Fraud allegations loom over North Carolina congressional race

More than four weeks after Democrat Dan McCready conceded to Republican Mark Harris, allegations of voter fraud are preventing North Carolina elections officials from certifying results for the state’s 9th Congressional District. McCready, who currently trails Harris by 905 votes in the unofficial tally, took to social media Thursday to withdraw his concession. “I didn’t … Continue reading “Fraud allegations loom over North Carolina congressional race”

More than four weeks after Democrat Dan McCready conceded to Republican Mark Harris, allegations of voter fraud are preventing North Carolina elections officials from certifying results for the state’s 9th Congressional District.

McCready, who currently trails Harris by 905 votes in the unofficial tally, took to social media Thursday to withdraw his concession.

“I didn’t serve overseas in the Marine Corps just to come back home and watch politicians and career criminals attack our democracy,” McCrady said in a video posted to his Twitter account. “And I call on Mark Harris to tell us exactly what he knew and when he knew it.”

Citing filings with the Federal Election Commission (FEC), The New York Times was first to report Harris’ campaign disclosed it owes more than $34,000 in connection with a voter turnout effort in Bladen County that has been called into question. State elections officials are investigating allegations that a Republican political operative ran a door-to-door operation to collect absentee ballots from voters, which is illegal in North Carolina.

North Carolina GOP leaders insist Harris had no knowledge of illegal activity. But they say they would support a new election if state officials can show ballot irregularities affected the outcome of the race.

"To sum it up, we think the Board of Elections should hold a public hearing and fully lay out the facts,” Dallas Woodhouse, executive director of the North Carolina GOP, said in a written statement to Fox News. "If they can show with certainty that the outcome could NOT have been changed, they need to certify Dr. Harris and continue to support all state and federal criminal investigations. If they can show a substantial likelihood it could have changed the race, then we fully would support a new election."

More than four weeks after Democrat Dan McCready (left) conceded to Republican Mark Harris (right), allegations of voter fraud are preventing North Carolina elections officials from certifying results for the state’s 9th Congressional District. McCready has withdrawn his concession.

“We’re calling for transparency,” said State Sen. Paul Newton, a Republican. “We’re calling for a fully bipartisan task force to lead the investigation, and finally that the investigation be broad enough — have a broad enough scope — to satisfy the concerns of all North Carolinians.”

North Carolina’s bipartisan State Board of Elections & Ethics Enforcement has announced it will hold the evidentiary hearing on, or before, December 21. If the board determines there’s enough evidence that fraud affected the outcome of the race, it could call for a completely new election early next year.

“The Board of Elections has taken important steps to uncover the truth in this case by further delaying certification of the 9th District election and by calling for a full public evidentiary hearing,” said Wayne Goodwin, chairman of the North Carolina Democratic Party. “This was the right move.”

Democrats, who will control the U.S. House next year, could get involved. Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi told reporters the House retains the right to determine who is seated in Congress.

“The House Administration Committee will have full investigative authority to determine the winner of the election,” Pelosi said. “Only if it’s impossible to determine who the winner is would we take the extraordinary step of calling for a new election. But that governing body can do so.”

Pelosi added that allegations of fraud in the North Carolina race are not only a problem for Democrats.

“The Republicans have a problem, too,” she said, “because it affected their primary election.”

In the May GOP primary, Harris, a Baptist pastor, defeated incumbent Rep. Robert Pittenger. Both candidates had run as pro-Trump conservatives.

Fox News producer David Lewkowict contributed to this report.

Jonathan Serrie joined Fox News Channel (FNC) in April 1999 and currently serves as a correspondent based in the Atlanta bureau.

Missouri Sen.-elect Josh Hawley probed after complaint from liberal group

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, who defeated incumbent Claire McCaskill for Senate earlier this year, is under investigation after a liberal group accused him of misusing taxpayer-funded resources.

The office of Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft confirmed the investigation to the American Democracy Legal Fund (ADLF), the group that filed the complaint, in a letter provided to Fox News.

Both Hawley and Ashcroft are Republicans.

In its complaint, the ADLF alleged Hawley had political consultants “direct state, taxpayer-paid staff to undertake tasks that would raise Hawley’s profile” in his quest for the Senate seat.

The complaint came after an October report in The Kansas City Star newspaper which said out-of-state consultants gave Hawley’s attorney general staff members – through email, text messages and in person – tasks to shape his agenda in his office.

