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Stacey Abrams
Stacey Abrams speaks at a campaign rally in Dallas, Ga. on Oct. 23, 2022.Nathan Posner / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Catching up with the candidates

NBC News reporters spoke with candidates on the campaign trail on Wednesday.

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NBC News reporters have fanned out across the country, and they’ve been catching up with candidates on the campaign trail. 

In Wisconsin, GOP Sen. Ron Johnson told NBC News’ Shaquille Brewster and Kailani Koenig that he is “cautiously optimistic” about his re-election prospects, and slammed Democratic Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes as someone who shows “disdain” for America. A Marquette Law School poll released Wednesday found a close race, with 50% of likely voters surveyed backing Johnson and 48% backing Barnes. 

In Georgia, NBC News’ Blayne Alexander and Charlie Gile caught up with Democratic gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams, who said she is concerned about voter suppression. 

“What I tell folks is that barriers to voting are very real, that voter suppression embedded in SB 202 is very real,” Abrams said. “And the only way to combat that voter suppression, one, is by overwhelming the polls with your turnout, and two is by voting early so that you can avoid and navigate the barriers to voting.”

In Michigan, NBC News’ Julie Tsrikin and Kyle Stewart spoke to GOP state Sen. Tom Barrett, who is locked in a competitive race against Democratic Rep. Elissa Slotkin. 

“I want to be a check against the Biden administration,” Barrett said. 

Elsewhere on the campaign trail:

Alaska Senate: NBC News’ Peter Nicholas, Carol E. Lee and Marc Caputo report on Alaska’s Senate race, which one GOP senator described as a “war” between former President Trump and Republican Leader Mitch McConnell. 

Arizona Senate/Governor: Former President Barack Obama rallied for Arizona Democrats Wednesday, criticizing the GOP slate as “a whole cast of characters” who “want control over the next election.” 

Colorado Senate: Republican Joe O’Dea gave his campaign an additional $1 million, per a new FEC filing. The filing also showed donations from former President George Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush, who fundraised for him earlier this cycle

Georgia Senate: Republican Herschel Walker’s closing TV ad, a joint spot with the National Republican Senatorial Committee, ties Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock to President Joe Biden. “It’s time to take our country back, start thinking about greatness again,” Walker says in the ad. 

Iowa Senate: GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley launched a TV ad featuring actor and conservative commentator Ben Stein reprising his role from “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”

New Hampshire: The NRSC and Republican Don Bolduc are up with a new ad that includes the candidate speaking directly to camera to say “Here’s the deal: I won’t change New Hampshire’s abortion law or cut Social Security and Medicare for older Americans.” Bolduc and Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan participated in their final debate Wednesday

Pennsylvania Senate: A pair of surveys showed a close race between Democratic Lt. Gov. John Fetterman and Republican Mehmet Oz. A Monmouth University survey found 48% of likely voters saying they will definitely or probably vote for Fetterman, and 44% saying the same of Oz. And a USA Today/Suffolk University poll found a close race, with 47% supporting Fetterman and 45% backing Oz. 

Illinois Governor: President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris will campaign for Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker and other House Democrats over the weekend.  

Kansas Governor: A Democratic group aligned with the Democratic Governors Association, is up with a new ad featuring a woman at a diner ordering a “Schmidt sandwich, the same thing as a Brownback burger,” the latest attempt to tie GOP gubernatorial nominee Derek Schmidt to former Republican Gov. Sam Brownback. 

New York Governor: The New York Times delves into GOP Rep. Lee Zeldin’s political career as he’s in a closer-than-expected races against Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul.

Wisconsin Governor: The Marquette Law School poll also found the race for governor in a dead heat, with Democratic Gov. Tony Evers and GOP businessman Tim Michels both at 48% among likely voters. 

Pennsylvania-12: The DCCC and Democrat Summer Lee’s campaign are out with a new ad on how “Democrat Mike Doyle is not on the ballot, a different Republican Mike Doyle is.” 

Wisconsin-03: Politico reports on Democratic struggles in this rural district, struggles that could have broader implications for statewide races in Wisconsin