US midterms: How it went down

The "red wave" didn't happen, but the Republicans do have a majority in the House of Representatives. The Democrats keep theirs in the Senate, but President Joe Biden will struggle to make headway on his agenda. Here's how we covered the US midterms.

Tuesday, Nov 8 19:00 JST

What to expect from US midterm elections

Midterms come halfway through a president's four-year term of office, and are widely considered a referendum on their leadership. President Joe Biden is already finding it difficult to implement his agenda. If the Democrats lose their majority in either chamber of Congress, Biden will likely spend the final two years of his tenure struggling to achieve any meaningful policy objective.

The big issues for these elections include the economy, abortion rights, immigration and gun controls.

We'll be updating this page throughout the day with video and photos, along with analysis of the implications for Asia.

Tuesday, Nov 8 19:14 JST

Japan Govt.: Alliance with US to remain unaffected

Ahead of the vote, Japan's top government spokesperson told a news conference that the election results will not affect his country's relationship with the United States.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Matsuno Hirokazu said on Tuesday morning local time, "Japan and the US, regardless of the party in power, share a common understanding about the importance of the alliance between the two countries."

Tuesday, Nov 8 19:30 JST

Voting in the Big Apple

New Yorkers are being reminded to vote with a public announcement on one of Times Square's biggest screens.

Tuesday, Nov 8 19:45 JST

Yen surges to 146 level against dollar

The Japanese currency has strengthened to the upper 146-yen level against the US dollar in Tokyo on Tuesday.

Investors became more cautious ahead of the US midterm elections and bought back the yen. At 5 p.m., the dollar fetched 146.72 to 146.74 yen.

Tuesday, Nov 8 20:20 JST

Follow the arrows to vote

NHK World's midterm elections team in New York followed the arrows plastered on city sidewalks to find polling stations. They will be broadcasting live hits on the big day with autumn leaves framing the streetscape.

Tuesday, Nov 8 20:24 JST

Voting begins in eastern states

Voters in some eastern states are now heading to the polls. Thirty-five of the 100 Senate seats are up for grabs, as are all 435 seats in the House of Representatives and 36 governorships.

The Democrats currently control both the House and Senate. Surveys suggest the Republicans are likely to win a majority in the House. But a tight race is expected in the Senate.

Tuesday, Nov 8 20:35 JST

Biden, Trump make final pitches

On the eve of the midterm elections, US President Joe Biden warned an evening rally in Maryland that American democracy is at risk from election deniers in the Republican Party who continue to assert false claims about voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election.

The man he replaced in the White House, Donald Trump, appeared at a rally in Ohio. He blamed the Biden administration for record inflation, and urged voters to trust stewardship of the country to the Republican Party. In typical Trump style, he said he plans to make "a very big announcement" in Florida on November 15. His remark is widely seen as a hint that he will announce he's running for the 2024 presidential election.

Tuesday, Nov 8 20:53 JST

Early voting well up across US

The University of Florida, which tracks nationwide voting statistics, says more than 44 million ballots were cast in early voting. That's about 10 percent higher than at the last midterm elections, 4 years ago.

Tuesday, Nov 8 21:20 JST

Inflation a decisive factor in US midterm elections

Watch Video 03:39

Surging prices are one of the biggest concerns for American voters as they head to the polls for Tuesday's midterm elections. Aggressive interest-rate hikes by the Federal Reserve have done little so far to dent the inflationary trend.

Tuesday, Nov 8 21:36 JST

Biden's sagging approval rating

With inflation running at record highs, US President Biden's approval rating continues to slump at around 40 percent.

A survey conducted by ABC News and others in early August shows only 29 percent of respondents supported his handling of climbing prices.

Tuesday, Nov 8 22:00 JST

Voters form long line in Georgia

At a polling station in Georgia, voters formed a long line from early morning on Tuesday.

Georgia has a population of about 10.8 million, which includes the highest percentage of Black residents of any state, at just over 33 percent. The state has traditionally been a Republican stronghold, but the Democrats have been gaining ground in urban areas. Biden defeated Trump here in the 2020 presidential election by a margin of just 0.2 percentage points.

