Midterm elections 2022 - live: Will ‘October surprise’ shake up the campaign?

·11-min read
Election 2022 Debates (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)
Election 2022 Debates (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

The 2022 midterm campaign has entered its final sprint, with candidates making their general election pitches to voters ahead of the big day in November.

Most analysts expect Republicans to take control of the House of Representatives, while the balance of the Senate remains more favourable to Democrats. However, with Democrats celebrating a string of recent successes, the party believes it may have a shot at maintaining its majority of both chambers of Congress. However, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer recently predicted that Democrats would lose the House majority in November.

Democratic voters appear to be more energised by the recent Supreme Court ruling striking down abortion protections under Roe v Wade. Democrats typically turn out in smaller numbers for midterm elections compared to presidential contests. But with Donald Trump expected to soon announce another White House bid, the left may feel more fired up to participate.

Follow the latest news on the 2022 midterms below

Tuesday 20 September 2022 04:25 , John Bowden

Former president Donald Trump on Saturday levelled new, outlandish accusations at the Biden administration by claiming that federal authorities are now threatening his supporters with decades in prison unless they agree to say negative things about him.

He made the bizarre claim not ten minutes into a subdued, rambling speech to an under-capacity crowd at the Covelli Centre in Youngstown, Ohio. Ostensibly a rally in support of Ohio Senate candidate JD Vance, Mr Trump’s remarks were instead peppered with what is now a familiar litany of grievances, grudges, and complaints about the myriad investigations into his conduct by federal and state prosecutors in Washington, DC, Fulton County, Georgia, and elsewhere.

Read more on-the-ground coverage of the president’s return to the Rust Belt from John Bowden and Andrew Feinberg:

Trump claims his supporters are threatened with jail for refusing to denounce him

Trump under fire for QAnon display at Ohio rally: ‘He has gone completely insane’

Tuesday 20 September 2022 03:25 , John Bowden

Donald Trump is causing new outrage among Democrats after appearing to embrace supporters of QAnon at his recent rally in Youngstown, Ohio.

The president’s rally blared music that is widely popular among the cultish conspiracy theory’s followers and at one point dozens of members of the crowd held one finger in the air in a strange salute that some experts said was likely a nod to the expansive nonsense of the Q community.

Read more from The Independent’s Gustaf Kilander:

Trump under fire for QAnon display at Ohio rally: ‘He has gone completely insane’

‘Welcome to fascism’: Senior Republican official in Arizona warns of Trump attempts to steal future elections

Tuesday 20 September 2022 02:35 , John Bowden

A Republican whose career in the Arizona state legislature will end after he defied Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election agrees that the efforts of Maga Republicans to seize control of voting systems and the power to declare election results invalid are “fascism”.

He’s one of the first high-profile conservatives to come out in agreement with Joe Biden after the president accused Maga Republicans of engaging in “semi-fascism”.

Rusty Bowers warned CNN in a new interview that his party will likely try again to push through legislation aimed at seizing control of Arizona’s election systems once his term ends.

Read more from The Independent’s John Bowden:

Senior GOP official in Arizona warns of Trump attempts to steal future elections

Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s lead over Beto O’Rourke stretches to nine points in new poll

Tuesday 20 September 2022 01:25 , John Bowden

Beto O’Rourke has led an aggressive campaign against incumbent Texas governor Greg Abbott, but as of yet it appears to be failing to yield results.

Exactly 50 days before voters across the country cast ballots in the 2022 midterms election, a poll suggests that one of the most closely-watched races is becoming less competitive and that the gap between the candidates is getting bigger.

Andrew Buncombe reports on Democrats’ dwindling hopes of flipping the governor’s mansion in the Lone Star State:

Texas Gov Greg Abbott’s lead over Beto O’Rourke stretches to nine points in new poll

Biden hasn’t made a ‘firm decision’ on 2024 run: “I’m a great respecter of fate”

Tuesday 20 September 2022 00:22 , John Bowden

President Joe Biden said the time is not yet ripe for him to publicly commit to mounting a bid for a second term in the White House because doing so would require him to comply with laws only applied to candidates actively seeking office.

