by Jaxson Kaplan-Rudolph(’25) and Siya Chhabra(’24)
Last updated 9:30 pm Monday, November 14. Stay with us for updates every night the election continues!
10:00 pm Tuesday – Tensions rise on Tuesday, November 8th as Americans make a critical decision on what party will control Congress for the next couple of years. Voters grapple over some of the most critical issues we face as a country, like inflation, abortion, and the state of our democracy. But why is this midterm different from almost every similar election we’ve had before? Traditionally, midterms do not draw as much voter turnout as presidential elections. However, the controversy of former president Donald Trump coupled with the Supreme Court overturning the nationwide right to abortion has led to voter turnout unprecedented in previous elections. Especially contentious is the right to abortion, which has driven massive Democratic campaigning. This is also coupled with the unique issue of some Republican candidates denying the results of the 2020 election(60 percent of Americans have an election denier on their ballot). As historical precedent shows us, the president’s party almost always loses seats in Congress during the midterms. ClickOnDetroit tells us that since 1934, only Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1934, Bill Clinton in 1998, and George W. Bush in 2002 saw their parties gain seats in the midterms. Time will tell whether the Democratic party will keep their control over both houses of Congress.
Notable National Races:
Easily predictable races as per the Associated Press include Chuck Schumer and Marco Rubio’s victories in the New York and Florida senate races respectively. High-profile Republican Senators Tim Scott and Rand Paul also won re-election in South Carolina and Kentucky.
Maggie Hassan held tight to her more contested Senate seat in New Hampshire, after her opponent Donald Bolduc closed on her polling lead in the final weeks before the election. Bolduc, a retired Army General, repeatedly spread conspiracy theories about transgender people and also called the 2020 election “rigged”.
Another important seat Democrats were projected to keep late Tuesday night was that of Sen. Michael Bennet, whom Republican Joe O’Dea had gone up against leading up to the election. Bennet will keep Colorado for the Democrats, an crucial signal that there will be no such sweeping “red wave” for the GOP.
The biggest toss-up seats remain Arizona, Wisconsin, Nevada, Georgia, and Pennsylvania. In Arizona and Nevada, Democratic candidates Mark Kelly and Catherine Cortez Masto try to fend off strong Republican contenders in states where independent vote can make a big difference and maintained small leads as of 12am Wednesday.
9:30 am Wednesday – Kelly leads with about 50% of votes counted while Masto trails to challenger and veteran Adam Laxalt.
9:30 pm Wednesday – Kelly maintains a lead with 67% of votes in
Sunday – Mark Kelly is reelected to another term in the U.S. Senate.
With Catherine Cortez Masto also narrowly winning her Senate race, the Democrats will keep control of the Senate regardless of the outcome between Raphael Warnock and Herschel Walker in a Georgia runoff. The House still remains up for grabs with Republicans favored to take a narrow majority.
Update: The House has been called for Republicans by a margin of less than 10 seats, much smaller than the expected ‘red wave’.
Update: Raphael Warnock has beaten Mr. Walker in a December runoff by slightly over 100,000 votes, giving Democrats a 51-49 outright majority in the Senate.
In Wisconsin, incumbent Trump ally Ron Johnson, who is no stranger to a close race, leads Li. Governor Mandela Barnes in a race that might decide control of the U.S. Senate. 9:30 Wednesday – Ron Johnson will keep his seat as Wisconsin Senator by a single percentage point in yet another narrow victory for the veteran conservative politician.
One of the most closely watched races in this election cycle pits Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman against Trump-endorsed television star Dr. Oz. A messaging battle over Dr. Oz’s dubious residency in the state as well as Fetterman’s capability to serve after suffering a stroke led to this being the most expensive race in the country, with candidates spending a combined $312 million. 9:30 am Wednesday- John Fetterman will be the next U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania!
Proposal 3, granting the right for female bodily autonomy, abortion, and contraceptives, has passed.
This proposal places wording in the Michigan Constitution enshrining this right in an extremely significant victory for women’s rights and pro-choice groups in Michigan.
A pro-choice activist holding a sign. Image courtesy of UN News.
Both other ballot referendums also passed by larger margins. Prop 1 changes term limits in the state House and Senate, and Prop 2 increases voting access by allowing voters to sign an affadit prior to the election as an alternative to voter ID.
After a closely watched primary where she narrowly beat out Andy Levin in a redrawn district, Rep. Haley Stevens has won the seat of MI-11 U.S. House. She will represent most of Oakland County, including the International Academy!
While Rep. Stevens’ race was not especially competitive, several others were some of the most hotly contested in the United States. Rep. Elissa Slotkin narrowly defended her seat(the new MI-7) against challenger Tom Barrett, who had an extremely successful ad campaign. Slotkin, a rising star in the Democratic party, has been active recently with proposed federal gun legislation after the shooting in Oxford.
The race between infamous Republican firebrand John James and Democrat Carl Marlinga in MI-10, which includes Rochester and the entire Michigan thumb, is still too close to call. Marlinga, a former prosecutor, slightly trails James, who has lost two consecutive elections for the U.S. Senate. James is one of the most loyal supporters of Donald Trump and has discussed repealing the Affordable Care Act.
Hillary Scholten will defeat John Gibbs, a former Trump housing official who once implied women should not have the right to vote. She will keep her seat in MI-3 which includes the city of Grand Rapids.
Court of Appeals Judge Sima Patel, appointed by Gov. Whitmer, will be re-elected for another term ending in 2027. She was applauded by pro-choice activists across the state and country after suspending the 1931 law disallowing abortion in Michigan, and also clerked at the Michigan Supreme Court for six years before her appointment.
Sitting Governor Gretchen Whitmer, often nicknamed Big Gretch, has been engaged in a brutally competitive race with Republican Tudor Dixon. Dixon famously is against the right to abortion without exception, which Whitmer has used in fiery messaging as part of her belief to allow women access to abortion and bodily autonomy. Dixon and Whitmer have also sparred over election denial and party extremism, with Dixon making a gaffe at a rally about Whitmer’s attempted kidnapping by far-right Michigan militaristic groups. Wednesday 9:30 ET – Whitmer has won another term and will remain Michigan governor.
Jocelyn Benson, the sitting Michigan Secretary of State, was challenged by Kristina Karamo, a conspiracy theorist and election denier. Benson remains very popular with Michigan voters and won the election by a solid margin. This was one of the most important races for American democracy as Karamo has repeatedly said she would not have certified the results of the election in 2020 if she had the position then.
10:30 Wednesday – Dana Nessel has defeated election denier challenger Matthew DePerno to renew her term as Michigan Attorney General. She received over 53% of the vote.
ClickOnDetroit has called the Michigan State House and Senate will be both be controlled by Democrats, who received massive gains in our state through abortion and redistricting. Time will tell what Democrats will be able to do with a ‘trifecta’ over Michigan state government!