Khristine A. Heisinger, deputy general counsel for the secretary of state, confirmed in a letter to ADLF President Brad Woodhouse that “this office will commence an investigation into the alleged offense.” She asked the ADLF to turn over any evidence about the alleged offense.

LTR to Woodhouse.12.6.18 by Kaitlyn on Scribd

“Josh Hawley’s flagrant abuse of his taxpayer-funded office for his own political gain deserves immediate investigation,” Woodhouse said in a statement to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “We’re heartened to see Secretary of State Ashcroft give this racket further scrutiny.”

HAWLEY DEFEATS MCCASKILL IN HARD-FOUGHT MISSOURI SENATE RACE

Mary Compton, a spokeswoman for the attorney general’s office, told Fox News the office is “delighted to cooperate” in the investigation to “put these ridiculous allegations to bed once and for all.”

“These allegations are totally meritless and nothing more than a partisan attempt to slander the work of the Attorney General’s Office,” she said. “As we have said before, no taxpayer resources were ever expended for campaign purposes. And no government employees ever participated in the campaign or political activities.”

Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft’s office has opened an investigation into fellow Republican Josh Hawley after he was accused of misusing public resources for his successful bid for Senate.  (Official photo)

Missouri law states: “No contribution or expenditure of public funds shall be made directly by any officer, employee or agent of any political subdivision to advocate, support or oppose any ballot measure or candidate for public office.”

REPUBLICAN SENATOR ASKS MCCASKILL CAMPAIGN TO REMOVE HIM FROM AD

After the accusations first surfaced, McCaskill – a former prosecutor who has held her Senate seat since 2007 – compared Hawley’s alleged actions to that of a previous Missouri attorney general who went to prison in 1993 after he used state resources for political reasons, according to the Post-Dispatch.

“It is against the law to use state resources for political gain,” McCaskill said. “You cannot use taxpayer-paid staff to assist in any political purpose. The last attorney general went to prison for utilizing his office and his state staff to promote him politically. Those are the facts.”

Kaitlyn Schallhorn is a Reporter for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter: @K_Schallhorn.

Ousted GOP congressman says ‘Trumpism isn’t the future’ of Republican Party

Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo lost his seat to a Democratic challenger in the midterm elections, but he still has a vision for the GOP – and it doesn’t include what he calls “Trumpism.”

Curbelo, the 38-year-old who has represented Florida’s 26th congressional district since 2015, was defeated by Debbie Mucarsel-Powell in November. He was one of many Republican political casualties in the Democratic takeover of the House.

Curbelo was also one of a few Republican lawmakers whom President Trump criticized after they lost their elections for distancing themselves from him during their campaigns. He said the candidates who decided to “stay away” from him “did very poorly.”

“I don’t know whether I should be happy or sad, but I feel just fine about it,” Trump said, before specifically naming Curbelo.

Video

In an interview with the Miami Herald, Curbelo wouldn’t speculate if Trump – whom he called a “media hog” – should lose re-election in 2020. But he did have some criticism for what he said has been Trump's impact on the Republican Party.

“This party has to understand that if we’re going to have a small government, free enterprise party in America, that Trumpism isn’t the future for such a party,” Curbelo told the newspaper. “Everyone has to understand that the post-Trump chapter has to start being written now. No matter how the White House or anyone else wants to frame it since Donald Trump has dominated Republican politics, House Republicans have lost 47 seats.”

FLORIDA GOP REPRESENTATIVE PUBLICLY FORGIVES TEEN WHO THREATENED ONLINE TO 'KILL' HIM

Republican Utah Rep. Mia Love also lost her congressional seat and was called out by Trump in the same speech. She, too, criticized Trump when she conceded, saying he has “no real relationships, just convenient transactions.”

She said she was initially surprised when the president “took a jab at me,” but later wondered, “What did he have to gain by saying such a thing about a fellow Republican?”

“This gave me a clear vision of his world as it is: no relationships, just convenient transactions,” Love said. “That is an insufficient way to implement sincere service and policy.”

As for why he lost the race, Curbelo noted his campaign was outspent by Democrats, who funded a “barrage of ads and negative attacks.” Aside from attack ads, Curbelo also derided the negativity in “the national narrative.”

GOP REP. MIA LOVE HITS TRUMP IN CONCESSION SPEECH: HE HAS ‘NO REAL RELATIONSHIPS’

“The national narrative the last few weeks was just very negative in terms of the immigration issue, the talk about birthright citizenship, the whole caravan circus,” he said. “With everything just being so nationalized, this idea that all politics is local is increasingly true. I was able to preserve my own brand and people were aware of it, just not enough people, especially in the face of a spending gap.”

