Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: November 9, 2022

Republicans expected to win narrow House majority, Fetterman beats Oz in Pennsylvania to keep Senate control up for grabs, and more


GOP picks up several House seats but falls short of 'red wave'

The fight for House control remained close early Wednesday, with Republicans projected to pick up at least a narrow majority but falling short of the "red wave" they had hoped for. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said that, although many votes remained to be counted, it didn't look like Democrats would lose dozens of seats to Republicans as some predicted, because Democratic House members and candidates were "strongly outperforming expectations." House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said Republicans were still going to exceed the five seats they needed to pick up to seize a House majority. "I think we pick up 10-to-15 seats in the House," one Republican operative told The Hill. "It's looking a lot more, let's say modest, than I was hoping for."


Fetterman beats Oz in Pennsylvania with Senate majority still undetermined

Democratic nominee and Lt. Gov. John Fetterman beat Republican nominee Mehmet Oz in the Pennsylvania Senate race, flipping the seat for the Democrats and boosting the party's chances of keeping control of the Senate. Three other key races remained too close to call early Wednesday, hours after Tuesday's midterm elections. Georgia Democratic incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock led Republican Herschel Walker 49.4 percent to 48.5 percent with 98 percent of the vote counted, but that race will go to a runoff if neither gets to 50 percent. In Nevada, the race between Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto and Republican challenger Adam Laxalt remained too close to call, as did Wisconsin's contest between Republican incumbent Sen. Ron Johnson and Democrat Mandela Barnes.


Republicans, Democrats split governors' races

Both parties appeared to have held onto governor's seats they controlled heading into Tuesday's elections, with Democrats appearing to have won close re-election bids in Wisconsin, Michigan, and New York, while high-profile Republicans Ron DeSantis of Florida and Greg Abbott of Texas won decisive victories. DeSantis, who focused on culture-war issues and his push to reopen businesses early in the pandemic, and Abbott, who has clashed with President Biden over immigration, both are considered likely to run for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination. In New York, incumbent Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul fended off a challenge from Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin. Democrats flipped two seats — Massachusetts, where state Attorney General Maura Healey became the state's first woman governor and first openly lesbian governor, and Maryland, where nonprofit executive Wes Moore will be the state's first Black governor.


Voters back abortion rights in five states

Voters supported abortion rights in all five states with ballot measures regarding access to the procedure in Tuesday's elections. The victories marked a string of successes for abortion rights advocates who made the issue a focus after the Supreme Court decision earlier this year to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that had protected a woman's right to end a pregnancy up to the point of fetal viability. California, Vermont, and Michigan backed ballot measures enshrining abortion rights in their state constitutions. Voters in two red states, Montana and Kentucky, rejected proposals that would have further restricted abortion access. Candidates in many high-profile Senate and House races also debated the issue, and 70 percent of voters said the overturning of Roe was an important factor in how they voted.


Misinformation efforts surge on Election Day

Voters were bombarded with misinformation on Election Day as two years of election myths fueled online conspiracy theories and misleading videos, The Washington Post reported Tuesday. One video recorded months ago was recirculated to fuel unfounded allegations that Republican voters were being blocked at polls. Early tabulating glitches were touted in viral tweets claiming widespread fraud. People posting to one "pro-Trump extremist forum" urged people to go to ballot counting centers armed, and "shoot first" if violence erupts. One website focusing on spreading false information about the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack by a mob of then-President Donald Trump's supporters sought to discredit the midterm election results before voters cast ballots, saying, "Expect the steal."


Trump calls for replacing McConnell as Senate GOP leader

Former President Donald Trump said in an Election Day interview on Fox News that Senate Republicans should oust Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) as their leader. Trump said McConnell, who is now minority leader but hopes to head a majority in the new Senate, was "lousy" at his job, and has been "very bad for our nation" and "very bad for the Republican Party." Trump also called for the House to install new leaders in the new Congress. "People are very upset with Mitch McConnell — I'll tell you who is upset with him — the public," the former president said. "I think we'll probably have to live with him for two years, and if I run and if I win, I will say, 'Don't send me any legislation if he's the leader,' and he'll be out in two minutes."


Tuvalu leader proposes fossil-fuel non-proliferation treaty at COP27

The prime minister of the small Pacific island nation of Tuvalu on Tuesday urged world leaders at the COP27 climate summit in Egypt to reach a non-proliferation treaty modeled after anti-nuclear-arms pacts to bar further fossil-fuel production. "The leading cause of climate crisis is fossil fuels," Tuvalu Prime Minister Kausea Natano said. "It's getting too hot and there is very (little) time to slow and reverse the increasing temperature. Therefore, it is essential to prioritize fast-acting strategies." He said his nation had joined Vanuatu and other vulnerable nations to push the proposal, one of several calls for more aggressive action to fight climate change, especially by rich nations like the United States that are the leading sources of greenhouse gases that are warming the planet.


Student killed in shooting at Seattle high school

Someone opened fire at a North Seattle high school on Monday, killing one student. Police responded to reports of gunfire at Washington's Ingraham High School just before 10 a.m., and found a student with a gunshot wound. The student later died at a hospital. Authorities did not immediately identify the victim. The attacker fled, but police arrested a suspect on a Metro bus about an hour later. Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Brent Jones said the attack appeared to have been "targeted" with no evidence it was "part of a bigger plan." "We in the city joined a long list of cities this year that have had school shootings," Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz said.


Strengthening Tropical Storm Nicole expected to hit Florida as hurricane

Tropical Storm Nicole strengthened on Tuesday, with forecasters warning it was now expected to hit Florida's east coast with storm surge, heavy rains, and strong winds by Thursday as a Category 1 hurricane. Nicole's top sustained winds reached 70 miles per hour by early Wednesday, up from 45 miles per hour on Monday. The storm was heading west toward the northern Bahamas with its Florida landfall likely between West Palm Beach and Melbourne. Nicole was 360 miles east of Palm Beach on Tuesday night, and was expected to reach hurricane strength on Wednesday before making landfall by early Thursday. Authorities announced mandatory evacuation orders affecting more than 52,000 people starting Wednesday in parts of West Palm Beach.


Single winner hits $2 billion Powerball jackpot

A single Los Angeles-area winner bought the only Powerball ticket with the right numbers to take the record $2.04 billion jackpot, lottery officials said Tuesday. The winner did not immediately come forward. Joe's Service Station owner Joe Chahayed, whose gas station sold the lucky ticket, said he hoped the winner was somebody local. Chahayed received a $1 million check from the California Lottery for the sale. California schools get $156.3 million from the pot. "We want to thank all of our community members that always come, dedicated to this station," said one of Chahayed's sons at a press conference. "Thank you to the lottery system for creating a program where the schools are going to benefit, a lot of people actually benefit from it."


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