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Biden says it will be ‘tough’ for Dems to hold the U.S. House, but still optimistic

U.S. cyber watchdog sees no imminent threats

People vote at a polling location at Indianola Church of Christ on Election Day on November 8, 2022 in Columbus, Ohio.

Drew Angerer | Getty Images

The top U.S. infrastructure defense agency sees no major cyber threats to the election as Americans head to the polls, a senior U.S. official said.

In the first of three Election Day press calls with reporters, a senior official from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, who requested to not be named as part of the terms of the call, said the agency has spent much of the past two years helping state and local election officials prepare, and that the agency knew of “no specific or credible threats to disrupt election infrastructure today.”

That’s not a guarantee that the election won’t see hitches, though, the official said.

“There are 8,800 election jurisdictions and we see issues pop up every election day,” the official said, citing low-level cyberattacks against election websites or accidental website outages as potential examples.

“It’s important to remember that such incidents would not affect a person’s ability to cast a ballot,” the official said.

— NBC News

Biden ‘optimistic’ about the midterm, says Democrats keeping the House will be ‘tough’

US President Joe Biden speaks at a Democratic National Committee event in Washington, DC, US, on Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2022.

Jim Lo Scalzo | Bloomberg | Getty Images

President Joe Biden says he’s “optimistic” about the Democrats’ chances on Election Day.

“But I’m always optimistic,” Biden told reporters as he exited Marine One at the White House. The president was returning from a campaign stop supporting Maryland gubernatorial candidate Wes Moore at Bowie State University on Monday night.

“I think it’s going to be tough, but I think we can,” Biden said when asked if Democrats could keep the House. “I think we’ll win the Senate. I think the House is tougher.”

The president said a Republican-controlled Congress would make his reality “more difficult.”

Emma Kinery

Polls open along West Coast

People vote at a polling location at Indianola Church of Christ on Election Day on November 8, 2022 in Columbus, Ohio.

Drew Angerer | Getty Images

Polls open in California, Nevada, Alaska and elsewhere in the West at 10 a.m. ET (7 a.m. local time).

Races to watch in these states include Alaska’s incumbent Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who’s facing Kelly Tshibaka, also a Republican, and Democratic opponent Patricia Chesbro for U.S. Senate.

Incumbent Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-N.V., will also defend her Senate seat against former Arizona attorney general Adam Laxalt, who’s been endorsed by former president Donald Trump.

— Chelsey Cox

Pennsylvania Senate hopefuls cast their ballots

Pennsylvania U.S. Senate candidates John Fetterman, a Democrat, and GOP challenger Dr. Mehmet Oz cast their ballots in person Tuesday morning. 

Democratic US Senate candidate John Fetterman arrives to cast his ballot at New Hope Baptist Church in Braddock, Pennsylvania, on November 8, 2022.

Angela Weiss | AFP | Getty Images

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz enters the polling station at the Bryn Athyn Borough Hall to cast his ballot on November 8, 2022 in Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania.

Win Mcnamee | Getty Images

Fetterman voted at New Hope Baptist Church in Braddock while Oz cast his ballot at Bryn Athyn Borough Hall in Huntingdon Valley.

Pennsylvania is one of a handful of Senate seats that’s open due to the retirement of an incumbent senator.

It’s considered to be one of the most hotly contested races in the country with the Cook Political Report reporting the race as a toss up.

The candidates are statistically tied, Oz with a 0.4 percentage point edge, in the Real Clear Politics average.

Emma Kinery

Midterms usually don’t favor the incumbent party

U.S. President Joe Biden is flanked by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) in the Hall of Columns as he arrives to mark the first anniversary of the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., January 6, 2022.

Evelyn Hockstein | Reuters

Though President Joe Biden has asked voters to think of the upcoming election as a “choice” rather than a “referendum,” midterms historically have been a referendum on the party in power.

That’s not a great sign for Democrats who control the presidency and both chambers of Congress. Former President George W. Bush was the exception to the trend. Political analysts attribute the GOP gain in the House to the rallying effect post 9/11 attacks.