Curbelo told the Miami Herald he is proudest of the work he did on immigration as a lawmaker and plans to do more work on the issue, as well as the environment, post-Congress.

Kaitlyn Schallhorn is a Reporter for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter: @K_Schallhorn.

Republican Rep. David Valadao concedes to Dem TJ Cox in California House race

Rep. David Valadao, R-Calif., conceded to Democrat T.J. Cox Thursday, ending his bid for a fourth term in Congress a month after Election Day and eight days after Cox claimed victory in the race to represent California's 21st congressional district.

"Representing the Central Valley in Congress has been the honor of a lifetime," Valadao said in a statement. "… There is no doubt we are disappointed in the results, but we can take pride in knowing that we brought about real, tangible change … Despite the outcome in this election, we must remain deliberate in our efforts to improve our community. There is always work to be completed and I can't wait to see what else our community can accomplish."

Cox, who trailed Valadao in the vote count until Nov. 26, led the incumbent by 862 votes out of more than 113,000 cast as of Thursday. His victory means Democrats have picked up seven House seats from the GOP in California and will begin the new session with a 46-7 advantage in the state's congressional delegation.

In all, Democrats now have 235 House seats, a net gain of 40 from the previous Congress. Republicans have 199 seats, pending the outcome of a disputed race in North Carolina's 9th Congressional District.

NORTH CAROLINA GOP SIGNALS POSSIBLE SUPPORT FOR NEW HOUSE ELECTION

In 2016, Valadao was elected to a third term by 13 percentage points, even though Democrats have a 16-point edge in voter registration. The dairy farmer and former state legislator had maintained his popularity by focusing on water issues critical to agriculture and had backed proposals to settle the legal status of people brought to the country illegally as children, a tip to the district's heavy Hispanic population.

Cox, an engineer who founded two nut-processing businesses, lashed Valadao in ads as a foot soldier for the Trump agenda who enjoyed government health benefits while voting to upend ObamaCare.

LAURA INGRAHAM: ARROGANT DEMS TALK UP THEIR OWN INTELLIGENCE, TALK DOWN YOURS

Golden State Republicans lost the last four Republican seats in Orange County, once a GOP stronghold. Democrats also picked up the last Republican-held House seat anchored in Los Angeles County, when Democrat Katie Hill ousted Republican Rep. Steve Knight, and the Central Valley seat held by Republican Rep. Jeff Denham, who was defeated by Democrat Josh Harder.

Democrats also were elected to every statewide office and the party holds a supermajority in both chambers of the state Legislature, and a 3.7-million advantage in voter registration.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Over 1,000 ballots may have been destroyed in NC congressional race, DA says

More than 1,000 absentee ballots likely cast by Democratic voters in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District may have been destroyed amid voter harvesting allegations in favor of Republican Mark Harris in a closely contested race.

“You’re looking at several thousand, possibly 2,000 absentee ballot requests from this most recent election. About 40 percent of those, it appears, at this point may not have been returned,” Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman told CNN.

Freeman confirmed Monday that her office has been investigating “potential voting irregularities” in Bladen County since early this year.

Video

The investigation began in 2016 and has now incorporated the 2018 primary and midterm election allegations.

“There has been an open investigation throughout this period,” Freeman told the Raleigh-based News & Observer.

Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., called on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to hold an emergency hearing to look into allegations from some voters that their absentee ballots were collected illegally and not counted, the Hill reported.

Mark Harris speaks to the media during a news conference in Matthews, N.C. (Associated Press)

The "real election fraud is playing out right before us in North Carolina's 9th Congressional District," Connolly said in a statement.

Harris holds an unofficial 900-vote lead over his Democratic opponent Dan McCready. Both candidates did not immediately respond to Fox News requests for comment early Thursday.

BALLOT HARVESTING BOUNTY: HOW DEMS USED NEW RULE TO ROUT GOP IN CALIFORNIA

Some voters have said their ballots were taken illegally. It remained unclear of the ballots were counted and the state Board of Elections has declined to certify the results amid the fraud allegations.

One woman, Ginger Eason, told Charlotte, N.C., station WSOC-TV on Monday that McCrae Dowless, a longtime political operative from Bladen County, had paid her between $75 and $100 to collect absentee ballots in the 9th District.

