U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat from California, speaks during a news conference at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee headquarters in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020.
Alyssa Schukar | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Democrats will keep their U.S. House majority in the next Congress, according to NBC News.
But after a series of rough early returns from the 2020 election, the party will likely have fewer seats in January than it does now.
NBC estimates Democrats will hold 226 House seats, while Republicans will have 209. The figures could change, as NBC said the parties may ultimately end up with as many as eight seats more or less than those projections. (Eight fewer seats for Democrats would put them at 218, the minimum they need for a majority).
In races called by NBC, Republicans have flipped a net three seats. Democrats have won 199 seats, the GOP has carried 188 and 48 remain uncalled.
Republicans have so far cut into the Democratic majority mostly by gaining back ground they lost in the 2018 midterms, when Democrats flipped House control. The GOP will defeat at least five House Democrats, including four first-term representatives.
- Republican Nancy Mace will beat freshman Democratic Rep. Joe Cunningham in South Carolina’s 1st District.
- GOP candidate Stephanie Bice will defeat first-term Democratic Rep. Kendra Horn in Oklahoma’s 5th District.
- Republican Michelle Fischbach will prevail over longtime Democratic Rep. Collin Peterson in Minnesota’s 7th District.
- GOP candidate Yvette Herrell will win her rematch against first-term Democratic Rep. Xochitl Torres Small in New Mexico’s 2nd District.
- Republican Ashley Hinson will defeat first-term Democratic Rep. Abby Finkenauer in Iowa’s 1st District.
Democrats have also gained two seats in races called by NBC News. Deborah Ross and Kathy Manning will win races for North Carolina’s 2nd and 6th Districts, respectively. Both GOP-held seats became more friendly to Democrats after redistricting in the state.
Entering Election Day, forecasters projected Democrats would gain House seats and challenge for the Senate majority. Now, Democrats may only end up with a narrow majority in the House as states count final results to determine whether Republicans hold their advantage in the Senate.
In a letter to House Democrats on Wednesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi projected confidence in Democratic nominee Joe Biden winning the presidential election. Remaining tallies in states including Pennsylvania, Georgia, Nevada and Arizona will determine whether he or President Donald Trump occupy the White House for the next four years.
She said that the Democratic House and White House would “have the opportunity to deliver extraordinary progress” on issues including health care, infrastructure and clean government. She acknowledged a “challenging election” and said Democratic candidates “made us proud.”
Out of the nine Democratic-held districts the nonpartisan Cook Political report listed as toss-up races, NBC projects Republicans will win at least four. Five are unresolved.
Cook considered 17 Republican seats and one independent-held district as toss-ups. The GOP has won all nine of those races that NBC has called so far.
House Democrats aimed to expand their reach in the 2020 election, targeting a range of Republican seats in states including Texas, North Carolina and Florida. After an often discussed push by Democrats to win GOP-held seats in Texas, the party has not flipped any of the districts it targeted (though NBC has not projected results in at least two of them).
The party also did not gain any seats in Florida, and two South Florida House Democrats currently trail in races not yet called by NBC.
Even so, NBC projects Democrats will hold a range of key districts they won in 2018. Reps. Lizzie Fletcher and Colin Allred are expected to keep their seats in Texas.
Rep. Lucy McBath will win reelection in Georgia, as will Reps. Elissa Slotkin of Michigan, Josh Harder of California and Kim Schrier of Washington.
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