In Battle for House, Democrats Keep Chipping Away

More seats in the West slip away from Republicans, though GOP is still favored
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 11, 2022 4:45 PM CST
In Battle for House, Democrats Keep Chipping Away
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy speaks at an election event early Wednesday in Washington.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Republicans were in good shape Friday afternoon in their attempt to take control of the House once all votes are counted, but it's not a lock. Democrats are winning more races and gaining ground in others, a couple of analyses of the election show. Politico and the Washington Post look at how the uncalled races could break Democrats' way to give them the 218 seats needed for a majority, citing a few factors:

  • Wild card West: Most races still in doubt are in the West, where Democrats generally do better. The GOP candidates have leads in enough of the 30 or so uncalled races to win the House, but a lot of votes haven't been counted yet. It's not clear if they're coming from Republican, Democratic, or toss-up areas.
  • The models: The shifts this week are not moving Republicans' way. The Post model on Wednesday showed the GOP on track for about 225 seats; it now projects about 220. It's not just a few isolated races that have changed course. The forecast looks better across the country for Democrats as they pick up late-breaking seats.
  • 11 races: Politico's analysis has 11 districts too close to forecast, including Lauren Boebert's race in Colorado. But probability favors the GOP on those, because to clinch House control, Democrats would need to win nine, while Republicans just need three. The best bet is that if Republicans take the House, the Post says, it will be with a much smaller majority than they expected.
(All of the above is complicating Kevin McCarthy's plan to be the next House speaker.)

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