‘the Squad’ Coasts To Reelection
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 defeated her Republican challenger, David Dudenhoefer, and will continue to represent Michigan’s 13th Congressional District.
Democrats Odds Of Keeping The House Are Slimming Fast
The Democratic House majority emerged from the 2020 election so bruised and emaciated that experts gave it less than three years to live.
In defiance of polling and pundit expectations, Republicans netted 11 House seats in 2020, leaving Nancy Pelosis caucus perilously thin. Since World War II, the presidents party has lost an average of 27 House seats in midterm elections. If Democrats lose more than four in 2022, they will forfeit congressional control.
If the headwinds facing House Democrats have been clear since November, the preconditions for overcoming those headwinds have also been discernible: The party needed Joe Biden to stay popular, the Democratic base to stay mobilized and, above all, for Congressional Democrats to level the playing field by banning partisan redistricting.
A little over 100 days into Bidens presidency, Democrats are hitting only one of those three marks.
Historically, theres been a strong correlation between the sitting presidents approval rating and his partys midterm performance. Only twice in the last three decades has the presidents party gained seats in a midterm election; in both cases, their approval ratings exceeded 60 percent.
The party that controls the presidency tends to gets less popular as time goes on, and future declines are surprisingly correlated with first quarter polling.Many reasons that this cycle might be different, but so far public polling points to Dems getting 48% on election day.
Gop Women Made Big Gains
While the majority of the Republican caucus will still be men come 2021, there will be far more Republican women in Congress than there were this year. So far, it looks like at least 26 GOP women will be in the House next year, surpassing the record of 25 from the 109th Congress. Thats thanks in part to the record number of non-incumbent Republican women 15 whove won House contests. And its also because of how well Republican women did in tight races. The table below shows the Republican women who ran in Democratic-held House districts that were at least potentially competitive,1 according to FiveThirtyEights forecast. As of this writing, seven of them have won.
GOP women have flipped several Democratic seats
Republican women running for potentially competitive Democratic-held House seats and the status of their race as of 4:30 p.m Eastern on Nov. 11
Results are unofficial. Races are counted as projected only if the projection comes from ABC News. Excludes races in which the Republican candidate has either a less than 1 in 100 chance or greater than 99 in 100 chance of winning.
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House Democrats May Well Have To Contend With A Republican Senate
House Democrats have spent the past two years passing bills at a rapid clip, on everything from sweeping anti-corruption reforms to lowering the cost of prescription drugs to a $1.5 trillion infrastructure bill. But the vast majority of these bills were dead on arrival in the US Senate. It seems likely this ambitious agenda could continue to be on ice, unless Democrats flip two Georgia Senate runoff races that will be decided in January.
One of the few bipartisan pieces of legislation Pelosi, Mitch McConnell, and President Trump were able to agree on was the $2.2 trillion CARES Act at the beginning of the pandemic; a second stimulus package has been held up by partisan bickering. McConnell recently signaled willingness to pass another stimulus package before the end of the year. He for the Senates lame-duck session but was vague on concrete details.
Even on infrastructure one of the few places where there seemed to be bipartisan agreement getting a bill through could be elusive. Should Democrats flip the Senate, Pelosi has provided them a road map.
But its too early to say if they will get to use it.
Update: This piece was updated with recent Decision Desk calls in several key House races.
Republicans Won More House Seats Than More Popular Democrats Though Not Entirely Because Of How Districts Were Drawn
The Democratic member of Congress from Austin, otherwise represented in Washington, D.C. by Republicans, says Democrats nationally got more votes in 2012 yet Republicans ended up with their House majority.
During the last election, Democrats won over a million votes more than Republicans, Rep. Lloyd Doggett said in a Nov. 4, 2013, talk at the University of Texas at San Antonio. But because of the way House districts are designed, the Republicans got 33 more members of the House of Representatives than the Democrats did.
The first part of his claim sounded familiar, but is it right that this outcome arose from the way House districts were designed?
In every state, districts must be redrawn every 10 years to adjust for population changes as measured by the decennial U.S. census. Each state has its own method for drawing districts. And Texas, like most states, entrusts most of the line-drawing to state legislators.
Over the past dozen years or so, Doggett pointed out in his talk, he has represented a variety of communitiesat one time holding a district that stretched from the Texas-Mexico border north into Austinlargely due to how districts were drawn by the states dominant Republicans.
