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Midterm election updates: News from the trail with one week until Election Day

President Joe Biden heads out on the trail as even more blue House districts become competitive.
Image: A voter fills out their ballot in Silver Spring, Md., on Oct. 27, 2022.
A voter fills out a ballot in Silver Spring, Md., on Thursday.Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

What to know about the 2022 midterms

91d ago / 2:58 AM UTC

Biden campaigns in Florida ahead of midterms

91d ago / 2:01 AM UTC

Hillary Clinton says Republicans talk about crime in midterm messaging but 'could care less' about attack on Paul Pelosi

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Tuesday that while Republicans have campaigned on fighting crime, they "could care less" about the brutal attack on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's husband, Paul Pelosi.

“Republicans have been talking about nothing but crime. Then when a crime is committed against Paul Pelosi they could care less,” Clinton, the 2016 Democratic nominee for president, said in an MSNBC interview.

Asked about Arizona GOP gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake’s making light of the attack on Pelosi, Clinton said: “If you have a candidate in your state who laughs about an 82-year-old man being hit with a hammer in his own home, there’s something wrong with that person. Why would they want you to laugh with them about a crime?”

91d ago / 1:21 AM UTC

Congress will want to hear from Elon Musk and Twitter — whichever party wins the midterms

Which party controls Congress next year could have big implications for Twitter — and its new “Chief Twit,” Elon Musk.

Democrats, fighting to keep their House and Senate majorities in next week’s midterm elections, are calling for investigations into Twitter and say they don’t trust Musk to police offensive language and election disinformation on the social media platform.

Republicans have cheered on Musk’s $44 billion takeover as he fired Twitter’s top executives, brought in his own team and froze some employee access to internal tools used for content moderation, which the GOP has argued have been used to target and silence conservative voices.

But influential Republicans said they also want to get to the bottom of whether there was political bias and censorship at Twitter and other tech companies before Musk’s takeover. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who is poised to become the top Republican on the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, said he’d like Musk to “institute transparency” and disclose what he unearths as he digs into how content decisions were made under the previous leadership team.

Read the full story here.

91d ago / 12:28 AM UTC

The issues Pennsylvania voters say they care about the most

91d ago / 11:55 PM UTC

Text messages with misleading election info hit voters in 5 states

Voters in five states received text messages in recent days containing false information about how to vote, but the company that sent them says it was an error.

The secretaries of state in Kansas and New Jersey warned Monday that voters had been sent incorrect instructions about where to find their polling places. It wasn’t immediately clear how many people received the messages.

The messages appeared to have been personally tailored, with voters getting similar texts identifying names and addresses and purported polling locations, signed by a group called “Voting Futures.”

Movement Labs, a company that specializes in political text message campaigns encouraging progressives to vote, said late Monday that it was behind the texts and that it took “full responsibility for these mistakes and have issued correction texts.”

Read the full story here.

91d ago / 11:25 PM UTC

Biden participates in private fundraiser for DeSantis challenger

Following a speech defending Social Security and Medicare, President Joe Biden participated in a fundraiser for gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist at a private home in Golden Beach, Florida.

Standing on an outdoor patio overlooking the ocean, Biden told a crowd of about 50 people that Crist was running against “Donald Trump incarnate,” referring to GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis, whom Biden has publicly sparred with over issues from immigration to abortion. DeSantis leads Crist in every major poll in Florida.

Biden also addressed the attack on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband, calling out Republicans for “making jokes” about the assault instead of condemning violence.

The president is scheduled to wrap up his Florida trip this evening with a political speech at Florida Memorial University.

91d ago / 10:56 PM UTC

Pennsylvania's Supreme Court orders election boards not to count undated or incorrectly dated mail-in ballots

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has ordered county election boards to refrain from counting any absentee or mail-in ballots with undated or incorrectly dated outer envelopes.

The high court ordered county boards of elections to “segregate and preserve any ballots contained in undated or incorrectly dated outer envelopes.” It was not immediately clear from the order what would happen to the undated or incorrectly dated outer enveloped ballots.

