.
We spent a little bit of time.
We haven't spent much time talking and reflecting on how the handling of COVID... AMY WALTER: That's right.
JUDY WOODRUFF: ... has either helped or hurt some of these candidates.
We know it's had some effect.
But, is there a consensus here?
AMY WALTER: But, at the end of the day, we have yet to see an incumbent governor lose.
Not, we are still little early, etc., etc.
But, the fact that you did have some candidates running on their COVID response, Ron DeSantis, most notably, and Brian Kemp in Georgia, and where Republicans were trying to use the issue against a number of these blue state Democrats, we're going to see what happens in Michigan where that was an issue in that race, Republican saying that Governor Whitmer was much too restrictive and also was something of a hypocrite who had asked people to do one thing while her family did another.
But, at the end of the day, it is kind of remarkable.
If you think about where we started the year 2021, we started the year 2021 with January 6.
We're still in the midst of a COVID crisis.
We're ending the year, we're talking about inflation, but it's pretty clear that the issues like abortion, Trump, our deep partisanship, like, we're not going back to this era where things just move with the issues as much as they did, right, and that there was a point at which you, again, we can play this all out, what would happen if we hadn't had a Roe decision?
What would happen if Donald Trump had gone quietly?
What would happen if the Democrats hadn't passed that COVID relief bill?
But, this is where we are.
To me, the most fascinating thing that I've seen in the exit poll thus far is, independence for the last four elections, part of the reason we've seen these swings, especially in the House of 20 or more seats, is that they break by double digits for the out party, the party that's not in the White House.
Right now, they're divided evenly.
And, what that suggests is that, while those -- many of those voters were saying inflation is my top issue, I absolutely think that the cost of living is really a problem in my life.
It wasn't enough to get them to make that leap over into Republicans.
And, that is, again, for -- we started the night talking about all the problems, and that jump-started too about all the things Democrats did wrong.
But, for Republicans to be a national party to one try to win the national popular vote, which they haven't done since 2004, but also to win a national presidential election, getting 270 electoral votes.
You can't lose independent voters.
And, you have to be able to do more than just motivate your base.
JUDY WOODRUFF: I'll be curious to see what - - we'll all be curious to see what independent voters are doing in the State of Pennsylvania.
That's where we want to go right now.
Our Geoff Bennett is at Fetterman headquarters in Pittsburgh.
Geoff, coming back to you, tell us what you're learning?
GEOFF BENNETT: Hey, Judy.
Still a matter of cautious optimism here at the Fetterman headquarters.
The vote is coming in slowly.
But, Fetterman is still in the lead.
And, I've been texting with Democratic officials here in the state, who point me to what's happening in Allegheny County with 95 percent -- more than 95 percent of the vote in, Fetterman is up by 28 points, and that is a county that President Biden won back in 2020 by some 20 points.
So, they're feeling pretty good about that.
I can tell you, just outside of Philadelphia, where Josh Shapiro has his election night headquarters, there has been a big development over there.
We should say that the Associated Press, which is our guide in calling elections, has not called the governor's race here in Pennsylvania, but other news outlets have, and I'm told that President Biden has placed a congratulatory call to Josh Shapiro.
Shapiro is widely viewed as being popular in this state.
He made a name for himself, fighting Donald Trump's false claims of election fraud in 2020.
And, I've talked to even Republicans, Republican strategists who had some misgivings about the Republican running for governor here in Pennsylvania, Doug Mastriano, who objectively did very little to appeal to voters outside of his face.
He is someone who has espoused Christian nationalist views.
He is someone who participated in the so-called stop to steal rally outside the U.S. Capitol on January 6.
He has called for a full abortion ban, and even beyond that, prosecuting women who have the procedure and the doctors who perform them.
And so, back in the primary, when Mastriano was running against a number of moderate Republicans, Shapiro spent $800,000 elevating Mastriano and highlighting his record, why, because Shapiro identified him as the candidate he wanted to run against because he figured he'd be the easiest to be.
Shapiro isn't the only Democrat who has done that.
There have been a number of Democrats at the national level who have meddled, for lack of a better word, in Republican primaries in that way.
But, I can also tell you, talking to White House officials, top ranking White House officials that Josh Shapiro was a candidate they were bullish on months and months and months ago.
And, so far, that seems to have been borne out as we wait the official call from the Associated Press, Judy.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Yes, so interesting, what you're saying, Geoff, because we're looking at these numbers with a large percentage of the vote.
And, Shapiro is holding, it looked like a 10 point -- 10 percentage point lead, yes, for 11 percentage point.
And everybody around this table who knows Pennsylvania politics is saying it looking good, not only for Shapiro, but also potentially for Fetterman, but, again, Pennsylvania, being very careful, given the history of what happened a couple of years ago and the fact that they've just warned us repeatedly that it's going to take time, and they're going to be careful counting these votes.
And you've been telling us that all night as well.
Well, please keep us posted, Geoff, if you learn anything from where you are.
We will be interested.
So, we come -- I want to come back to the conversation that we were having about -- both about COVID and about Democrats and about President Biden, and figuring out what he is going to do.
We heard what Faiz said.
We heard what David said.
Perry, did you want to add something?
PERRY BACON JR.: I think the unspoken part of the Biden question is Kamala Harris, which is that... JUDY WOODRUFF: Yes.
PERRY BACON JR.: ...
I think the Democrats would probably be comfortable with a Buttigieg, a Booker, a Klobuchar as the candidate if Biden decide not to run.
But I think that Harris is not viewed as particularly great at politics.
She ran for president.
We watched it.
It wasn't politically a good campaign.
And, I think that's part of the issue is I don't think Biden would want to cede, I'm sure he wants to run.
I'm sure he likes the job.
I'm sure he thinks it could be Trump and he is the best candidate.
I also think if there was an obvious heir apparent who they could annoy quickly, that I'm not sure he would necessarily go for this, if his vice president was like Barack Obama or something, I think I'd be a little bit different.
So, I think part of the issue is we're having this sort of unspoken mini primary where Gavin Newsom is doing things and Pritzker is doing things, and Kamala Harris is going to South Carolina.
I think part of it is like, if you - - if Biden doesn't run, the process might turn into 97 debates like 2019.
JUDY WOODRUFF: But, what's the scenario wherein Vice President Harris pulls away?