It’s a tactic that his predecessor, Donald Trump, may wish he had used. Mr Trump registered to run for reelection upon taking office in 2017, only to see his funds dwindle by the time of the 2020 election.

“I’m a great respecter of fate. And so, what I’m doing is I’m doing my job. I’m gonna do that job. And within the timeframe that makes sense after this next election cycle here, going into next year, make a judgment on what to do,” Mr Biden said in a new interview.

Read more on the president’s comments to 60 Minutes from Andrew Feinberg:

Biden hasn’t made a ‘firm decision’ on 2024 run: “I’m a great respecter of fate”

Monday 19 September 2022 23:25 , John Bowden

Donald Trump’s approval rating is now lower than ever, according to an NBC News poll.

The ex-president’s sinking popularity is a dangerous sign for Republicans who have sought to run for office this year with his blessing and may find themselves unable to escape their ally’s shadow.

Meanwhile Joe Biden’s approval rating moved up three points since August to 45 per cent, his highest approval rating since October of last year. His approval rating moved down three points to 52 per cent.

Read more about the newest NBC poll from Eric Garcia:

Trump approval rating sinks to lowest level in more than a year, poll shows

Trump bizarrely tries to pin ‘Phantom of the Opera’ closure on Biden administration

Monday 19 September 2022 22:25 , John Bowden

Donald Trump is fuming after one of the longest-running Broadway musicals announced its impending closure.

The ex-president took to Truth Social on Monday to denounce the end of ‘Phantom of the Opera’, and strangely argued that it was the result of his successor’s policies.

Read more from Andrew Feinberg:

Trump bizarrely tries to pin ‘Phantom of the Opera’ closure on Biden administration

Republican JD Vance’s dangerous assumption about the Ohio electorate

Monday 19 September 2022 21:26 , John Bowden

JD Vance and Tim Ryan are taking very different approaches to winning Ohio’s open US Senate seat, held by vacating Republican Rob Portman.

The contrast between the maverick Ryan and Mr Vance was clear on Saturday when the latter appeared alongside his biggest-name surrogate/endorser, Donald Trump — as well as other national GOP allies like Marjorie Taylor Greene.

Mr Ryan, meanwhile, has eschewed any and all support from members of his own party as he fights a tough battle to flip the Buckeye State’s second Senate seat blue.

John Bowden reports from Youngstown:

Republican JD Vance’s dangerous assumption about the Ohio electorate

Breaches of voting machine data raise concern

Friday 16 September 2022 20:26 , David Taintor

There are at least three investigations into suspected voting machine data breaches – in Colorado, Georgia and Michigan, the Associated Press reports.

The reported breaches are raising alarm ahead of the midterm elections, which will be held in less than two months.

The AP reports:

“Sensitive voting system passwords posted online. Copies of confidential voting software available for download. Ballot-counting machines inspected by people not supposed to have access.

The list of suspected security breaches at local election offices since the 2020 election keeps growing, with investigations underway in at least three states -- Colorado, Georgia and Michigan. The stakes appeared to rise this week when the existence of a federal probe came to light involving a prominent loyalist to former President Donald Trump who has been promoting voting machine conspiracy theories across the country.

While much remains unknown about the investigations, one of the most pressing questions is what it all could mean for security of voting machines with the midterm elections less than two months away.”

Warnock, Walker set on 1 debate in Georgia Senate race

Friday 16 September 2022 00:45 , John Bowden

Georgia voters will see at least one debate this fall between Sen. Raphael Warnock and his Republican challenger, Herschel Walker.

Raphael Warnock’s campaign notified moderators this week that the incumbent senator would accept the terms for a debate on 14 October, but he wants other on-stage contests against the political newcomer Mr Walker, who has faced criticisms about his ability to enunciate his own political stances.

Mr Warnock’s decision is a concession to Mr Walker after the challenger refused to accept any of three traditional Georgia debates that the incumbent senator had committed to attend months ago. Mr Walker instead countered with a fourth option.

Read more in The Independent:

Warnock, Walker set on 1 debate in Georgia Senate race

How the Pennsylvania governor’s race could determine if Trump could steal the 2024 presidential election

Thursday 15 September 2022 23:45 , John Bowden

In the weeks that followed the 2020 presidential election, Josh Shapiro and Doug Mastriano were on opposing sides of former president Donald Trump’s attempts to overturn the presidential election in Pennsylvania.