Nationally, he said, the redistricting process has had a significant impact on more than me and indeed on the whole framing of the national debate that is going on right now. His lecture later touched on the influence of money in politics.
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Democrats Find A Message
Nancy Pelosi did not want to talk about Planned Parenthood.
It was a meeting of House Democrats early in 2017, during Republicans drive that March to strike down the Affordable Care Act. Ms. Pelosi and her political lieutenants laid out their counterattack: Democrats would talk about pre-existing conditions and millions of people losing coverage. And they would talk about an age tax a provision in the Obamacare replacement passed by the House, which would have allowed health insurers to widen the premium gap between younger and older customers.
Ms. Pelosi acknowledged it would require restraint from Democrats. In her own San Francisco district, she said, people wanted her to fight the health care battle over funding for Planned Parenthood and Medicaid. Those things are in our DNA, but they are not in our talking points, Ms. Pelosi became fond of saying, according to a close associate.
That narrow focus on health care and a few economic issues came to define the Democrats midterm campaign. It represented a wholesale rejection of Hillary Clintons failed strategy in the 2016 campaign, which focused on Mr. Trumps fitness for office.
Every time he would say something or tweet something, it would come back: We need to come right back at him! Define him! Mr. Luján recalled. We would say: Look, we dont need to talk about him, hes going to do it himself. We need to continue to have a conversation with the American people about kitchen-table issues.
Dems Head Toward House Control But Gop Picks Off Seats
WASHINGTON Disappointed Democrats headed Wednesday toward renewing their control of the House for two more years but with a potentially shrunken majority as they lost at least seven incumbents without ousting a single Republican lawmaker.
They were all wrong, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., told reporters about Democrats assumptions of adding to their House numbers. Repeating a campaign theme Republicans used repeatedly against Democrats, he said, The rejection that we saw last night from the Democrats, was that America does not want to be a socialist nation.
McCarthy also touted his partys modest additions to its small cadre of female and minority lawmakers. The Republican coalition is bigger, more diverse and more energetic than ever before, he said.
The latest Democratic incumbent to fall was freshman Rep. Abby Finkenauer of northeastern Iowa, who lost to GOP state Rep. Ashley Hinson.
Democrats setbacks were measured not just by seats they lost but by districts they failed to capture.
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United States House Of Representatives Elections2018 United States House of Representatives elections
The 2018 United States House of Representatives elections were held on November 6, 2018, with early voting taking place in some states in the weeks preceding that date. Voters chose representatives from all 435 congressional districts across each of the 50 U.S. states. Non-voting delegates from the District of Columbia and four of the five inhabited U.S. territories were also elected. These midterm elections took place halfway through the term of Republican President Donald Trump. On Election Day, Republicans had held a House majority since .
In the 2018 elections, the Democrats, led by Nancy Pelosi, won control of the House. The Democrats gained a net total of 41 seats from the total number of seats they had won in the 2016 elections. The 41-seat gain was the Democrats’ largest gain of House seats since the post-Watergate 1974 elections, when they picked up 49 seats.
Upon the opening of the 116th United States Congress, Pelosi was elected as Speaker of the House. Incumbent Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan chose not to run for another term. In November 2018, House Republicans elected Kevin McCarthy as House Minority Leader.
Impact Of Special Elections On Partisan Composition
The partisan breakdown for the special elections was as follows:
In districts where the incumbent legislator does not run for re-election, the seat is guaranteed to a newcomer.
- 85.1% of incumbents sought re-election, the highest percentage in a decade.
- 14.9% of incumbents did not run for re-election, meaning newcomers were guaranteed to win those seats.
- 394 Democratic state legislators did not seek re-election.
- 477 Republican state legislators did not seek re-election.
- Six third party or independent state legislators did not seek re-election.
|Open state legislative seats, 2020|
As the charts below show, there were 1,135 fewer primary candidates in 2020 than in 2018, reaching levels similar to 2016 and 2014. 2020 saw the lowest number of open seats, meaning more incumbents seeking re-election, compared to the previous three even-year elections. The number of incumbents facing primaries was roughly similar to 2016 and 2014, but less than 2018. There were fewer total primaries in 2020 compared to 2018 and 2016, but more than there were in 2014.
To read more about the competitiveness of state legislative primary elections in 2020, .
