WASHINGTON — Election Day has begun in the U.S., with control of Congress and of state capitals hanging in the balance.
While many have already voted early in-person or submitted mail-in ballots, voting concluded Tuesday as millions more headed to the polls.
Election results are expected to begin coming in starting around 7 p.m. Eastern.
This story will provide live updates throughout the day and into the evening on control of the U.S. Senate and House, other major races and any significant news developments around the elections.
All times are Eastern.
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers won a second term in office, positioning himself as a check on Republican power in the state. Evers often touted the fact that he vetoed more than 120 GOP-backed bills that would have broadened gun rights, limited access to abortion and made it harder to cast absentee ballots.
Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy addressed supporters for the first time early Wednesday morning, staking his party’s claim of the House majority despite several dozens of seats still undecided.
“Now let me tell you, you’re out late, but when you wake up tomorrow, we will be in the majority and Nancy Pelosi will be in the minority,” the California lawmaker, who could be poised to become Speaker should Republicans take the House, said at a election event in Washington.
The speech, which had originally been planned for hours earlier, noted several GOP gains across the country, especially in highly contested races in Virginia and Texas. McCarthy’s comments came as key Democratic wins in the House began to cast doubts on the possibility of a red wave this midterm election.
The AP called the race for John Fetterman, a Democrat who was in a tight contest with television personality Mehmet Oz, early Wednesday morning. In a victory speech before the race call, Fetterman nodded to his stroke earlier this year: “Health care is a fundamental right and it saved my life.”
Fetterman's victory flips the Senate seat for Democrats as he replaces retiring Republican Pat Toomey.
Control of Congress could be up in the air for hours, days or perhaps weeks if the Georgia senate race goes to a runoff.
If neither Rafael Warnock or Herschel Walker get 50% of the vote, a runoff election will be called for Dec. 9.
North Dakota and Arkansas voters have rejected ballot measures legalizing recreational marijuana for adults.
Maryland earlier in the night passed a recreational marijuana measure. Two other states, Missouri and South Dakota, are counting votes to determine if similar measures passed.
Republican U.S. Rep. Nancy Mace of South Carolina won reelection Tuesday, beating Democrat Annie Andrews to keep her 1st District seat in GOP hands as the major parties battled for control of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Mace's victory came in a midterm election in which the incumbent president's party has typically faced significant losses. Her challenger Andrews is a pediatrician who supported access to abortions in the red state and heightened firearms restrictions to counter the nation's alarming wave of gun violence.
The 1st District representing Charleston and neighboring rural counties had seesawed in recent years between the two major political parties. Democrat Joe Cunningham, who ran unsuccessfully for governor on Tuesday, had won the seat in 2018 before losing to Mace in the ensuing election.
Republican state legislative leaders acknowledged that they drew new maps of the 1st District to not only adjust for population growth but to also add more potential Republican voters. A trial over whether those districts discriminate against Black people by diluting their voting power is ongoing in federal court.
It's official, we don't know who controls either chamber as we roll into Wednesday. It's likely to take hours or even days before control of either chamber is known.
Democrats have been having a strong night, beating the odds. In most midterm elections, the party in the White House tends to lose seats, as those elections are often seen as referendums on the president.
Biden is historically unpopular, with his popularity ratings somewhere in the 40s. And Republicans have campaigned on crime and rising prices, two issues that voters have consistently cited as their top priorities.
Given all that, there will be days and weeks of political punditry about how Democrats were able to claw their way to such solid footing in the midterms.
Some political experts say the abortion debate is likely at least partly responsible for the strong Democratic turnout.
Stacey Abrams has called Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp to concede in their rematch, a race that garnered national attention.
The Senate race in Georgia between Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger and former football star Herschel Walker remains too close to call.
Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley was elected to an eighth term Tuesday, defeating Democrat Michael Franken and putting himself in a position to be the Senate’s most senior member.
Grassley beat the retired Navy admiral after a race that had been seen as more competitive than the typically easy victories the veteran Republican had achieved since first being elected to the Senate in 1980.
