Amanda Becker, Grace Panetta
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Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto will hold on in her reelection bid in Nevada, Decision Desk HQ projects, giving Democrats control of the Senate. A runoff is pending in Georgia Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock and former football standout Herschel Walker.
The winner of the Senate race in Alaska is not yet known, but two Republicans, incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski and challenger Kelly Tshibaka, lead the field.
Democratic Rep. Val Demings lost her bid to unseat incumbent Sen. Marco Rubio in Florida and Democrat Cheri Beasley lost to Republican Ted Budd in North Carolina, meaning there will continue to be no Black women serving in the Senate.
Gender was also on the ballot via the candidates’ policy plans. After the Supreme Court in June ended the federal right to abortion, Democrats are trying to pass a law to protect access nationally, and Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has said if he again becomes majority leader they might pursue a national ban,
Here are the live updates for the Senate races The 19th is tracking.
Alaska is a safe seat for Republicans, but its top-four primary system means that incumbent Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski is on the ballot, along with fellow Republicans Kelly Tshibaka and Buzz Kelley, as well as Democrat Patricia Chesbro, and the winner will be decided by ranked-choice voting. Murkowski, who is seeking her fourth term, received the most primary votes in a crowded field of 19 candidates, besting Trump-backed Tshibaka by more than 10,000 votes.
Murkowski is a unique voice in her party, sometimes siding with Democrats — including backing Democrat Mary Peltola, who won a special election for the state’s sole U.S. House seat, for a full term. She supports some abortion rights and voted for Trump’s impeachment but is neverthless backed by McConnell in the race. Her political stature in Alaska is unparalleled: In 2010, before the state adopted the top-four and ranked-choice voting systems, she won as a write-in candidate after losing her primary. In a sign of Trump’s unpopularity in the state, Peltola won a special election for a House seat in August, besting Trump-backed Sarah Palin to become the first Alaska Native in Congress.
Incumbent Sen. Mark Kelly was considered one of the most vulnerable Democrats in the country, but has held on to his seat, Decision Desk HQ projects. His opponent was Republican Blake Masters, who in August removed language from his website indicating support for a “federal personhood law” that would treat abortion as murder. The GOP-controlled Arizona legislature passed a 15-week abortion ban, but the state also has a decades-old total ban on the books, creating legal uncertainty. Kelly did not made abortion rights central to his campaign, though he, along with most Senate Democrats, co-sponsored legislation to codify abortion rights at the federal level and was highly critical of the Supreme Court’s Dobbs ruling.
Democratic Rep. Val Demings lost her bid to challenge Republican Sen. Marco Rubio in Florida. Trump’s presence loomed large in the state, where Republicans have a political trifecta, controlling the governor’s mansion as well as both chambers of the statehouse. Demings made history as the first woman to head Orlando’s police force and aimed to be the third Black woman ever elected to the Senate, following former Sens. Carol Moseley Braun of Illinois and Kamala Harris of California, whose elevation to vice president left the upper chamber with none.
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Read Next: Is Florida still a political battleground? Senate candidate Val Demings thinks so.
Georgia voters made shockwaves in 2020 when they sent Rev. Raphael Warnock to the Senate and backed Biden, the first time the state had gone for a Democratic presidential candidate since 1992. Warnock is now headed to his second runoff in as many years, this time against Republican Herschel Walker, a former NFL player and star for the University of Georgia. In a bombshell October 3 article, the Daily Beast reported that an ex-girlfriend said Walker, who supports a total abortion ban with no exceptions for rape, incest or the gestational parent’s health, had reimbursed her for having an abortion in 2009. Walker denied the allegations, and top Republicans and anti-abortion rights groups have stuck by him. Democrats — and anti-Trump Republicans — previously highlighted threats Walker made against his ex-wife and other women. Walker has not denied the abusive behavior and attributes it to disassociative identity disorder, formerly known as multiple personality disorder. Warnock, meanwhile, has called himself a “pro-choice pastor” and faced criticism for it from religious conservatives. Georgia has a six-week abortion ban that took effect in July.
Republican Eric Schmitt won the open Senate seat left by GOP Sen. Roy Blunt’s retirement, keeping the seat in Republican hands. Schmitt was a state treasurer who was appointed attorney general in 2019 and made Missouri the first state to enact a total abortion ban with very few exceptions after the Supreme Court issued its decision overturning Roe v. Wade. In July, he sued St. Louis for allegedly supporting access to abortion care. Democrat Trudy Busch Valentine is a nurse and heiress to the Anheuser-Busch beer fortune whose campaign platform centered women’s rights.
Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto is projected to hold on to her seat. She is the first Latina to serve in the role, and her reelection bid against Republican Adam Laxalt was one of the most competitive in the country. They are both Nevada-born former state attorneys general, and the main issues in the race were the economy and abortion. Nevadans support abortion rights at higher rates than nationally. Laxalt, who describes himself as “pro life,” has said he would not support a national ban, but he has also called the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision a “joke.”
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Read Next: The midterms’ big issues — abortion and the economy — are supercharged in Nevada’s Senate race
Sen. Maggie Hassan defeated her Republican opponent, Don Bolduc. At the beginning of the 2022 cycle, Hassan was thought to be the most vulnerable Democrat in the country. But when current Republican Gov. Chris Sununu decided to aim for a fourth term instead of running for Senate, it eased her path to reelection. Bolduc praised the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, said, “get over, this is about the economy” when asked about abortion as an election issue for New Hampshire voters, and called the disposal of embyros in in vitro fertilization “a disgusting practice.”
Republican Rep. Ted Budd defeated Democrat Cheri Beasley for the seat left open due to the retirement of GOP Sen. Richard Burr, keeping the seat in Republican hands and dashing Democrats’ hopes of flipping North Carolina blue. Beasley is a former justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court; Budd is a current member of the House of Representatives.
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Read Next: Cheri Beasley won North Carolina’s Senate primary. Like other Black women, she laid the groundwork years ago.
Republican J.D. Vance has won the race for the seat vacated by retiring Republican Sen. Rob Portman, Decision Desk HQ projects, beating Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan. Ohio has a six-week abortion ban and made headlines in the summer when a 10-year-old girl had to travel out of state for an abortion because she was mere days past the cutoff.
Ryan identified as “pro-life” in the past, which was highlighted by his opponent in the Democratic primary race. But he has spoken openly about how his stance has evolved over his years in the House, and he now votes to protect abortion rights. Vance has suggested women should stay in violent marriages for the sake of their children, characterized pregnancies resulting from rape or incest as “inconvenient,” and said abortion is as reprehensible as slavery.
Oklahoma has two Senate races on the ballot, and in both the Democrats have nominated women candidates —both, coincidentally, with the same last name.
Democrat Madison Horn, a cybersecurity expert, lost her bid to oust Republican Sen. James Lankford, who reversed course to affirm the 2020 election results but voted to acquit Trump of impeachment for inciting the January 6 insurrection. Oklahoma has a total abortion ban, and Lankford has called traveling to another state to access care “abortion tourism.” Horn has highlighed that Oklahomans face some of the strictest abortion laws in the country.
The second Senate election in Oklahoma this year was caused by the retirement of GOP Sen. James Inhofe in the middle of his latest six-year term. GOP Rep. Markwayne Mullin, who earlier this year introduced the “Partial Birth Abortion is Murder Act” and made the case for legislation banning abortion nationally during one of his primary debates, defeated Democrat Kendra Horn, who served one House term before losing her seat in 2020.
The matchup between Fetterman and Oz received lots of national attention and outside investment. The Democrats’ flipping control of Pennsylvania is a boost to their chances of holding control of the Senate. Fetterman has staunchly advocated for eliminating the Senate filibuster and said in a tweet that he will “fight as hard as I can to protect women’s reproductive freedom + codify abortion rights into federal law.” His campaign used Oz’s “murder” comment in an advertisement.
Patty Murray has been in the Senate for 30 years, and protecting abortion rights has been central to her work for the duration. Murray defeated Republican Tiffany Smiley for another term in office. Emily’s List’s super PAC, Women Vote, spent millions on ads in the race to bolster Murray’s chances. Smiley has said she is “pro-life” in the past but has tried to deemphasize her position during the campaign by saying she respects a state law that protects abortion until fetal viability.
Incumbent Sen. Ron Johnson beat Democrat Mandela Barnes, currently the state’s lieutenant governor. Overturning the Senate filibuster — which has stopped Democrats from passing major pieces of Biden’s agenda, including protections for abortion — was central to Barnes’ campaign trail pitch. Johnson, meanwhile, said he supports the overturning of Roe and has pushed for Wisconsin to hold a state-level ballot referrendum on abortion.
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