Justices wrote that the court was “evenly divided” over whether failing to count such ballots violated a federal law. In June, the U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way for election officials in the state to count undated mail-in ballots in a 2021 state judgeship race.

In recent elections, roughly 1% to 2% of mail ballots have been rejected, which could have an impact in Pennsylvania's tight Senate race between Democrat John Fetterman and Republican Mehmet Oz. Former President Donald Trump won Pennsylvania in 2016 by less than 1 percentage point, and President Joe Biden won in 2020 by just over 1 point.

91d ago / 10:26 PM UTC

Harris says 'extremism would rule the day' if Republicans win control of Congress

Vice President Kamala Harris warned Tuesday that extremism would take hold on Capitol Hill if Democrats lose their majorities in the House and the Senate in next week’s midterm elections.

“First, imagine if we lost our majorities in the House and the Senate," Harris said at an event in North Carolina for congressional candidates. "If that were to happen, that means that big lies and extremism would rule the day. And we know what would follow."

Harris went on to say issues like contraception and marriage equality were at stake, in addition to other issues.

"With Republican Party leaders in charge, Social Security is on the line, health care and Medicare are on the line,” she said.

91d ago / 9:55 PM UTC

Biden, Pence, Obama and other heavy hitters hit the road in final push for voters

91d ago / 9:27 PM UTC

Jill Biden casts early ballot in Delaware

After having taught her writing class at Northern Virginia Community College on Tuesday, Jill Biden traveled back to Wilmington, Delaware, to cast an early ballot in the midterm elections.

The first lady voted at the same location on the downtown Wilmington waterfront where President Joe Biden cast his ballot over the weekend.

The first lady showed off her “I voted” sticker as she was leaving the polling location. She is expected to spend the night at the Bidens’ Wilmington house before she travels to Pennsylvania on Wednesday for several political events.

91d ago / 8:59 PM UTC

Here are the secretary of state races to watch next week

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In most states, the secretary of state oversees election administration, and there are a handful of competitive races for that office this year, some featuring candidates who have previously cast doubt on the results of the 2020 presidential election.

Here is a look at some of the most pivotal races:

In Arizona, Democrat Adrian Fontes, the former Maricopa County recorder, is running against Republican state Rep. Mark Finchem, who has falsely claimed that former President Donald Trump won the 2020 election and supported bills to decertify some counties’ election results. They are running to succeed Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, who is running for governor.

Fontes has had support on the airwaves from outside Democratic groups, including iVote and the independent expenditure arm of the Democratic Association of Secretaries of State.

Read the full story here.

91d ago / 8:24 PM UTC

Biden warns Social Security and Medicare are 'under siege' from GOP

During a speech in Florida on Tuesday, President Joe Biden warned that Social Security and Medicare are "under siege" from Republicans who he claimed would gut the social safety net programs if they take back control of Congress in next week's elections.

"They’re coming after Social Security and Medicare in a big way," Biden said, pointing to Senate Republican campaign chair Rick Scott’s 11-point plan to "rescue America," which included a proposal for "all federal legislation" to sunset in five years unless Congress decides to "pass it again."

"Its so outrageous, you might not even believe it," Biden said. GOP leaders have since rejected the plan put forward by Scott, a Republican senator from Florida.

Biden also warned that Republicans would try to undo the Inflation Reduction Act, erasing cost-saving measures on items such as prescription drugs and hearing aids. And he argued that Republicans would go after the 2010 Affordable Care Act, too. The president ended his speech saying: "God protect our troops, and God give some of our Republican friends some enlightenment."

91d ago / 7:54 PM UTC

N.H. Sen. Hassan touts her bipartisan credentials in close race with Republican Bolduc

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Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., locked in a tight race for re-election with Republican challenger Don Bolduc, is burnishing her bipartisan credentials in the closing days of the campaign with a swing through the state with moderate Democratic Sen. Jon Tester of Montana.

