- Republicans are having an unexpectedly strong showing in the race for the House of Representatives, flipping back several Democratic-controlled seats and holding off Democratic challengers in others.
- However, Democrats are still on track to keep their majority. The House currently consists of 232 Democrats, 197 Republicans, one Libertarian, and five vacancies.
- As of Thursday, Decision Desk HQ projects that Republicans have gained back five seats on net so far.
- Republicans flipped seven Democratic-controlled seats, and Democrats won back two previously GOP-controlled North Carolina seats that were redistricted to be safely Democratic.
- Prior to the election, many election analysts expected Democrats to easily maintain and expand their current majority by a margin of anywhere from five to 15 seats based on polling and fundraising data.
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All 435 seats in the House of Representatives were up for election this fall, and Republicans are posting a remarkably strong showing, contrary to what many district-level polls and election forecasts indicated prior to the election.
House Democrats are still on track to retain their majority, however. In the 2018 midterms, Democrats flipped 40 seats in the House and won back the chamber in a historic election — a repudiation of both President Donald Trump and the unified Republican government he presided over for nearly two years.
The Democrats’ top aim in the 2020 cycle was to ensure many of their most vulnerable members who had won back the most difficult seats were reelected. However, Decision Desk HQ is already projecting that seven Democratic incumbents have lost reelection.
Currently, the House consists of 232 Democrats, 197 Republicans, one Libertarian (Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan, who is retiring), and five vacancies. But in 2020, Democrats will see their majority shrink by at least five seats on net, Decision Desk HQ projects.
The vulnerable first-term Democrats who Decision Desk HQ projects to lose reelection are Reps. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell and Donna Shalala of Florida, Rep. Abby Finkenauer of Iowa, Rep. Xochitl Torres Small of New Mexico, Rep. Kendra Horn of Oklahoma, and Rep. Joe Cunningham of South Carolina.
Rep. Collin Peterson, a long-serving Democratic representative in a Minnesota district that Trump won by 30 points, also lost reelection Tuesday.
However, some House Democrats who flipped Republican suburban and exurban seats in 2018 did win reelection on Tuesday, including Rep. Lucy McBath of Georgia, Rep. Katie Porter of California, Rep. Jennifer Wexton of Virginia, and Rep. Mikie Sherrill of New Jersey.
House Democrats also set out on an ambitious agenda to flip many Republican-controlled seats, particularly in Texas and in many suburban districts around the country.
But Democrats have failed, so far, to flip a single GOP-held seat other than two North Carolina seats that they were virtually guaranteed to flip due to court-ordered redistricting, according to Decision Desk HQ projections.
Democrats will not pick up competitive US House districts in Texas’ 3rd, 10th, 21st, 22nd, or 23rd congressional districts, Decision Desk HQ projects. It remains too early to call the open race for the 24th District.
While Biden is projected to carry Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District’s sole electoral vote in the Electoral College, the Democratic candidate Kara Eastman failed in her second bid to unseat the district’s congressional representative, Don Bacon, in this Omaha-based seat.
Also in the Midwest, GOP Rep. Ann Wagner won reelection in her district located in suburban St. Louis, over the Democratic candidate Jill Schupp. Republican Victoria Spartz defeated Democrat Christina Hale in the open race for Indiana’s 5th District, a wealthy seat in suburban Indianapolis that Democrats saw as a possible pickup opportunity.
In Michigan, Republican Peter Meijer defeated Democrat Hillary Scholten to succeed retiring Rep. Justin Amash. And GOP Rep. Steve Chabot held off a challenge from the Democrat Kate Schroder in Ohio’s 1st Congressional District, located in the Cincinnati area.
Several of the newly-elected state representatives are making history.
Republican Madison Cawthorn, 25, who beat Democrat Moe Davis to represent in North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District, will become the youngest member of Congress in modern history.
Democrat Cori Bush is set to become the first-ever Black Congresswoman from Missouri, after winning in the state’s 1st Congressional District.
Democrats Mondaire Jones and Ritchie Torres will also be the first openly gay Black men to serve in Congress, after winning in New York’s 17th and 15th districts respectively.
And six out of the seven Republicans who have so far unseated incumbent Democrats (Maria Salazar of Florida, Ashley Hinson of Iowa, Stephanie Bice of Oklahoma, Michelle Fishbach of Minnesota, Yvette Herrell of New Mexico, and Nancy Mace of South Carolina) are women — wins that will drastically expand the representation of women in the House Republican caucus.
Currently, there are just 13 voting female Republican representatives in the House and 11 female Republican incumbents who ran for reelection in 2020.
Three high-profile Democratic members of “the squad” in the House of Representatives held their seats in a comfortable fashion.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will continue to represent New York’s 14th District, defeating the Republican John Cummings by a wide margin, while Rep. Ilhan Omar also ran well ahead of the Republican Lacy Johnson in the race to represent Minnesota’s 5th District.
Rep. Rashida Tlaib also soundly defeated her Republican challenger, David Dudenhoefer, and will continue to represent Michigan’s 13th Congressional District.