Wednesday, Nov 9 7:00 JST

Polling stations located in New York's well-known spots

Watch Video 00:15

NHK's New York team has arrived at the MET, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, where they will be reporting live from its polling station.

Wednesday, Nov 9 7:50 JST

Millions of Pennsylvanians going to the polls

NHK will be live from Philadelphia on the election night, the largest city in the battleground state of Pennsylvania. DJ Questlove helped pump up voters at a pop-up concert just outside a voting station at Philadelphia city hall.

Wednesday, Nov 9 8:00 JST

Vote counting starts

In the Midwest state of Indiana and some parts of the southern state of Kentucky, voting ended at 8 a.m. JST and the counting has begun.

Wednesday, Nov 9 8:40 JST

Rising crime rates in New York bringing voters to polls

Alvin Broome came to vote because of his concern over crime. He mainly voted to cast his ballot for the state representatives and worries about where the US is headed.

Wednesday, Nov 9 8:55 JST

Trump votes, says 'Hopefully the right thing happens'

Donald Trump cast his ballot in Florida on Tuesday. He told reporters, "This is going to be a very important election. Hopefully, the right thing will happen and we all know what the right thing is."

Thirty-five of the 100 Senate seats are up for grabs, as are all 435 seats in the House of Representatives and 36 governorships.

Wednesday, Nov 9 9:00 JST

NHK World-Japan's coverage has started

NHK World-Japan has started its coverage of the US midterm elections.
We will broadcast live at the top of every hour.

Wednesday, Nov 9 9:24 JST

ABC News poll: Inflation biggest issue

ABC News has released the preliminary results of a national exit poll of people who have already voted. The results show 32 percent who responded said inflation is the most important issue, followed by abortion with 27 percent. According to the results, voters trust the Republican Party over the Democratic Party to handle inflation by an 8-point margin of 52 percent to 44 percent.

Wednesday, Nov 9 9:28 JST

ABC News projections rolling in

ABC News projects the Democrats have so far likely secured 36 out of 100 seats in the Senate, and the Republicans 31. This includes seats which are not up for grabs.

Wednesday, Nov 9 9:55 JST

'Voting is a civic duty'

Camila Legaspi believes everyone should vote. She's been more motivated to vote after seeing the consequences of people not doing so. The current situation surrounding abortion is her biggest concern.

Wednesday, Nov 9 10:35 JST

GOP youth rally around Reagan's legacy

Watch Video 03:31

Some young conservatives in the US are looking to the past for political inspiration. They're getting involved with an organization dedicated to the legacy of a former Republican president who went from celebrity to populist champion. But it's not the one you might expect.

Wednesday, Nov 9 10:53 JST

Projections: Democrats up 1 seat, Republicans up 7 so far

Vote counting is underway. Thirty-five of the 100 Senate seats and all 435 seats in the House of Representatives are up for grabs.

ABC News is projecting Democrats have secured 37 Senate seats and Republicans, 36. Those figures include seats which are not being contested.

Wednesday, Nov 9 11:19 JST

Reporter describes how Pennsylvanians feel about candidates

NHK World's Kikuyama Kengo is in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Here is part of what he's reporting tonight:

"Pennsylvania is a key swing state that President Joe Biden is relying on to have any hope against a Republican-controlled Senate. A lot of the people we spoke to outside polling stations say they are really hoping the Democrats do well tonight.

"For that crucial Senate seat, they say they like Democrat John Fetterman. Fetterman suffered a stroke early in the campaign and Republicans have questioned whether he's fit to serve, but people we spoke to say that didn't influence their decision. They say he and the Democrats are fighting for their rights, whether that's the right to vote, or the right for women to seek an abortion.

"We've heard people say they don't like the Republican candidate, Mehmet Oz – better known by his TV nickname 'Doctor Oz.' Some say it's because he's not a native Pennsylvanian, but many others say they don't trust him because he's a former reality star, and they say he represents the Trump wing of the GOP.