There isn't one.
PERRY BACON JR.: There isn't one, and that's the problem.
But, I think the -- Pete is -- Pete was out -- Pete was campaigning all over the place.
It's usually a sign your party likes you if they bring you to swing states.
Booker was in New Hampshire.
Klobuchar was in New Hampshire, Pete was in several states.
That tells you, they've polled and those guys are pretty good with undecided swing voters.
That tells me who they won in swing states.
That tells me who the party thinks could be a good nominee.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And, you pointed out Vice President Harris was in South Carolina.
PERRY BACON JR.: Well, that was in -- she went there early in the year.
But, I think she was mostly campaigning in safe areas... (CROSSTALK) JUDY WOODRUFF: We have not seen her where the president is campaigning, for that matter.
GARY ABERNATHY: The one thing that is a reality for us all is time moving on, the clock ticking.
Joe Biden is not going to be more spry six months from now, a year from now, than he is now.
And, that's just a factor that I think a lot of people, a lot of Democrats are going to look at and say, does that really going to be the face of our party and our candidate pulling us through in 2024.
And, frankly, I would ask the same question about Trump if Republicans are really serious about looking at Trump again.
(CROSSTALK) FAIZ SHAKIR: I suspect, if it were Trump running again, Biden would feel the same way that I'm the person who can take him on and defeat him and he has done it once before and obviously, he want to do it again largely.
I think, people would give him the opportunity to do so.
I am going to back you up a bit on your Ohio stuff for a moment.
I don't think it's a swing state.
But I want go to back to it.
The House Democrats are going to picking up a couple of seats there, if you look at some of the trajectories there, there are some areas, the Tim Ryan's old seat.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Did you think Democrats are picking up seats?
FAIZ SHAKIR: Yes.
So, you have -- what was a Tim Ryan seat we've done to try to become a Republican seat.
Democrats are looking good, and they are going to hold it.
GARY ABERNATHY: Yes.
FAIZ SHAKIR: And then, places where they -- we had tried to redistrict -- tried to get Marcy Kaptur out by turning it into a Republican district, she is going to hang on.
And so, again, you have some glimmers of light here for a House composition that could have been... GARY ABERNATHY: You talked about Mike DeWine's popularity.
But, he is popular -- probably more popular with Democrats in Ohio.
They like how he handled COVID.
You were talking about COVID.
The reason he only got 48 percent in the Republican primary was a blowback on the shutdowns and the mask mandates and all this the Republicans didn't like.
So, you had two anti-DeWine candidates splitting the anti-DeWine vote.
JUDY WOODRUFF: He took it seriously, DeWine did.
GARY ABERNATHY: He did what he did.
(LAUGHTER) GARY ABERNATHY: Yes, he did.
MARC SHORT: Just because you didn't support shutdowns doesn't mean you don't take it seriously.
(LAUGHTER) JUDY WOODRUFF: Thank you.
All right, we have an important race to call and that is in New Hampshire, Maggie Hassan.
The AP is saying that the Democrat has won reelection.
Again, this was a race in New Hampshire, challenged by Donald Bolduc who had not been seen as a serious contender challenger up until, I think, earlier -- a few weeks ago, a couple of months ago.
But, the flares went up, and a lot of money poured in to New Hampshire, and this is the result.
The AP with -- this is with 54 percent of the expected vote.
Maggie Hassan will return to Washington.
AMY WALTER: That's a win.
That is a big win for the Democrats.
And, again, as we've seen in every one of the Senate races at least thus far, we don't have enough vote, and I think to know what the final margin is.
But, they seem to be lining up very close to the 2020 margin.
This is what we saw in 2018 midterms.
There was not one state that went for Biden -- sorry, so, in 2018, it was Clinton.
Now, one state that went for Clinton, that went for a Republican, there wasn't a state that went for Trump, that went for a Democrat, right?
And so, this has been the benefit.
We've been talking about some of the structural benefits Democrats have had even while the environment wasn't very good, which fundamental was going to be more important, the structural environment, the kinds of the makeup of your state or district, or the fact that we have 40-year-high inflation, people don't feel good about the president.
Right now, what it suggests is that the structural is much more important.
And, if these races come down to literally being within the exact same margin that they were in 2020, even as voters there feel much less supportive of Joe Biden, let's say, they are not as happy with Joe Biden as they were back when they voted for him in 2020, and yet they still keep voting for the Democrat.
That's either a sign that, one, as we've been talking about a lot, they didn't like the alternative.
So, Republicans gave them the wrong candidate.
But, in some of these other races that Democrats are winning, Republicans put up decent House candidates.
This isn't all about lapsing under the weight of a Herschel Walker or a Dr. Oz.
DAVID BROOKS: I would say, Donald Trump talked about building a wall.
He built a wall between the Republican Party and the Democratic Party.
It's just hard for a lot of people to get over... AMY WALTER: To scale it.
GARY ABERNATHY: And, I think, Judy, Americans, most Americans, are just tired of the partisanship on both sides, and tonight's vote was like - - it's not an endorsement of either one.
(CROSSTALK) GARY ABERNATHY: It's a meh, as you would say, or it's a blah.
(CROSSTALK) AMY WALTER: It actually says, more than that, is... PERRY BACON JR: D-INOØ The voters are very partisan.
(CROSSTALK) JUDY WOODRUFF: What did you say?
The voters are... (CROSSTALK) AMY WALTER: I think we are seeing the same thing.
(CROSSTALK) PERRY BACON JR.: I would argue the voters are not looking past partisanship, and only vote their team... AMY WALTER: Yes.
PERRY BACON JR: D-INOØ ... which is not what I'm hoping for, but I don't think that they're tired of partisanship.
They say in polls... AMY WALTER: Yes.
PERRY BACON JR.: ... they're tired of partisanship, while always AOC is pretty partisan.
Marjorie Taylor Greene is pretty partisan.
(CROSSTALK) GARY ABERNATHY: Perry, I think Americans want something to get done.
They want people to work together for -- maybe I'm being too pie in the sky.
PERRY BACON JR.: Does someone vote for J.D.
Vance or Herschel Walker because they want to get things done?
That doesn't seem like that's true.
JUDY WOODRUFF: I mean, I think there are still a number of Americans who want their... PERRY BACON JR.: Their team to do their things.
