The shadow of 2024 looms over Republicans’ medium-term optimism

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The 2022 elections will end on Tuesday. But before the polls even close, the results are already casting a shadow over the 2024 presidential election.

Both the House and Senate are up for grabs in Tuesday’s midterm elections — Republicans have a strong preference for regaining control of the House, where they only need to flip a handful of seats to retake the chamber they’re in. 2018 lost. will likely be determined by major races in a handful of states including Georgia, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Arizona, New Hampshire and North Carolina.

The yet-to-be-decided races for control of both chambers have already begun to shape the battle for the White House in 2024, for both President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump, who has virtually announced his intention to create a new White House. seek tenure.

The former president tried to put the spotlight back on in the hours leading up to the midterms, setting DC and the wider political world ablaze with rumors that he would announce his 2024 bid on the eve of the midterms. Ultimately, Trump chose to tease an “announcement” he said he will make on Nov. 15, a week after midterm exams.

On Tuesday morning, Trump cast his vote in Palm Beach, Florida.

Asked by a reporter Tuesday morning at his polling station in Palm Beach, Florida, whether Trump was still a kingmaker in Republican politics, the former president shrugged and said, “I hope so.” He went on to promote his announcement next week, saying it will be “an exciting day for a lot of people.”

The White House said Biden — who previously voted early in Delaware — taped an interview with radio host DL Hughley that will air later this afternoon. When asked by reporters Monday night how he felt about the election, Biden said: “I’m optimistic. But I’m always optimistic.” He added that he thinks Democrats can keep both houses of Congress while acknowledging the headwinds his party is facing.

“I think we will win the Senate, and I think the House is more difficult,” he said Monday night.

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For their part, Republican officials and GOP candidates beamed with confidence on Election Day morning as the party pushes for the end of two years of Democratic control in Washington.

“The Democrats have failed on every subject, and the American people are on the verge of delivering their report right now,” Republican National Committee chairman Ronna McDaniel told conservative talk radio host Hugh Hewitt during his broadcast on tuesday morning.

McDaniel spent the morning campaigning at a restaurant in Warminster, Pennsylvania, with Senate candidate Mehmet Oz, who has narrowed Democrat John Fetterman’s lead in the race for the Pennsylvania seat in recent weeks. Speaking to TBEN News from the restaurant, Oz boasted of his chances of taking down Fetterman, who is probing something for the former TV personality.

“When all the votes are counted, I’m the winner,” Oz said. “And the reason for that is that I’ve been worrying every day about the kitchen table problems, the problems that plague Pennsylvanians.”

Both Fetterman and Oz voted in the state on Tuesday. Neither answered questions from reporters, with Oz making brief comments and encouraging everyone to vote.

Many states also have close gubernatorial contests on Tuesday’s ballot, including Arizona, Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania.

While Republicans made their rounds on TBEN News and conservative radio early on Election Day, most Democrats were more subdued. The White House called off a “lid” just before 11:30 a.m. — indicating that the White House did not expect any more public appearances for the president for the rest of the day. According to Vice President Kamala Harris’s official schedule, she would conduct “political radio interviews” throughout the day.

Republicans hinted Tuesday morning that the midterm elections will be a referendum on the presidency of the Democrats and Biden. They pointed to issues they said are high on voters’ priorities — such as rising inflation — as a sign of a red wave sweeping across the country, returning Republicans to the majority.

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Arizona GOP Senate candidate Blake Masters said he expects a “big” and “glorious” wave of Republican wins on Tuesday. Masters faces incumbent Democratic Senator Mark Kelly in a battle for the Arizona Senate seat.

“Arizona’s Democrats have an advantage in the early vote: More Democrats showed up to vote early than Republicans,” Masters told Hewitt Tuesday morning. “This didn’t surprise us, still, we expect a giant wave tomorrow.”

Another closely watched state on Tuesday is Georgia, which has a competitive senate and governorship game. The race in the Senate in particular has reached an impasse, with both sides trying to reach 50 percent on Tuesday to avoid an expensive second round in early December.

Both candidates expressed confidence on Tuesday morning.

“I really feel like we can avoid a second round,” Walker told Hewitt on Tuesday. “I think the people in Georgia, they speak and speak clearly, that they want a change.” And the incumbent Warnock told investigators on Tuesday morning that he too believed he thought he could outright win tonight. “Don’t let the experts get into your head,” he said, according to the New Republic.

Elsewhere, there are some signs that Tuesday could culminate in the Democratic control referendum Republicans are hoping for: Even in historically blue states like New York and Oregon, the left is struggling to maintain their lead in key races. New York’s battle for governor between Democratic Governor Kathy Hochul and Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin has shrunk considerably in recent months, and in deep blue Oregon, Republican Christine Drazan is neck-and-neck with Democrat Tina Kotek in the governor’s race.

Democrats continue to be favored in both states, but Republicans were confident Tuesday morning that they could get upset a few times.

McDaniel, the RNC chairman, said the GOP’s most likely pick-up from gubernatorial races was that Drazan won in Oregon. “She ran a really great race. This will be the first time in 40 years that a Republican wins in Oregon,” McDaniel said.

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Election and national security officials are also very alert this year to threats to the voting system, both abroad and domestically. The Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency has so far seen no cyberattacks on election systems, a senior CISA official told reporters Tuesday morning.

“We still see no specific or credible threat to disrupt election infrastructure,” said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity under CISA policy.

But the intelligence community has seen foreign powers increase their influence operations to try to influence voters, the official said.

“The 2016 script is available and available to multiple actors, and now we’ve seen participants who were not really engaged in 2020 and willing to influence election in 2022,” the senior CISA official said.

Election officials remain concerned about the spread of misinformation about the voting table process. Officials warned that in many key states, the final results may not be available on election night, especially if the contests are very close.

One important state to keep an eye on is Pennslyvania. There, election officials were unable to start the process of preparing mail-in ballot papers until polling stations opened Tuesday morning, and major jurisdictions will likely have to countdown at least Wednesday to tabulate them all.

A last minute change in Philadelphia could extend the timeline there. Tuesday morning, election officials voted to reinstate a lawsuit that could potentially yield double votes, in response to a Republican lawsuit over the process.

“I want to be very clear that when there are discussions later in the evening about whether or not all their ballots should be counted, the reason some ballots would not be counted is that the Republicans were targeted by Philadelphia – and only Philadelphia – for us to carry out a procedure that no other county does,” said Seth Bluestein, a Republican commissioner in the city, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Eric Geller contributed to this report.