"Trump visited Pennsylvania over the weekend to rally support for Oz, while Biden and former President Barack Obama also held events here for Fetterman. There’s a lot of attention on this race and this state. We'll be watching how it unfolds after the polls close."

Wednesday, Nov 9 11:30 JST

Exit polls: Majority of voters say abortion should be legal

Preliminary results from exit polls conducted by US media outlets show 60 percent of voters say abortion should be legal, up nine percent from 2020.

Wednesday, Nov 9 11:35 JST

Vote…and get free stuff

Efforts to boost voter turnout include in-store campaigns offering free goods to those who prove they cast their ballots.

Wednesday, Nov 9 11:40 JST

Florida governor DeSantis projected to win again in Florida

ABC News projects Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis will win reelection against Democratic challenger Charlie Crist.

Wednesday, Nov 9 11:50 JST

Young voters push for climate measures

Watch Video 03:21

People in their late teens and early twenties make up nearly 20 percent of the US population. One woman from this generation is actively campaigning to try to bring about changes she believes are of extreme urgency.

Wednesday, Nov 9 12:05 JST

Projections: Democrats up 4 seats, Republicans up 11 so far

ABC News is projecting Democrats and Republicans have each secured 40 Senate seats, including seats which are not being contested.

Thirty-five of the 100 Senate seats and all 435 seats in the House of Representatives are up for grabs.

Wednesday, Nov 9 12:15 JST

Exit Poll: Biden disapproval at 54 percent

An exit poll conducted by US media shows 54 percent of respondents disapprove of President Joe Biden's performance in office, while 45 percent approve.

Wednesday, Nov 9 12:40 JST

NHK World's Kikuyama Kengo is in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Here is part of what he's reporting tonight:

"Polls across Pennsylvania closed a short time ago. A judge ordered that voting stations in Luzerne County in Northeastern Pennsylvania stay open until 10 p.m. ET, after some reportedly ran out of paper ballots.

"That appears to be the biggest headache for most voters here in this battleground. Yesterday, there were long lines here at Philadelphia City Hall after a large number of mail-in ballots, at least 3,400, were rejected due to incorrect dates and other issues. People lined up and waited for hours to get things resolved.

"But today, everything appeared to go much smoother. We saw people going in and out here at this polling station, and another one not too far from here, without major issues.

Lines were not too long, and poll workers we talked to said they had not seen too many problems.

"Here in the heart of Pennsylvania's largest city, people appeared able to cast their votes easily, but that doesn't mean results will come quickly. Election workers were only able to begin counting mail-in ballots this morning, and state officials have warned it may take hours -- maybe even days -- to get the full tally.

"In other places, that may not be an issue, but here in Pennsylvania, the two candidates for senate -- Democrat John Fetterman and Republican Mehmet Oz -- have been polling very closely.

"Every vote counts in this state, and that means even minor hiccups, like that ballot issue in Luzerne County, as well as the large numbers of mail-in ballots still being counted, mean we may not know whether Pennsylvania – known as the Keystone State – will tip the balance of power in the congress toward the Democrats or the Republicans for some time."

Wednesday, Nov 9 13:00 JST

Democrat projected for New Hampshire Senate seat

ABC News projects a win for incumbent Democratic Senator Maggie Hassanin New Hampshire. The state has traditionally been a liberal state. In 2020, Biden defeated Trump there by more than seven percentage points. New Hampshire has been shaping up as one of the most decisive battlegrounds in the midterms, with Republicans seeing the Senate race as an opportunity to score a decisive blow.

Wednesday, Nov 9 13:05 JST

Republican projected to win Senate seat in Ohio

ABC News projects Republican and best-selling author J.D. Vance, endorsed by former President Donald Trump, will win a Senate seat in Ohio. The swing state is being seen by some as an indicator of Trump's influence in the midterms race. Recent voting trends have seen the state lean more Republican. Vance is the author of "Hillbilly Elegy," a memoir depicting life for the white working class in the Midwest and Northeast, where many factories have closed.

