Midterm Results Show Americans Do Not Want Election Deniers to Hold Statewide Office

With All Statewide Races Called for Foreseeable Future, Trend is Clear: Voters Rejected Election Denialism in More Than 4 in 5 Statewide Races

Published: 11.18.22

Washington, D.C. States United Action today released the following update on the Election Denier landscape based on election results as of 8 a.m. ET on November 18, 2022. This data represents the final results for the foreseeable future. Ninety-one of 94 races have been called at the time of reporting.  

“Americans do not want Election Deniers serving as their governors, attorneys general, or secretaries of state. And that’s a huge win for our democracy,” said Joanna Lydgate, CEO of States United Action. “As we look to 2024, we need to focus on supporting pro-democracy officials in these offices and strengthening the trust voters have in our system. And we must hold any Election Deniers who won accountable. These midterms were a test for our free and fair elections and, thanks to the voters, we passed.” 

As of 8 a.m. ET on November 18, 2022:

  • States held 94 races this year for governor, attorney general, and secretary of state. In all, 141 Election Deniers ran in those races.
    • 46 Election Deniers advanced through the primaries to the November general election.
    • Of the 46 Election Deniers who advanced to the general election, only 14 Election Deniers won—all in states that voted to elect Donald Trump in both 2016 and 2020.
      • 14 Election Deniers have won statewide office in 10 states. 29 Election Deniers have lost races for statewide office in 20 different states.
    • Of those 14 winners, only 5 non-incumbent Election Deniers (in AL, ID, IN, KS, and WY) have won (5/94 or 5%). The other 9 Election Deniers who have won were incumbents (in AL, FL, IA, ID, KS, SC, TN, and TX).
      • In 95% of races for election oversight roles this year, Election Deniers failed to gain new ground by winning seats they did not already hold.
  • Voters did not vote for Election Denialism in more than 4 in 5 (78/91 or 86%) races for statewide office.
    • Governor: Election Deniers were kept out of office in 86% (30/35) of this year’s governor races. Zero non-incumbent Election Deniers have won governor races.
      • Election Deniers have won governor races in 5 states. Election Deniers have lost governor races in 14 states. Results aren’t final yet in 1 race with Election Deniers (AK).
    • Attorney General: Election Deniers were kept out of office in 80% (24/30) of this year’s attorney general races. Only 2 non-incumbent Election Deniers have won attorney general races.
      • Election Deniers have won attorney general races in 6 states. Election Deniers have lost attorney general races in 3 states. Results aren’t final yet in 1 race with an Election Denier (AZ).
    • Secretary of State: Election Deniers were kept out of office in 89% (24/27) of this year’s secretary of state races. Only 3 non-incumbent Election Deniers won secretary of state races.
      • Election Deniers have won secretary of state races in 3 states. Election Deniers have lost secretary of state races in 10 states. Results are final in all races with an Election Denier.

There are three races for statewide office that have not yet been decided— AK governor, AZ attorney general, and WI secretary of state. All three are expected to take additional time due to likely recounts, close margins, and/or ranked-choice voting. Two of these races (AK and AZ) have Election Deniers on the ballot.  

“The results of this year’s midterm election are worth celebrating: Most voters rejected giving Election Deniers power over their votes,” said Thania Sanchez, Senior Vice President of Research and Policy Development at States United Action. “But we need to keep in mind that Election Deniers did win statewide office in some races, and in other states they already hold positions of power. Right now, around one-third of all Americans will have an Election Denier overseeing election administration for 2024. The threat to our democracy isn’t over; our foot is still on the gas when it comes to protecting our free and fair elections.” 

Review our full pre-election Replacing the Refs tracker, as of October 15, here. We will release a full post-election update to this resource, including deeper analysis of the results and the implications for our free and fair elections, in early December. 


About States United Action 

States United Action is a nonpartisan section 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization with a mission to protect our elections and our democracy. States United Action advocates for policies that protect election integrity, hold democracy violators accountable, and prevent political violence that threatens to undermine the will of the American people, and amplifies the voices of state leaders and law enforcement leaders who share these values. To learn more, visit www.statesuniteddemocracy.org/states-united-action.