14 Undecided Races Will Determine House Majority Election workers open mail-in ballots at the Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center in Phoenix, Arizona, on Nov. 11. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
By John Gizzi Monday, 14 November 2022 07:24 AM EST Current | Bio | Archive
With the projection Saturday by the Associated Press that Republican Lori Chavez-deRemer had snatched Oregon's 5th District after 48 years of Democrat representation, there are now 14 U.S. races left that will determine which party rules the U.S. House of Representatives.
Eight of the undecided contests are in California, with most voters opting for mail-in voting, and these races will most likely be decided in the following week.
Others such as that for Alaska's at-large House seat, which will finally be determined by the complicated ranked-choice system, is unlikely to be completed until the end of November.
There is a strong likelihood that the party which eventually holds a majority in the House will do so by one or two seats. If so, then it raises other questions: will Democrat Nancy Pelosi stay on as speaker if Democrats are in power, or will Republicans stick with Kevin McCarthy as speaker if they hold the majority?
Virtually every vote on a major issue will be nail-bitingly close.
As of late Sunday, there were 214 seats called for Republicans, 207 for the Democrats, and 14 undecided — figures which could change within hours, depending on how quickly the counting is completed.
For now, here are the races in which who rules the House of Representatives in January will be determined….
Alaska at large — Democrat Mary Peltola, who won a much-watched special election for the seat of the late Republican Rep. Don Young, now holds 47% of the vote with roughly 80% counted. Should she fail to win a majority, the ranked-choice system will eliminate the bottom vote-getter and give their second-choice votes to the top vote-getters. The process of eliminating runners-up will continue until one candidate gets a majority. The runner-up to Peltola, with 27%, is 2008 Republican vice-presidential nominee and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
Arizona-1 — As of Sunday night, with 93% of the votes counted, six-term GOP Rep. David Schweikert had pulled ahead of Democrat challenger Jevin Hodge by a wafer-thin 894 votes out of more than 340,000 cast. Much of the First District is in Maricopa County (Phoenix) had been deluged by an unexpectedly large number of mail-in votes and by difficulties with tabulation machines.
Arizona-6—Republican businessman Juan Ciscomani leads Democrat State Sen. Kirsten Engel by less than 1% of the vote. Like the 1st, the 6th includes parts of Maricopa County and has had its troubles with tabulating machines. 90% of the votes have so far been counted.
California-3 — State Assemblyman Kevin Kiley, a Trump-endorsed Republican, holds a lead of 53% to 47% over Democrat and physician Kermit Jones in this new and open Death Valley district. 53% of the vote has been counted so far.
California-9 — As of Sunday, Democrat Rep. Josh Harder was leading Republican and San Joaquin County Supervisor Tom Patti by 56% to 43%. But barely half the votes have been counted so far and Patti's county makes up a majority of this newly-drawn rural district.
California-13 — Republican farmer John Duarte has clung to a lead of 100 votes or less over Democrat State Assemblyman Adam Gray. Sixty-one percent of the votes have been counted and this Central Valley race is expected to take a while to decide.
California-22 — Another Central Valley race is a squeaker. Rep. David Valadao, one of the ten House Republicans who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump, holds a lead of 52.5% over Democrat State Assemblyman Rudy Salas.
California-27 — In 2019, Republican Mike Garcia won a special election and, a year later, narrowly (by 333 votes) won a full term in this Los Angeles County district. He now leads 2020 foe and former Democrat Assemblywoman Christy Smith with 55% and is claiming victory. Smith won't concede and supporters note nearly 40% remains to be counted.
California-41 — Thirty-year Rep. Ken Calvert, the longest-serving Republican House member from the Golden State, faced the challenge of his career from former assistant U.S. Attorney and liberal Democrat Will Rollins. Backed by the growing LGBTQ population in Palm Springs and the Inland Empire, Rollins matched Calvert in fund-raising. As of Sunday, Calvert clung to a lead of 51.26% to 48.74%.
California-47 — Democrat Rep. Katie Porter leads in the Orange County-based district by about 1% over former Orange County GOP Chairman Scott Baugh. This is another that will take at least a week to decide.
California-49 — The lead appears to go back and forth between Democrat Rep. Mike Levin and Republican former San Juan Capistrano Mayor Brian Maryott. As of Sunday, no one is predicting the outcome.
Colorado-3 — In what is considered the most Republican district in the Centennial State, controversial Rep. Lauren Boebert clings to just over 1,000 votes against Democrat Adam Frisch. Betting is high that this race will go to a recount.
Maine-2 — This is another contest in which the lead is alternated every time new votes are counted. With about 90% of the votes in, Democrat Rep. Jared Golden and former GOP Rep. Bruce Poliquin are separated by a few hundred votes.
New York-22 — With the retirement of moderate Republican Rep. John Katko, the newly-drawn Syracuse district was supposed to go Democrat, but it's not working out that way. Republican businessman Brandon Williams, who has the endorsement of the New York Conservative Party, leads Democrat Francis Conole by about 4,000 votes with 95% counted.
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.