JUDY WOODRUFF: ... representatives to stick to their side, and not... GARY ABERNATHY: Oh, no doubt about it.
AMY WALTER: Yes.
GARY ABERNATHY: There is no doubt about that.
A number of them are like that.
But I think that nothing gets rewarded as much as achievement as much as achievement, and people just aren't seeing much achievement.
AMY WALTER: To me, the key race and we probably won't get to it because it's Oregon, but this test of, are they willing to cross the divide, right, and say, I'm really frustrated with what's happening in my state.
Even though this is a really, really blue state, I am willing to make that leap for change.
We've been voting for Democrats for 40 years.
Let's just try it.
It's a risk.
And, if they don't make that risk, then that tells you that everything has now become nationalized.
And so, the local -- this idea of all politics is local becomes harder and harder, although Marcy... JUDY WOODRUFF: Did give us a good indication that all politics can be local.
It also helps running against a guy who has inflated his resume and was at January 6.
AMY WALTER: And, in Oregon, it's local.
In Portland, what happened?
JUDY WOODRUFF: Absolutely, absolutely.
AMY WALTER: And, 40 years of democratic governorship, right?
So, this is clearly a place.
If you want to break up -- they haven't had a Republican governor in 40 years.
So, that would be a... JUDY WOODRUFF: And, we don't -- those polls close at midnight -- no -- at 11.
They close at 11.
We're still waiting.
AMY WALTER: But, Oregon takes a long time.
FAIZ SHAKIR: To be clear, the only reason that's even closest because there is three candidates... JUDY WOODRUFF: Three women running.
(CROSSTALK) FAIZ SHAKIR: Exactly, But, in normal circumstances - - and I think Tina Kotek will -- going to prognosticate a little bit, but I think she'll end up carrying it.
And, yes, but you're right that the crime would end up becoming Republicans' crime issue was a subtle, not so subtle attack on Democrats holding power to say that's a competence issue, right?
There is carjackings going on, if there is tents being put up in cities that somehow you don't know how to run a city.
And, it became obviously a partisan issue.
If you're going to do that as a partisan attack, then you've got to offer a solution, a compelling, what are you going to do?
Whether you've got some mental health plans?
You got some affordable housing plans?
Lay it on me.
What are you going to do?
What are you going to do about policing?
They didn't come with that.
They just say, look, look at these cities, Democrats, ha, laugh, end point.
And, I don't -- we'll see how that carries.
But, I don't think that that's a pretty compelling message.
You got to come with some solutions.
What are you going to do about it?
JUDY WOODRUFF: We have a race to call.
And, speaking of Oregon, Amy, you will this to happen?
AMY WALTER: Oh, the Senate.
(CROSSTALK) JUDY WOODRUFF: This is Senator Ron Wyden, a well-known Democrat in Washington, I think running for his third term.
I believe this is right.
The AP is calling this race about 45 minutes after the polls closed in the State of Oregon, and see, this is with 53 percent of the expected vote in, defeating the Republican challenger Jo Rae Perkins.
So, there you have it, Amy.
You have a little bit of the Oregon picture filled in.
AMY WALTER: I mean, Faiz is right that there is a third- candidate who is making that more competitive.
But, the focus has been, well, maybe this is the year that you could see the right.
Is it going to be a squeeze in the states, especially states where abortion theoretically was not as prominent because these are blue states?
It's not quite as existential as say Pennsylvania or Wisconsin or Michigan.
PERRY BACON JR.: Here is the question.
You've got New York Governor's race, is that we seeing evidence that the Republicans doing somewhat well or what have you saying?
AMY WALTER: I mean, it's not.
(CROSSTALK) JUDY WOODRUFF: A blow out for Hochul?
PERRY BACON JR.: For Hochul.
I thought that race might be close because I didn't find her campaign and particularly good, and I thought Zeldin was actually running... (CROSSTALK) JUDY WOODRUFF: Could we look at those results?
Is it possible?
I want to go to Laura at the White House, but could we look at the Hochul-Zeldin race?
It'll take us just a second to pull those numbers up.
But I would like to look at that, and then we're going to hear from Laura because we need to know who else President Biden is calling.
So, we know what's really going on out there.
Alright, there you go.
This is with 79 percent of the expected vote.
The AP has not called New York governor's race.
But, here is Kathy Hochul who was the Lieutenant Governor, stepped into the governorship after Andrew Cuomo resigned after a scandal involving women harassment of women and she stepped in.
It was -- got I think a lot of attention to the pandemic.
She had a pretty fierce challenge from Republican Lee Zeldin.
A lot of press attention in this race, but it looks like she has held on.
But, again, the AP has not called it right.
We're just - - I just wanted to see what the numbers were.
PERRY BACON JR: D-INOØ And, Biden won New York by a lot more than eight.
So, I think that might suggest that actually is a -- his campaign was effective in a certain way.
(CROSSTALK) FAIZ SHAKIR: Right.
And, also, I think, because it became close at the end and became noted to everybody as being close to the end.
In a core blue stated, if you're -- if you say my values are not represented by Lee Zeldin, you come out and vote, and I think you had an increase in people who say, hey, New York isn't going in that direction.
MARC SHORT: Well, I think he made it close because he did focus on crime.
FAIZ SHAKIR: For a while.
(CROSSTALK) MARC SHORT: Your last question was what are Republicans going to do?
I think part of it is actually keeping criminals in jail.
And, I think, candidly, where we mixed our message during the Trump administration was when the Democrats in the White House pushed criminal justice reform and our White House had pushed that through.
We've come back to the message as more strict on crime, and I think that's good for Republicans.
FAIZ SHAKIR: Are you not in favor of people being -- having some reconciliation, if people committed an act when they were 20-years-old and smoke marijuana or got involved in some bad business?
Shouldn't they be given an opportunity to have a second chance?
MARC SHORT: Absolutely.
PERRY BACON JR: D-INOØ Good.
OK. MARC SHORT: But, I think there is a lot of consensus.
(CROSSTALK) MARC SHORT: That's not -- you're not talking about people smoking marijuana, when you see Wawas in Philadelphia getting run over by criminals and people being let right back out of jail.
That's very different than somebody who smoked marijuana.
(CROSSTALK) FAIZ SHAKIR: Right, if we're talking about real violence.