Democratic congressional candidate Dan McCready leans against wallboard as he pauses during a Habitat For Humanity building event in Charlotte, N.C. (Associated Press)

“I was helping McCrae pick up ballots," Eason said.

On Tuesday, incoming House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., threatened to not seat Harris when the new Congress takes power in January.

"The House … has the authority over the propriety of the election," Hoyer said. "This is a very substantial question. [It] ought to be resolved before we seat any member."

“If there is what appears to be a very substantial question on the integrity of the election, clearly we would oppose Mr. Harris’s being seated until that is resolved,” he added.

Alaska Democrat plans to appeal after Republican wins state House recount by a single vote

An Alaska Democrat who lost a recount in a state House election by one vote said she will contest the results.

On Wednesday, Kathryn Dodge said she will file paperwork with the Alaska Supreme Court after disagreeing with the state Division of Elections. A recount held last Friday, showed Republican Bart LeBon edging Dodge by one vote.

LeBon picked up two extra votes and Dodge just one. The pair had been tied at 2,661 votes apiece.

“This race has gone back and forth, favoring me and my opponent at one time or another during a lengthy process,” Dodge said in a statement. “I believe that it is important to follow the process through so that absolutely no doubt remains about this incredibly close result.”

“After careful consideration & consultation with my legal team, I have decided to appeal the recount results based on decisions concerning several ballots made by the Div. of Elections with which we did not agree," Dodge added.

State Elections Director Josie Bahnke said the ballot picked up by Dodge during the recount was marked by a highlighter and not read by a machine.

LeBon received a vote that was initially rejected. Election officials later determined the voter who cast the ballot lived in the district. He picked up another when officials determined the voter was eligible to vote.

With LeBon, House Republicans will have 21 members, enough to control the 40-member chamber. The party will also control the Senate and governor’s office.

A ballot not counted was found on a precinct table on Election Day and later determined to have been a spoiled ballot where a voter made a mistake and a new ballot was requested and cast, Bahnke said.

Jay Parmley, executive director of the Alaska Democratic Party, said he feels good about Dodge's chances.

“It’s certainly not going to hurt anything," Parmley said. “It’s a lot easier to accept the outcome at that point, that every vote has been sort of debated and argued and thought about.”

If Dodge decides to appeal, the state Supreme Court recount the ballots. If the result is another tie, the race could be decided by coin toss.

Alaska state Sen. Bryce Edgmon won his 2006 race after a coin toss, saying it’s “not something I would wish for anybody to go through.”

If it comes to that, Dodge said she and LeBon should share the seat and “discuss every vote we take and come to an agreement” instead.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Fox News Voter Analysis: Democrats win the House, Republicans gain ground in the Senate

In an election reflecting the country’s deep partisan divide, voters across America handed the keys to the House of Representatives to the Democrats, while Republicans took advantage of a favorable Senate map to expand on their majority in the Senate.

It was an unusual but not unprecedented outcome for a midterm election. The House and Senate have moved in opposite directions in a midterm just three times since World War II. The last time was 1982, when Democrats gained 27 seats in the House and Republicans picked up one in the Senate.

CLICK FOR THE FULL FOX NEWS VOTER ANALYSIS

Democrats picked up more than 30 House seats, gaining control of the lower chamber for the first time since the party’s self-described “shellacking” in 2010. The vote – at least for the House – served as a rebuke to President Donald Trump, as more said their vote was intended to express opposition to Trump than support for him.

The battle for the Senate was largely fought in states Trump won in 2016 and where voters still have a favorable opinion of the president. Those tailwinds were critical for the GOP, which expanded on its majority in the upper chamber.

The gender gap – a prominent feature of the last several elections – was a notable factor in this year’s House races as well. Women preferred Democratic candidates by a 14-point margin, while men picked Republicans by six points.

College-educated women (+26 points) and suburban women (+17 points) both went strongly for Democrats, but white women backed Republicans by a four-point margin.

The urban-rural divide was even more notable, as city dwellers backed Democrats by 34 points, while rural voters went for Republicans (+16 points).

Video

A strong showing from younger voters and nonwhites also helped tip the scales to the left. Voters under age 30 made up 12 percent of the electorate, and they backed Democrats by 25 points.

Democratic candidates also racked up large margins among black voters (+79 points) and Hispanics (+29 points).

White voters broke for Republicans, 53-42 percent. In particular, the GOP held double-digit advantages with white working-class voters (+21 points), white men (+19 points), and whites over age 45 (+17 points).