Wednesday, Nov 9 13:15 JST

Times Square lights up

Watch Video 00:11

Take a look at the massive screens in Times Square showing election updates and illuminating the area in Democrat blue and Republican red. NHK's New York team is reporting live from there, offering the latest updates.

Wednesday, Nov 9 13:15 JST

Donald Trump claims election wins

Watch Video 00:10

Former US President Donald Trump spoke to supporters gathered at Mar-A-Lago, his resort in Florida. He applauded the gains made by some candidates he has backed.

Wednesday, Nov 9 13:20 JST

Biden starts congratulatory calls

President Joe Biden is calling some projected Democrat winners. He has tweeted a picture of himself on his phone, adding, "If you're in line to vote, remember to stay in line!"

Wednesday, Nov 9 13:30 JST

Republican projected to win North Carolina Senate seat

The contest between two political novices in the North Carolina Senate race has gone down to the wire. But the Republican candidate and Congressman Ted Budd, who is supported by former President Donald Trump, is projected to narrowly get over the line.

For generations, North Carolina leaned to the right, but in recent elections its expanding urban demographic has threatened the Republican's hold on the state. Despite that, voters swung to Trump in the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections.

Wednesday, Nov 9 13:55 JST

Projections: Senate seats evenly split, 8 races still to call

ABC News projects the Democrats and the Republicans have both secured 46 out of 100 seats in the Senate, including seats which are not being contested.

As for the House of Representatives, the Associated Press projects 109 seats secured by the Democrats and 165 by the Republicans so far.

Wednesday, Nov 9 14:00 JST

NHK World-Japan is bringing you the latest on TV

NHK World-Japan is broadcasting live coverage of the US midterm elections at the top of every hour.

Wednesday, Nov 9 14:50 JST

Philadelphia's election results may be a few days away, officials say

The Philadelphia agency that oversees elections says it's delaying counting ballots because of a lawsuit accusing it of being open to double counting.

Wednesday, Nov 9 15:00 JST

NHK World-Japan's special coverage has started

NHK World-Japan has started a special live edition of the ‘Asia 24’ program.
We’re bringing you the latest on the US midterm elections, focusing on the implications for Asia.

Wednesday, Nov 9 15:25 JST

Fifteen Trump-backed candidates likely to win Senate seats

The projected winners include those in the battlefield states of Ohio and North Carolina.

Out of 25 candidates the former president has endorsed, three are projected to lose, and it is too early to predict the outcomes for the remaining seven. Trump could gain momentum for a 2024 presidential bid if the candidates he supports win in the midterms.

Wednesday, Nov 9 15:30 JST

Democrat projected Senate winner in Pennsylvania

ABC News projects a win for Democratic candidate John Fetterman, the lieutenant governor of Pennsylvania since 2019.

Both Biden and Trump traveled to Pennsylvania rallying support for candidates from their parties.

Wednesday, Nov 9 15:40 JST

Massachusetts makes history with LGBTQ win

Democratic Attorney General Maura Healey has been elected governor of Massachusetts, making her the nation's first openly lesbian woman governor.

Wednesday, Nov 9 15:55 JST

Talking about Polarization

Watch Video 02:57

The US midterm elections have highlighted gaping rifts in society. Ahead of our live report from New York, we spoke with guest Peter Coleman, a prominent advocate at a group aiming to overcome polarization.

Coleman is 'Expert-in-residence' at Starts With Us, a non-partisan group that's searching for ways out of what it calls the "toxic division that's tearing the US apart." Coleman is also a professor at Columbia University. He was joined in our conversation by his project administrator, Matsuura Kaho.

Wednesday, Nov 9 16:15 JST

Midterms raise Indo-Pacific stakes amid talk of US-China summit

NHK World's Nakamura Genta is in Beijing. Here is part of what he's reporting tonight:

"Officials in Beijing are concerned that newly emboldened Republicans will pressure the Biden administration to toughen its stance on issues like Taiwan and trade. Biden can't afford to look weak. So, he'll likely stay engaged in the Indo-Pacific and try to outcompete China there.