MARC SHORT: So, it is hypothetical, but that's not what happening in Philadelphia or New York City.
FAIZ SHAKIR: I was just trying to defend with you and the White House, we're trying to do, actually.
You were trying to get nonviolent people through the system in which they could have a second chance in life.
Correct me if I'm wrong here.
Marc, you did this.
You did this.
Why am I explaining legislation to you?
That's what you are doing.
MARC SHORT: I wasn't in charge of leg affairs at that time.
(CROSSTALK) FAIZ SHAKIR: OK, fair.
(LAUGHTER) MARC SHORT: There were Democrats in the White House -- the Democrats in the White House were pushing that legislation.
FAIZ SHAKIR: The FIRST STEP Act that you pushed gave people... MARC SHORT: No, I did not.
FAIZ SHAKIR: OK. (LAUGHTER) (CROSSTALK) MARC SHORT: Democrats in our White House were pushing that.
FAIZ SHAKIR: And -- yes, OK. JUDY WOODRUFF: We're going to call in our mediator, David.
(LAUGHTER) JUDY WOODRUFF: The mediator earlier.
All right, we have a race to call in the Tar Heel State, North Carolina, the AP with 95 percent of the vote in Republican Ted Budd.
That's a hold for Republicans, defeating the former State Chief Supreme Court Justice Cheri Beasley who ran a stronger race that then some had predicted a lot of money went into that race.
I think something like $99 million.
AMY WALTER: We didn't talk about how much money went into Florida as well.
I mean, Rubio won handily.
But, Val Demings raised more money than almost any other Senate candidate, and it's expensive to do TV down in Florida.
But, I think, once again, what we're going to see with North Carolina, I bet when all votes are counted, it will look like a very similar margin that we saw in 2020.
So, it'll be a 51 percent, 47 percent, 48 percent, which is what we had in the presidential, right, Trump winning it with 51 percent.
Trump winning Ohio by eight percent.
Vance wins by eight percent.
The Wisconsin race, the Pennsylvania race, will probably be a vote -- I mean, not a vote, a percent or two percent, just like we saw in the presidential race.
So, gosh, I feel like I'm just repeating myself over and over... (CROSSTALK) DAVID BROOKS: So were the voters.
AMY WALTER: And so were the voters.
They just kept saying the same thing.
We want change.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Here it is.
I found the number I was looking for, in North Carolina, $138 million spent, overall $71 million spent by Republicans to defeat -- outside money spent.
DAVID BROOKS: Can I ask a question of two campaign... JUDY WOODRUFF: Yes.
(LAUGHTER) DAVID BROOKS: So, I've -- since I hang around political scientists a lot, they are fervently of the belief that spending money on this scale doesn't matter, that it barely moved votes.
Is that... JUDY WOODRUFF: It clearly... DAVID BROOKS: Like Val Demings.
FAIZ SHAKIR: Yes, I'm big believer -- I mean, I think you have to have enough money to run a substantial and real campaign, right?
There is a threshold.
I do think at some point, there is diminishing returns over the next 30-second ad.
And, I don't see a lot of campaigns getting creative about this.
One of the things that's been a lost art actually in campaigns and actually Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders probably share this in common, is that the art of the rally, that thousands of people show up because what happens when thousands of people show up, David, and you appreciate this is, there is a community effect to that.
I remember when I was at -- I remember when it started to rain.
People talk about the event, especially in an era in which this societal fabric is starting to fray.
Like, where do we intermix?
Where do we go for fun and entertainment?
We went to a rally together.
We shared a common experience.
And, if you look at a lot of these candidates who spend money, hundreds of million dollars on ads, that's where it's all going.
They're not doing like creative and interesting compelling public rallies, to the extent that they do them, they might be saved for the very end.
Well, here comes Barack Obama.
Here comes Joe Biden.
Here comes like a couple of...
But, this is not a staple of the modern campaigning environment.
We've lost the populism of it that you do town hall meetings, the old school John McCain stuff.
JUDY WOODRUFF: That doesn't happen anymore.
FAIZ SHAKIR: It doesn't happen.
You could go through the Senate and find who has held a town hall meeting the last year.
It's hard to find.
(CROSSTALK) JUDY WOODRUFF: Negative TV ads.
We do have a race to call.
This is the governor's race in the state of Nebraska.
This was the seat held by Pete Ricketts, a Republican, and Jim Pillen.
So, it's a hold for Republicans, Jim Pillen, the Republican with 66 percent of the expected vote in, has defeated the Democrat Carol Blood.
This is a call by the Associated Press in the State of Nebraska.
So, there we have another Governor call.
And, I believe that's all we have right now.
Laura Barron-Lopez, again, we look to you to know who the president is calling to congratulate.
LAURA BARRON-LOPEZ: So, the president, actually.
Judy, you beat me to the punch there, because AP did call the race for Senator Maggie Hassan.
But, the president did call her about 20 minutes prior to the AP counting that race.
And, the president called her in New Hampshire to congratulate her.
He also called D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser.
And, he called California Senator Alex Padilla.
So, he is making the rounds, congratulating Democrats, in many cases, getting ahead of AP race calls here.
But, one other thing I wanted to note, Judy, that's important, as I've been talking to folks in the White House, is that if somehow Republicans do flip the Senate, flip both chambers, one thing the White House is definitely and the president is going to be looking at is what they can pass in the time after the election, and before the new Congress comes in, in January, not just government funding and the debt ceiling, but also that same sex marriage bill that got punted.
They're keeping a close eye on trying to get that passed, find another bipartisan bill, as well as potentially, again, reforming the Electoral Count Act.
So, those are things that the White House is looking to get done, if -- especially if Congress fully flips.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And, if they don't have -- if they expect not to have a majority in the House, and we don't know whether they're going to have the 50/50 Senate with a tie broken by the vice president, it's going to matter a lot how much of that they can get done.
And, Laura, you said the president is calling to congratulate the winners.
Is he calling any losers to commiserate or we don't know.
LAURA BARRON-LOPEZ: So far, the White House has not told us if the president has called any losers to send his condolences.
Right now, it is just those winners and often getting ahead of us on some of them.
JUDY WOODRUFF: All right, Laura Barron-Lopez holding down that place at the White House.
Thank you very much.