Republican candidates also chalked up wide wins among gun owner households (+22 points), white evangelicals (+61 points), and conservatives (+72 points). But strong base support was not enough for Republicans to hold the House, as moderates favored Democrats, 57-35 percent.

Nearly all Democrats (95 percent) voted blue, while Republicans went red at a slightly lower clip (91 percent). That difference in party loyalty, combined with a 9-point Democratic edge among independents, proved decisive.

The Key Issues

The top issues in voters’ minds this election were health care (26 percent) and immigration (23 percent). The economy placed third at 19 percent.

Health care voters favored House Democratic candidates by a 50-point margin, and Democrats also had sizable advantages among those most concerned with gun policy (+61 points) and the environment (+72 points). Republicans won immigration voters by a wide margin (+58 points) and economy voters by a narrower 58-36 percent spread.

Just over half of voters (52 percent) would repeal all or part of the Affordable Care Act, and these voters broke for Republicans by 56 points. Nearly as many would either leave the law as is (13 percent) or expand it (34 percent). They backed Democrats by an even wider margin (+73 points).

Overall, more voters said it should be the government’s responsibility to provide health care for all Americans (58 percent) than said it should not (41 percent).

The president focused on immigration down the home stretch of the campaign, and immigration voters broke for Republicans. But overall, voters were more likely to think immigrants help the country (59 percent) than hurt it (39 percent), and more opposed Trump’s signature border wall proposal (47 percent favor vs. 52 percent oppose).

By a 39-point margin, voters believed immigrants living in the U.S. illegally should be offered a chance to apply for legal status, not deported.

The focus on immigration may have shifted attention away from the economy. Strong October jobs numbers brought unemployment to its lowest level in nearly 50 years, and voters were more likely to give positive ratings on the economy than negative ones.

Those who gave a positive grade to the economy opted for Republicans (+24 points), while voters with a negative view broke for Democrats (+56 points).

Despite the strong economy, a majority of voters – 63 percent – said they are holding steady financially, far more than the 20 percent who are getting ahead.

Seven-in-ten voters (70 percent) said the country’s economic system favors the wealthy too much. A similar number said the economy does not do enough to favor the middle class (69 percent) or the poor (63 percent).

Reactions to Trump’s economic accomplishments were mixed. The 2017 tax reform law were evenly split (48 percent approve and 48 percent disapprove), but more voters thought Trump’s policies on trade have hurt the national economy (48 percent) than helped it (40 percent).

The bitter battle over Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court was, without a doubt, a motivating factor for voters. Three-quarters (74 percent) said the debate was important to their decision to vote. Nationally, these voters backed Democrats by a 52-43 percent spread – but broke for the Republican in several hotly contested Senate races.

The dramatic nomination hearings amplified the national conversation about sexual misconduct. In the aftermath, voters expressed concern about women not being believed when making allegations of misconduct (43 percent very concerned) and about men not having the opportunity to defend themselves (38 percent).

Opinions of Donald Trump

Midterm elections are often seen as referendums on the sitting president, and fully 63 percent said Trump was a factor to their vote this year. By an eleven-point margin, more said they voted to express opposition to Trump than support for him.

That tracks with views of Trump nationally, as a 54-45 percent majority disapproved of the job he is doing as president.

Video

The vast majority of Trump approvers voted for Republican House candidates (86 percent), and a similar number of disapprovers went for Democrats (83 percent).

Trump’s midterm report card on the issues might not be one to pin on the fridge. Voters gave net negative ratings on his handling of health care (-16 points), immigration (-8 points), international trade (-7 points), and Supreme Court nominations (-1 points). He was in positive territory on the economy (+8 points) and border security (+1 point).

On the list of positives for the Commander-in-Chief, an overwhelming majority said he stands up for what he believes in (72 percent). However, majorities also indicated he lacks the temperament for the job (64 percent), is not honest and trustworthy (62 percent), and does not care about people like them (58 percent).

What does all that mean for his reelection prospects? With two full years before the next presidential election, more voters said they would back a Democrat (41 percent) than would back Trump (34 percent). But a sizable bloc said it would depend (24 percent), and those voters broke for Republican House candidates 50-35 percent.

Mood of the country

Democrats’ win in the House came as large numbers of voters expressed concern about the future. A majority (56 percent) said the country is headed in the wrong direction, and voters thought life for the next generation would be worse rather than better by 25 points.

