Flipping more GOP seats, Democrats keep adding to House majority


Credit: Jamie Dupree

Credit: Jamie Dupree

With new victories in GOP House seats in the last 24 hours in New Mexico, Washington, and Georgia, and the possibility of others in New Jersey and California, House Democrats are slowly adding extra seats to their thin majority in the next Congress, as vote counting continues to play out in a number of states in the wake of Tuesday's mid-term elections.

The latest seat to flip from Republican to Democrat came on Thursday in the suburbs to the east of Seattle and Tacoma in Washington State, as Democrat Kim Schrier won an open seat long held by Republicans, which was vacated by the retiring Rep. Dave Reichert (R-WA).

A few hours earlier in the suburbs of Atlanta, Rep. Karen Handel (R-GA) - who only won the seat in an expensive special election in 2017 - conceded defeat to Democrat Lucy McBath, giving Democrats another new seat in the U.S. House.

"After carefully reviewing all of the election results, it is clear that I came up a bit short on Tuesday," Handel said in a statement.

Those races left the makeup of new House set to take office in January at 225 Democrats and 197 Republicans, leaving 13 races still undecided - Democrats lead in 5 of the remaining races, GOP candidates in the other eight.


Credit: Jamie Dupree

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Credit: Jamie Dupree

Democrats are also still hoping for a late miracle next door to Handel in Georgia's 7th Congressional District, where the lead of Rep. Rob Woodall (R-GA) has shrunk to 890 votes.

Here's the 13 U.S. House races where the winner is not yet official - all of them are seats currently held by Republicans:

Georgia 7 - Republican Rob Woodall had not run a campaign ad in eight years, but he did in the final days of this year's campaign. Final absentees and provisional ballots are still to be counted in this suburban Atlanta GOP district. Woodall's opponent says she wants all the votes to be counted.

Maine 2 - Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R-ME) leads by 888 votes. But under a new Maine law, since Poliquin did not get over 50 percent, there will be a new count under what's known as the "ranked-choice voting" process, where you 'rank' your choices. And now, the over 22,000 votes that went to two Independent candidates will be reallocated either to Poliquin, or his Democratic opponent Jared Golden. That new vote tally should come on Friday.

New York 22 - With 100 percent of the vote in, Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-NY) is losing by 1,422 votes to Democrat Anthony Brindisi. Unlike a lot of other states, New York waits to count absentee ballots - over 13,000 of those ballots have been returned and must be counted. That count won't start until next week.

New York 27 - With 100 percent reporting, Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY), who was indicted for insider trading earlier this year, leads Democrat Nate McMurray by just under 3,000 votes. But there are about 10,000 absentee ballots still in play in this western New York district, which will delay a final official tally.

New Jersey 3 - Democrat Andy Kim leads Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-NJ) by about 2600 votes in this central New Jersey district, but as in other states, there are still provisional and absentee ballots to be counted. Kim declared victory on Wednesday evening, after a big chunk of ballots were counted, vaulting him into the lead. This one may also take some time to finish.

California 25 - Democrats should win this seat as Rep. Steve Knight (R-CA) has already conceded defeat to Democrat Katie Hill, who leads by over 4,100 votes in a Republican district that stretches to the north of Los Angeles. News organizations have held off on an official call because so many extra ballots come in late in California.

California 10 - Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA) leads by just under 1,300 votes in this district, which is to the east of San Jose and San Francisco. Like other California districts in this list, it could take some time for the votes to come in - those late votes often tend to favor Democrats, and some wonder if Denham could be in trouble.

California 39 - This result was a rare bright spot for Republicans in what many thought was a suburban seat that would flip to the Democrats. Republican Young Kim, who would be the Korean-American member of Congress, leads by just under 4,000 votes. Republicans hope that will be enough to withstand any late rush of Democratic mail-in ballots.

California 45 - This is another Orange County district, as Rep. Mimi Walters (R-CA) leads 51.7-to-48.3 percent, a margin of about 6,200 votes. There are still 419,000 ballots left to count in Orange County, according to elections officials, which could impact both this district, and the California 39 race.

California 48 - Democrats are hoping they can win this race, as Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) trails by over 2,600 votes to Democrat Harley Rouda. This could also take a few days as officials go through mail-in ballots, provisionals and more.

North Carolina 9 - While this is listed as an undecided race, Democrat Dan McCready conceded defeat on Wednesday night, as he trails Republican Mark Harris by around 1,900 votes. Expect this one to go the GOP column unless elections officials discover a counting error along the way.

Utah 4 - Even as President Trump was ridiculing her on Wednesday from the White House, Rep. Mia Love (R-UT) was waiting for more votes to be counted in her district. She trails Democrat Ben McAdams by just over 5,000 votes with 70 percent of precincts reporting in a district that stretches into the Salt Lake City suburbs.

Texas 23 - Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX) had been declared the winner on Election Night, when more votes came in and suddenly pushed him into second place. But extra ballots have given Hurd an edge of around 1,150 votes over Democrat Gina Ortiz Jones, who may request a recount. The final tally won't happen for several weeks as officials in various counties work through provisional ballots and more mail-in votes. For now, Hurd is ahead.