Thursday, September 28, 2023
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Your Election Day Guide

How do you interpret the results.

Perhaps the only certainty regarding the midterm elections of today which will determine the control over American administration at every level and will shape the future of democracy — is that the polls will be closed this evening.

“Nobody actually knows what’s going to happen,” said my colleague Lisa Lerer, who covers politics.

The polls suggest Republicans are the most likely to win to the House and possibly the Senate However, many of the races are tossups, meaning that a variety of outcomes remain possible. (Nate Cohn The Times’s principal political analyst has outlined four scenarios that could be possible.)

The results will begin trickling at around 6. p.m. Eastern, when the first polls end. The full picture might take weeks or days to come out. Certain states that are pivotal, such as Pennsylvania may require several days for the counting of votes. the Georgia Senate election, which could determine control of the Senate could be decided by the runoff in December.

Today’s newsletter offers a look-up to the stakes and what to watch out for when results are announced with possible signposts to the control of Congress.

The stakes

The midterm campaign has concentrated on three main concerns: the increasing price of life, criminality, and abortion. “Everybody’s a little bit angry about something,” said my colleague Jennifer Medina, who’s in Nevada covering the races in Nevada. “No matter which party you’re voting for, you’re angry about something.”

A federal government that isn’t united is not likely to take any action regarding these issues. The most important factor to consider is the issue agenda of each party. If Democrats remain in both the House along with the Senate they’ll get more opportunities to pass legislation that is geared towards tax hikes for wealthy people and credit for tax-free families that have children.

If Republicans are elected to the House they have already suggested they could try to cut the amount of money spent on Ukraine aid as well as health and other federal programs and they may open investigations of Biden Administration officials. If Republicans are elected to the Senate too they will also be the ones to decide Biden’s nominees to his administration, as well as the courts.

Many Republicans are likely to also take lessons in the direction of Donald Trump, who teased an upcoming presidential announcement during the night. This could upend his party’s legislative agenda by introducing his own ideas.

Americans are also casting votes for 36 governors of state and a variety of local and state officials. The races may influence certain of the campaigns’ most important issues. Both the criminal justice and abortion policy are mostly decided at the local and state levels. “Many Democrats running for governor have cast themselves as a bulwark when it comes to protecting abortion rights,” said my colleague Katie Glueck, who is covering the elections in Pennsylvania.

They will also be able to decide if they want to pass a variety of ballot initiatives that deal with abortion, such as proposals for five states, legalization of marijuana in five states, as well as Medicaid expanding within South Dakota.

The elections could also determine the future direction of American democracy. Many Republican candidates continue to doubt the outcome of the presidential election in 2020. Many are running for positions such as secretary of state. These positions direct oversight of elections. Others are expected to have a say in the process of certifying future results.

What should you be watching out for?

How can we tell which direction the night is heading? There are a few indicators to be looking for:

The polls will be open until 8:30 p.m. Eastern: Polling polls in several states will be been closed by that time including Georgia, Virginia, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania. (Here’s when the polls close and the time to anticipate results.) Be sure to keep an eye on Virginia as well as New Hampshire closely; both tend to count votes fairly quickly and can serve as a bellwether to the remainder of the country.

The possibility of a red wave Democrats have won House seats in three Virginia district swings in the year 2018 in the midst of the blue wave. These districts today could indicate where the rest of the country is heading. If Republicans are able to retake the majority of the seats, they is likely to have a successful night. If they win just one, the result could be very close. If Republicans fail to win all three races it is possible that the polls overestimated their chances. (If you’re looking to find out the outcomes for these three races these are in the Seventh, Second, and 10th Districts in the House.)

A possible blue defense in New Hampshire, Senator Maggie Hassan is who is a Democrat is seeking the next election. The polls favor her by around 3.5 percent as per FiveThirtyEight. If she is able to do better than this, Democrats could have a great night. If she fails, Democrats could underperform the polls. If Hassan is defeated her race, the party could be in trouble. In the event that they’re not winning races that favor them, Democrats are probably doing better in races predicted to run close.

“If Democrats are losing there, it doesn’t speak well to Nevada, Arizona and Wisconsin,” stated My colleague Reid Epstein, who is covering the midterm elections.

The remaining races of importance four closely contested elections are likely to be important: Arizona, Georgia, Nevada and Pennsylvania. If Democrats fail to win even two races chances, they will likely surrender their small advantage on the Senate. However, we may not have the complete results for the next few days, and even for weeks.

For updates and analysis that are live for tonight’s election, visit the Times website and you’ll find pages with results of all fifty US states as well as The District of Columbia. (Here’s what The Times tabulates the vote counts.) Then I’ll come back with a summary of the results we have.



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