Election Day’s strong showing for Democrats in the House, where they initially appeared to have flipped 27 seats to retake control, turned out to be just the beginning of their building blue wave.
Heading into the Thanksgiving holiday, Democrats are now poised to pick up an astonishing 40 seats in the House.
Democrats got to 39 on Wednesday, with the Associated Press calling the close race for Utah’s 4th District for Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams, who ousted incumbent Rep. Mia Love, the only black Republican woman ever elected to Congress.
Now there are just four races left where the outcome has not quite been finalized, with absentee ballots continuing to trickle in and concessions yet to be made.
Another likely pickup for Democrats is in New York’s 21st Congressional District, where Anthony Brindisi declared victory over Rep. Claudia Tenney, a close ally of President Trump. With almost all absentee ballots counted, local newspapers have noted there is no path to victory left for Tenney, but the AP has not yet called the race and the Republican incumbent has not yet conceded.
Tenney drew headlines this year for calling Democratic lawmakers who refrained from clapping during Trump’s State of the Union address “un-American” and for claiming that “many of these people that commit the mass murders end up being Democrats.”
In California’s 21st District, Republican David Valadao’s lead over Democrat TJ Cox keeps shrinking as vote tallies are updated. Valadao was declared the winner of his Central Valley seat on election night, but the latest numbers put him only 930 votes ahead. The district went for Hillary Clinton over Trump by 16 points in 2016.
The Fresno Bee reported that the next update on count in California’s 21st won’t come until Nov. 26. A prediction from election forecast site FiveThirtyEight found that if current trends continue with the ballots coming in from Kern, Fresno, Kings and Tulare Counties, Valadao could wind up within 100 votes of Cox.
Back in New York, Rep. Chris Collins appears to be holding onto his lead over Democratic challenger Nate McMurray in the deeply conservative 27th District. Collins, who was indicted in August on insider-trading charges and will face trial in 2020, declared victory Tuesday night.
McMurray had conceded the race on election night, but reversed course hours later as the results tightened. Though he’s unlikely to secure the number of absentee and emergency votes needed to outpace Collins, McMurray has yet to concede and traveled to Washington, D.C. last week for freshman orientation.
The final outcome has also yet to be determined in Georgia’s 7th District, where GOP Rep. Rob Woodall is just 419 votes ahead of Carolyn Bourdeaux, well under the 1 percent margin required for a recount. Bourdeaux has requested one, and the recount is underway as of Wednesday.
One final sundae-topper for Democrats is the distant—but not impossible—prospect of picking up one more U.S. Senate seat. The runoff in next Tuesday’s Mississippi race appears closer than expected, with Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith facing backlash in the heavily African-American state by joking about voter suppression and “public hanging[s].”
A surprise win by former U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy would leave Republicans with 52 seats to Democrats’ 48.
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