And, I think we are now going to hear from our Amna Nawaz and Lisa Desjardins.
They always have new information to share.
AMNA NAWAZ: We do, indeed, Judy.
As we're coming up now on the day after Election Day, about to hit midnight here.
On the East Coast, we want to give you kind of a landscape, check in on some key races we've been tracking.
Let's start with the balance of power in the House of Representatives.
Lisa, remind us of the map... LISA DESJARDINS: Yes.
AMNA NAWAZ: ... where we are now.
LISA DESJARDINS: OK. Look at all where all these races gone.
218 seats for the control of this fine chamber of the House, but no one is really close yet.
These are the races that are called the ones that the Associated Press is 100 percent sure of, that they cannot be reversed, 115 Democrats, 163 Republicans.
But, we're kind of counting a different way.
We're looking at what seats have flipped, and that is still slow.
Republicans need to pick up five seats net, so far, two.
They have to flip so far.
The latest is that Virginia Second District seat.
Jen Kiggans is the Republican picking that up on behalf of her party.
AMNA NAWAZ: But, as you can, see all of these white dots still to be called.
Who will sit here?
LISA DESJARDINS: A long way to go.
Let's check in some of the key races you have been tracking.
One of these was meant to be, you thought possibly an early red wave indicator, it doesn't look that way.
AMNA NAWAZ: No, no.
It's a kind of a blue wall here in Toledo, Ohio.
And, I think we're seeing -- this is the story at least of these past few hours, will that change again?
We don't know.
But the past few hours, the Democrats are doing better than expected which, by the way, the exact words of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Judy Woodruff a few hours ago, Democrats would outperform.
And, so far, that's what we're seeing in districts like this with Marcy Kaptur.
And, let's stick with Ohio, and go to another one, Ohio First District where Democrats are hoping to pick up a seat.
Look at that.
Tight now, the Democrat Greg Landsman is ahead, 88 percent of the vote in.
Steve Chabot, longtime Republican there, he is now losing by four points.
Now, that would be again, a pickup for Democrats, and that could change the math as well.
So, we'll keep watching that.
LISA DESJARDINS: Now, you called 88 percent of the expected vote in so far.
Let's stay in Ohio, have another one.
AMNA NAWAZ: Ohio, especially on Michigan before, Tenth Congressional District, this is an open seat, right?
LISA DESJARDINS: This is an open seat, exactly.
And, this actually is some of the impeachment results.
One of the Republicans who voted for impeachment, Tony Gonzalez, retired rather than run in this race this year.
And, what we have now is the Republican on the ballot.
Madison Gesiotto Gilbert, a first-time candidate.
She is a conservative commentator.
She is behind Emilia Sykes, who actually is a longtime - - longer time politician.
She was at one point the head of the Democratic House Contingent in the statehouse.
So, right now, she is winning this open seat by four points with 96 percent of the result.
Both parties thought this kind of seat, an open seat, was one of the most treacherous for Democrats.
But, right now, right here, we see a Democrat in Ohio winning.
AMNA NAWAZ: Not yet called, though.
LISA DESJARDINS: Not yet called yet but there is not a lot of vote left.
(CROSSTALK) AMNA NAWAZ: Every single time.
Let's go to New York.
There's another district that you're tracking New York's Third Congressional District.
This includes parts of Long Island's North Shore extends into queens.
Tell me about this, Right.
LISA DESJARDINS: We've been putting on historic races all night.
This is another one whoever wins this is already historic race because both of these men are openly gay candidates.
This is the first time we've seen to openly gay men run for Congress.
And right now the Republican George Santos.
He is a Wall Street investment financier.
He is winning look at this by 6.75 percent of the expected voted.
Now this is near this is just outside of Queens.
Actually borders are Alexandria Ocasio Cortez is newly redistricted district.
If he wins George Santos will be the first Republican elected to Congress for the first time as an openly gay man.
So the history in this district we'll keep watching it.
AMNA NAWAZ: So important to note as we track some of these races, you have been tracking election denial candidates, folks who've either called into question or disputed outright deny the 2020 election results.
And specifically when it comes to Secretary of State Races, these are often the offices that oversee their state's election.
LISA DESJARDINS: The majority of States in these country secretaries of States are the one who run the race.
AMNA NAWAZ: Talk to me about... LISA DESJARDINS: Indiana, Indiana, we have Diego Morales he is a Former Pence aide from Indiana.
He is winning his race right now 54 percent, 73 percent of the expected vote.
And he's someone re-categorize in that broad category of a doubter.
That means in the past, he has had statements which indicate that he thought the election was not should have been overturned was not something reliable.
But recently he also has a statement, he's confusing.
He has a complicated case.
He has said also that he thinks Biden was legitimate elected, he has said both things.
So we put him in sort of the middle category.
He however, isn't also interesting, because he himself just in the last week, the Indiana of the star came out with a story that he could have committed voter fraud himself from years past when he voted in one district and they say lived in a different district, a number of scandals around him which he has denied.
He has campaigned on a very strong personal story.
And what he says is a love of America right now it looks like he is winning.
In fact, in this race, he's already declared victory.
The Associated Press has not though for him.
AMNA NAWAZ: Important to note.
So we are not either 73 percent of the executive vote in right there to Arizona right where there is an outright election denier on the ballot on the Republican side.
LISA DESJARDINS: This is a different situation.
Now again, Arizona is quirky with it's on its results, which is thank goodness, we have Stephanie Sy there to help us through that.
I hope she gets some sleep ever again.
But right now the Democrat Adrian Fontes is winning over Mark Finchem.
Now, Mark Finchem is sort of the renowned leader of the election denial movement.
He is not just an election denier.
He is someone who is very well known.
He is actually a self-described Oath Keeper.
And he is someone that we will probably be watching regardless, right now he's behind in this race.
But I want to take you through how we're he and everyone else on the columns of kind of tracking these Secretary of State candidates where we are with our nation's election system and who people are electing right now.
So far, we really don't have results in many of the races that involve outright deniers of the 2020 results.
In this result, Chuck Gray of Wyoming, he is running unopposed, we expected him to win.
He is someone to watch though, because even the state legislature in Wyoming is concerned about him taking over their elections process.
And Republicans there may change their state law because of some of the things he's proposing to do.