Pre-election violence and disorder likely contributed to the feeling that things are off the rails. Voters said the way partisans on both sides talk about politics is leading to an increase in violence. However, 37 percent only blamed Republicans, compared to 30 percent who only blamed Democrats.

The depths of the partisan divide go even deeper. Just 13 percent of Republicans thought Democrats mostly try to do what’s right for the country instead of what’s best for their party. Democrats took a similar view of Republicans (11 percent). Independents gave Democrats slightly more credit than Republicans for trying to do the right thing (39-35 percent) – but did not have a particularly charitable view of either side.

One area of bipartisan agreement: only two-in-ten voters (19 percent) said they trust the government to do what’s right most of the time. That explains why more than seven-in-ten (71 percent) were either dissatisfied or angry about the way the federal government is working.

Nonvoters

The election outcome depends on who turns out, as well as who stays home.  So what about those who didn’t cast a ballot this year? Unlike a traditional exit poll, the Fox News Voter Analysis surveyed nonvoters as well, and provides a window into who decided not to vote, why not, and how they would have voted if they had turned out.

Demographically, nonvoters were more likely to be younger, nonwhite, without a college education, and politically independent.

Nonvoters were also more likely to have voted for Trump in 2016 (47 percent for the president and 33 percent for Clinton), suggesting that Trump voters were more likely to stay home this year than Clinton voters.

If they had made it to the ballot box, the overall group of nonvoters said they would have opted for the Democratic candidate in their district by a 36-32 percent margin.

As for why they didn’t vote, the top reasons were not knowing enough about the candidates (30 percent), not liking politics (30 percent), and the feeling that their vote did not matter (14 percent).

While voter identification laws became a flash point in several campaigns, most notably in the contest for governor in Georgia, just three percent of nonvoters said they did not vote because they lacked the proper identification.

Florida

The Sunshine State – also known as the home of close contests. Trump won in 2016 by a little over 1 percentage point. In 2012, Obama won by slightly less than 1 percentage point. And who could forget 2000, when George W. Bush won by a hanging chad?

Tonight, Republicans eked out two close wins. In the race for governor, former U.S. Representative Ron DeSantis edged out Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum. And in the Senate, former Governor Rick Scott unseated incumbent Bill Nelson.

Video

President Trump was not on the ballot, but voters used their votes to send a message. Two-thirds (65 percent) said the president was a factor in the race for Senate, but he may not like the effect he had on it, as more voted in opposition to Trump than in support of him (36 percent to 29 percent). Nine-in-ten voters (91 percent) had the eventual control of the senate on their minds.

Florida voters differed on the top issue facing the country. Roughly a quarter said immigration (26 percent) was the top issue, and another quarter cited health care (24 percent). The economy came in third, at 17 percent. Health care voters broke three-to-one for Nelson; 80% of immigration voters went for Scott; economy voters went two-to-one for Scott.

Gun policy was selected by 10 percent.

Gun violence has rocked Florida repeatedly, including the Pulse nightclub shooting, Parkland, and most recently a shooting at a yoga studio. Fully 68 percent want stricter gun laws. These voters must feel Governor Scott did not do enough here, as 68 percent of them went for Nelson.

Both candidates had a record on healthcare: Nelson voted against repealing ObamaCare, while Scott declined to expand Medicaid as governor. Like the candidates, voters differed on repealing the Affordable Care Act: 54 percent favored repeal and 45 percent wanted to leave it as is or expand the law.

Most Florida voters (67 percent) felt immigrants living in the U.S. should be given a path to citizenship. Far fewer (31 percent) said illegal immigrants should be deported back to the country them came from. A majority also said immigrants do more to help the country; few felt they hurt.

Hispanic voters, a sizeable group whose support was sought by both parties, went narrowly for Nelson (51-44 percent). Seniors broke for Scott. Young people, a smaller percentage of the electorate than seniors, sided with Nelson.

Indiana

In Indiana, Republican challenger Mike Braun flipped the Senate seat held by Democrat Joe Donnelly in a state President Trump carried by 19 points in 2016.

Women voters were expected to have an impact in these midterm elections, but for Braun it was men who made a difference. Men and women each made up half of the Indiana electorate, but men went for Braun 55 percent to 40 percent.

Women went narrowly for Braun as well, with 49 percent to Donnelly’s 46 percent.

Video

Independents were also expected to play a key role in tight races like Indiana’s, but in this case they went for the losing candidate. Republicans, however, made up a larger share of the electorate – 54 percent, compared to 33 percent for Democrats and 13 percent for Independents. And those voters went for Braun.

