By Kirk O’Steen, political director
Last night, millions of Americans made their voices heard in the 2022 midterm elections. While Republicans claimed several key victories, many races are still too close to call. Here’s where things stand.
Congressman Ted Budd cruised to a comfortable win against former Chief Justice Cheri Beasley. As of 11:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Budd was ahead by just under 4%. While some votes are still outstanding, several major outlets have called this race for Ted Budd.
Out of the fourteen Congressional races taking place in North Carolina, only one race was competitive. All signs point to a victory for N.C. Senator Wiley Nickel in NC-13. Nickel performed well in the Democratic areas of Wake County, while Bo Hines appears to have slightly underperformed other Republicans in Johnston County. In a tossup district, those fine margins can make the difference between a win and a loss. I look forward to learning more about this race in the coming days.
N.C. Supreme Court
Two of the most watched races by the North Carolina political community were Seat 3 and Seat 5 for the N.C. Supreme Court. Control of the state’s highest court will now flip to Republican control. GOP candidates took six of six statewide judicial races, netting two seats in the State Supreme Court and two seats on the Court of Appeals.
Senate Republicans expanded their majority to thirty seats last night. That’s enough to have a veto-proof supermajority in the upper chamber. The deciding race was SD-7, where incumbent Michael Lee defeated Marcia Morgan by 2,110 votes.
While N.C. House Republicans flipped six Democratically held seats, they fell short of a supermajority. Less than 500 votes in HD-73, a newly drawn district that covers parts of Cabarrus and Stanly County, were the difference. While Governor Cooper’s veto is intact, there are a few House Democrats with a history of joining Republicans for certain veto overrides. This will be a storyline to follow during the 2023-24 legislative session.
In North Carolina, just under 29% of the eligible electorate submitted their ballots early. In total, 50% of registered voters voted in the 2022 midterm election. The turnout is below what many experts projected before election day.
What We Still Don’t Know
Nationally, Republicans are still expected to take control of the U.S. House of Representatives. Control of the U.S. Senate is still uncertain. With Pennsylvania’s absentee ballots yet to be counted and a potential runoff in Georgia, it could be next month before we know who controls the gavels in the upper chamber.
Not Official Yet
While many candidates have already claimed victory or conceded their race, the official, certified results won’t be finalized until the vote canvas that takes place 10 days after the election. All 100 county election boards will go through the ballots again and confirm the results in each race. If a candidate loses by less than 1% of the vote, they can formally request a recount. For statewide races, the losing campaign must specify in which counties they would like a recount. These recounts rarely yield any meaningful changes in the vote totals, but the option is still available.
NC Chamber members can discuss election outcomes and key takeaways, preview any leadership changes and their implications, and ask questions at one of our four Member Roundtables next week. Register now!