More than 24 hours after the last polls closed on Tuesday, the House has still not been called for either party. Remarkably, Democrats still have a path to hold on to a majority of 218 seats, though it’s quite narrow and would require multiple close races to fall their way out west. Let’s break down exactly which seats Democrats need to win in order to retain the majority.
We’ll start with the races that have been called by a major news organization, conceded by the losing candidate, or were not competitive going into Tuesday, which puts Democrats at 198 seats. Then there are 10 seats where a winner has not been called (we’re tracking all of them in this spreadsheet), but Democrats are strongly favored:
- AK-AL: Rep. Mary Peltola leads with 47% and is very likely to win after ranked-choice voting tabulations are completed on Nov. 23
- AZ-04: Rep. Greg Stanton is up by 14%
- CA-09: Rep. Josh Harder is up by 13%
- CA-21: Rep. Jim Costa is up by 6%
- CA-26: Rep. Julia Brownley is up by 8%
- MD-06: Republican challenger Neil Parrot is up by 2%, but once tens of thousands of mail ballots are counted, Rep. David Trone will almost certainly pull ahead
- ME-02: Rep. Jared Golden leads with 48% and is very likely to win after ranked-choice voting tabulations are completed in the middle of next week
- NV-01, NV-03, NV-04: All three Democratic incumbents lead with only Democratic-friendly mail ballots left to count
That would take Democrats to 208 seats. They also lead in five seats where their lead is more likely than not to hold up:
- CA-47: Rep. Katie Porter is up by 1%
- CA-49: Rep. Mike Levin is up by 2%
- OR-06: Democrat Andrea Salinas is up by by 2%
- WA-03: Democrat Marie Gluesenkamp Pérez leads by 5%
- WA-08: Rep. Kim Schrier leads by 6%
Add in these races and Democrats get to 213 seats, meaning they’d need five more for a majority. The remaining seats, however, are all tough for one reason or another. Democrats do hold a lead in one additional seat, but it’s not clear how the final votes will break:
- AZ-01: Democrat Jevin Hodge is up by 2% with 73% reporting
This would be seat number 214. The final, majority-making seats are all places where Democrats are currently behind and need later-counted votes to bring them back ahead. If they win everything listed above, then they’d need to win four of these six seats:
- AZ-06: Democrat Kirsten Engel trails by 3%
- CA-13: Democrat Adam Gray trails by less than 0.5%
- CA-22: Democrat Rudy Salas trails by 8% but 39% of the vote has been counted
- CA-41: Democrats Will Rollins trails by less than 0.5%
- CO-03: GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert leads Democrat Adam Frisch by 0.12%, with an unknown number of ballots left to count. This race will likely go to a recount.
- OR-05: Democrat Jamie McLeod-Skinner trails by 2.6%
Lastly there are five competitive GOP-held seats that have not been called (CA-03, CA-27, CA-40, CA-45, NY-22), but it doesn’t look like Democrats will be able to come back in any of these races.
But even if Democrats are unable to retain control of the House, the fact that we’re even discussing the possibility is remarkable. And if they fall just short, Republicans will have only the slimmest of majorities. The knives are already out for Kevin McCarthy, so be ready for some serious GOP chaos.
Holy crap, what an amazing night! Where do we even begin this week’s episode of The Downballot? Well, we know exactly where: abortion. Co-hosts David Nir and David Beard recap Tuesday’s extraordinary results, starting with a clear-eyed examination of the issue that animated Democrats as never before—and that pundits got so badly wrong. They also discuss candidate quality (still really important!), Democratic meddling in GOP primaries (good for democracy, actually), and “soft” Biden disapprovers (lots of them voted for Democrats).
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