Here’s how recent presidents’ parties have fared in the U.S. House in the midterm races held during their first terms:

  • Bill Clinton: Democrats lost 54 seats
  • Bush: Republicans gained 8 seats
  • Barack Obama: Democrats lost 63 seats
  • Donald Trump: Republicans lost 41 seats

— Emma Kinery

Biden’s approval rating at 44%, voters slightly prefer Democrats to control Congress in NBC poll

US President Joe Biden speaks about the economy at ViaSat, an US technology company, in Carlsbad, California, on November 4, 2022

Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images

Biden’s approval rating stands at 44% going into Election Day, according to a poll released Sunday by NBC News.

It puts him in similar standing as former Presidents Donald Trump (46%) and Barack Obama (45%) in the final NBC News/WSJ poll taken before the midterm elections.

The poll, which has a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points among likely voters, found 48% preferred Democrats to control Congress and 47% preferred Republicans. It’s a reverse from October when 48% of likely voters preferred Republicans and 47% preferred Democrats in the NBC News poll. Both are within the margin of error.

— Emma Kinery

Polls open for voters in the Midwest, Mountain regions of the country

A voter drops his ballot into a drop box at the Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center on November 07, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona.

Justin Sullivan | Getty Images

Voters in the middle of the country started heading to the polls at 7 a.m. ET in Missouri and lined up for voting starting at 8 a.m. ET in Arizona, both 6 a.m. local times.

The races between Democratic senatorial candidate Trudy Busch Valentine and Republican rival Eric Schmitt in Missouri and incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly and Republican senatorial candidate Blake Masters in Arizona are big ones to watch in these states.

Polls also open at 8 a.m. ET in Wisconsin (7 a.m. local time) where Republican incumbent Sen. Ron Johnson is running against Democratic candidate and Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes.

Voters choose between Republican incumbent Mike Lee or Independent Evan McMullin for U.S. Senate in Utah, starting at 9 a.m. ET (7 a.m. local time).

— Chelsey Cox

Trump suggests he’ll announce presidential run Nov. 15

Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a rally at the Dayton International Airport on November 7, 2022 in Vandalia, Ohio.

Drew Angerer | Getty Images

Former President Donald Trump said Monday night he will make a “big announcement” on Nov. 15 at his Mar-a-Lago resort, where he is widely expected to launch his 2024 presidential campaign.

“I’m going to be making a very big announcement on Tuesday, Nov. 15 at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida,” Trump said at a Save America rally in Vandalia, Ohio on the eve of the midterm elections.

Trump is eager to jumpstart his third run for president, and staffing conversations have ramped up significantly in recent weeks. An early list of potential top aides has already trickled out.

Trump’s line about Nov. 15 came near the end of a more than 90 minute speech for GOP candidate J.D. Vance in Ohio. Instead of focusing on Vance, the former president railed against Democrats, judges who have ruled unfavorably in cases against his family, run down U.S. airports and above all, President Joe Biden.

A Trump spokesman did not respond to a request from CNBC to confirm that his Nov. 15 event will be a campaign launch.

As Trump inches closer to formally kicking off the 2024 presidential race, polls show he enjoys unparalleled support among Republican voters.

Trump would also enter the race with more than $60 million in cash held by his leadership PAC, Save America, and a prodigious small dollar fundraising operation that vacuums up online donations from the Republican base.

— Christina Wilkie

Polls open for voters along the East coast

A man arrives to cast his ballot during early voting for the midterm elections at the Smyrna Community Center in Smyrna, Georgia, November 4, 2022.

Carlos Barria | Reuters

Voters can head to the polls as soon as 6 a.m. ET in Virginia and as early as 6 a.m. ET in New Hampshire, with North Carolina and Ohio following close behind at 6:30 a.m. ET.

Polling places open at 7 a.m. ET for voters in Florida, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Michigan.

Big races to watch in these states are the showdown between incumbent Republican Sen. Marco Rubio and Democratic Rep. Val Demings in Florida for U.S. Senate. Democratic incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock is also running against controversial Republican first-timer Herschel Walker in Georgia, and incumbent Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer takes on Republican Tudor Dixon for governor of Michigan.

— Chelsey Cox

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