US midterm elections 2022: Trump backlash grows as top Virginia Republican says ‘I could not support him’ – live | US midterm elections 2022

‘I could not support him’, top Virginia Republican says of Trump

Virginia’s Republican lieutenant-governor Winsome Sears said she could not support Donald Trump if he again ran for the White House, telling Fox Business Network in an interview that the former president has become a “liability” for the GOP:

“A true leader understands when they have become a liability. A true leader understands that it’s time to step off the stage, and the voters have given us that very clear message… I could not support him.”

—VA Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears (R) comes out against Trump’s 2024 candidacy

— The Recount (@therecount) November 10, 2022

The comments are significant considering Sears did something last year that Trump hasn’t done in more than six: win an election. Voters in the Democratic-leaning state elected Sears as the running mate of Glenn Youngkin in his gubernatorial campaign, and she made history as the first woman and first person of color to serve as Virginia’s lieutenant governor.

Her comments also underscore the tension among Republicans over Trump’s influence on the party, particularly since many candidates he backed did not fair well in Tuesday’s midterm elections.

Key events

A top official in Arizona’s Maricopa county, the state’s largest, has asked Kari Lake to tone down her rhetoric about the elections.

Lake, who is the Trump-endorsed Republican candidate for governor, has denied thee 2020 election results and often spread false claims and misinformation about elections. Lake and her Democratic opponent Katie Hobbs are locked in a tight race.

“Now, I feel 100 per cent confident we are going to win this, I hate that they’re slow-rolling and dragging their feet and delaying the inevitable. They don’t want to put out the truth, which is that we won,” Lake said on the conservative Charlie Kirk show. “We’re going to win this, and there’s not a darn thing they can do about it. But they’re trying to pour cold water on this movement.”

In Maricopa county, officials were not pleased.

“Everyone needs to calm down, tone the rhetoric down,” said Bill Gates, chair of the Maricopa Board of Supervisors. “Let’s stop the name calling.”

“Quite frankly, it is offensive for Kari Lake to say these people behind me are slow rolling this.”

Bill Gates, chairman of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, is not very happy about some of the things being said about the elections department.

— KTAR News 92.3 (@KTAR923) November 10, 2022

In Arizona, where many voters vote early, officials have to verify and approve ballots in a process that can take days or weeks. It is normal in close races to have to wait a while for results.

Even though it remains unclear which party will take control of the House with several key races still undecided, House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy has established transition teams for the 118th congress.

“The House Republican majority is getting right to work,” McCarthy said, despite the fact that it may be a while until we know whether Republicans have a majority. “These transition teams will ensure we hit the ground running on issues that Democrats have ignored or made worse for the American people under one-party rule, all while shutting out our fellow citizens from the People’s House.”

McCarthy, a California Republican, has long sought the role of House speaker, but Republicans’ underperformance in the midterms means that if he does ascend to the role, he might be helming a very small Republican majority. Several pro-Trump, Freedom Caucus Republicans have also expressed disappointment with McCarthy, and there’s a chance they could mount a challenge against him.

McCarthy has named Republican whip Steve Scalise, and congressmen James Comer, Jim Jordan and Bryan Steil as leaders in his transition team – which could be a strategic move to keep potential rivals close.

Here’s why votes take so long to count in Arizona

Ed Pilkington and Sam Levine report:

Several of the most consequential races are happening in the border state of Arizona. A US Senate contest between the Democratic incumbent Mark Kelly and Republican challenger Blake Masters could determine which party controls the Senate.

There are also consequential state races, including for governor and secretary of state, in which prominent election deniers endorsed by Donald Trump have a shot at winning. So far only 70% of the Arizona vote has been counted.

To understand why that is, you have to zoom in to Maricopa county, which covers the state capital, Phoenix. It contains 60% of all votes in Arizona and is the second largest voting jurisdiction in the nation.

