More Races Called: Updates

On Friday and over the weekend, six more uncalled US House campaigns officially ended. Democrats took five of the group, with the majority GOP getting a winner in central Washington State’s double Republican battle.

MD-6: As was expected when freshman Rep. John Delaney (D) moved ahead of challenger Dan Bongino (R) by about 2,000 votes with only around 5,000 remaining to count, the end quickly followed. Bongino conceded to Delaney picking up 48 percent of the aggregate vote as compared to the incumbent’s 50 percent, a margin of 2,269 votes. Considering this is a strong Democratic seat, Bongino’s close performance is a surprise and only Delaney’s strong margin from Montgomery County saved him from a shocking defeat.

CA-9: The first of three California races to be finalized is not a particular surprise, as Rep. Jerry McNerney (D) was finally projected the winner in his San Joaquin County district. This race had never been on the political board, but challenger Tony Amador (R) made it a battle. McNerney, with still votes remaining to be counted, is likely to win a final 52% of the vote.

CA-17: The double-Democrat battle between Rep. Mike Honda and former Obama Administration official and high tech attorney Ro Khanna is also over. The victory goes to Rep. Honda who wins an eighth term, but with a diminished 52-48 percent victory margin in his San Jose congressional district.

CA-31: In a race the National Republican Congressional Committee left by the wayside until the very end, GOP nominee Paul Chabot conceded his election as San Bernardino County open seat Democratic contender Pete Aguilar’s 51-49 percent margin will be sustained. The result is a Democratic conversion because Republican incumbent Gary Miller chose not to seek re-election.

CA-52: Originally it appeared that former San Diego City Councilman Carl DeMaio was one of the nation’s top Republican challengers, and had a legitimate chance to unseat freshman Rep. Scott Peters (D). With enough of the votes counted to make a projection, the congressman has secured a second term in what looks to be another tight 51-49 percent margin.

WA-4: When Rep. Doc Hastings (R) retired, a bevy of Republicans jumped into the campaign to succeed him. When two members of the GOP advanced to the general election for the first time in the state’s history, the party couldn’t lose but it was unclear whether former state legislator and Washington Agriculture Department director Dan Newhouse or ex-NFL football player and previous statewide candidate Clint Didier would win the general election. Enough of the mail vote has now been received and counted to declare Newhouse a 51-49 percent winner.

The Count

Adding these six races to the national totals, the Republicans are holding 244 seats as compared to the Democrats’ 184. There are still seven races outstanding, including the two Louisiana run-offs scheduled for election on Dec. 6. In the Senate, with Virginia’s Mark Warner’s (D) now official re-election, the party division is 52 Republicans, 44 Democrats, and two Independents who caucus with the Democrats.

Two races remain outstanding. Ballots in Alaska will be counted tomorrow, and the eventual final result heavily favors challenger Dan Sullivan (R). He leads Sen. Mark Begich (D) by more than 8,000 votes with a reported 40,000-plus remaining to be counted.

The only outstanding governor’s race is also in Alaska, and features incumbent Sean Parnell (R) trailing Independent former Valdez Mayor Bill Walker. The spread is approximately 3,000 votes. A Walker victory here is a distinct possibility. Today, the gubernatorial count stands at 31 Republicans governors, just 18 Democrats, and one remaining race that will be decided shortly. The number assumes that Vermont Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin will win re-election in a vote of the legislature since he failed to obtain an absolute majority on Election Day.

The Remainder

Of the five races where ballots are still being counted, Democrats may be able to sweep each contest. Right now, here’s where the races stand:

AZ-2: In a virtual rerun of the 2012 contest, Republican Martha McSally (D) leads Rep. Ron Barber (D) by 509 votes. An undisclosed number of uncounted ballots remain in the Tucson area (Pima County), which should be good for Barber, but McSally can rebound when adding outstanding ballots in more Republican Cochise County. This one can still go either way.

NY-25: Rep. Louise Slaughter (D) has already declared victory, but the veteran congresswoman only leads challenger Mark Assini (R) by 582 votes. It does not appear enough uncounted ballots remain to realistically alter the outcome.

Another in a string of California races in political overtime, former Rep. Doug Ose (R) leads freshman Rep. Ami Bera (D) by 2,183 votes. But, more than 70,000 ballots still remain to be counted, so this contest is far from over and the result is still unclear.

CA-16: Republican farmer Johnny Tacherra has come from nowhere to lead Rep. Jim Costa (D). His advantage is 741 votes, but most of the outstanding ballots are reported to be from Fresno County, which should mean good news for Rep. Costa.

CA-26: Finally, in the Ventura County 26th District, freshman Rep. Julia Brownley (D) has opened up a 1,028-vote lead over state Assemblyman Jeff Gorell (R). Enough outstanding ballots remain to change the outcome, but Brownley’s late trends are positive for her re-election prospects.

Expect the final count to place the Republicans around 247, with the Democrats at 188. The number, if attained, will represent a 13-seat gain for the House GOP.

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