Speaking to a group of supporters Tuesday, Hassan repeatedly brought up her willingness to work across the aisle on issues related to veterans, infrastructure and the economy. Hassan also released a new campaign ad pointing to her bipartisan record, which closes with her looking straight into the camera and telling voters she will “continue to stand up to the president.”

Pressed by NBC News about how she is separating herself from President Joe Biden, Hassan doubled down and pointed to specific examples.

“Granite Staters put aside their differences every day to work together to solve problems, and they are independent problem solvers, and they expect their senator to be the same way," Hassan said. "And so I’m always going to look out for New Hampshire first, which means I will criticize the president when I think he’s wrong, as I have on everything from the withdrawal from Afghanistan to the administration’s need to have much more robust security at the southern border to objecting to his FDA commissioner, who I thought had too much, too close ties to the opioid manufacturers."

Polls show Hassan and Bolduc in a tight race in what is one of the GOP’s prime pickup opportunities. Hassan has worked to paint Bolduc, a supporter of former President Donald Trump, as an extremist not in line with independent-minded New Hampshire votes.

Hassan pointed to reports that Bolduc was promoting a conspiratorial claim that schools were allowing children that identify as animals to use litter boxes to go to the bathroom as an example that he is out of step with voters in the state.

“This is just another example of his repeating outrageous and harmful conspiracy theories. And he needs to stop,” she said.

91d ago / 7:29 PM UTC

In close Oregon governor's race, Kotek and Drazan exchange fire with new ads

Locked in a tight race just days before the election, the two major-party candidates in the race for governor of Oregon are slamming each other in a mess of ads released over the last 48 hours.

Oregon voters haven’t elected a Republican governor in 40 years. But a competitive third-party candidate, a divided Democratic Party and a barrage of political attacks over rising crime and homelessness could combine to give the blue state, which President Joe Biden won by 16 percentage points, its first GOP governor since "E.T." was dominating the box office.

Polls show a neck-and-neck race between Democrat Tina Kotek, a former state House speaker, and Republican Christine Drazan, a former minority leader in the state House, with independent Betsy Johnson polling in the mid-teens. 

In a Kotek campaign ad that began airing in the state Tuesday, a narrator slams Drazan for “stoking fear,” claiming that she is “backed by election deniers” and that she’s “using Trump’s playbook.” The 30-second ad, running on TV across the state, accuses Drazan of having “killed” bills that would have addressed rampant homelessness and highlights her opposition to abortion rights.

An ad released by the Drazan campaign Monday ties Kotek to Democratic Gov. Kate Brown — who continues to have the highest disapproval ratings of any governor in the U.S. — saying the pair are to blame for a “decade of bad decisions and failed policies” that contributed to the state’s “homeless crisis,” higher taxes and rising crime.

Another Drazan ad, released over the weekend, features a direct-to-camera appeal by Drazan, asking, “Are you better off today than you were four years ago?”

Both 30-second spots are running in digital placements and on TV, the Drazan campaign said.

Both campaigns said the latest ads were part of larger buys that will include more advertising in the final days before the election.

In recent weeks, Drazan and Johnson have hit Kotek — who was the state House speaker until this year — with a barrage of political attacks over crime and homelessness, which have hit record levels in Oregon.

The Kotek campaign has hit back with increasing vigor in recent weeks, trying in ads to paint both Drazan and Johnson as “too right wing” for Oregon voters on issues like guns and abortion.

The nonpartisan Cook Political Report rates the race as a toss-up.

91d ago / 7:19 PM UTC

Supreme Court declines to block subpoena of Lindsey Graham in Georgia election probe

The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected a request from Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., to quash a grand jury subpoena in a Georgia prosecutor’s probe into allegations of interference in the 2020 presidential election.

The decision is a victory for Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, whose office is investigating phone calls Graham made to Georgia election officials at a time when then-President Donald Trump was contesting the result. As a result of the court action, the subpoena can now be enforced, although Graham could refuse to answer questions by invoking his right against self-incrimination under the Constitution’s Fifth Amendment.

The decision means Graham could face questioning as soon as Nov. 17, according to his lawyer’s court filings.

Read the full story here.