The number of people who vote early has increased dramatically since the pandemic. This year Maricopa county also saw a surge in the number of early ballots that were dropped off on election day – they are known as “late earlies” – rising to 290,000, the largest number in the state’s history and 100,000 more than in 2020.

Each early ballot has to be verified to check that the voter’s signature matches the signature in the voter rolls, and after that is done it is sent to a bipartisan panel for approval and processing. That all takes time, as we are witnessing.

Many people have drawn a comparison of Arizona’s vote count with that of Florida, which called its results within hours of polls closing on Tuesday. That state’s system allows election officials to begin counting mail-in ballots as soon as they are received; mail-in ballots have to be requested and must be received by an election supervisor no later than 7pm on election day.

But the main reason why Ron DeSantis won his re-election race so quickly on Tuesday was because it was a blowout, with the incumbent Republican governor garnering 59% of the vote while his challenger, Charlie Crist, received only 40%.

Had the candidates we are watching in Arizona or elsewhere had such a convincing lead, we would probably not still be waiting for their races to be called. Nonetheless, there are questions that Arizona is going to have to face in future elections.

Stephen Richer, who is the recorder of Maricopa county, said that after the dust settles “we will likely want to have a policy conversation about which we value more: convenience of dropping off early ballots on election day or higher percentage of returns with 24 hours of election night”.

Oliver Milman and Nina Lakhani in Sharm el-Sheikh report:

Nancy Pelosi has accused Republicans of treating the climate crisis like “it’s all a hoax” while at the Cop27 climate talks in Egypt, where the US delegation is attempting to remain upbeat about continued progress on dealing with global heating despite uncertainty over the midterm election results.

Pelosi, the speaker of the House of Representatives, made a surprise appearance at the climate summit in Sharm el-Sheikh on Thursday. The trip may be one of Pelosi’s last as speaker, with most forecasts predicting Republicans will eke out a narrow majority in the House.

There has been “shall we say, a disagreement on the subject” of the climate crisis between the parties, Pelosi said at Cop27, adding that Republicans have said “‘Why are we having this discussion? There is no climate crisis. It’s all a hoax.’ We have to get over that. This is urgent, long overdue.

“So we cannot just have any political disagreement or the power of the fossil fuel industry cramping our style as we go forward with this, but to show a path that gets us to where we need to be,” Pelosi said.

Pelosi’s appearance at Cop27 comes at a critical point for the future of democracy in the US and the future of the planet. Joe Biden was able to pass the country’s most significant piece of climate legislation this year because Democrats have the majority in both the House and the Senate. With that set to change, the mounting anger at the US for obstructing meaningful global climate action, despite being the world’s largest polluter and richest country, may only get worse.

Read more:

Key House races are still undecided

Republicans are inching towards a House majority, but several key races, especially in the west, remain undecided.

Many of these close races are in California, where elections often take days or weeks to tabulate. In Orange county, the Democratic star Katie Porter is very narrowly leading Republican Scott Baugh in her newly formed swing district. Meanwhile, the Republican incumbent Michelle Steel, who ran an intensely negative campaign falsely painting her Taiwanese American opponent as having ties to Chinese communism, is leading in her race. And the Democrat Adam Gray is barely trailing the Republican John Duarte in the Central Valley.

in Colorado, the far-right firebrand Lauren Boebert remains in an unexpectedly tight virtual tie with her opponent, the Democrat Adam Frisch.

In Nevada, the Democratic representative Susie Lee is leading in a tight race against the Republican lawyer April Becker, who challenged the 2020 presidential election results. And the incumbent Democrat Dina Titus is pulling ahead of her Republican challenger in a redrawn district.

Voter turnout this year was the second highest of any midterm since 1940, according to the Washington Post, which analyzed AP and US Elections Project data.

About 112.5m people – or about 47% of eligible voters – cast ballots in the midterms. In 2018, about 50% of eligible voters cast ballots, according to the Post.