The debate over the Kavanaugh nomination to the Supreme Court was important to 77 percent of Indiana voters, and among those voters 54 percent went for Braun over 44 percent for Donnelly.

Missouri

Democrat Claire McCaskill lost her Senate seat to Republican challenger Josh Hawley. In a state President Trump carried by 18 points in 2016, McCaskill’s attempts to distance herself from far-left elements of the Democratic party in the final weeks of the campaign turned out not to be enough.

President Trump told voters to act as though he were on the ballot, and Missouri voters took that to heart. Fifty-four percent of them approve of the job he is doing – and they broke big for Hawley, 87 percent of them.

Among the top issues for Missouri voters was the economy, and more than two-thirds of them are feeling pretty good about it. Those voters broke for Hawley 65 percent to 31 percent for McCaskill.

The Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination was also an important issue to 74 percent of Missouri voters. Those voters broke for Hawley by a five point margin.

Texas

Incumbent Republican senator Ted Cruz held his seat after a bruising battle with Democrat Beto O’Rourke. The two men represented opposite ends of the political spectrum. Fully half said O’Rourke’s positions on the issues were too liberal.

O’Rourke was for expanding ObamaCare; Cruz staged the infamous 2013 filibuster during the Senate debate on the Affordable Care Act, and voted to repeal it. Texas voters agreed with Cruz: a strong majority, 57 percent, favor repealing all or parts of that law and they gave Cruz 78 percent of their votes.

A narrow majority of Texans backed the president’s plan for a border wall, and these voters gave Cruz 90 percent of their votes. Ten percent of anti-wall voters backed Cruz as well. Fifty-five percent approve of the job Trump has done on border security.

Half the households in Texas reported owning guns. Cruz, a gun-rights supporter, garnered support from 58 percent of gun households. O’Rourke, who ran on universal background checks, was supported by 39 percent.

Party control of the senate was very important to three-quarters of Texans. These voters broke slightly for Cruz.

Hispanics were almost one-quarter of the electorate. They strongly favored O’Rourke, 67 percent to 29 percent. White men, about one-third of the voters, went for Cruz 70 percent to 28 percent. Voters in small towns and rural areas favored Cruz, too, 61 percent to 36 percent.

Methodology

The FNVA is a survey of the American electorate conducted in all 50 states by NORC at the University of Chicago for Fox News and The Associated Press. The survey of 116,789 voters and 22,137 nonvoters was conducted Oct. 29 to Nov. 6, concluding at the end of voting on Election Day. It combines interviews in English and Spanish with a probability sample of registered voters drawn from state voter files, samples of self-identified registered voters from a probability-based national panel, and samples of self-identified registered voters from opt-in online panels. Participants selected from state voter files were contacted by phone and mail and had the opportunity to take the survey by phone or online.

Andrew Schwartz is a Director at Anderson Robbins Research, a Boston-based polling and political consulting firm.

Control of Alaska House could come down to coin toss

Control of the Alaska state House has come down to just one race – and it could be decided by a coin toss.

Following a recount, Republican Bart LeBon edged out Democrat Kathryn Dodge by just one vote. Previously, the pair was tied with 2,661 votes apiece.

Dodge has until Wednesday to appeal the recount, the Juneau Empire reported. She said she will “think on things” with her team.

“People kept calling it close,” Dodge previously said of the race. “I just didn't know it was going to be squeaky.”

LeBon wasn’t confident his victory was secured.

“I don’t think this is over. Do you? I’m pretty sure this has got another layer to it,” LeBon told the Juneau Empire. “I would be thrilled if it was over, but is this over? I just don’t think so.”

Should LeBon’s victory be certified, Republicans would narrowly control the House, as well as the Senate and governor’s office in Alaska.

But if Dodge does appeal, it would be up to the state’s Supreme Court to recount the ballots one-by-one. And if that recount resulted in yet another tie, the race could be decided by just a coin toss.

According to Alaska Public Media, state law says a tie would be broken “by lot.” And it’s happened before.

POSSIBLE VOTER FRAUD PROBED IN TIGHT NORTH CAROLINA HOUSE RACE

Democratic state Rep. Bryce Edgmon, the current House Speaker, won his race in 2006 after a coin toss. He said it’s “not something I would wish for anybody to go through.”