91d ago / 6:48 PM UTC

Democrat Shapiro frames PA governor's race as a fight for 'freedom' over 'dangerous' Mastriano

CLARION, Pa. — Josh Shapiro, the Democratic nominee for governor in Pennsylvania, kicked off a statewide bus tour on Tuesday with stops in Erie and Clarion, telling supporters that Republican rival Doug Mastriano is “uniquely dangerous.”

Campaigning with his running mate, state Rep. Austin Davis, Shapiro framed the election as one where “freedom” is on the line, whether it be the right to vote, form a union or have an abortion.

“This is about our democracy,” Shapiro told supporters in Clarion. “This is about our fundamental freedoms.”

Shapiro holds a substantial edge over Mastriano, a state senator who rose to prominence through his efforts to help former President Donald Trump overturn the results of the 2020 election here.

In his speech at the second stop, Davis said their Republican opponents form the “most extreme and dangerous Republican ticket anywhere in the country.” The audience let out a loud groan when Davis mentioned that Mastriano wants to “decertify voting machines.”

Shapiro, the state attorney general, talked up his record and said he would stand up for “forgotten” parts of the state.

“These forgotten areas matter,” he said speaking in a county that went overwhelmingly for Trump last cycle. “You need to know [we] will never forget Clarion County.”

He encouraged supporters to put up yard signs, joking, "Grab two 'cause they’ll steal one around here. So you’ll need it.”

In Erie, Shapiro outlined the framework of his agenda — boosting funding for public schools and public safety, raising the minimum wage and creating green energy jobs.

Pennsylvanians, he said, have a “right to both be safe and feel safe.”

When a warmup speaker said the Shapiro/Davis ticket would defeat “insurrectionists,” one rally attendee shouted: “Put ‘em in jail!”

91d ago / 6:15 PM UTC

Cheney says she'd back Democrat Tim Ryan over J.D. Vance in Ohio Senate race

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Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., said Tuesday that if she were an Ohio resident, she would vote for Democrat Tim Ryan over Republican J.D. Vance in the state's Senate race.

"I would not vote for J.D. Vance," Cheney told "PBS NewsHour" host Judy Woodruff at an event at Cleveland State University.

Asked if that meant she would vote for Ryan if she lived in the state, Cheney said, "I would."

Vance has claimed there was fraud in the 2020 election and received an endorsement from former President Donald Trump in April. Cheney, a fierce critic of Trump and member of the House committee investigating Jan. 6, has already said she would fight against election deniers running for office.

Cheney has also formally endorsed Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Mich., and is expected to campaign for Slotkin at an event Tuesday.

Responding to Cheney's note of support Tuesday, Ryan campaign spokesperson Izzi Levy said: "Tim’s message is resonating across party lines while JD Vance is a fraud who raised money for January 6 insurrectionists."

Vance spokesman Luke Schroeder, meanwhile, said in a statement to NBC News: “This election will be decided by Ohioans, not creatures of the swamp in D.C. Liz Cheney’s endorsement is the kiss of death for Tim Ryan and will lose him far more votes than it gains.”

91d ago / 5:55 PM UTC

Capitol Police says plans to add agents, 'security enhancements' after attack on Pelosi's husband

U.S. Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger said the agency believes “today’s political climate calls for more resources to provide additional layers of physical security” for members of Congress in the wake of the attack on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband last week.

“We will continue to work with our Congressional partners to add additional agents and security enhancements to support our protective operations mission,” Manger said in a statement.

Manger added that the USCP has engaged in a review of the attack on Paul Pelosi, saying the importance of the agency’s long-term plans to expand protective operations for elected officials and public figures was “emphasized” by the incident.

“This plan would include an emphasis on adding redundancies to the measures that are already in place for Congressional leadership,” Manger said. “Hopefully you can understand that we cannot disclose the details about these improvements because our country cannot afford to make it easier for any potential bad actors.”

