U.S. midterms latest: Biden says ‘giant red wave, it didn’t happen’

NEW YORK — As the vote count continues across the country Wednesday, Republicans appear likely to take back the House of Representatives — albeit by a slim margin, while control of the Senate still hinges on closely contested races.

Senate control rests on tight races in Nevada and Arizona, as well as in Georgia — which now looks headed for a December runoff. Republicans are still short of reclaiming the House but need to pick up fewer of the remaining tossup races than Democrats to secure the majority.

While pre-election polls pointed to a Republican landslide, many races remain too close to call. The New York Times reported that “an anticipated red wave did not materialize.”

Asian Americans are a fast-growing and increasingly influential bloc of voters, with the potential to swing the outcome of local congressional elections. The results of the midterms also will affect U.S. economic and foreign policy toward Asian countries.

Entries include material from wire services and other sources. Here are the latest developments:

Wednesday, Nov. 9 (New York time)

5:21 p.m. U.S. President Joe Biden speaks to reporters on the midterm elections, saying that Nov. 8 was “a good day, I think for democracy, and I think it was a good day for America.”

“While the press and the pundits [were] predicting a giant red wave, it didn’t happen,” he said.

On running again in 2024, Biden said that his intention is to but that he hasn’t made a final decision yet. “My guess is it’d be early next year we make that judgment,” he said.

Apart from the election, when asked whether he would tell Chinese President Xi Jinping at a possible meeting this month that he is committed to defending Taiwan militarily, Biden said that “what I want to do with him when we talk is lay out what … each of our red lines are, understand what he believes to be in the critical national interests of China, what I know to be the critical interests of the United States, and to determine whether or not they conflict with one another.”

“The Taiwan doctrine has not changed at all from the very beginning,” he added.

4:20 p.m. Wall Street ends sharply lower as Republican gains in midterm elections appear more modest than some expected. Preliminary data shows roughly 2% losses for the S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq Composite.

“I think we were in a unique situation where the more the Republicans won, the better off the market would have been,” says Jay Hatfield, CEO of Infrastructure Capital Management in New York. “At least there would have been some stocks strongly rallying, like defense and energy stocks.”

Clean energy shares — which typically benefit under Democratic leadership — rose, with the Invesco Solar ETF up for the day.

2:30 p.m. Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock of Georgia and Republican challenger Herschel Walker will meet in a Dec. 6 runoff after neither reached the general election majority required under state law, Georgia secretary of state Brad Raffensperger confirms, according to the BBC.

The U.S. Senate race in Georgia between Democratic incumbent Raphael Warnock and Republican Herschel Walker will go to a Dec. 6 runoff.

  © Reuters

Unless either the Democrats or the Republicans sweep the two remaining tight U.S. Senate races — in Arizona and Nevada — the runoff election will decide which party controls the Senate.

1:10 p.m. Sen. Ron Johnson is projected to win reelection in Wisconsin, beating Democratic challenger Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes in a hotly contested race, according to the Associated Press. Johnson’s win bolsters Republicans’ hope of winning back control of the Senate.

10:15 a.m. Voters in conservative Kentucky reject a ballot measure that would have established that the state’s constitution does not protect or recognize a woman’s right to an abortion.

Voters in Michigan, California and Vermont support ballot initiatives enshrining abortion rights in their state constitutions.

Democratic Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer celebrates her reelection in Detroit.

  © Reuters

9 a.m. Democrats win elections for governor in the “blue wall” states of Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, enabling them to defend against Republican-dominated state legislatures on issues such as abortion rights and fair elections.

Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan and Tony Evers of Wisconsin are re-elected, while Josh Shapiro will succeed an outgoing Democratic governor in Pennsylvania, Edison Research projects. The three states served as a “blue wall” that helped President Joe Biden defeat Donald Trump in 2020, when Republican officials tried to overturn those results.