“Then-Rep. Moses actually won the right to call. And he called heads, and the coin came up tails,” Edgmon recalled to Alaska Public Media. “And in the split-second it took me to realize that I had actually won, my brother was up on the stage and a crowd of at least 300 or 400 people – all the media it seemed in Alaska – just, it was massive pandemonium. And I don’t think I remember too much after that.”

A Dodge victory in Alaska would leave the House split.

Dodge called the possibility of a coin toss “absurd” and suggested she and LeBon share the seat and “discuss every vote we take and come to an agreement” instead.

“I’ve come too far to have a coin toss settle this,” LeBon said.

Fox News’ Lukas Mikelionis and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Kaitlyn Schallhorn is a Reporter for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter: @K_Schallhorn.

Broward election chief Snipes rescinds resignation, will fight governor’s suspension

The fallout over Florida's turbulent recount is escalating after the state's outgoing Republican governor decided to oust a South Florida elections official.

Gov. Rick Scott late Friday suspended embattled Broward County Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes even though Snipes had already agreed to step down from her post in early January. Scott replaced Snipes with his former general counsel even though Peter Antonacci has no elections experience.

Snipes responded by rescinding her previous resignation — and will now be "fighting this to the very end," her attorney said during a Saturday news conference.

"We believe these actions are malicious," said Burnadette Norris-Weeks, who said that Broward County voters should be concerned about what Scott is trying to do in the Democratic stronghold by putting in an ally who could oversee the office into the 2020 elections.

Snipes has been the top elections official in the south Florida county since 2003 when then-Gov. Jeb Bush appointed her. She came under withering criticism for her handling of this year's elections, as well as its legally required recount in close races for governor and U.S. Senate. She had been elected three times and her current term was not scheduled to end until 2020.

In his executive order, Scott said he was suspending Snipes due to misfeasance, incompetence and neglect of duty. His order cited problems during the recount, including reports of more than 2,000 ballots being misplaced. She also came under fire in 2017 after she destroyed year-old ballots in violation of law. Shortly after the recount started, Scott himself suggested possible fraud, but never offered any concrete examples.

"After a series of inexcusable actions, it's clear that there needs to be an immediate change in Broward County and taxpayers should no longer be burdened by paying a salary for a supervisor of elections who has already announced resignation," Scott said in a statement.

During his eight years in office, Scott has rarely suspended elected officials unless they were first charged with a crime. Florida law requires the state Senate to either remove or reinstate county officials who are suspended by the governor.

Scott replaced Snipes with Antonacci, who has held a number of posts at the governor's direction. Antonacci also played a pivotal role in the controversial decision to force the ouster of Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Gerald Bailey in 2015. Antonacci has been president of Florida's economic development agency since last year.

Snipes appeared at the start of the Saturday press conference, where she urged people to "have an open mind about this whole process." She maintained that "we have always done our work in an air of quality and integrity."

Defeated Sen. McCaskill rips Democratic Party over ‘purity’ demands, ‘failure’ with rural America

Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill, the moderate-leaning Democrat who was defeated in this year’s midterm elections, took swipes at her own party in an exit interview aired Friday.

In blunt terms, McCaskill accused fellow Democrats of demanding ideological “purity” from candidates and suggested their “failure” to connect with rural Americans contributed to her loss to Republican Josh Hawley.

"This demand for purity, this looking down your nose at people who want to compromise, is a recipe for disaster for the Democrats," McCaskill said in an interview with National Public Radio. "Will we ever get to a majority in the Senate again, much less to 60, if we do not have some moderates in our party?”

She also complained that media outlets make political compromise difficult by encouraging people to stay in “their own bubble” and look for “affirmation not information.”

She made similar comments in a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee business meeting.

"I'm really most worried going forward about this place because the middle has atrophied so badly," McCaskill said. "I remember when I first got here, where we could have easily recognized 20 members of the Senate, of both parties on an equal basis that were in the room trying to find that compromise. That has become a very dangerous thing for senators now because the base of the party is very impatient with anybody who wants to compromise."

McCaskill won two Senate elections in Missouri before losing earlier this month to Attorney General Hawley by 6 points. She was one of four Senate Democrats to lose re-election in states President Trump won.

McCaskill also criticized Republicans for not speaking out against Trump.

“I think there will be Republicans 10 years from now that will look back with regret that they did not stand up and speak out at moments that were critical,” she said on NPR.

However, McCaskill conceded that she should have spoken up more against Trump, referring to “some of the Republicans, that are my friends and colleagues in the Senate, that like me, have held their tongue.”

Lauren Lee contributed to this report.