Republican Sen. Ron Johnson projected to win in Wisconsin against Mandela Barnes

Republican Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) thanks his supporters before leaving the venue of his election night party, while still awaiting results for U.S. midterm elections in Neenah, Wisconsin, U.S. November 9, 2022. 

Daniel Steinle | Reuters

Incumbent Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin is projected by NBC News to defeat his Democratic challenger Mandela Barnes.

Johnson had 50.5% of the votes, while Barnes, the state’s lieutenant governor, had 49.3%, with 94% of the ballots counted.

Three other states have yet to determine the winners of the elections for U.S. Senate: Arizona, Georgia and Nevada. In all three of those races, Democrats are incumbents.

Republicans need to win two of the outstanding seats to get majority control of the Senate in 2023. Pennsylvania’s open Senate seat, which is currently held by a Republican, was won by a Democrat.. GOP candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz conceded his loss to Democratic Lt. Gov. John Fetterman earlier Wednesday morning.

Before Johnson’s victory was projected, he said in a statement that he had clinched the race.

“Truth has prevailed over lies and the politics of personal destruction,” Johnson said.

“I want to thank my family and everyone who supported me and worked so hard to save this U.S. Senate seat,” he said. “I will do everything I can to help make things better for Wisconsinites and to heal and unify our country.”

— Dan Mangan

Here’s when Senate election results in key states could get decided

Americans vote at the Tenney Park polling place on November 8, 2022 in Madison, Wisconsin.

Jim Vondruska | Getty Images

Control of the U.S. Senate in 2023 could take days, and maybe weeks, to resolve, as votes are still being counted in three states.

Because Democrat John Fetterman flipped the GOP-held Pennsylvania Senate seat, Republicans need to win two of the races for the Democratic-held seats in Arizona, Georgia or Nevada to win Senate control.

Democrats need to prevail in two of those three races to hold their majority.

Georgia could be headed to a run-off election on Dec. 6 if no Senate candidate cracks 50% of the vote in coming days.

With 96% of the votes counted in Georgia as of this morning, incumbent Democrat Sen. Raphael Warnock had 49.2% of the vote, with his Republican challenger Herschel Walker holding 48.7%. Libertarian candidate Chase Oliver had 2.1% of the vote.

In Arizona, a much smaller percentage of the votes were in, which means it could take several days more to resolve the race between Sen. Mark Kelly, a Democrat, and his Republican challenger, Blake Masters. Kelly had 51.9% of the vote, and Masters had 45.9%.

But just 67% of the ballots had been tabulated in Arizona, where many voters submitted ballots early, before Election Day.

Ballots that were submitted at polling places on Tuesday will take days to have their signatures verified and counted.

In Nevada, Republican challenger Adam Laxalt had 49.9% of the vote, compared with the 47.2% of the vote held by Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, the incumbent Democrat.

But just 80% of the vote in the state was in.

And because most of the ballots will be mail-in votes, which have four days to arrive if they are postmarked by Election Day, it could take several days, if not more, to get a final result.

— Dan Mangan

Dr. Oz concedes Pennsylvania Senate race to John Fetterman

Republican Pennsylvania U.S. Senate candidate Mehmet Oz with his wife and family attend his 2022 U.S. midterm elections night party in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., November 8, 2022. 

Hannah Beier | Reuters

Dr. Mehmet Oz called John Fetterman to concede he lost the U.S. Senate election in Pennsylvania, Oz’s campaign manager told NBC News.

The call by the Republican Oz came hours after NBC projected Fetterman, the Democratic lieutenant governor, as the winner in the Keystone state.

With 94% of the votes in, Fetterman had 50.3% of the vote, while Oz had 47.2%.

Fetterman’s victory was a major one for Democrats — who are battling to retain their razor-thin majority in the Senate — because the seat is currently held by Sen. Pat Toomey, a Republican.

That means the party can afford to lose one of three remaining Senate races that have yet to be called, where Democratic incumbents are defending their seats: Arizona, Georgia, and Nevada.

In Wisconsin, a winner has yet to be declared in the Senate contest between Republican incumbent Sen. Ron Johnson, and Democratic challenger Mandela Barnes.

