Update, November 8th, 8:50 p.m.: The Democrats have retained their majority, and there are still races to come to determine the exact balance of power.
While the Democrats intended to retake the White House and Senate on Election Day, they are also defending their majority in the US House in 435 congressional elections across the country.
But, as in several other races, the number of votes is slow – and it may be days or weeks before we know the exact makeup of the house. Democrats appear to have retained control of the chamber, but with a smaller majority.
Democrats won the house in the 2018 midterm elections and used more than 40 seats to regain power after two years of complete Republican control. Their new majority set out to adopt a largely symbolic agenda to demonstrate how they would rule if they retook the presidency and Senate (with voting rights and health-cost-cutting laws topping the list) while they did tried to fend off fighting among party members (Medicare-for-all never got a house vote, but committee hearings took place).
The history books will remember most of the majority in the Democratic House of 116th Congress, who indicted President Donald Trump in December 2019 for his overt attempts to use the power of his office to obtain politically harmful information on Joe Biden before he did won the nomination for Democratic President.
But now the Democrats are trying to hold onto their house majority in the hopes of winning a trifecta from the Senate President – and getting a real chance to implement their agenda. Election forecasters saw Democrats as strong favorites to stay in control and perhaps even win seats. But when votes come in, Democrats seem headed for a reduced house majority and a Senate majority seems increasingly unlikely.
So Vox (and other media outlets) will be on the phone all night and the following days. Vox broadcasts live results provided by our friends at the decision desk. You can also follow the live results of the presidential elections and Senate races here.
Three key states to watch in the 2020 US House of Representatives elections
Competitive house races will be held across the country on Tuesday, from first-term Democrats trying to win re-election in Oklahoma and Utah with Trump on the ballot to vulnerable Republicans in Arkansas and Oklahoma hoping the President will lead them to Can help victory.
California and New York have lots of seats in the House of Representatives and therefore a good number of close races. At the other end of that spectrum, Don Young, Alaska’s only representative since 1973, faces perhaps his greatest re-election challenge to date.
But a handful of Presidential Swing States will also play an oversized role in the composition of the House. Here is a selection of some of the races we watch.
Texas: The Cook Political Report ranked seven Texas home seats in their most competitive categories (Lean Democrat, Toss-Up, or Lean Republican). The Democrats were hoping for a good shot to get at least a few seats. A race in the 24th district is still close, but there are few other signs of a blue wave in the state.
North Carolina: A state court ruled last year that Republican lawmakers had unconstitutionally manipulated North Carolina’s congressional counties and ordered new, fairer maps to be created. That meant five of the state’s 13 counties were in play, according to Cook. Two of them were evacuated by Republican incumbents after the district redesign and are now considered likely Democratic pickups. But it took Democrats a sizeable wave to gain more ground, and potential catch-ups in North Carolina’s eighth, ninth and eleventh counties were ultimately called for for Republicans.
Iowa: Cook said three of the four home races in Iowa should be competitive on election night, thanks to the state’s independent redistribution commission, which aims to prevent partisan wandering. Two were called out, but the Iowa Second District seat is still a close race as the votes come in.
Correction, 6:30 p.m. ET: This post has been updated to accurately reflect poll closing times in Alaska and Hawaii.
Are you helping keep Vox free for everyone?
Millions of people rely on Vox to understand how Washington policy choices, from health care to unemployment to housing, can affect their lives. Our work is well-sourced, research-oriented, and thorough. And that kind of work requires resources. Even after the economy recovers, advertising alone will never be enough to support it. If you’ve already contributed to Vox, thank you. If not, help us keep our journalism free for everyone by contributing as little as $ 3 today.