Republicans flip another House seat (how many will the GOP gain?)

Yesterday I wrote about the trend in California which has Democrats worried and upset. There are three House seats which Dems flipped in 2018 that now appear likely to flip back to the GOP this cycle. In fact, one of those races was finally called today. I’m particularly pleased by this result because it means my own representative to Congress is once again a Republican:

In a major win for the GOP, U.S. Rep. Harley Rouda conceded to his Republican opponent, Michelle Steel, in the race for California’s 48th Congressional District, one of several hard-fought contests in areas that until recently were considered conservative strongholds.

The election win hands back to Republicans one of several seats lost in 2018 when Democrats made big gains in Orange County and other red-leaning areas…

“I was proud to be the first Democrat ever to represent California’s 48th Congressional District,” Rouda said in a statement. “While one campaign ends today, another is just beginning. I look forward to having voters compare my opponent’s two years in Congress with my accomplishments on Nov. 8, 2022.”

I guess that means Rouda is planning to run for the seat again in two years. Back in 2018, Rouda’s victory was helped by a big donation of $4 million from Michael Bloomberg. I guess we’ll find out in 2022 if Bloomberg still has more to spend on him. Meanwhile, here’s the reaction from Michelle Steel:

Steel was born in South Korea but came to the U.S. as a child. She has a business degree from Pepperdine and an MBA from USC. Today, she becomes one of only two Korean-American women to serve in Congress.

In a video thanking supporters published today she said that “conservative ideas transcend gender, race, religion or nationality.” There’s an idea that should give the Democratic party chills.

Steel brings the GOP net gain in the House to +6.

Meanwhile, there are still about 16 seats according to the NY Times (19 seats according to Fox News) that have yet to be called. You would think that calling these races a week after the election wouldn’t be hard but some of them are really close, separated by a couple hundred votes. Others are separated by thousands of votes but the outstanding vote may be heavily in favor of one party. So with the caveat that these are somewhat educated guesses but still just guesses, here’s how I think this will eventually shake out.

The GOP will end up with around 210 seats to Democrats 225, though if the GOP wins every race it is currently leading it would be 212 to 223. Specifically, it looks like the GOP will hold on in CA-21 and CA-39, though I think Dems will probably flip CA-25. That would bring the net gain to +7. Other potential pickups for the GOP are NY-11 and NY-22, though there are still a lot of votes to be counted. There are two very tight races in Iowa-2 and Utah-4. Assuming the GOP gets one of those and both the NY seats that would bring the gain to +10.

There’s also one long shot race in NY-3 where Republican George Santos is beating Democrat Thomas Suozzi. This was a race Democrats were expected to win easily so the fact that Santos is still up by a few thousand votes is pretty remarkable. If elected it would be another pickup for the GOP and Santos would become the first openly gay Republican in congress.

Correction: Actually, that’s not right. Santos would be the first openly gay Republican from New York but Rep. Steve Gunderson was outed as gay in 1994 and Rep. Jim Kolbe came out as gay in 1996. Sorry for the error. 

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