And according to researchers at Tufts University, about 27% of eligible voters 18-29 turned out:

This 2022 youth turnout is likely the second-highest youth turnout rate for a midterm election in the past 30 years, behind only the historic 31% turnout in 2018. Votes cast by young people made up 12% of all votes in this election, nearly matching the 13% youth share of the vote from the 2014 and 2018 midterms, according to National Election Pool surveys.

Joe Biden just spoke in Washington to thank Democratic volunteers for their work in securing the party a better-than-expected night in Tuesday’s midterm elections.

He noted that several Republicans who embraced baseless fraud claims about his own election win in 2020 ended up conceding their races without much drama:

President Biden says none of the 2020 election deniers contested the results of the 2022 midterm elections when they lost:

“Tuesday was a good day … for democracy, and it was a strong night for Democrats.”

— The Recount (@therecount) November 10, 2022

He also linked the surprising support many Democrats received to the party’s pledge to preserve abortion access:

President Biden touts the overwhelming support for abortion rights during the 2022 midterms:

“Women in America made their voices heard, man … Y’all showed up and beat the hell out of them.”

— The Recount (@therecount) November 10, 2022

He closed by touting his own legislative accomplishments, including moves intended to lower the country’s fiscal deficit:

President Biden: “I don’t wanna hear from Republicans calling Democrats big spenders. We’re the ones bringing down the deficit. They’re the ones that blew it up over four years.”

— The Recount (@therecount) November 10, 2022

The Guardian’s Maanvi Singh is now taking over the blog, and will cover the rest of today’s elections and politics news.

The Senate’s Democratic leader Chuck Schumer isn’t banking on his party continuing to hold the chamber for another two years.

Bloomberg Government reports that Schumer intends to prioritize confirming Joe Biden’s judges and other nominees before the year ends and the new Congress begins:

🚨Scoop: Senate leader is preparing to pull the defense authorization bill off the floor and instead focus on federal nominees and judges and majority next year is still in limbo. Instead annual defense bill will materialize as an informal conference bill @business @BGOV #NDAA

— Roxana Tiron (@rtiron) November 10, 2022

Democrats still have a path to keeping the Senate majority, particularly if Mark Kelly in Arizona and Catherine Cortez Masto in Nevada win their races. Counting is ongoing in both.

Even as some Republicans blame him for their party’s struggles in Tuesday’s election, Morning Consult has new data out that confirms he remains the most-liked man in the GOP, though perhaps not as popular as he once was:

Trump’s most recent popularity peak came in August, after his actions had received scrutiny from the January 6 committee and his resort searched by the FBI as part of its investigation into potentially unlawful retention of government secrets.

Nevada ballot counting could continue till Saturday

It may not be until Saturday that the outcomes of Nevada’s razor-thin Senate and governor races are known, The Nevada Independent reports.

That’s based on comments made at a press conference by Joe Gloria, registrar of Nevada’s most-populous county Clark, where Las Vegas is located. The outcome of the two races is expected to hinge on votes from its residents, who tend to lean Democratic:

Gloria on today’s numbers:

He notes that Clark reported results from about 14k mail ballots last night.

He says there are still more than 50k ballots that must be counted in Clark.

“Majority of mail should be counted in Clark County by Saturday.”

— Sean Golonka (@s_golonka) November 10, 2022

Yesterday, Gloria said Clark received 12.7k in mail on Wednesday, and in the afternoon, the county announced it received 56.9 from Election Day drop boxes.

The 14k reported yesterday was apparently Monday drop off and Tues mail. But Gloria now says there are 50k uncounted.

— Sean Golonka (@s_golonka) November 10, 2022

Meanwhile, NBC News reports a Trump adviser says the former president still plans to announce another run for the White House on Tuesday:

A senior Trump adviser just confirmed Tues announcement & said “The media, the corporate elites, and political establishment has all moved in unison against Donald Trump at their own peril. It’s like they want to recreate 2015-2016. Let them. We are doing it again. Buckle up”

— Marc Caputo (@MarcACaputo) November 10, 2022

Invites for Trump’s announcement should go out today.

