TagCongressional election

Election still undecided in New York’s 22nd Congressional District

Results in the Nov. 3 U.S. House election in New York’s 22nd Congressional District have not yet been certified. The latest vote count, completed on Dec. 30, showed former Rep. Claudia Tenney (R) with a 29-vote lead over incumbent Anthony Brindisi (D). This race was one of 56 U.S. House rematches from 2018, when Brindisi defeated Tenney 51% to 49%.

Litigation over the validity of certain absentee and affidavit ballots began the day following the election and is ongoing. Problems with mislaid ballots, missing documentation of ballot challenges, and errors in vote tabulation slowed the process.

Oswego County Supreme Court Justice Scott DelConte has not made a final ruling on these issues, and official results have not been certified. DelConte also asked both campaigns to file legal briefs by Jan. 14 on 2,418 voter registration applications submitted through the Department of Motor Vehicles that the county board of elections did not process before election day. These voters had the option to cast an affidavit ballot, but these ballots weren’t counted since it appeared the voters weren’t registered. At least 63 affidavit ballots from this group are being reviewed.

Final oral arguments on all court proceedings in the case are scheduled for Jan. 22.

Here are some other recent elections where the result was not confirmed until weeks after the elections:

  1. In 2018, the North Carolina Board of Elections did not certify the results in the 9th Congressional District race and voted unanimously to call for a new election on Feb. 21, 2019. Rep. Dan Bishop (R) won the special election on Sept. 10, 2019. 
  2. In the 2016 North Carolina governor’s race, incumbent Pat McCrory (R) conceded on Dec. 5, 2016, after a recount in Durham County verified that Roy Cooper (D) would remain ahead. 
  3. In 2014, Martha McSally (R) was declared the winner over incumbent Ron Barber (D) in Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District at the conclusion of a recount on Dec. 17, 2014.



13 percent of open congressional seats changed party hands in 2020

Forty congressional incumbents—four in the Senate and 36 in the House—did not run for re-election in 2020. Of these 40 open seats, five (12.5 percent) changed party hands as a result of the 2020 elections. All five changes occurred in the House, where Democrats picked up three open seats previously held by Republicans and Republicans picked up two open seats—one held by a Democrat and the other by a Libertarian. Those seats were:

  1. Georgia’s 7th (Republican to Democrat)
  2. Iowa’s 2nd (Democrat to Republican)
  3. North Carolina’s 2nd (Republican to Democrat)
  4. North Carolina’s 6th (Republican to Democrat)
  5. Michigan’s 3rd (Libertarian to Republican)

In Iowa’s 2nd, certified results showed Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R) beating Rita Hart (D) by six votes. Hart indicated she would challenge the results of the election with the U.S. House. 

The group of 40 incumbents who did not run for re-election included 10 Democrats, 29 Republicans, and one Libertarian. They represented 8.5 percent of all 470 Congressional offices up for election.

Across all 2020 Congressional elections, 16 seats changed hands. Democrats picked up two seats in the Senate while Republicans picked up one. In the House, Democrats picked up three seats while Republicans picked up 10 seats.



The two battleground House races with electoral votes at stake

In addition to electing their next representative on Nov. 3, two battleground U.S. House districts will also decide which presidential candidate gets one of their state’s Electoral College votes.

While 48 states give all their electoral votes to the statewide winner of the presidential contest, Maine and Nebraska distribute some of their electoral votes to the winners of each congressional district. Each state awards two of its electoral votes to the statewide presidential election winner. Maine distributes its two remaining electoral votes to the winner(s) of its two congressional districts. And Nebraska distributes its three remaining electoral votes to the winner(s) of its three congressional districts.

Maine’s 2nd and Nebraska’s 2nd are two of the 41 battleground U.S. House races Ballotpedia is following.

Maine’s 2nd

Incumbent Jared Golden (D), Dale Crafts (R), and write-in candidates Daniel Fowler (D) and Timothy Hernandez (D) are running. 

Golden was first elected in 2018. He defeated incumbent Bruce Poliquin (R) 50.6% to 49.4%. That was the first general election in Maine for which ranked-choice voting was law. It was also the first congressional election in U.S. history to use ranked-choice voting to decide the winner.

The 2nd District is one of 30 Democratic-held U.S. House districts that Donald Trump (R) won in the 2016 presidential election. 

• Trump defeated Hillary Clinton (D) 51% to 41% in the 2nd District. Poliquin won the House race 55% to 45% that year.

• Barack Obama (D) won the district in the 2012 and 2008 presidential elections with 53% and 55%, respectively. Mike Michaud (D) won the House elections those years.

Three independent election forecasters rate the 2020 House race Likely or Solid Democratic.

Nebraska’s 2nd

Incumbent Don Bacon (R), Kara Eastman (D), and Tyler Schaeffer (L) are running. The race is one of 56 U.S. House rematches from 2018. In 2018, Bacon defeated Eastman 51% to 49%. Bacon defeated incumbent Brad Ashford (D) in 2016, 49% to 48%.

Presidential election results in recent cycles were as follows:

• Trump defeated Clinton 48% to 46% in the 2nd District in 2016.

• In 2012, Mitt Romney (R) defeated Obama 53% to 46% in this district. In 2008, Obama defeated John McCain (R) 50% to 49%. Lee Terry (R) won the House elections both years.

Three election forecasters rate the 2020 House race a Toss-up.

All 435 seats in the House are up for election. Democrats currently have a 232 to 198 majority over Republicans in the chamber.

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Former incumbent Ashford (D) endorses Bacon (R) in Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District

Brad Ashford (D), the former representative of Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District, endorsed incumbent Don Bacon (R) on October 7. Bacon defeated Ashford for the seat in 2016. Ashford said Bacon “demonstrated time and again … that he will put people above party to find bipartisan solutions.”

Ashford ran again in 2018, losing to Kara Eastman in the Democratic primary. Ashford previously ran for the district in the 1994 Republican primary. He was elected in 2014 as a Democrat. Ashford served in the nonpartisan Nebraska Unicameral legislature from 1987 to 1995 and again from 2007 to 2015. In 2011, he announced having changed his registration from Republican to independent.

Bacon, Eastman, and Tyler Schaeffer (L) are running for the 2nd District this year. Eastman defeated Ann Ashford, wife of Brad, in the 2020 Democratic primary.

State Sen. John McCollister (R) endorsed Eastman on October 9. McCollister has been critical of President Donald Trump and said Bacon had voted in favor of the president’s policies more than 90% of the time. He said Bacon was not independent and that Eastman wouldn’t “buckle under any pressure from the Democrat Party.”

On October 7, Roll Call named Bacon the most vulnerable House member of the 2020 election cycle, citing Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s 7-point lead among district voters in a recent poll and spending by national Democrats. As of October 8, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the National Republican Campaign Committee had each spent $1.2 million in the 2nd District.

Biden endorsed Eastman in the race.

In 2018, Bacon defeated Eastman 51% to 49%. Bacon won the 2016 election against Ashford 49% to 48%.

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