— Dan Mangan

Some of Trump’s favorite candidates disappoint on Election Day

Former U.S. President Donald Trump talks to the press on the grounds of his Mar-a-Lago resort on midterm elections night in Palm Beach, Florida, U.S. November 8, 2022.

Ricardo Arduengo | Reuters

Former President Donald Trump hosted an election night party Tuesday at Mar-a-Lago, his Florida resort, and invited a full pool of reporters to document what he hoped would be a Republican landslide.

But as returns began to come in Tuesday evening, the Republican rout driven by Trump’s chosen candidates never materialized.

In one of the country’s most high-profile races, Trump’s handpicked Senate candidate in Pennsylvania, Dr. Mehmet Oz, lost to Democratic Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, according to NBC News. The result cost the GOP a Senate seat.

In Michigan, Trump-endorsed Republican Tudor Dixon lost a gubernatorial race, while 2020 election denier Kristina Karamo lost her Trump-backed bid for secretary of state, NBC projected.

In Arizona, Kari Lake, a former newscaster turned gubernatorial candidate who is one of Trump’s most high-profile picks, trailed Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs in a race that NBC considered too early to call. Trump-endorsed Senate hopeful Blake Masters, who is challenging Arizona Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly, also lagged in a race that NBC said was too early to call.

— Christina Wilkie

Michigan, California and Vermont make abortion a state constitutional right

Los Angeles, CaliforniaSept. 26, 2022Signs at a pro-choice event at the Womens March Action Headquarters in Los Angeles on Oct. 3, 2022. Yes on1 signs on a table at the event.

Carolyn Cole | Los Angeles Times | Getty Images

Voters in Michigan, California and Vermont have amended their state constitutions to protect abortion as a right, NBC News projects.

Michigan will become a crucial safe haven for reproductive rights in the Midwest, a region where abortion access is shrinking as states such as Indiana and Ohio have passed very restrictive laws.

Although abortion was never under threat in liberal California and Vermont, the state constitutional amendments will protect access for future generations.

Women cheer as they hear early voting results indicating the passage of Proposal 3, a midterm ballot measure that enshrines abortion rights, during a Reproductive Freedom For All watch party on U.S. midterm election night in Detroit, Michigan, November 8, 2022. 

Evelyn Hockstein | Reuters

In conservative Kentucky, voters were asked whether the state constitution should be amended to say that it does not protect abortion as a right.

The votes are still being counted and NBC News has not made a call yet. So far, however, 51.4% of Kentuckians have voted against the anti-abortion measure while 48.6% have voted in favor with 82% of the vote in.

— Spencer Kimball

Republicans didn’t see a ‘red wave’ as control of both chambers of Congress remains up for grabs

Pennsylvania Republican candidate for Governor Doug Mastriano and his wife Rebbie stand next to an image of former U.S. President Donald Trump on the ‘Real America Speaks Team MAGA Election Bus’ after arriving for a campaign rally ahead of the 2022 U.S. midterm elections in Newtown, Pennsylvania, November 7, 2022.

Mike Segar | Reuters

Ballots are still being tabulated from Tuesday’s midterm elections leaving which party controls either chamber of Congress uncertain, but one thing is clear: The Republican “red wave” did not materialize.

Venture capitalist J.D. Vance scored an early win for Republicans, retaining Ohio’s vacated U.S. Senate seat for the GOP by beating U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan. But Democrats saw critical wins in Pennsylvania where Lt. Gov. John Fetterman flipped a U.S. Senate seat blue by defeating TV personality Dr. Mehmet Oz. Pennsylvania’s Democratic attorney general, Josh Shapiro, won the governorship, beating state Sen. Doug Mastriano who attended the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.

Unlike the 2020 election, Pennsylvania was not among the last to be called, but several other critical races remain undetermined Wednesday morning. Senate races in Nevada and Arizona are still too close to call, with Georgia’s U.S. Senate race looking likely to go into a December runoff. Neither party has claimed control of the U.S. House with several seats left uncalled. Republicans are still more likely to take control of the House majority, but it won’t be with the margins they had hoped.

“Definitely not a Republican wave, that is for darn sure,” said Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina on NBC News on Tuesday evening. “A wave would have been, like, (winning) New Hampshire and Colorado.”

Emma Kinery