— Marc Caputo (@MarcACaputo) November 10, 2022

‘I could not support him’, top Virginia Republican says of Trump

Virginia’s Republican lieutenant-governor Winsome Sears said she could not support Donald Trump if he again ran for the White House, telling Fox Business Network in an interview that the former president has become a “liability” for the GOP:

“A true leader understands when they have become a liability. A true leader understands that it’s time to step off the stage, and the voters have given us that very clear message… I could not support him.”

—VA Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears (R) comes out against Trump’s 2024 candidacy

— The Recount (@therecount) November 10, 2022

The comments are significant considering Sears did something last year that Trump hasn’t done in more than six: win an election. Voters in the Democratic-leaning state elected Sears as the running mate of Glenn Youngkin in his gubernatorial campaign, and she made history as the first woman and first person of color to serve as Virginia’s lieutenant governor.

Her comments also underscore the tension among Republicans over Trump’s influence on the party, particularly since many candidates he backed did not fair well in Tuesday’s midterm elections.

Montana voters reject ‘born alive’ law

Montana has become the latest state where voters said no to further abortion restrictions by rejecting a law that was meant to stop the killing outside the womb of babies who survive a failed abortion – which is already illegal.

The so-called “born alive” law would have allowed medical providers to face criminal charges if they don’t take “all medically appropriate and reasonable actions to preserve the life” of infants, according to the AP.

The defeat puts Montana among the ranks of Republican-leaning states where voters have rejected attempts to further tighten down on abortion access following the supreme court’s overturning of Roe v Wade in June.

Here’s more on the failed law from the AP:

Health care professionals and other opponents argued the proposal could rob parents of precious time with infants born with incurable medical issues if doctors are forced to attempt treatment.

“Today’s win sends a clear message to state leadership: Montanans demand our right to make private health care decisions for ourselves and our families with the help of our trusted medical teams — and without interference from politicians,” said a statement from Hillary-Anne Crosby, a spokesperson for an organization called Compassion for Montana Families that opposed the measure.

The outcome comes after a series of wins for abortion rights supporters in states around the country where abortion was directly on the ballot during the midterm elections. Voters enshrined abortion protections into state constitutions in Michigan, California and Vermont. They also voted down an anti-abortion constitutional amendment in conservative Kentucky, just as voters did in Kansas in August.

Supporters said the proposed Montana law was meant to prevent the killing of infants outside the womb in rare occurrence of a failed abortion, something that is already is illegal. Penalties for violating the proposed law would have included up to $50,000 in fines and up to 20 years in prison.

At least half of U.S. states have similar post-abortion born-alive laws in place, according to Americans United for Life, a Washington, D.C.-based organization that opposes abortion, aid in dying and infant stem cell research.

“This initiative would have criminalized doctors, nurses and other health care workers for providing compassionate care for infants, and, in doing so, overridden the decision-making of Montana parents,” said a statement from Lauren Wilson of the Montana Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Adam Gabbatt has taken a look at the latest round in the long-running American political parlor game, ‘Has Rupert Murdoch Finally Dumped Trump?’:

On election day, Donald Trump was clear about how his efforts to support Republican candidates should be seen.

“Well, I think if they win, I should get all the credit,” Trump told NewsNation. “If they lose, I should not be blamed at all.”

Unfortunately for Trump, he did not get what he hoped for. Instead the former president has seen conservative news outlets, the Rupert Murdoch-owned ones in particular, turn on him, in some cases with gleeful abandon.

“Trumpty Dumpty” blared the front page of Thursday’s New York Post, the tabloid Murdoch has owned since 1976. Editors went so far as to mock up Trump as Humpty Dumpty, his enlarged orange head stuffed into a white shirt and a signature red tie.

Next to the picture of Trump as an egg perching precariously on a brick wall, the text goaded: “Don (who couldn’t build a wall) had a great fall – can all the GOP’s men put the party back together again?”

