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2022 midterm elections: Election deniers who won and lost

How the process of counting ballots works
Behind the scenes on the counting of ballots, threats and "election deniers" 08:20

A majority of the Republican candidates for statewide or federal office who raised doubts about the validity of the 2020 presidential elections are projected to win their races — though many of the highest-profile election deniers are estimated to have lost their bids.

The defeated include many of former President Donald Trump's most prominent endorsements for top offices in states across the country — including Senate candidates Blake Masters, Mehmet Oz, Adam Laxalt and gubernatorial candidates Doug Mastriano, Kari Lake and Tudor Dixon. Though a couple of other candidates, J.D. Vance and Ted Budd, won their Senate races, it was not enough for Republicans to take control of the Senate.

A number of prominent GOP incumbents who cast doubt on the validity of the 2020 election were reelected as well. Sens. Ron Johnson, Rand Paul, John Kennedy and Mike Lee all won reelection in the Senate, and In the House of Representatives, Reps. Matt Gaetz, Marjorie Taylor-Green, Kevin McCarthy, and Paul Gosar were re-elected as well.

In races for secretary of state, voters also rejected Trump-endorsed Mark Finchem in Arizona, Jim Marchant of Nevada, and Kristina Karamo of Michigan to oversee state elections. And one high-profile race is undecided: Herschel Walker faces a runoff election against incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock on Dec. 6.

But overall, at least 60% of the Republican candidates who raised unfounded doubts about the validity or integrity of the 2020 election results — 185 of 308 — are projected to win their midterm races so far. Candidates deemed by CBS News to be election deniers have one or more of these characteristics:

  • Said they believe the 2020 election was stolen;
  • Repeated disproven claims of widespread voter fraud in 2020;
  • Supported a type of post 2020-audit, sometimes following recounts or canvassing;
  • Signed onto the Texas lawsuit looking to overturn the 2020 election results in several battleground states;
  • Objected to certify the 2020 electoral college results in Arizona and Pennsylvania on Jan. 6, 2021; or
  • Have at least once, if not more, been unclear when asked if they believe President Joe Biden was legitimately elected.

CBS News has over 10 races remaining to be projected, including two Senate races, 7 House races, one gubernatorial race, one state attorney general race, one lieutenant governor race and one secretary of state race. 

In the next Congress, there are projected to be 156 GOP House members who have raised doubts about the validity of the 2020 election, an increase from the 147 GOP House members who, in January 2021, voted to object to the certification of the Electoral College. In the new Senate, five new senators who fall into the category of  "election deniers" will take office, with four incumbents joining them. 

Over half of all Republican midterm candidates running for federal and statewide office raised unfounded doubts about the integrity of the 2020 election results, and according to CBS News' analysis, only Rhode Island and North Dakota did not have a candidate on the the ballot who denied the results of the 2020 election were valid.

Contributions by Sierra Sanders, Grace Kazarian, Fritz Farrow, Scott MacFarlane and Major Garrett

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