Now, if you see this category, these are where we're seeing the candidates, the Republicans do well these are the folks who fuel doubt we're talking about Morales, he has not been checked off yet.
We also see some defenders in Nebraska, another unopposed candidate there, Bob Evans and winning Mark Hammond in South Carolina also winning.
So it's mixed results here.
But it's something we're going to be having to pay a lot of attention to for the next two years, and probably two years from now and we're standing here.
AMNA NAWAZ: And probably for years beyond that as well.
Important to note many of these have not yet been called.
LISA DESJARDINS: Right.
AMNA NAWAZ: This is just the process.
That's it as it unfolds.
Judy, back to you!
JUDY WOODRUFF: All right, we've been paying very close attention to everything you and Lisa have been saying.
All of it important tonight and it is three minutes after midnight in the east.
We've left the hour the clock has struck.
And we have this to tell you that the polls have closed in Hawaii, which leaves Alaska as the only state where the polls are still open.
And we do have Senate winners to share with you a winner in the state of Hawaii.
Brian Schatz has been reelected literally the polls just closed a moment ago -- Schatz.
The Associated Press has called Brian Schatz, the winner.
He will return to Washington defeating the Republican Bob McDermott.
And we have another race to call also in the state of Hawaii.
And that is in the open race for governor that had been held by a Democrat.
It is being the winner call by the AP is Josh Green, defeating the Former Lieutenant Governor Duke Aiona.
So there you have two calls right at the top of the hour in the state of Hawaii way out there in the Pacific Ocean, still very much a part of our United States.
So here we are, is four minutes after midnight.
We're sitting around the table.
It's not looking Amy; I'm coming to you right now, because it's not looking like we're going to have that much Senate call.
AMY WALTER: Right, we have Georgia, Nevada, Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, still out all very close on the bubble, if you will, maybe one candidate or another as ahead as in Pennsylvania.
But AP not ready to call those and then the house around the house.
We still have a lot of unknowns and a lot of the most competitive races we're waiting for somewhere in New York that they tend to take a little longer to do.
They're counting in New York, and they have a later poll closer times counting.
Yes, I mean, right now, what we're seeing is that there are while the governor's race was called, does seem as if Republicans are doing better in a lot of these House races that Lee Zeldin, the Republican probably also carried.
This is a state that Republicans were worried about early on, because Democrats were in charge of the redistricting.
And they had gotten a map, Democrats put a map in place that was very beneficial to Democrats, the courts threw it out many of these candidates running this time around.
They're either new because the incumbent retired or in the case of the DCCC Chairman, Sean Patrick Maloney running in a district that's about 70 percent new to him.
Well, the number on the district says it's a Biden safe seat.
Not a lot of people in the district know him as well.
So we'll still have to watch those very closely.
Those are the sort of last glimmering hopes for Republicans to pick up more than just a handful of House races is to be able to do well in New York.
And then we have to go out to Oregon and see where those races come in.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Can we say at this point, any of you who are looking at this, Marc, I mean, are we looking at what range of Republican pickup in the house?
Are we looking at?
I mean, it was it we checking 15 to 20?
Are we talking less than that?
MARC SHORT: I think we're in the 15 category, right now.
So we're looking at.
JUDY WOODRUFF: So that's 15, they needed 5, to take the majority.
And if they have 15 not a huge, it's a win.
MARC SHORT: Again, I think that the House victories were going to be somewhat capped because everybody was focused last cycle on the presidential for good reason.
But I think an under reported story was the 15 Republican House pickups.
And so we were never going to have a year of like, 2010 this cycle.
Still, I think that probably expectations were in the 25 range coming into tonight, and probably to do better in the Senate.
So I think you're still going to see us take control of Congress.
But not to the upward edge of what the hopes were.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Yes.
FAIZ SHAKIR: I don't know about that.
I mean, I have to say Marc, may be right.
But you look through a lot of our contested races, a lot of the ones where we were wondering if these were going to hold out and very tight races.
These are holding on tight races.
Then you look at some of the ball and ball Republicans.
You see some Democrats are up and you know, Nikki Budzinski in Illinois 13.
You look at Wiley Nickel, I think, in North Carolina, is just called, beating Bo Hines.
Steve Chabot, as we talked about losing in Ohio, we talked about some of the Ohio seats.
And then Pennsylvania is going good way I will let the dust clear because they're got to move all the way to the West.
And if you remember from 2020, the West came in stronger 2018 particularly for came in stronger later.
So in I guess there's a lot of hope on the Republican side that it is going to be deeper margin, but it is also quite possible that we'll be at a you know, a very narrow Republican majority.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Perry.
PERRY BACON JR: D-INOØ I don't want to ignore what happened in Florida, which looks like a state that is competitive is maybe no longer competitive.
And I think that's a big story that we do already see.
But otherwise, my political scientists, friend Vanderbilt, Professor John Sides has our politics is calcified.
And that feels right to me is like we are stuck in our parties.
And it's like I know polarization is one word.
But I really think we are stuck and you're seeing Tim Ryan runs a much better campaign, is very aggressively focused on Ohio.
He loses by the exact same number Joe Biden who barely appeared in the state did J. D. Vance was not a good candidate.
It doesn't matter, and so I really think that's what I feel tonight is like even more convinced that January 6, inflation a lot of events happen.
And repeating me said a lot of events happen but it doesn't look like they're changing that partisanship yet.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And, David, that makes me ask, among other things, why would you want to run for office in this environment I mean... MARC SHORT: Ben Sasse is leaving.
I think that's an indication of what it's like.
(CROSSTALK) DAVID BROOKS: Well, this gives me a chance to celebrate we've called a lot of early races.
And a lot of these are no hopers, like Republican running in Hawaii.
We have to tip our hats to those people that work hard.
And they really give it their all, they have no chance.
AMY WALTER: As someone who I don't get to meet as many of them as I once did, partly because of COVID but partly because people weren't traveling as much this last year, but meeting a lot of these.
-- Yes, and I, you know, I've lost things.
But meeting, House candidates was always a favorite part of my job, because these are as close to normal people as you can get right.
They're your dentist, and they're the lawyer from across the street.
And I would ask them that exact question, Judy, why do you want to do this?
I mean, you realize that as soon as you come in your profession is more hated than, you know, serial killers or something, right?
