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President Joe Biden and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Oct. 27, 2022, in Syracuse, N.Y. Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP

Midterm elections roundup: Democrats try to defy gravity

Despite the twists and turns of the cycle, Democrats find themselves trying to defy the conventional wisdom of midterm cycles.

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In an election cycle with some unexpected twists and turns, Democrats are concerned the political dynamics are reverting back to a traditional midterm, which is typically bad news for the party in power, NBC News’ Sahil Kapur reports. 

Democratic strategists told Kapur that the “best-case scenario” involves holding onto the Senate and weathering single-digit losses in the House.

Sean McElwee, who runs the left-leaning polling firm Data for Progress, put it this way: “I definitely think that the political gravity is starting to reinforce itself. There’s concern that the situation will deteriorate. You’re probably going to see polls worsen and it’s possible Democrats underperform those polls as well.”

Elsewhere on the campaign trail:

Alaska Senate: GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski faced off against Republican Kelly Tshibaka and Democrat Pat Chesbro in a debateThursday, where they clashed over the Covid pandemic, gun control and the Supreme Court, per the Associated Press.

Arizona Senate: The Club for Growth is adding another $1 million of television and radio spending, per AdImpact, while the Senate Majority PAC is adding $750,000 to its ad spending there. On Thursday the Club launched a Spanish language TV ad tying Kelly to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the “defund the police” movement. 

New Hampshire Senate: In the second debate between Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan and Republican nominee Don Bolduc, Hassan criticized Bolduc for saying Trump won the 2020 election, while Bolduc criticized the Democrat on border security. Also on Thursday, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott endorsed Bolduc.

Nevada Senate: NBC News’ Natasha Korecki unpacks the importance of Washoe County in Nevada’s hotly contested Senate race.

Pennsylvania Senate: The National Republican Senatorial Committee and Mehmet Oz’s campaign are going up with another $900,000 in joint ad spending, per AdImpact. 

Arizona Governor: Authorities made an arrest in the break-in of a campaign office belonging to Democratic gubernatorial nominee Katie Hobbs. Meanwhile, the Arizona Democratic Party is adding another $1.1 million in television ads to its bookings there, with the party joining with Hobbs for another $500,00 in joint ad spending. 

New York Governor: Democrats are increasingly concerned about the tightening governor’s race, launching a last minute ad blitz, per the New York Times. Meanwhile, the Times also reports that the State Board of Elections is investigating whether GOP Rep. Lee Zeldin’s campaign illegally coordinated with super PACs

Ohio Governor: Ohio Republican Gov. Mike DeWine raised $1.3 million between Oct. 6 and Oct. 26, compared to Democrat Nan Whaley’s $646,000 from Oct. 1 to Oct. 24, per

Wisconsin Governor: Democratic Gov. Tony Evers told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel he does not regret his administration’s response to the Covid pandemic, which has become an issue in his race, saying, “We saved lives. We saved thousands of lives by doing that. That’s worth it — that is worth it. I’ll take all the criticism coming.”

Michigan-07: Wyoming Republican Rep. Liz Cheney endorsed Democratic Rep. Elissa Slotkin

New York-17: Politico reports on how Democratic Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney has found himself in such a competitive re-election fight. AdImpact shows that VoteVets is booking $2.2 million in ad spending there too. 

Oregon-06: House Majority PAC is booking another $1.2 million on cable ads through the election, per AdImpact. 

Texas-34: HMP is also booking $1 million more on television ads in this south Texas district. 

Washington-03: While Democrats are largely on defense in the battle for the House, HMP is going on offense against Republican Joe Kent, launching a new TV ad painting Republican Joe Kent as “extreme,” per Axios.