8 a.m. New York Gov. Kathy Hochul wins her bid for a full term against Lee Zeldin, a Republican member of the U.S. House. The Democrat’s victory comes after American semiconductor firm Micron Technology said in October it would invest up to $100 billion to build a new plant in central New York.

3 a.m. In a huge victory for Democrats, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman defeats Trump-backed Mehmet Oz to capture Pennsylvania’s Senate race, flipping a seat that had been in Republican hands.

Fetterman, 53, suffered a near-fatal stroke in May, and returned to campaigning months later with hesitant, altered speech.

Supporters attend an election night party for Democratic U.S. Senate candidate John Fetterman in Pittsburgh.

  © Reuters

Tuesday, Nov. 8

11:09 p.m. Republicans continue to hunt for the one-seat gain needed to control the U.S. Senate, but neither party has flipped a seat so far.

J.D. Vance keeps Ohio’s open Senate seat in Republican hands, defeating Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan in a race that featured anti-China rhetoric. Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet wins re-election in Colorado, while Republican incumbent Chuck Grassley of Iowa also wins another term.

10:30 p.m. Republicans aimed to flip three House districts in Virginia considered bellwethers for the nation, but look likely to settle for one — an outcome that portends significant Republican gains but not a tsunami.

Democratic Rep. Jennifer Wexton defeated Republican Hung Cao in the 10th District, seen as the toughest of the three for the Republicans to flip.

Republican Jen Kiggans ousted Democratic Rep. Elaine Luria, a former Navy commander, in the 2nd District, seen as the easiest for Republicans to take.

Democratic Rep. Abigail Spanberger, a former CIA officer, narrowly leads Republican Yesli Vega in the 7th District with 95% of the vote counted.

10:28 p.m. Georgia might be facing another U.S. Senate runoff. Republican Herschel Walker leads Democratic incumbent Raphael Warnock 49.5% to 48.6% with nearly 70% of the vote counted. But if neither reaches 50%, the two leading candidates advance to a runoff in December. Warnock won a runoff in January 2021 for the final two years of the Senate term.

9:23 p.m. Democratic Attorney General Maura Healey has been elected governor of Massachusetts, making history as the nation’s first openly lesbian governor, AP reports.

9:21 p.m. A judge in Arizona’s Maricopa County rejects a Republican request to keep polls open past their usual closing time of 7 p.m. after electronic vote-counting machines malfunctioned at some precincts. The judge says Republicans provided no evidence that a voter was unable to cast a ballot because of the machine problems and noted that the lawsuit was filed late in the day despite the issues being known since the morning.

9:01 p.m. Democrat Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, Republican Rand Paul of Kentucky and Democrat Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut are among the U.S. senators to win re-election. Duckworth was born in Bangkok and speaks Thai and Indonesian. In 2004, she was deployed as a helicopter pilot to Iraq, where she lost both legs in a crash.

8:43 p.m. Republican Anna Paulina Luna, a U.S. Air Force veteran, flips Florida’s 13th Congressional District seat, beating Democrat Eric Lynn, a former Obama administration official. This suburban Tampa district is one of several Democratic-held seats in Florida that Republicans are likely to pick up, thanks to a new district map backed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis. Republicans need only a net pickup of five seats to take control of the House.

8:10 p.m. Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis wins a second term in Florida by defeating Democratic challenger Charlie Crist in what was widely seen as a precursor to a DeSantis presidential run in 2024 — which could put him in a primary battle with Donald Trump.

DeSantis has been at the forefront of a number of the country’s partisan fights, bucking COVID-19 restrictions while backing a law limiting discussion of LGBTQ issues in schools.

8 p.m. Several more states close their polls including Michigan, where a high-profile contest for governor is underway, and Pennsylvania, where Democratic Lt. Gov. John Fetterman and Republican rival Mehmet Oz are locked in what is expected to be a tight Senate race.

Workers count absentee ballots in Wisconsin.