Like its way down on the list of admired jobs and they to a person, it doesn't matter where they are on the ideological spectrum, say, well, if not me, then who, right?
I really do think that I can make a difference.
And so it gives me that little bit of optimism here.
You may not like these people may, may not be on your team.
But they do a lot in order.
They put a lot on the line in order to believe they're going to make a difference.
And what I wish we would do is spend a little less time talking a lot less time talking about the people on the extremes.
And Marjorie Taylor Greene and what she's doing, and a lot more time talking about.
And we will highlight we've highlighted some of them, Abigail Spanberger, and Marcy Kaptur, and a couple of these races, where they're just people putting their nose down, not making a big fuss doing their job.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And that is, and I celebrate all that.
But I was asking, because I heard Perry, talk about our politics, not just being polarized, but when I heard him say calcified, and you are swimming upstream, if you're running in a place that's just not going to listen to you, right.
GARY ABERNATHY: Yes, well, you know, and even though, Ohio.
And I've talked about what a great campaign, Tim Ryan, really, I'm one of those people, on the other hand, voters are smart enough to say, OK, he's running a great campaign.
He's out working him he's out spending him.
But I still don't like what Tim Ryan is going to do when he gets to the Senate, because 100 percent Joe Biden voter.
(CROSSTALK) GARY ABERNATHY: I mean, that's just a fact.
And that was often highlighted in ads run against him.
So, you know, Ohio has always been a center right state, even when it was a swing state.
And it may still be, I'm still going to hold out hope that it's still a -- somewhat of a swing state.
PERRY BACON JR: D-INOØ Some parts.
GARY ABERNATHY: Yes, there was -- swing district.
(CROSSTALK) (LAUGHTER) JUDY WOODRUFF: I'm going to interrupt you for one second to make a call.
PERRY BACON JR: D-INOØ OK. JUDY WOODRUFF: This is the Senate race in the state of Washington.
Patty Murray has been reelected, according to the Associated Press.
This is the polls close they're a little over an hour ago, Patty Murray was being actually had a pretty serious challenge by Tiffany Smiley, whose husband was wounded blinded, is serving in the Military in Iraq.
But she has fought her way back to office; I believe this is her fourth term in Washington.
So we are still waiting to see who comes out on the top of the governor's in -- I take that back, we're still waiting on Oregon, on their governor's race.
But Patty Murray is someone who faced a more serious challenge than expected and has emerged victorious.
(CROSSTALK) GARY ABERNATHY: And just to finish... JUDY WOODRUFF: I interrupted you.
GARY ABERNATHY: No, that's OK. We talked a little bit about the Chabot race, the congressional race in Ohio.
That's a race where the push on abortion, the reminder of Roe V. Wade may have actually worked.
I live in that media market where they just hammered Chabot on being obsessed with controlling, you know, a woman's right to choose or denying a woman's right to obsessed with abortion obsessed with abortion.
That was the main issue.
They ran against Chabot all day long.
And he goes down.
JUDY WOODRUFF: He goes down.
Let's go to Stephanie Sy in Maricopa County, Arizona, watching those votes be counted, Stephanie.
STEPHANIE SY: Hey, Judy.
We're seeing results sort of trickle in here in Maricopa County.
So we just got another 4000 votes counted.
And we are still seeing that all the Democrats at the top of the ticket have a double digit lead.
Of course there are 15 counties in Arizona.
And that we're still waiting to hear from Republicans strongholds.
And there are hundreds of thousands of votes to be counted yet here in Maricopa County.
I just want to flag something we're going to be looking at in coming days as we head towards final results.
And that is the concerted effort that is occurring on social media around these tabulation machine issues that they had earlier in Maricopa County.
There are so many tweets from far right influencers that are exploiting this problem and suggesting that there was something more nefarious at play.
So I just want to take this chance to show you the tabulation machine that we're talking about.
So this is the tabulation machine that voters will have encountered when they went to voting centers today.
They would have filled out their ballot at a voting machine, and then they would have inserted their ballot into the top part of this machine.
And what was happening because of these printer issues is that the machine would spit the ballot back out.
Now the ballot was still in hand.
And at that point, what they could have done, as you see that number three there, they could have just popped the ballot in there.
That's a secure ballot box.
That ballot box then would have been transported to this place.
This is the main tabulation center by a by partisan team of observers, and they then would have been tabulated here.
So it's not like people lost their ability to vote.
And in fact, municipal judge ruled earlier when the Republican attorneys tried to extend voting hours in Maricopa County, he said there's simply no evidence that this problem precluded anyone from voting.
The problem is the optics and the perceptions around this issue.
Again, we have multiple top Republicans here who have denied the 2020 election; they have used this as a pretext to begin to talk about potential problems.
So if things don't go their way, in coming days, we might start to see the types of reactions we saw back in 2020.
So that is what we will be watching in coming days.
Again, results are trickling, and we will not know final results before the end of the week, Judy.
JUDY WOODRUFF: But it does sound like Stephanie that yes, there have been these glitches, but it sounds like in general, things are moving as they -- as they should be moving.
Is that right with the count?
STEPHANIE SY: Yes, absolutely.
And I spent hours today at two voting centers, one in Mesa, Arizona, very mixed district and one in Downtown Phoenix speaking to voters and the overall vibe was a very family friendly, efficient experience now, where there are long lines at certain polling places.
There always are.
Were people that went up against these tabulation machines, perhaps frustrated and delayed in their ability to vote?
Yes, but we did not hear about any major discrepancies.
The problem with this misinformation that's percolating through social media is this is what we saw in the days after the 2020 election.
And as Lisa mentioned, Mark Finchem was one of the leaders he's candidate for Secretary of State here.
He was one of the leaders of the stop the steel movement, which was birthed here in Maricopa County, Arizona.
So any inkling of that beginning is on our radar.
And that is what we're starting to see.
And depending on the mileage that those tweets get in coming days, and the ability of election officials in places like Maricopa County to dispel any of those rumors, that that is all going to be at play.
I think as we head toward final results.
JUDY WOODRUFF: We are so appreciative of how carefully you are following this Stephanie.
Stephanie Sy joining us from Maricopa County, the area around Phoenix in Arizona thanks you, Stephanie!
We do have a call to make now in this in the State of Pennsylvania.
It is the Governor's race.