"But Chinese President Xi Jinping is in no mood to concede. He is Beijing's most powerful leader in decades, and aims to achieve China's global preeminence.

"The Beijing-Washington rivalry will likely intensify, as the US has shown general bipartisan support for an adversarial stance on China.

"A global focus now is on the prospect of a US-China summit during the G20 meeting next week in Indonesia. The two leaders have not met face to face since Biden took office. Beijing may continue with its aggressive diplomatic stance, but as it grapples with a number of problems at home -- not least an economic slowdown -- it still wants to avoid head-on confrontation.

"One consequence of the US midterms may be a weakened US president, at a time the Chinese leader has increased his power. But the relationship will suffer further if Beijing tries using this to gain an upper hand. A Biden-Xi meeting will at least help clarify the impact of the elections on US-China ties."

Wednesday, Nov 9 16:35 JST

Headlines in Seoul, but few predictions for change

NHK World's Kim Chan-ju is in Seoul. Here is part of her report tonight:

"The US midterms are making headlines here. Local media are reporting a Republican lead in the House of Representatives, while noting many regional races are running neck-and-neck.

"Pundits agree that US policy on the North Korean nuclear issue will likely remain unchanged, due to a bipartisan consensus on the importance of the Korea-US alliance. Experts say the Biden administration is focused on the domestic economy, ties with China, and the war in Ukraine. North Korea therefore seems to be further down the list."

Wednesday, Nov 9 16:45 JST

Contest closer than expected

The race for the Senate is very tight. US media outlets are now reporting that the Republican Party is not showing as much momentum as it had hoped for.

The New York Times says, "The so-called red wave that Republicans expected on Tuesday simply was not materializing."

The Washington Post also says Republicans are expected to retake a majority in the House but that early signs suggested there may be no red wave as big as the right had predicted.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham told NBC News that, "It is not a wave, for sure," but remained hopeful of a Senate majority.

Wednesday, Nov 9 16:50 JST

Traders in wait-and-see mode

NHK World's Yanaka Marie reports from the Tokyo Stock Exchange after the close of trading on Wednesday.

"The major indices in Tokyo lacked direction. Investors were cautious to make big moves as they did not get clarity on the balance of power in US Congress during Tokyo trading hours.

"Both the Nikkei Average and broader TOPIX index lost about half a percent on Wednesday, November 9th.

"Traders were in a wait-and-see mood, not just because of the midterms, but also due to CPI data due out on Thursday. Inflation was front-and-center of the election, with the cost of living crisis weighing on the minds of voters. Republican candidates tended to focus on the beleaguered state of the economy from an early stage of the campaign.

"That's seen as one of the main reasons polls are favoring them to do well. They show Republicans gaining the majority in one or both chambers of Congress. That would be consistent with the trend of the ruling party losing ground in midterm elections.

"Let's take a look at how the markets might be affected by their winning. A Republican sweep of both chambers of Congress would allow them to cut back on fiscal spending. That could fuel a rally in US government bonds, weaken the dollar, and tame inflation to a certain extent. Looking at various sectors, pharmaceutical and biotech stocks could benefit, considering recent legislation from Democrats to lower prescription drug prices. Tech securities could get a boost as well. That's as Republicans are seen as less likely to regulate the industry. Oil exploration and pipeline companies may also enjoy gains as Republican policies encourage domestic energy production while clean energy stocks may fall. Green policies are favored by Democrats.

"Meanwhile, if the election ends in gridlock, the markets might enjoy a rally. Traditionally, a split government has been seen as favorable to investors, who want their equities to be unaffected by major policy moves."

Wednesday, Nov 9 17:05 JST

Projections: 5 races still to call

ABC News projects the Democrats will secure 48, while the Republicans 47 out of 100 seats in the Senate, including seats which are not being contested.