Grassley had cruised to six crushing victories since he beat Democratic Sen. John Culver by eight percentage points in 1980, never winning by fewer than 20 percentage points.
The senator, who would turn 95 four months before his next term expires, will be among the oldest sitting senators in the chamber’s history. Republican Strom Thurmond of South Carolina retired at age 100 in 2003.
Democrat Wes Moore was elected Maryland’s first Black governor Tuesday, defeating Republican Dan Cox in a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans 2-1.
Moore’s victory flips a governor’s office from Republican to Democratic. Of the 36 governor’s races this year, Maryland and Massachusetts represented the best chances for Democrats to regain a governor’s office at a time when the GOP holds a 28-22 edge in governor’s seats. Republican Gov. Larry Hogan is term limited.
Only two other Black politicians have ever been elected governor in the United States — Virginia’s Douglas Wilder in 1989, and Deval Patrick of Massachusetts in 2006.
And with that, all polls in the continental U.S. have closed. Polls remain open in Hawaii for another hour and Alaska for another two hours.
It's still going to be a long night for election watchers, and there's a good chance they'll go to bed disappointed without knowing who will control either chamber of Congress.
10: 50 p.m.
It's a relatively bad night for Republicans so far, all things considered. Strong performances from Democrats are preventing the GOP from easily picking off seats they had hoped to gain in their bid to take control of the House.
Republicans are still favored to gain control of the House, but so far have not managed to pick up any seats that weren't redistricted heavily to advantage them.
It's worth noting, we likely won't know how control of the Senate will play out before Wednesday at the earliest, but it's becoming increasingly likely control of the House could be up in the air at the end of the night.
About half of voters say inflation factored significantly in their vote, as groceries, gasoline, housing, food and other costs have shot up in the past year, giving Republicans a vehicle for criticizing Biden. The economy was an overarching concern with voters, about 8 in 10 of whom said it was in bad shape as inflation, near a 40-year high, has raised fears of a recession. Voters are split as to whether Biden's policies caused higher prices, or factors beyond his control, such as Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Maryland has become the 20th state to legalize recreational marijuana after voters approved a ballot measure legalizing the drug. Similar measures were also on the ballot in Arkansas, Missouri, North Dakota and South Dakota.
Democrats easily repelled Republicans backed by former President Donald Trump in several left-leaning states Tuesday, while tougher tests that could decide control of Congress and the future of Joe Biden's presidency awaited in more competitive territory.
Despite their liberal history, states like Massachusetts, Maryland and Illinois have elected moderate Republican governors in the past. But the Republicans this year appeared to be too conservative in these states, handing Democrats easy victories in midterm elections that could otherwise prove difficult for the party.
Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio has won a third term, defeating U.S. Rep. Val Demings and holding a key seat as the GOP tried to regain control of a closely divided Senate.
Rubio, 51, faced perhaps his toughest battle since he was first elected in 2010 after serving as the Florida House speaker. Once a presidential hopeful in 2016, Rubio’s name is less often mentioned as a potential 2024 candidate.
Rubio ran a campaign pulled from the Republican playbook, tying Demings to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Joe Biden and hammering her on issues like spending, rising inflation and a crisis at the southern border.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders has been elected as the first female governor of Arkansas. Her father, Mike Huckabee, previously served as the state's governor.
Maura Healey has been elected governor of Massachusetts, becoming the first openly lesbian governor in the U.S.
Polls have closed in a number of states, with a landslide of races called in non-competitive elections.
See the latest results: Election 2022: Updated results from across the country
A printing malfunction at 60 polling places across Arizona's most populous county slowed down voting Tuesday, but election officials assured voters that every ballot would be counted.
Still, the issue gave rise to conspiracy theories about the integrity of the vote in the pivotal state. Former President Donald Trump, Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake and others weighed in to claim that Democrats were trying to subvert the vote of Republicans, who tend to show up in greater numbers in person on Election Day.
