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  • JUDY WOODRUFF: Good evening. I'm Judy Woodruff.

  • On the "NewsHour" tonight: counting the votes.

  • Election officials continue to tally ballots, as Americans await the result of tight races,

  • including ones that could decide control of Congress.

  • Then: a tense moment.

  • Russia withdraws troops from a key region, as Ukrainian forces advance cautiously, fearing a trap.

  • And after the storm.

  • Recently released prisoners find themselves cut off from disaster aid in the aftermath

  • of hurricanes.

  • SETH CAMPBELL, Former Inmate: When you are in the midst of it, and now you have ones,

  • like, truly affected, like, I wasn't prepared for this turn in life.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF: All that and more on tonight's "PBS NewsHour."

  • (BREAK)

  • JUDY WOODRUFF: It is not over yet.

  • More results from the midterm elections have trickled in today, but the ultimate majorities

  • in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives remain in question.

  • Geoff Bennett begins our coverage.

  • GEOFF BENNETT: Another day of waiting, as margins remain narrow in three Senate races

  • that will determine which party has control of the Senate for the next two years.

  • In Georgia, where neither candidate surpassed the required 50 percent vote threshold, the

  • lead-up to December's run-off election is already under way, the incumbent, Raphael

  • Warnock, appealing to his Democratic base at a campaign event today.

  • SEN.

  • RAPHAEL WARNOCK (D-GA): Over the next four weeks, I hope you will give me the opportunity

  • to earn your vote.

  • Every day I have served in the Senate, I have been thinking about the people of Georgia.

  • And that's what I will do for the next six years.

  • GEOFF BENNETT: And Republican Lindsey Graham speaking on Herschel Walker's behalf on FOX

  • last night.

  • SEN.

  • LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): And here's what I think.

  • Warnock doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell if we will get behind Herschel Walker.

  • He needs money.

  • He got outspent 3-1.

  • GEOFF BENNETT: Democrats still need two seats to maintain their majority, a reality possibly

  • within reach, as states work to tally every vote.

  • In Nevada, as of tonight, Republican Adam Laxalt is ahead of his Democratic opponent,

  • incumbent Catherine Cortez Masto.

  • Masto, whose seat Republicans had hoped to flip, was seen as vulnerable heading into

  • the race.

  • Laxalt played a role in Nevada's unsuccessful effort to overturn President Biden's victory

  • in the 2020 election.

  • Meantime, in Arizona, the Democratic incumbent, Mark Kelly, has the lead against his Trump-backed

  • opponent, Blake Masters.

  • It's a state where many people opted to vote early, prolonging the counting process for

  • days.

  • Vote counting also continued in House races across the country.

  • While the most likely scenario is a single-digit majority for Republicans, Democrats are outperforming

  • expectations in key races, Republican Lauren Boebert in Colorado, a Trump favorite, in

  • a surprisingly close race with her Democratic opponent, Adam Frisch, that race still too

  • close to call, but highlighting a broader trend of fewer voters aligning themselves

  • with the former president at the polls.

  • Republican Kevin McCarthy announced his intention of running for House speaker.

  • The White House says President Biden called McCarthy last night, early signs of the new

  • across-the-aisle relationship-building to come.

  • For the "PBS NewsHour," I'm Geoff Bennett.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF: For more analysis on the state of results in key races, let's go to Amna

  • Nawaz and Lisa Desjardins.

  • AMNA NAWAZ: Thanks, Judy.

  • That's right.

  • Well, there's still a number of House races that's yet to be called two days after voting

  • has ended.

  • But it's a good time to check in on the balance of power in the House of Representatives.

  • Lisa is going to walk us through it.

  • What do you know?

  • LISA DESJARDINS: What's going to happen?

  • All right, here we go.

  • This is the House chamber, of course, what we have right now; 209 seats have been called

  • for the Republican Party, 189 for Democrats.

  • Everybody knows you need 218 seats.

  • So Republicans are still nine votes short.

  • Slowly, slowly, these races are being called one by one.

  • But we are still waiting to see exactly how this goes.

  • And I will say, Amna, as you know, I have been tracking this not just by numbers of

  • seats called, but in terms of who's gained, who's lost.

  • Because of races called in the last day, in my tracker, I have the Republicans up nine

  • seats net.

  • They need five to take the majority.

  • But, of course, there are still many races left.

  • There are 28 seats, competitive seats, that we're watching.

  • So, right now, Republicans gaining, but how much will they gain in the end?

  • AMNA NAWAZ: I will say, Lisa, when you look at this, this is not exactly the red wave

  • many people predicted.

