Geoffrey Skelley

The Size Of The Democrats’ House Majority Rests On These 17 Races

Editors note: Since publication, the numbers provided by ABC News have changed in IL-14; the post has been updated to reflect that.

Major media outlets, including ABC News (which owns FiveThirtyEight), projected on election night that the House of Representatives would remain in the Democrats’ hands. However, it’s not the cushy majority Democrats were hoping for — Republicans have actually made net gains, so far picking up five seats. But will they gain even more seats? That’s the question for the nearly 20 outstanding contests where ABC News hasn’t made a projection.

House races we’re still waiting on

Share of the expected vote reported, by race and the leading party’s current margin

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Source: ABC News

  • Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District: Perhaps the closest race in the country, Democrat Rita Hart leads by fewer than 200 votes against Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks in an open seat held by retiring Democratic Rep. Dave Loebsack. The current margin is just 0.04 percentage points, so Miller-Meeks could request a recount paid for by the state, so it could be a bit before we know the final outcome here.
  • Utah’s 4th Congressional District: Democratic Rep. Ben McAdams narrowly leads Republican challenger Burgess Owens by about 0.5 points. It’s unclear just how many votes are left to count here — Utah is an all-mail voting state — but they may be more promising for McAdams than not, as it appears most of the remaining votes are probably from Salt Lake County, the most Democratic-leaning part of the district.
  • Texas’s 24th Congressional District: Republican Beth Van Duyne leads Democrat Candace Valenzuela by 1.3 points in this suburban Dallas-Fort Worth district left open by retiring Republican Rep. Kenny Marchant. Van Duyne may hold on, but a few thousand mail and provisional ballots, as well as military and overseas ballots, have kept a winner from being projected.
  • Six California races: California often sees a large number of votes counted in the days following the election and sometimes sizable shifts in vote margins. This is due in part to California’s generous mail ballot receipt deadline (Nov. 20), so more votes may arrive in the coming days that were cast by Election Day. As such, there are six Democrat vs. Republican races where ABC News has no projection (a seventh involves two Democrats). The closest are three Democratic-held seats the party won in 2018 (the 21st, 39th and 48th congressional districts) and one that the GOP flipped in a May 2020 special election (the 25th Congressional District). Republicans currently lead in all four, but considering the Democratic lean of the final ballots counted in 2018 that helped put Democrats over the top in some of these districts, it remains to be seen if the current GOP leads will hold.
  • Seven New York races: Many New York counties won’t begin counting mail ballots until this week — the state’s ballot receipt deadline is Nov. 10 — and as at least 1.2 million mail votes were cast, so a lot could change in the state’s seven House races where we don’t know who won. This is especially true as Democrats were much more likely to say they planned to vote by mail than Republicans. Democratic incumbents in the state’s 3rd, 11th and 22nd congressional districts will have to hope that enough Democratic votes are left to count to overcome their current deficits; otherwise, the GOP’s most productive state for House gains in 2020 could be New York.

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