Welcome to the Friday, November 11, Brew.
By: Samuel Wonacott
Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:
- Where elections stand
- A post-election ballot measures roundup
- Control of the U.S. Senate could come down to Georgia—like in 2021
Where elections stand
Election Day was three days ago, and as of this writing, many races up and down the ballot remain uncalled. But unlike the past few days (and nights!), the pace of updates has begun to slow as the number of uncalled races has fallen. As time passes, we’ll know the outcome of more and more races, though some may remain unknown for weeks.
You can learn more about how states report and certify election results, and what happens when candidates dispute their results or request a recount, at our Election Help Desk.
For now, here are a few updates from elections for U.S. Senate, U.S. House, and governor’s offices as of 6:00 p.m. EST on Nov. 10. Yesterday, we looked at election results for state legislatures, state financial officers, state supreme courts, secretaries of state, and attorneys general.
There were 35 U.S. Senate seats up for election this year, with Democrats holding 14 and Republicans holding 21.
Partisan control of the chamber has not yet been determined, in part because races in Arizona, and Nevada remain uncalled (Alaska’s U.S. Senate election is also uncalled at this time, but the two candidates in the ranked-choice runoff with the most votes are Republicans, including the incumbent, Sen. Lisa Murkowski). The U.S. Senate election in Georgia is headed to a Dec. 6 runoff because neither U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock (D) nor Herschel Walker (R) received more than 50% of the vote (more about that runoff below).
- In Arizona, incumbent U.S. Sen. Mark Kelly (D) leads Blake Masters (R) 51.4% to 46.4% with 70% of votes reported.
- In Nevada, incumbent U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D) leads Adam Laxalt (R) 50% to 48.2% with 83% of votes reported.
Follow all U.S. Senate updates here.
All 435 U.S. House districts were up for election, and Democrats held a 220-212 majority with three vacancies at the time of the election. Republicans needed to gain a net of five districts to win a majority. Partisan control of the chamber is currently unknown because, according to our race calling policy, 39 races remain uncalled.
Here are a few recently called elections:
- Derrick Van Orden (R) defeated Brad Pfaff (D) in the general election for Wisconsin’s 3rd Congressional District.
- Hillary Scholten (D) defeated John Gibbs (R), Jamie Lewis (L), and Louis Palus (Working Class Party) in the race for Michigan’s 3rd Congressional District.
- Zach Nunn (R) defeated incumbent Cindy Axne (D) in Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District.
- Incumbent Dan Kildee (D) defeated Paul Junge (R), David Canny (L), and Kathy Goodwin (Working Class Party) in the general election for Michigan’s 8th Congressional District.
As of this writing, seven incumbents have been defeated. These members include five Democrats and two Republicans. The chart below shows U.S. House incumbents defeated in elections in each year going back to 2000. The chart includes incumbents defeated in primaries and general elections. Numbers for 2022 are preliminary pending final results, and we’ll be sure to update you on the final numbers once we know them.
So far this year, 15 U.S. House districts have switched party hands as a result of the general elections. The table below shows pre- and post-election partisan control for each district. The table does not include special elections. Not all incumbents listed below were on the ballot on Nov. 8 because of retirements or primary defeats.
Follow all U.S. House updates here.
Thirty-six states held elections for governor, including 20 with a Republican governor and 16 with a Democratic governor going into the elections. The gubernatorial elections in Alaska, Arizona, Nevada, and Oregon remain uncalled. Of the races already called, two states—Maryland and Massachusetts—saw partisan control change from Republican to Democrat.
Here are a few recent updates:
- In Kansas, incumbent Laura Kelly (D) was re-elected in the battleground election for governor, defeating Derek Schmidt (R), Dennis Pyle (independent), and Seth Cordell (L).
- In New Mexico, incumbent Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) was re-elected governor, defeating Mark Ronchetti (R) and Karen Bedonie (L).
Follow all gubernatorial election updates here.
You can follow along with all of our election updates and coverage at the link below.
A post-election ballot measures roundup
On Nov. 8, voters decided on 132 statewide ballot measures in 37 states. As of this writing, 77 (58.3%) statewide ballot measures were approved, 34 (25.8%) were defeated, and 21 (15.9%) remained uncalled.
Here’s a look at what we know about ballot measures related to abortion, marijuana, voting, and firearms.
There were six ballot measures addressing abortion—the most on record for a single year. Before 2022, the highest number of abortion-related measures in a single year was four in 1986.
- Voters approved ballot measures establishing a state constitutional right to abortion in California, Michigan, and Vermont.
- In Kentucky, voters rejected a constitutional amendment that would have declared that the Kentucky Constitution cannot be interpreted to establish a right to abortion. In Montana, voters rejected LR-131, which would have enacted a law called the Born-Alive Infant Protection Act, which would have required medical care to be provided to infants born alive by classifying a born-alive infant as “a legal person for all purposes under the laws of the state … entitled to the protections of the laws, including the right to appropriate and reasonable medical care and treatment.”
This year, five states decided on marijuana legalization ballot measures. Heading into November, marijuana was legal in 19 states and D.C. Of those 19 states, 13 and D.C. had legalized marijuana through ballot measures.
