Washington — Millions of Americans are heading to the polls Tuesday as one of the most contentious and divisive campaign seasons in recent memory comes to a close, with control of Congress and critical offices around the country at stake in this year’s.
All 435 seats in the House are up for grabs, as well as 35 Senate seats. Three dozen governorships hang in the balance, as well as hundreds of races to determine control of state legislatures.
The first polls close at 6 p.m. ET in Indiana and Kentucky, and the final polls close at 1 a.m. ET in Alaska.
CBS News will provide live coverage of the midterm results throughout the night and into the early morning on the CBS News Streaming Network, and on CBS stations from 8 to 11 p.m. Elections officials at the state level have cautioned that counting all the votes will take time, and that delays in determining the winners of races are part of the process to ensure an accurate count.
Heading into Election Day, Republicans appeared in a solid position to take control of the House and challenge Democrats for control of the Senate. Theshowed the GOP on track to gain an estimated 15 seats in the lower chamber, but a number of factors will influence the final outcome.
Voters’ top concerns centered around the economy and inflation, and Republicans are hoping that high consumer prices and discontent over economic headwinds will propel voters to rebuff President Biden and Democrats’ agenda.
Democrats, meanwhile, are hoping that strong turnout among their core constituencies, including young voters, will be enough to stem the tide of GOP gains and retain control of Congress.
Mr. Biden, former President Barack Obama and candidate surrogates struck out across the country to rally last-minute support for their preferred candidates.
Mr. Biden spent the final weekend before Election Day with Obama in Philadelphia stumping for Democrats John Fetterman, running for Senate, and Josh Shapiro, seeking the governorship. He then headed to New York on Sunday to rally support for Gov. Kathy Hochul and, on the last full day of campaigning, to Maryland on Monday, where Democrat Wes Moore could make history as the state’s first Black governor if victorious.
During their appearances, both Mr. Biden and Obama stressed to voters that fundamental rights are on the ballot Tuesday, and they warned that if Republicans are to regain majorities in the House and Senate, Mr. Biden’s policy agenda would be stymied during the final two years of his first term.
“This ain’t your father’s Republican Party,” Mr. Biden told supporters in Philadelphia on Saturday. “This is a different breed of cat.”
Former President Donald Trump, meanwhile, held rallies in support of Republican candidates in Pennsylvania, Florida and Ohio, where he hinted at his own political future Monday night.
“Not to detract from tomorrow’s very important, even critical, election, and I would say in the strongest way it’s a country-saving election … I’m going to be making a very big announcement on Tuesday, Nov. 15 at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida,” Trump said.