  © AP

7:18 p.m. News outlets including The Associated Press project that Republican Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina will win re-election and that Rep. Peter Welch will win the Senate race contested in Vermont, keeping that seat in Democratic hands. Both victories were expected.

7 p.m. Polls close in Georgia — where a crucial Senate seat is up for grabs –South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia and the rest of Indiana and Kentucky.

A voter casts his ballot for midterm elections at a polling station in Marietta, Georgia.

  © Reuters

6 p.m. The first U.S. polls close in parts of the states of Kentucky and Indiana, where districts are expected to announce results soon.

4:30 p.m. Donald Trump, posting on his Truth Social platform, tells people to protest in Detroit, apparently referring to a software glitch that told some in-person voters that they had already requested an absentee ballot.

“The Absentee Ballot situation in Detroit is REALLY BAD. People are showing up to Vote to be told, ‘sorry, you have already voted,'” he writes. “Protest, Protest, Protest!”

3:45 p.m. Problems with dozens of electronic vote-counting machines in the battleground state of Arizona are sparking false claims of evidence of election fraud.

Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer told reporters early Tuesday that about 20% of the machines in the state’s most populous county were malfunctioning, and that technicians were being deployed to fix them. All votes will be counted, said Richer, who expected that election deniers would “exploit” the issue.

“Reports are coming in from Arizona that the Voting Machines are not properly working in predominately Republican/Conservative areas,” former President Donald Trump said in a statement. “Here we go again? The people will not stand for it!!”

Voters wait in line to cast their ballots in the midterm elections in Phoenix, Arizona.

  © Reuters

Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, who has echoed Trump’s false claims of a stolen 2020 election, also seized on the machine problems, issuing a “voter alert” on her Twitter account.

Barricades have been erected around the county’s elections office in central Phoenix in anticipation of potential protests.

3:20 p.m. Asian Americans fear further violent attacks against them nationwide as candidates from both parties intensify their anti-China rhetoric.

Tim Ryan, the Ohio Democratic candidate for the Senate, has repeatedly attacked Beijing for job losses and rising prices in the U.S. In late September, he tweeted, “Bad trade deals have screwed Ohio. China is winning. Workers are losing.”

Ryan’s Republican opponent, J.D. Vance, has expressed similar sentiments.

“We’re really not in a great place in Ohio in terms of this race,” said Jona Hilario, a member of the Asian American Midwest Progressives advocacy group.

Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Michelle Park Steel — a California Republican and a Korean American — has labeled her Taiwanese American Democratic opponent Jay Chen as a communist and “China’s choice” in a heavily Vietnamese neighborhood.

2:20 p.m. Former President Donald Trump predicts a “great night” for Republicans, while the current occupant of the White House, Joe Biden, warns that Democrats face a “tough” battle as midterm voting continues.

10:40 a.m. Under pressure from a Republican lawsuit, Philadelphia officials decide to bring back a time-consuming vote-counting process meant to prevent double voting.

Philadelphia city commissioners voted at a special meeting to reinstate a process called “poll book reconciliation.”

The decision will delay the vote count in one of the most hotly contested battleground states, where Democratic candidate Lt. Gov. John Fetterman and Republican rival Mehmet Oz are locked in a tight Senate race.

9:45 a.m. Officials are seeing no credible threats against U.S. voting machines or poll books during the elections, Reuters reports, citing a senior federal cybersecurity official. “We see no specific or credible threat to disrupt election infrastructure,” the official tells reporters during a scheduled briefing just as election day was beginning.

The official, who briefed journalists on condition of anonymity, says that did not mean there would be no hiccups. Officials in New Jersey’s Mercer County say there are “issues with voting machines” there and that poll workers are on hand to help voters, Reuters reports.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at a rally to support Republican candidates ahead of the midterm elections in Ohio on Nov. 7.

  © Reuters

Monday, Nov. 7

10:50 p.m. Former President Donald Trump says he will make a “big announcement” next week, possibly teasing another presidential run on the eve of the midterms.