- Voters in Maryland and Missouri approved legalization ballot measures.
- Voters in Arkansas, North Dakota, and South Dakota rejected their measures.
Voters in six states decided on ballot measures to change voting-related policies. Topics included ranked-choice voting, early voting, absentee voting, voter identification, and more.
- In Nebraska, voters approved Initiative 432, which added language to the state constitution requiring photo identification to vote.
- In Ohio, voters approved Issue 2, which prohibits local governments from allowing people who lack the qualifications of an elector, including citizenship, to vote in local elections.
- In Michigan, voters approved Proposal 2, which added several election and voting policies to the Michigan Constitution, including a nine-day early voting period, providing voters with a right to request an absentee ballot, and requiring the state to fund a number of absentee ballot dropboxes (among other things).
- In Nevada, Question 3 would adopt open top-five primaries and ranked-choice voting for general elections. This system would be used for congressional, gubernatorial, state executive official, and state legislative elections. In Nevada, an approved citizen-initiated constitutional amendment requires two votes. Approval of Question 3 in 2022 would require a second vote in 2024 before the measure would become law. As of Nov. 10, ‘yes’ was leading with 52%.
- In Arizona, Proposition 209 would require date of birth and voter identification number for mail-in ballots and eliminate the two-document alternative to photo ID for in-person voting. As of Nov. 10, ‘no’ was leading with 51%.
Voters in Iowa and Oregon decided on ballot measures related to firearms.
- In Iowa, voters approved an amendment to add the right to bear firearms to the Iowa Constitution.
- In Oregon, voters decided on an initiative to require individuals to obtain a permit from local law enforcement in order to purchase a firearm and prohibit ammunition magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds. As of Nov. 10, ‘Yes’ was leading with 51%.
Click here to watch our Nov. 10 webinar summarizing what happened on the ballot measure front with Editor in Chief, Geoff Pallay, and Managing Editor for Ballot Measures, Ryan Byrne.
Follow updates and learn more about ballot measures results at the link below.
Control of the U.S. Senate could come down to Georgia—like in 2021
As we mentioned in yesterday’s edition of the Daily Brew, the Georgia U.S. Senate election is headed to a runoff on Dec. 6. In Georgia, the two top finishers advance to a runoff if no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote—something neither incumbent U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock (D) nor Herschel Walker (R) did. As of this writing, Warnock (D) leads Walker (R) 49.4% to 48.5%. Libertarian Chase Oliver (L) has 2.1%.
Depending on what happens in outstanding races in Arizona and Nevada, the outcome of the runoff could determine control of the U.S. Senate.
Some historical context
This all might sound a bit familiar.
In 2020, Georgia held two elections for the U.S. Senate. In the regular election, incumbent U.S. Sen. David Perdue (R) and Jon Ossoff (D) advanced to a runoff after neither received the votes to win the general election outright. In the special election to replace U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson (R), Incumbent Kelly Loeffler (R)—whom Gov. Brian Kemp (R) appointed to fill the vacancy created when Isakson retired—and Warnock advanced to a runoff for the same reason.
The runoff took place on Jan. 5, 2021. Warnock defeated Loeffler and Ossoff defeated Perdue, giving Democrats an effective majority in the U.S. Senate (the partisan split following the runoffs was 50-50, with Vice President Kamala Harris (D) casting tie-breaking votes).
Republicans have controlled the state Senate since 2003 and the state House since 2005, and Georgia has elected Republican governors since 2004.
- Joe Biden’s win in 2020 marked the first time a Democratic presidential candidate won the state since 1992. He received 49.5% of the vote to Trump’s 49.3%.
- In the 2018 gubernatorial election, Brian Kemp (R) defeated Stacey Abrams (D) 50.2% to 48.8%. This year, Kemp defeated Abrams 53.4% to 45.7%. Between 2002 and 2018, the average margin of victory in Georgia gubernatorial elections was 8.82%.
Including the 2021 runoffs, four Senate runoffs have taken place in Georgia. In 2008, Saxby Chambliss (R) won re-election in a runoff. The first Senate runoff occurred in 1992. Incumbent Wyche Fowler (D) lost in the runoff to Paul Coverdell (R).
The table below shows the change in vote margin and turnout in the U.S. Senate general elections and runoffs in 1992, 2008, and 2020.
Why Dec. 6?
You might have noticed that, last time, the runoff elections were scheduled for Jan. 5, but this year’s runoff is scheduled for Dec. 6. That’s because on March 25, 2021, Gov. Kemp signed Senate Bill 202, an election administration law. One of the changes in the law shortened the time between a general election and a runoff:
“In instances where no candidate receives a majority of the votes cast, a run-off primary, special primary runoff, run-off election, or special election runoff between the candidates receiving the two highest numbers of votes shall be held. Unless such date is postponed by a court order, such runoff shall be held on the twenty-eighth day after the day holding the preceding general or special primary or general or special electron.”
Previously, state law specified nine weeks between a general election and a runoff.
We’ll keep you updated on the latest news surrounding the Dec. 6 runoffs. Click the link below to learn more.