Tuesday, December 6, 2022

A Rundown Of Critical Midterm Election Victories So Far

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This is an excerpt from Incoming, BuzzFeed News’ morning newsletter dedicated to making sense of this chaotic world we live in. Join the club here.

It’ll probably be a while before we know who controls Congress. Here’s what we do know.

Election Day is officially over, and as of the early hours of Nov. 9, it’s still not clear if Democrats or Republicans will control Congress for the next two years.

For the House, a party needs 218 seats to gain control. As of early Wednesday, Democrats had won 156 seats and Republicans 188. Part of the reason why it may take a while to finalize election results is that each state’s rules for counting absentee or mail-in ballots are different. Some states start ballot counting several weeks before Election Day; others don’t allow the counting to begin until Nov. 8, meaning races aren’t called until the next day or even later.

Going into the midterm elections, Republicans boasted there’d be a red wave, and historically, it’s been rare for the party that holds the White House to also hang onto Congress. But as results started coming in Tuesday night, the wave hadn’t materialized. Even Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham admitted as much to NBC News, saying, “Definitely not a Republican wave, that is for darn sure.”

The majority in Congress isn’t finalized, but the results of these critical races are in. Here’s why these winners are such a big deal.

Congress

  • John Fetterman beat Dr. Oz and will be the next US senator from Pennsylvania. Fetterman’s victory snatches a critical open congressional seat back from Republicans — and represents a model for how the Democratic Party can stay competitive in swing states with candidates who appeal to white and blue-collar voters.

  • Maxwell Frost makes history as the first Gen Z and Afro Cubano member of Congress. Frost, a 25-year-old activist who has worked on several presidential and state-level political campaigns, will represent Florida’s 10th District.

Governors

  • Stacey Abrams has lost again in her second bid to become Georgia governor. Gov. Brian Kemp was able to differentiate himself from other Republicans across the country by painting himself as someone who had stood up to former president Donald Trump while maintaining his conservative bona fides.

  • Maura Healey has become America’s first openly lesbian governor and the first woman to hold the seat in Massachusetts. Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll will be joining Healey as lieutenant governor. This is the first time women have held both roles in the same state at the same time.

  • Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis claimed reelection victory and set the stage for a 2024 presidential run. “We have embraced freedom, we have maintained law and order … and we reject woke ideology,” the governor said in his victory speech. “While our country flounders due to failed leadership in Washington, Florida is on the right track.”

  • Republican Greg Abbott has been reelected as Texas governor, defeating challenger Beto O’Rourke. Gun control and abortion became key issues in the race, with Abbott defending the state’s six-week abortion ban and relaxed gun ownership laws.

  • Longtime abortion rights advocate Josh Shapiro has been elected governor of Pennsylvania. This means that Pennsylvania will continue to have a Democratic governor and Republican majorities in both of the state’s legislative chambers — a split that’s critical for maintaining abortion access in the state.

SNAPSHOTS

Meta has cut more than 11,000 workers in its first mass layoffs in 18 years. The social media company is laying off about 13% of its staff, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced.

Two poll workers in Georgia were dismissed after officials found “questionable social media posts.” The decision to terminate the poll workers “is in alignment with our commitment to election integrity,” Fulton County election officials said in a statement.

Followers believe that banned influencer Andrew Tate has snuck back onto Twitter again. However, Tate told BuzzFeed News he doesn’t have “any active Twitter accounts,” and the account in question then deleted some of the tweets BuzzFeed News asked about.

This freaky little spider on Ulster County’s “I Voted” stickers is the hero we needed this election cycle. Born in a county competition to design an “I Voted” sticker, the six-legged nightmare was designed by 14-year-old Hudson Rowan and won in a landslide.

Ryan Reynolds recalled the exact moment that his and Blake Lively’s kids realized that “Aunt” Taylor Swift is actually a global superstar. “They went to a concert one day and were like, ‘Oh, oh, this isn’t a hobby,’” he said in a new interview with SiriusXM.

IMAGE OF THE DAY



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