We May Not Know Who Won the House for Weeks

Postal ballots in California and Washington may need to be counted first
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 5, 2018 6:55 AM CST
Key Races Are Still 'Startingly Close'
Rejected mail-in ballots sit in a box as members of the canvassing board verify signatures on ballots at the Miami-Dade County Elections Department, in Miami.   (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)

Polls show Democrats have a strong chance of retaking the House on Tuesday, but they shouldn't open the champagne yet—even if they do win, it could take weeks to be confirmed, according to a New York Times analysis. Around 30 races considered tossups by the Cook Political Report are still "startlingly close," according to interviews carried out by the Times and Siena College. Shifts among undecided voters or unexpected changes in turnout in these races could decide control of the House—and in one possible outcome, a Democratic majority won't become clear until late postal ballots are counted in California and Washington. In other election news:

  • "Trump has hijacked the election." While President Trump's focus on immigration has helped Republicans in some races, others fear that he has gone too far and alienated swing voters. "Trump has hijacked the election,” one senior House Republican aide tells Politico. "This is not what we expected the final weeks of the election to focus on." Another Politico source says House Speaker Paul Ryan called Trump on Sunday to beg him to focus on the economy in the final hours of campaigning.

  • A fake call from Oprah. A white supremacist group is believed to be behind racist robocalls targeting Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams in Georgia, the Hill reports. In the call, a voice pretending to be Oprah Winfrey calls Abrams a "poor man's Aunt Jemima" that "dumb white women" can be "tricked into voting for." Brian Kemp, Abrams' GOP opponent, denounced the call as "absolutely disgusting."
  • Stephen King vs. Steve King. Stephen King has personal reasons for wanting Iowans to vote against Republican Rep. Steve King, the Washington Post reports. "I’m tired of being confused with this racist dumbbell," the novelist tweeted Sunday.
  • Races to watch. The AP looks at pivotal House and Senate races to watch Tuesday. New Jersey, California, and Pennsylvania are shaping up as key states for House control, while the Florida race between Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson and Gov. Rick Scott will be one of the most closely watched Senate races.
  • "Frenzied final day." The BBC looks at what it calls the "frenzied final day" of campaigning. Trump will make campaign stops in Ohio, Indiana, and Missouri. With high turnout expected on both sides, Trump told supporters Sunday: "You gotta get to the polls on Tuesday, and you gotta vote." Former President Obama, meanwhile, urged voters in Florida to "be a check" on Trump's "repeated attempts to divide us with rhetoric designed to make us angry and make us fearful."
(Nate Silver offered his predictions Sunday.)

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