The two men – one of who sought to overturn the 2020 presidential election results and sent buses of people to Washington, and one who pushed back – are now the respective Republican and Democratic nominees to replace term-limited governor Tom Wolf. But Mr Mastriano’s extremism means that if he wins, he could use his power as governor to subvert the results of a future presidential election.

Eric Garcia reports on the stakes in Pennsylvania:

How Pennsylvania governor’s race could determine if Trump could steal a 2024 election

John Fetterman is searching for votes in ‘ruby red’ Trump country. Will his strategy pay off?

Thursday 15 September 2022 22:45 , John Bowden

Donald Trump dominated in the rural area of Pennsylvania in the last two elections. John Fetterman, a different kind of Democrat, is hoping to chip away at that support.

“Bringing our message to places where it’s not always popular is our secret weapon to win in this tough cycle,” he is vowing on social media.

Johnstown, a once-booming steel town in western Pennsylvania and a regular stop on the campaign trail for presidential candidates, is as good a place as any to test the theory.

Richard Hall reports from Pennsylvania.

John Fetterman is searching for votes in ‘ruby red’ Trump country. Will it work?

Did the primaries help John Fetterman and doom Mandela Barnes?

Thursday 15 September 2022 21:38 , John Bowden

Two new polls dropped on Wednesday showing how things stand in the Senate races in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, where Democrats have their two best shots at flipping seats. But they also revealed something about how the primaries in both states set the stage for what’s happening now.

The Independent’s Eric Garcia writes that Wisconsin’s Mandela Barnes has benefited from an easy win in his primary election, which came after his competitors bowed out of the race and endorsed his candidacy. But that’s coming back to bite him in new polling as he faces a wave of new attacks from incumbent Senator Ron Johnson.

His experience in the primary contrasts deeply with that of John Fetterman, the Democrat running for US Senate in Pennsylvania.

Read more:

Did the primaries help John Fetterman and doom Mandela Barnes?

Lindsey Graham gifts Democrats an anti-abortion bogeyman in final stretch of campaign season

Thursday 15 September 2022 21:08 , John Bowden

Sen Lindsey Graham has set Republicans up to fail in November. At least that’s what Republicans are saying.

The GOP is fuming over a bill from one of their own after the South Carolina senator introduced a measure this week that would ban abortion, nationally, after 15 weeks into the presidency. It comes after weeks of insistences from Republicans that they believed the issue should be handled at the state level.

Just ask Charlie Kirk, the Turning Point USA figure, who called it “election interference” on his show on the right-wing network Real America’s Voice.

Read more about this questionable election-season move by Mr Graham in The Independent from John Bowden:

Lindsey Graham gifts Democrats an anti-abortion bogeyman in final stretch of campaign

How the Pennsylvania governor’s race could determine if Trump could steal the 2024 presidential election

Wednesday 14 September 2022 15:28 , David Taintor

In Pennsylvania, a key swing state in presidential elections, the secretary of state is chosen by the governor and not elected by voters. The Independent’s Eric Garcia reveals how the 2024 election certification could be impacted if a Trump-backed election denier wins the state’s gubernatorial race in November:

How Pennsylvania governor’s race could determine if Trump could steal a 2024 election

A midterm gift for Democrats?

Wednesday 14 September 2022 15:27 , David Taintor

Sen Lindsey Graham introducing a 15-week national abortion ban in the waning weeks of the midterm election season may energise Democratic voters, a polling analyst tells The Independent’s John Bowden:

Lindsey Graham gifts Democrats an anti-abortion bogeyman in final stretch of campaign

GOP candidate who backed Trump’s election lies set to win Senate primary in New Hampshire after chief opponent concedes

Wednesday 14 September 2022 15:26 , David Taintor

Don Bolduc, a retired US Army general and a proponent of the false narrative that the 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump, appears to have won New Hampshire’s Republican primary election.

The Independent’s Alex Woodward reports:

GOP candidate who backed Trump election lies set to win New Hampshire Senate primary