And that is Josh Shapiro, who was the State Attorney General, the Democrat defeating the State Senator Doug Mastriano, who of course was known to be part of the attack on the Capitol on January the sixth.
Yes, this is a race -- these polls closed at eight o'clock tonight.
So it's been over four hours.
It was expected that there would be a pretty decent margin in the race.
But this is here looking at Pennsylvania 80 percent of the expected vote in, in the AP is calling the winner Josh Shapiro, the Democrat.
I'm going to go now to our correspondent on the scene at Fetterman -- John Fetterman Headquarters.
They have not called that race yet.
Geoff it sounds like we're still some distance away.
GEOFF BENNETT: That's right, Judy.
I can tell you that there are probably more reporters here at the Fetterman Headquarter at this hour than there are supporters.
People have been waiting to hear from the candidate, but he has not come out yet.
In fact, they took the podium away.
So we are here waiting for the candidates to see what he has to say about the race so far.
So far, I can tell you that the John Fetterman appears to be over performing Joe Biden in various parts of Pennsylvania, as compared to the way Biden performed back in 2020.
And the gubernatorial race Democrats I've been texting with have been really encouraged by that, in large part because they view the Governor's seat as a bulwark against the Republican legislature that the sitting Governor Tom Wolf has vetoed abortion restrictions that have been put forward by the Republican legislature in this state.
And the Governor also has the responsibility in Pennsylvania of appointing the Secretary of State, the person who oversees the elections here.
So you can imagine the concerns that Democrats had about Doug Mastriano, the Republican who ran being in that position.
So still cautious optimism here at the Fetterman Headquarters, the election, the campaign team I've been talking with, they feel good about where they are, but the race has not been called.
And as we mentioned earlier tonight, it could be a matter of days before we know exactly who emerges as the official winner in the Senate race here Judy?
JUDY WOODRUFF: Yes, well, we so appreciate your being there along with that gathering of reporters, waiting to hear from John Fetterman.
Assuming he is coming out, I listened to you say that Fetterman is outperforming Joe Biden, we know Joe Biden won Pennsylvania by just what is it 80,000 votes?
That was a close race.
But it certainly has to be a good sign for the Fetterman Campaign that that, that he's doing better than that close but not as close as it was in 2020.
All right, Geoff, we thank you very much.
We've been watching that.
We are going to be on the air just a few more minutes.
And I want to get final thoughts from all of you.
I've been hearing your wisdom for the last six hours.
And I know you've got a lot more to say.
But let's try to think about how we pull together what has happened tonight?
David Brooks, we came into this night, expecting the Republicans would do well in the House and might just take a majority in the Senate.
And what do we have right now?
DAVID BROOKS: Well, it's still possible they'll win both houses so that that would be significant or that, you know, it'll be a five- or maybe a smaller 10-seat majority in the House, which gives Marjorie Taylor Greene veto power over everything.
That'll be fun.
I guess I'm mostly struck, we'll see how the demographics shape out that we take the exit polls for that.
But the Democrats seem to be doing pretty good in the Rio Grande Valley, which Republicans were hoping to do better in.
I guess I'm struck by, A, the calcification we've been talking about, B, the states are becoming more unlike each other, that in the northeast, Republicans are hoping to do pretty well and northeast, still Democratic bastion in the south, that's still pretty much a Republican bastion.
I guess the West intrigues me.
But it's disappointing that we've covered all this, and not much has changed.
JUDY WOODRUFF: We've got about two-and-a-half minutes left for all of you.
AMY WALTER: So I'll make it quick.
But that candidate quality is very important.
And yet, the partisanship still Trump's quality in many of these places, right?
So Ohio being the prime example of this or North Carolina, these were very good Democratic candidates.
We had some good Republican candidates running in the northeast, it is really hard to break, it's -- it seems much harder to break the partisanship than it is to break outperforming the president or the leader of your own party.
GARY ABERNATHY: Neither party has much to be thrilled about tonight, if anything Democrats can breathe a bit of sigh of relief over how much worse things could have been for them.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Faiz?
FAIZ SHAKIR: I'll start where it began, you know, I think the Democrats will end up having a good ground to build on for what will be epic 2024, 2023/2024.
And, you know, I remain hopeful that these class based issues are still the way forward for Democrats to expand from where they are in a deeply polarized climate to getting that next to know.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Sure.
MARC SHORT: I think we're still obviously very tribal.
I do think that I think the big lesson is candidates matter.
I think there are a lot of points that Republicans left on the board tonight if they'd had stronger candidates get through the primaries that we would have picked up.
And you know, I think that at the end of the day, I do think that it gives Biden something to run against for 2024 is to have a Republican foil.
And you all had a conversation earlier about is this worse or better for Kevin?
You know, I think that obviously repose wanted to pick up more seats, but you could somewhat argue it maybe makes it somewhat easier to manage because of some of the other candidates who may have come across the finish line bigger majority.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Perry Bacon, you get the last word here.
PERRY BACON JR: There wasn't a huge red wave, but the Republicans still might win the House and the Senate.
And, ultimately, if you have control, that is what matters.
Stay tuned, but I think they still might win both chambers.
JUDY WOODRUFF: At this point, there's still something for each party to take away.
We know the Republicans are going to take away, we believe, the House, even though it hasn't been called yet.
The Senate, we're waiting on but, it could be, but, still, some bright spots for Democrats.
So, all right, I wish we could go on for hours and hours.
(LAUGHTER) JUDY WOODRUFF: But it looks like we are not going to get a House call tonight one way or another.
And we are certainly not going to get a Senate call, because there are too many important, close races that are still out.
I cannot thank you enough.
You've all been amazing.
Thank you very much, Marc Short, Faiz Shakir, Gary Abernathy, Amy Walter, Perry Bacon, and the one and only David Brooks.
PERRY BACON JR: D-INOØ Thanks for having me.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Not to mention the rest of the amazing "NewsHour" team.
To Amna, to Lisa, to Laura -- I'm going to leave somebody out -- to William, goodbye.
I'm told I have to say goodbye.
That does conclude our live coverage of the midterm elections.
But we will keep tracking the results as they come in and have additional analysis online, PBS.org/NewsHour.
I'm Judy Woodruff.
On behalf of all of us at the "NewsHour," thank you for watching, and have a good night.