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Election Results 2020: Veto
- See also: State government trifectas
Two state legislatures saw changes in their veto-proof majority statusâtypically when one party controls either three-fifths or two-thirds of both chambersâas a result of the 2020 elections. Democrats gained veto-proof majorities in Delaware and New York, bringing the number of state legislatures with a veto-proof majority in both chambers to 24: 16 held by Republicans and eight held by Democrats.
Forty-four states held regularly-scheduled state legislative elections on November 3. Heading into the election, there were 22 state legislatures where one party had a veto-proof majority in both chambers; 16 held by Republicans and six held by Democrats. Twenty of those states held legislative elections in 2020.
The veto override power can play a role in conflicts between state legislatures and governors. Conflict can occur when legislatures vote to override gubernatorial vetoes or in court cases related to vetoes and the override power.
Although it has the potential to create conflict, the veto override power is rarely used. According to political scientists Peverill Squire and Gary Moncrief in 2010, only about five percent of vetoes are overridden.
|Changes in state legislative veto-proof majorites|
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New Yorks Congressional Seats Over Time
And several key states with changes coming to their maps California, Colorado, Michigan and Montana have independent commissions tasked with determining new legislative boundaries on a nonpartisan or bipartisan basis.
The parties have this natural inclination to go for broke, say, Weve got a new seat, lets grab it and take the opportunity we have, said Bernard Grofman, a political science professor at the University of California, Irvine, who has served as a special master for court-ordered redistricting in multiple states. For Republicans, he said, picking up new seats and stopping Joe Biden is going to have a high, high priority, even though they may pay a big political price down the road.
The 2021 redistricting process will also be the first time since 1961 that a raft of mostly Southern states will not have their maps subject to a preclearance process from the Justice Department, following the Supreme Courts 2013 decision to strike down Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. The court last month heard arguments that could undo more elements of the act that would impede the ability to sue to block new maps.
Without having to seek preclearance, Republicans in states where they control all levers of government Florida, Georgia and Texas, to name three will have far more influence on the new maps than they have had in past reapportionment cycles.
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Republicans Score Big Gains In House Pelosi Barely Hanging On
In fact, not only did they do poorly across the board, but, as a Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee spokeswoman astutely noted, President Trump acted not as the Democrat-expected anchor but as a buoy for Republican legislative candidates.
That Democrats vastly misjudged the appeal of their radical agenda is crystal clear , and perhaps nowhere is that more evident than in the House races.; Nancy Pelosi truly expected her party to pick up seats, yet it appears its the Republicans who are on track to accomplish the 10-15 seat gains the Democrats expected in their column.
Pelosi on Election Day: “Democrats are poised to further strengthen our majority.”
Pelosi today: “I never said that we were going to pick up” seats.
Despite AOCs declaration that Democrats lost the House, they have so far managed to win 219 seats .
Powerline notes that Republicans have flipped 12 House seats: RealClearPolitics notes that Republicans have picked up a net of 9 House seats. RCP projects that Republicans will pick up a net 10-13 seats when the counting is done.
12 FLIPS in the House for the GOP!
CA39 Young Kim
Students For Trump
Of the House races yet to be called as of Friday, Republicans are leading in 11 of the 14 races.
Buzzfeed News Has Journalists Around The Us Bringing You Trustworthy Stories On The 2020 Elections To Help Keep This News Freebecome A Member
Democrats seem hesitant to even acknowledge their losses; Pelosi has said it was a challenging election with Trump at the top of the ticket but has otherwise argued Democrats retained control of the House for a reason. Its a mistake that could doom the party even further, considering history is not on their side going into 2022, as the presidents party has consistently lost seats during the midterm elections.
On a caucus call not long after Election Day, Rep. Abigail Spanberger, a first-term member representing a Virginia swing district, spoke up with her own take on how the election had played out.
Rep. Abigail Spanberger joined by other members of the Problem Solvers Caucus, speaks during a news conference to unveil a COVID-19 relief package, Sept. 15, 2020.
If we are classifying Tuesday as a success from a congressional standpoint, we will get torn apart in 2022, Spanberger said, according to an audio recording obtained by the Washington Post.
The number one concern she heard from people in her district, Spanberger told her colleagues, was about defunding the police an idea, she argued, that Democrats dont even support. While many Democrats and activists have used the slogan to call for reforming and demilitarizing police forces, some Democrats, including progressive members of Congress, do support fully defunding police forces.
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