With Democrats' win in AZ, control of the Senate may come down to Nevada
Updated November 12, 2022 at 1:52 PM ET
All eyes are now on Nevada, where tens of thousands of votes remain to be counted in the Senate race. The contest remains extraordinarily close, and with an Associated Press race call late Friday night that incumbent Democrat Mark Kelly has won in Arizona, control of the Senate could come down to Nevada.
Many of the outstanding votes in Nevada could be reported Saturday and change the trajectory of the outcome. Currently, Republican Adam Laxalt is clinging to a very narrow lead over Nevada incumbent Democratic Catherine Cortez Masto, but most of the vote that remains to be tabulated is in Clark County, where Cortez Masto is ahead.
Cortez Masto has a path to a lead. Laxalt currently leads by about 800 votes. About 38,000 of the 50,000 or so votes remaining to be counted statewide are in Clark. If Cortez Masto can break even, as she has been, in Washoe County, where Reno is, and continues to get the same pace of vote out of Clark County (about 52%), she would wind up some 700 votes ahead. But that would be exceptionally close, there is a lot of vote counting to go and it's no guarantee that the margin a candidate was getting is the margin they will continue to get.
Even if that does happen, it might not be entirely known for days. Clark County is aiming to finish counting a batch of about 20,000 votes Saturday, but there are an additional 15,000 provisional ballots that need to be counted as well.
With the win in Arizona, if Democrats can pull off Nevada, they would retain control of the Senate without needing to win Georgia, which is officially headed to a Dec. 6 runoff.
Control of the House is still also unknown. Several races in the West were called Friday, and so far, Democrats have mostly swept. The AP, which makes the calls NPR reports, called all three competitive House races in Nevada, for Democrats, for example. Those were seats Republicans had hoped to flip.
At this point, Republicans are still on a path to a slim majority, anywhere from 1 to 7 seats. But there are still millions of votes to count in California, so final numbers likely won't be known for days at least. Remarkably, Democrats do have a longshot chance at retaining control, but they would need some races where Republicans are currently leading to shift in their favor for that to happen.
This a longshot, but by my math, if Democrats win 6 of 8 of the following, they could actually hold the majority in the House:— Domenico Montanaro (@DomenicoNPR) November 12, 2022
AZ-6, CA-13, CA-41, CO-3, CO-8, NY-22, OR-5, WA-3
It's unlikely because they trail in all but WA-3 and CO-8, but they are all within 2 points right now
Here's where things stand, by the numbers (as of Saturday, 1:17 p.m. ET):
The Senate: Republicans 49, Democrats 47, Independents 2, Uncalled 2
(The two independents caucus with the Democrats.)
Democrats are +1 with their flip of the Pennsylvania Senate race. That means Democrats need to win just one of Nevada or Georgia; Republicans need to win both.
Nevada: The margin continues to close here. Adam Laxalt (R) leads incumbent Catherine Cortez Masto (D) by about 800 votes, with 93% of the vote in. We are expecting more vote count to be reported Saturday, but we may not know the final result for days. Nevada is accepting mail-in votes postmarked by Election Day and received up to Saturday at 5 p.m. local time — and voters also have a couple of days to "cure" ballots, if needed. State law allows, for example, if a mail ballot is opened and someone's signature isn't there or doesn't appear to match, that voter would be contacted to correct it.
Alaska: This has been added to the Republican total even though the race is not settled yet, because both leading candidates are Republicans, so this will stay in GOP hands. The question is at this point: which Republican. Incumbent Lisa Murkowski (R) trails Kelly Tshibaka (R) by less than 2 percentage points, or just under 3,000 votes, with 80% in. If neither candidate gets above 50%, this goes to a ranked-choice re-tabulation Nov. 23. Murkowski would likely be favored to win that.
Arizona: Kelly's lead expanded by about 8,000 votes with the Friday night batch of about 80,000 votes out of Maricopa County. The AP and news networks shortly afterward made the call in Kelly's favor, though vote counting continues there.
Georgia: Incumbent Raphael Warnock (D) and Republican challenger Herschel Walker (R) are headed to a runoff because neither surpassed 50% on the ballot. Warnock missed the threshold by just under 23,000 votes.
The House: Republicans 211, Democrats 201, Uncalled 23
For control of the House, either party needs to reach 218 seats. Republicans need a net of 5 seats to take control. They are on track to do that, BUT likely only with a 1- to 7-seat majority at this point. We likely won't know the full margin though for days because there are still millions of ballots left to count in California.
NOTE: Please keep in mind that these numbers are fluid and will change as votes continue to roll in. See the latest results here.
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