Lake and several other candidates on the Arizona ballot have pushed false claims about the 2020 presidential race, amplifying Trump's lies about a stolen election. But election officials from both political parties and members of Trump's own Cabinet have said there was no widespread voter fraud and that Trump lost reelection to Democrat Joe Biden.
The Republican National Committee, along with the campaigns of Lake and Republican Senate candidate Blake Masters, filed an emergency motion to extend voting hours in Maricopa County.
Maxwell Frost has become the first member of Gen Z to be elected to Congress. Frost will represent Florida's 10th District.
Polls closed in Kentucky and Indiana at 6 p.m. Eastern. The next wave of closures just happened in New Hampshire, Vermont, Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. Polls closed or began to close in those states at 7 p.m. Eastern.
Election Day brought another rise for Wall Street, with stocks climbing Tuesday for a third straight day.
With Americans heading to the polls across the country amid high inflation and worries about a possible recession, analysts say investors appear to be making bets for Republicans to gain control of at least one house of Congress. That combined with a Democratic White House could lead to little getting done in Washington, which may be bad for society but could also keep the status quo on economic policy. And markets tend to abhor uncertainty.
If Republicans do end up winning control of at least the House of Representatives, the ensuing reaction in financial markets could be modest, according to economists at Goldman Sachs. Stocks have already rallied in anticipation of it, with two straight gains of at least 1% before Election Day. But a surprise win by Democrats could upset the market if it leads investors to expect higher corporate taxes and other policy changes.
It's not too late to head to the polls! Even if you're not registered, it's possible in several states to register at your polling place with proof of residency such as a utility bill or bank statement, and a photo ID like a driver's license or passport.
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President Joe Biden was not expected to make any public appearances Tuesday as voters went to the polls.
Indeed, well before the lunch hour rolled in, the White House called a “lid.” It’s the lingo that means the president would spend the day in the executive mansion awaiting the results of vote counting that will decide political control of Congress and, with that, how the two years left in his term will play out.
Biden’s chief spokesperson, Karine Jean-Pierre, told reporters that Biden would have a full schedule Tuesday, including prepping for an upcoming trip to international summits in North Africa and Asia and watching the election results come in.
“We expect the president will address the elections the day afterwards,” Jean-Pierre said.
Trump predicted Republicans would have a “great night” as he voted in Palm Beach, Florida, on Tuesday morning. He told reporters outside the Morton and Barbara Mandel Recreation Center that he had voted to reelect Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, even as the two could soon become rivals if — as many expect — they both run for president in 2024.
“I think we’re going to have a very big night and it’s going to be very exciting to watch,” he said.
Trump is planning an announcement in Florida next Tuesday, as AP's Jill Colvin reports. Trump said Nov. 15 would “be a very exciting day for a lot of people.”
Polls are beginning to open for in-person voting — by 1 p.m. Eastern, voting locations will be open in all 50 states (Hawaii is five hours behind the East Coast).
As fears of harassment of election officials and disruptions at polling places and tallying sites arise, election officials say they are prepared to handle potential issues. Voters should not be deterred, AP’s Christina A. Cassidy and Geoff Mulvihill report, and no major problems were reported during the early voting period.
The 2022 political climate has led to an unusually wide range of political territory up for grabs, as Republicans attempt to retake the House and Senate by criticizing the nation's stumbling economy and the Biden administration's handling of crime.
Democrats hope to capitalize on anger about the Supreme Court's summer decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and promises of more policies being enacted if they are able to widen their majority.
Traditionally, the president's party tends to lose seats in midterm elections. Democrats are going into Election Day with 220 representatives in the House, while Republicans control 212.
The Senate is a 50-50 split, with Democrats only maintaining the majority through the tiebreaker vote of Vice President Kamala Harris. A third of the chamber, 34 seats, are up for election this year.
While many analysts expect the Democrats to lose the House, control of Congress' upper chamber could come down to a few key races, including Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.