  • LISA DESJARDINS: Yes.

  • AMNA NAWAZ: Democrats made some gains in some places, Republicans in others.

  • LISA DESJARDINS: Right.

  • AMNA NAWAZ: How did we get here?

  • LISA DESJARDINS: Right.

  • Let's talk about where Republicans gained.

  • This is fascinating, everybody.

  • So, first of all, when I look through what happened in the last -- in this election,

  • Republicans gained four seats in Florida.

  • Now, Florida did pick up a seat because of the census changes, but just one.

  • Republicans, how did they gain four?

  • Ron DeSantis.

  • The Republican legislature and the governor there changed the maps in a way that have

  • benefited Republicans to the tune of four seats.

  • Where else did they gain?

  • In a blue state, New York.

  • New York, they gained four seats also because of the maps.

  • Democrats wanted a more partisan map.

  • That was thrown out.

  • A special master instead put together a less partisan map, and that has favored Republicans,

  • moving back maybe toward a less partisan view of New York.

  • Democrats gained two.

  • That's why it's so close.

  • Where did they do well?

  • In the Great Lakes states, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, but that wasn't about the map, Amna.

  • That was about the candidates.

  • In many of these races, we saw extreme Republicans, supporters of President Trump, election deniers,

  • and we saw them rejected by candidates, sometimes in Republican-leaning districts.

  • AMNA NAWAZ: Lisa, we have mentioned to our audience again and again we're relying on

  • the AP to make these calls.

  • LISA DESJARDINS: Yes.

  • AMNA NAWAZ: They do that based on math and facts.

  • LISA DESJARDINS: Right.

  • Right.

  • AMNA NAWAZ: Still races to be called, according to them.

  • LISA DESJARDINS: That's right.

  • AMNA NAWAZ: What are you tracking?

  • LISA DESJARDINS: Math and facts, let's look at both.

  • All right, here we go.

  • Fact, Republican Lauren Boebert in Colorado is now leading again.

  • Last night, she was not.

  • But this is a race that is still just about 700 votes difference between her and Adam

  • Frisch.

  • And right now, we have 98 percent or so of the expected vote, with more coming in.

  • This one is really been a barn burner.

  • And it could go -- flip back again.

  • But, right now, Representative Lauren Boebert probably feeling a lot better than she did

  • last night.

  • Now, let's look at another one of these states where a lot of the vote is still out California.

  • Katie Porter, also a very well-known high-profile representative, she is leading in her race

  • right now, but just 58 percent of the vote.

  • Amna, these California races are going to take a long time.

  • The largest group of races outstanding are in California.

  • So that's going to be a problem for figuring out how big the majority is for Kevin McCarthy,

  • right now, Katie Porter ahead.

  • Let's look at one more, Nevada 3, Las Vegas.

  • Susie Lee, she was up by less than a point last night when we checked in.

  • She's gaining more.

  • Now she's got -- she's up by two points, a whopping two points.

  • (LAUGHTER)

  • LISA DESJARDINS: Republicans, I talked to some who are involved in politics in that

  • state who know this race well.

  • They think they still have a chance in this race.

  • They said, in Las Vegas terms, they have got to get an inside straight, but there are still

  • ballots remain to be counted from Election Day, drop-off ballots.

  • They think that could help them, but, right now, Susie Lee probably feeling pretty good,

  • and Democrats too.

  • AMNA NAWAZ: Those are House races as yet to be called.

  • LISA DESJARDINS: Yes.

  • AMNA NAWAZ: You are tracking other races as well in Arizona.

  • LISA DESJARDINS: Yes.

  • AMNA NAWAZ: Let's check out what's happening in the governor's race.

  • LISA DESJARDINS: Right.

  • This is such a marquee race.

  • Katie Hobbs right now is still leading over Kari Lake.

  • Let's do the calculation in my head really quick, 15,000 votes, a little bit less than

  • that, 13,000 votes, 70 percent of the expected vote in.

  • We expect an update from Maricopa County, where the majority of votes are in this state,

  • in the next few hours.

  • Again, this could be slow, but, right now, Katie Hobbs is holding on to relieve for that

  • important gubernatorial seat.

  • AMNA NAWAZ: Another big issue I know you're tracking.

  • LISA DESJARDINS: Yes.

  • AMNA NAWAZ: Kari Lake is among those who falsely denies the results from the 2020 election,

  • a so-called election denier.

  • LISA DESJARDINS: That was part of her campaign, yes.

  • AMNA NAWAZ: You have been tracking those candidates.

  • Tell me about where they stand.

  • LISA DESJARDINS: OK.