91d ago / 5:33 PM UTC

Spotted: Creative 'I voted' stickers around the country

With early voting underway, let's take a look at some eye-catching "I voted" stickers spotted around the country this year:

91d ago / 4:56 PM UTC

Biden to campaign in California for vulnerable House Democrat

President Joe Biden will travel to San Diego on Thursday to campaign for Rep. Mike Levin, D-Calif., the White House announced in a statement. 

Levin, one of the most vulnerable House Democrats, was first elected to Congress in 2018. The nonpartisan Cook Political Report rates his seat a “toss-up.”

The White House said that Biden will also deliver remarks in California on Friday as part of an “official” presidential event. 

Biden’s trip to California will follow visits this week to Florida and New Mexico.

91d ago / 4:19 PM UTC

Cook Political Report moves 10 blue state districts in the direction of the GOP

The nonpartisan Cook Political Report on Tuesday moved 10 more blue state districts in the direction of the GOP, rating some as toss-up races.

The race for Rep. Katie Porter, D-Calif., in California's 47th Congressional District, for example, had been rated lean Democrat and it has now become a toss-up.

The races for New York's open seats in the 3rd and 4th Congressional Districts have also moved from being lean Democrat to toss-ups. Those districts cover the western part of Long Island.

Oregon's open seat in its 5th Congressional District, which has been represented by Democratic Rep. Kurt Schrader, has moved from toss-up to lean Republican.

Districts that went from solid Democrat or likely Democrat to lean Democrat include the re-election races for Rep. Josh Harder, of California; Rep. Julia Brownley, of California; Rep. Sean Casten, of Illinois; Rep. Lauren Underwood, of Illinois; Rep. Andy Kim, of New Jersey; and Rep. Joe Morelle, of New York.

91d ago / 3:59 PM UTC

House Republicans plan news conference after midterms on Hunter Biden investigation

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House Republicans on the Oversight and Judiciary committees are planning to hold a news conference the week after the midterm elections on where their investigation into Hunter Biden stands and where it's headed, Austin Hacker, spokesperson for Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., confirmed to NBC News.

The news conference is planned for the week of Nov. 14. Comer, the top Republican on Oversight, and Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, the top Republican on Judiciary, are both expected to chair their respect committees if Republicans take the House.

91d ago / 3:31 PM UTC

Libertarian Marc Victor endorses Blake Masters in Senate race

Libertarian candidate Marc Victor is encouraging his supporters to vote for Republican Blake Masters in the Arizona Senate race, amid concerns within the GOP that he could play "spoiler" in the competitive race.

Victor, who participated in a debate with Masters and Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly, said he made his decision after holding "an unscripted, open, and recorded discussion and exchange of ideas on a variety of issues."

"After that discussion, I believe it is in the best interests of freedom and peace to withdraw my candidacy and enthusiastically support Blake Masters for United States Senate. I intend to assist in any way reasonably possible to elect Blake," Victor said in a statement provided by the Masters campaign.

Early voting is underway in Arizona and it appears too late for Victor to be formally removed from the ballot. But his decision could send a signal to voters and factor in to what could be a tight race.

Masters said it was "another major boost of momentum as we consolidate our support" against Kelly.

91d ago / 3:07 PM UTC

Liz Cheney to campaign for Democratic Rep. Slotkin

Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., will campaign for Rep. Elissa Slatkin in Michigan on Tuesday after endorsing the Democrat's re-election bid last week.

Slotkin, a moderate who is running in a toss-up race against Republican state Sen. Tom Barrett, is Cheney’s first Democratic endorsement.

Cheney, an outspoken critic of former President Donald Trump and the co-chair of the House Jan. 6 Committee, has vowed that she would work to ensure that election deniers do not get elected, even if that means crossing part lines. Barrett has refused to say whether he would have certified the 2020 election results.

Over the weekend, Cheney put up a $500,000 ad buy targeting Kari Lake and Mark Finchem, the Republican candidates for Arizona governor and secretary of state. Lake and Finchem have repeatedly said they would have refused to certify Joe Biden’s 2020 victory in the state.