“I’m going to be making a very big announcement on Tuesday, Nov. 15, at Mar-a-Lago,” Trump tells a crowd in Ohio during a rally, AP reports. Explaining the wait, he adds, “We want nothing to detract from the importance of tomorrow.”

Trump has said in recent days that he would “very, very, very probably” run again.

4:20 p.m. Wall Street ends sharply higher as investors see a likely win for the Republican Party in the House of Representatives in the U.S. midterm elections. Republican control of the House would threaten Biden’s legislative agenda with gridlock, dooming tax hikes. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished 1.3% higher than last Friday.

With Republicans favored take control of the House in the U.S. midterm elections, investors saw a greater chance of tax hikes not happening.

  © Reuters

6:53 a.m. Russian businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin says he has interfered in U.S. elections and will continue doing so — “carefully, accurately, surgically and in our own way, as we know how to do” — the first such admission from someone implicated by Washington. His remarks come in response to a request for comment from a Russian news site.

Prigozhin, known as “Putin’s chef” because his catering company operates Kremlin contracts, has been formally accused of sponsoring Russia-based “troll farms” that seek to influence American politics. He has been hit by U.S., British and European Union sanctions.

Sunday, Nov. 6

7:44 p.m. President Joe Biden, visiting New York’s suburban Westchester County to campaign for Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul, warns that a Republican win in Tuesday’s midterm elections could weaken U.S. democracy.

Former President Donald Trump, at a rally in Miami, recycles many of his unfounded claims about 2020 election fraud and hints that he may announce another presidential bid soon.

Republicans have hammered Biden for high inflation and increased crime in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Democrats face grim prospects despite fulfilling Biden’s promises to boost clean-energy incentives and rebuild crumbling roads and bridges.

Supporters of former U.S. President Donald Trump wait for him to speak during a rally in Miami on Nov. 6.

  © Reuters

5 p.m. Here’s some advice for anyone following the U.S. midterm elections on Tuesday: Be ready for a long night and maybe days of waiting before it’s clear whether Republicans or President Joe Biden’s Democrats will control Congress.

All 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives are up for grabs, as are 35 U.S. Senate seats and 36 governorships. Republicans need to pick up five seats for a House majority and just one to control the Senate. Nonpartisan election forecasters and polls suggest Republicans have a strong chance of winning the House, with control of the Senate likely to be closer fought.

4 p.m. The U.S. government has warned of possible attempts by Russia and China to undermine voter confidence and widen rifts in American society ahead of Tuesday’s midterm elections.

“What they attempt to do is create instability in our domestic environment and then show that back home — you know, ‘This is what democracy brings you: instability, riots, January 6th, race hatred,'” said Scott White, an associate professor at George Washington University with a specialty in cybersecurity.

Saturday, Nov. 5

4 p.m. Asian Americans have been the fastest-growing group of voters over the past two decades, and they will play an important role as Democrats and Republicans battle for control of Congress in the midterm elections.

“The general feeling is that we don’t fit nicely into either the Republican or the Democratic party,” said Angela Hsu, president of the Georgia Asian Pacific American Bar Association. “I think to a large degree, it’s very much swing votes.”

11 a.m. U.S. Democrats and Republicans appear more divided than ever, but the parties have recently found common ground on China.

Many congressional incumbents from both parties tout the CHIPS and Science Act, designed to help the U.S. compete with China in technology, as well as the strict chip export ban on China announced in October. The tech industry has mostly given up hope for a U-turn on U.S.-China relations, and now seeks government support that could mitigate the price it is paying for decoupling.

10 a.m. North Carolina officials have registered 14 instances of potential intimidation or interference with voters and election workers ahead of Tuesday’s elections, records provided to Reuters show. Those instances in which election workers have been targeted occurred during early voting.

In several other states, aggressive canvassing tactics by Republican-aligned groups have raised voter intimidation concerns among election officials and voting rights lawyers.

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