The Post cover offered the most visceral insight into Murdoch’s thinking, and its contempt was far from an outlier in the mogul’s news empire.

“Trump Is the Republican Party’s Biggest Loser” was the verdict of the Wall Street Journal editorial board. A subheading added: “He has now flopped in 2018, 2020, 2021 and 2022.”

The piece was just as scathing as the headline, running through nine races this November the paper said Trump had effectively tanked through his continued election denial, his various wars with more moderate Republican candidates and his general unpopularity nationwide.

“Since his unlikely victory in 2016 against the widely disliked Hillary Clinton, Mr Trump has a perfect record of electoral defeat,” the editorial said.

“The GOP was pounded in the 2018 midterms owing to his low approval rating. Mr Trump himself lost in 2020. He then sabotaged Georgia’s 2021 runoffs by blaming party leaders for not somehow overturning his defeat.”

It added: “Now Mr Trump has botched the 2022 elections, and it could hand Democrats the Senate for two more years.”

Martin Pengelly

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is not happy about how Democrats performed in her state, New York, in the midterms – a series of House losses helping (probably) hand the chamber to Republicans, though Kathy Hochul, the governor, did fend off an unexpectedly strong challenge from her Trumpist opponent, Lee Zeldin.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Photograph: Reuters

The New York City congresswoman popularly known as AOC told the Intercept: “New York, I think, is the glaring aberration in what we see in this map … what happened in New York really bucks a lot of the trends in what we saw nationwide.

“… I think, in New York, the way that those campaigns were run were different than the way a lot of winning campaigns across the country were run. And I think the role of the state party had very strong national implications. If Democrats do not hang on to the House, I think that responsibility falls squarely in New York state.”

Identifying key election themes in New York, Ocasio-Cortez said: “I think policing was a big one, I think the choice among certain Democrats to … amplify Republican narratives on crime and policing, running ads on it … validating these narratives actually ended up hurting them much more than a different approach. I think that what we saw in other races was that they were able to really effectively center either their narratives and the narratives that they wanted to run with, whether it was abortion rights, whether it was democracy, whether it was … other key and top priorities.

“I think Democrats in New York, they did a couple of things. They ran ads around that were explicitly very anti-defund [the police], which only served to reinvoke the frame and only served to really reinforce what Republicans were saying. If we’re going to talk about public safety, you don’t talk about it in the frame of invoking defund or anti-defund, you really talk about it in the frame of what we’ve done on gun violence, what we’ve done to pass the first gun reform bill in 30 years. Our alternatives are actually effective, electorally, without having to lean into Republican narratives.

“… And I think another prime mistake is that in New York state, [ex-governor Andrew] Cuomo may be gone, but … much of his infrastructure and much of the political machinery that he put in place is still there. And this is a machinery that is disorganised, it is sycophantic. It relies on lobbyists and big money. And it really undercuts the ability for there to be affirming grassroots and state-level organising across the state.

“And so … you’re leaving a void for Republicans to walk into … it’s a testament to the corruption that has been allowed to continue in the New York state Democratic party.”

Martin Pengelly

Martin Pengelly

Josh Hawley, the senator from Missouri who may or may not run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024 but definitely did run from Capitol rioters on 6 January 2021, even after raising a fist to the mob, thinks Republicans did not do as well as they might’ve done on Tuesday night because they didn’t run on his populist, not to say Trumpist, principles.

He tweets, in a message at least partially counter to the emerging consensus that Republicans suffered (if probably winning the House and maybe winning the Senate can be called suffering) because voters wanted to rebuke their Trumpist drift:

Washington Republicanism lost big Tuesday night. When your “agenda” is cave to Big Pharma on insulin, cave to Schumer on gun control & Green New Deal (“infrastructure”), and tease changes to Social Security and Medicare, you lose

— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) November 10, 2022

A refresher on how Hawley ran, as shown by the House January 6 committee, is here.

Video of Josh Hawley running, meanwhile, is here:

January 6 committee watches Josh Hawley running from Capitol riots – video

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