91d ago / 2:52 PM UTC

Fetterman says he understood debate 'wasn’t going to be easy'

John Fetterman, Pennsylvania's lieutenant governor and Democratic Senate candidate, said Tuesday that he knew that last week’s debate against Republican Mehmet Oz “wasn’t going to be easy” as he continues to recover from a stroke he had in May.

Asked whether he was happy with his decision to debate Oz, Fetterman told CNN in an interview that while he knew the debate would be challenging, “I thought it was important that I show up, and I did.”

“It was no secret that I was going to miss some words, I was going to mush some words together,” Fetterman added. “And as we’ve been very clear in the debate, and during this interview, I’ve been using captioning as well, true. I believe we’ve been pretty transparent to give all the voters to make it their choice.”

Fetterman said he was confident that he would make a full recovery by January if elected.

91d ago / 2:04 PM UTC

The 2022 midterm elections guide: Everything you need to know

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Every election cycle, the NBC News Political Unit produces our Election Book to assist the network’s anchors, correspondents, producers and reporters in the field for Election Night. 

It contains essential information on almost every race, historical factoids, timelines, past exit polls, political trends and overarching narratives to help explain the election cycle. 

It is our election bible, and we are making it available for you to read

Read more from NBC's "Meet The Press."

91d ago / 1:30 PM UTC

91d ago / 12:54 PM UTC

DOJ backs lawsuit alleging voter intimidation at Arizona drop boxes

The Justice Department said in a court brief Monday that the monitoring of ballot drop boxes in Arizona likely violates the federal Voting Rights Act, supporting a claim in a lawsuit filed by the League of Women Voters of Arizona.

The group's lawsuit alleges that several organizations coordinated “widespread campaigns to surveil and intimidate Arizona voters at ballot drop boxes and baselessly accuse them” of voter fraud. The DOJ supported the group’s claim, saying “vigilante ballot security measures,” including filming voters at drop boxes, is unlawful.

“When private citizens form ‘ballot security forces’ and attempt to take over the state’s legitimate role of overseeing and policing elections, the risk of voter intimidation — and violating federal law — is significant,” the department wrote in the brief.

The DOJ's move comes after a federal judge refused to bar a group from monitoring outdoor ballot boxes in Maricopa County, where watchers have shown up armed and in ballistic vests, saying to do so could violate the monitors’ constitutional rights.

91d ago / 12:15 PM UTC

One week from Election Day, the battle for Senate control is 'a jump ball'

One week from Election Day, the race for Senate control remains neck and neck in an unusually volatile political environment, with small margins carrying high stakes for the future of President Joe Biden’s legislative agenda and judicial nominees.

Signs of a Republican-friendly landscape are evident in the historical markers of low presidential approval and high economic anxiety, according to recent polls. Yet the same surveys show Democratic candidates holding their own in pivotal swing states.

Now, a year that began with a strong GOP advantage — tilting toward Democrats over the summer and back to Republicans this fall — paints a murkier picture in the final stretch, with the latest polls giving hope to both parties.

Read more here.

91d ago / 11:26 AM UTC

Biden to campaign for Crist and Demings in Florida

President Joe Biden heads to Florida on Tuesday to campaign for gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist and Senate candidate Val Demings.

Biden will participate in a reception for Crist in Golden Beach at 4:45 p.m. ET before taking part in a Democratic Party rally with the candidates at Florida Memorial University at 7 p.m. ET.

91d ago / 11:26 AM UTC

91d ago / 11:26 AM UTC

Highlights from Monday

Just catching up? Here's what you missed this week:

  • Text messages with misleading election information hit voters in Kansas and New Jersey, prompting warnings from the secretaries of state in both states.
  • Law enforcement agencies circulated bulletins warning that conspiracy theorists could become violent and commit acts of domestic terrorism related to perceptions of election fraud heading into the 2022 midterm election next week and beyond.
  • A Democratic super PAC aligned with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi poured $275,000 into TV ads to shore up support for Rep. Joe Morelle, D-N.Y. for a deep-blue seat. The same trend is playing out in other blue states like California, Oregon, Connecticut and Rhode Island.