As for the House of Representatives, the Associated Press now projects 167 seats will be secured by the Democrats and 197 by the Republicans.

Wednesday, Nov 9 17:25 JST

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi: "It is clear that House Democratic members and candidates are strongly outperforming expectations across the country."

ABC News reports that the Democratic speaker of the House made a statement: "As states continue to tabulate the final results, every vote must be counted as cast. Many thanks to our grassroots volunteers for enabling every voter to have their say in our democracy."

Wednesday, Nov 9 18:10 JST

Final result 'could take a week'

US media say it may be some time before final election results are known.

The Washington Post says it may take more than a week to confirm all votes for the Senate, the House and governors.

ABC News said in a program that patience would be required. It said the American people would go to bed without knowing.

The New York Times noted that it took two weeks for the 2020 presidential election to be finalized, and says the situation is similar this time.

Wednesday, Nov 10 1:40 JST

Republican projected to win Wisconsin Senate race

ABC News projects that in Wisconsin, Republican Senator Ron Johnson, running with the endorsement of former president Donald Trump, will retain his seat.

Wednesday, Nov 10 11:20 JST

Donald Trump: 'Yesterday's election was somewhat disappointing'

In a post on his social-media platform, former president Trump acknowledged that the Republicans had not done as well as expected. He went on to boast of success, however, writing, "it was a very big victory -- 219 WINS and 16 Losses in the General -- Who has ever done better than that?"

Meanwhile, several US media outlets report that Trump is furious over his party's unexpected struggle.

Wednesday, Nov 10 13:35 JST

Projections show Senate race down to the wire

ABC News projects that Democrats and Republicans both have 48 of the 100 Senate seats when slots not contested in the midterms are included in the tally.

In the House of Representatives all 435 seas were up for grabs. The Associated Press now projects 184 seats have been secured by the Democrats and 207 by the Republicans.

Wednesday, Nov 10 13:40 JST

Biden hails results and says he plans to run

US President Joe Biden referred to the midterm elections at the White House on Wednesday, hailing it as "a good day for democracy" and for America.

Biden also said that he intends to run for reelection and will likely make a final decision by early next year.

He told reporters that "our intention is to run again," and said, "this is ultimately a family decision."

Wednesday, Nov 10 14:30 JST

Georgia Senate race to be decided in runoff

The contest for one of Georgia's two Senate seats is to be decided in a runoff election on December 6. Neither of the two contenders -- Democratic incumbent Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger Herschel Walker -- garnered more than 50 percent of the vote in Tuesday's midterm ballot.

Wednesday, Nov 10 18:00 JST

Media: Increase in mail-in ballots to delay some results

The University of Florida, which tracks nationwide voting statistics, says more than 25 million people voted by mail. That's up by 2.5 million from 4 years ago.

NPR reports that there's "a wonky reason" why this rise will delay the reporting of some results. It says officials have to go through a laborious process that involves checking voters' signatures on the return envelopes, opening the envelopes, taking out the ballots, flattening them, and then grouping them into stacks ready for scanning before counting.

The radio station notes that some states have laws in place that don't allow this procedure to begin until the last day of voting.

Wednesday, Nov 13 13:00 JST

Democrats projected to keep control of Senate

ABC News is projecting the Democrats will retain their majority in the Senate.

That means the balance of power in the upper chamber has effectively been decided even without the result of the runoff in Georgia, which is set to take place on December 6. Georgia is the last Senate seat up for grabs.

The Democrats have controlled the Senate majority for the past two years by the barest of margins. Biden has narrowly escaped losing it, despite low approval ratings -- largely a result of record inflation.

The future of the House remains unclear as vote counting continues.

Wednesday, Nov 17 9:30 JST

Republicans projected to take control of House

ABC News is now projecting the Republican Party will take control of the House of Representatives.

Counting is still going in some contests days after voting ended on Nov. 8, with the Democrats performing much better than expected at the ballot box.

A change of power in the lower chamber will make it extremely difficult for US President Joe Biden to achieve meaningful policy objectives in the final two years of his tenure.