Luke Letlow (R) defeated Lance Harris (R) in the general election for Louisiana’s 5th Congressional District on Dec. 5. With all precincts reporting, Letlow received 62% of the unofficial election night vote.
A second round of voting was required since none of the nine candidates received a majority of the votes in the Nov. 3 primary; Letlow and Harris were the top two finishers—receiving 33.1% and 16.6% of the vote, respectively. Incumbent Ralph Abraham (R), who was first elected in 2014, did not seek re-election. A Republican has represented the district since 2004. Letlow will assume office on January 3, 2021.
A total of 470 seats in the U.S. Congress (35 Senate seats and all 435 House seats) were up for election on November 3, 2020, including two special elections for U.S. Senate.
A special Democratic primary runoff election was held for Georgia State Senate District 39 on December 1, 2020. A special primary election was held on November 3.
The special election was called when incumbent candidate Nikema Williams (D) withdrew from the race after being chosen by the Democratic Party of Georgia to replace incumbent candidate John Lewis (D) on the general election ballot for Georgia’s 5th Congressional District race after Lewis’ death on July 17.
Because Williams was unopposed in the regular general election, no special general election was needed to replace her. The race was determined in the primary runoff. When no candidates in the November 3 primary received a majority of the votes, top-two vote-getters Sonya Halpern and Linda Pritchett advanced to the primary runoff. Halpern won the runoff after receiving 80.8% of the vote.
As of December 2020, 59 state legislative special elections have been scheduled for 2020 in 27 states. Between 2011 and 2019, an average of 77 special elections took place each year. Georgia has held 63 state legislative special elections from 2010 to 2019.
The state of Iowa certified results in the election for its 2nd Congressional District, which indicate Republicans are primed to pick up their second open seat previously held by a Democrat in the 2020 U.S. House elections. 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.
Rep. Dave Loebsack (D) did not run for re-election this cycle. The other open seat Republicans picked up was Michigan’s 3rd, currently represented by Justin Amash (L).
Under the Federal Contested Elections Act of 1969, the challenge will be referred to the House Administration Committee. If the committee recommends the matter to the full House, the chamber will decide the outcome by a majority vote. Article I, Section 5, of the U.S. Constitution establishes that each chamber of Congress “shall be the judge of the elections, returns, and qualifications of its own members.”
Democrats currently control the House, and they are expected to maintain their majority when the next Congress convenes.
Democrats picked up three seats in open races for districts represented by Republicans: Georgia’s 7th, North Carolina’s 2nd, and North Carolina’s 6th. There are still two remaining open seat races without a clear winner.
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.
Ballotpedia has been analyzing the 206 Pivot Counties that voted for Barack Obama (D) in 2008 and 2012 and Donald Trump (R) in 2016 by creating two new categories: Retained Pivot Counties, which voted for Trump again in 2020, and Boomerang Pivot Counties, which voted for Joe Biden (D). The analysis continues to shift as states certify their election results.
Since publishing our initial Pivot County analysis, four Retained Pivot Counties have flipped to become Boomerang Pivot Counties. Additionally, ten new counties have released vote totals, resulting in nine new Retained Pivot Counties and one new Boomerang Pivot County.
There are currently 179 Retained Pivot Counties and 25 Boomerang Pivot Counties. These numbers are still subject to change.
The four counties that flipped from Retained to Boomerang are all located in New York: Broome, Essex, Rensselaer, and Saratoga.
Based on current results, Biden’s margins of victory in Broome, Essex, and Rensselaer are lower than Obama’s in 2012, the last time a Democrat won these counties. Biden exceeded Obama’s 2012 margin in Saratoga County. The table below shows the unofficial results with vote totals in parentheses.
Biden also won Kennebec County, Maine, by a margin of 0.39 percentage points, less than Obama’s 2012 margin of 12.85 percentage points,
Trump won nine new Retained Pivot Counties, two in Mississippi and seven in Maine. Compared to 2016 results, his margins of victory increased in four and decreased in five. Those counties are listed below, split into those where his margin increased and those where it decreased:
Two counties—Alexander and Henderson, Illinois—have not yet released results.
Ballotpedia will continue to provide updates as results become available. For more information updated weekly, click here.
A total of 470 seats in the U.S. Congress (35 Senate seats and all 435 House seats) were up for election on November 3, 2020, including two special elections for U.S. Senate. Below are recent developments in four battleground races—one for U.S. Senate and three for the U.S. House.
U.S. Senate special election in Arizona: The state of Arizona certified Mark Kelly’s (D) win over Sen. Martha McSally (R) on Nov. 30. Because this is a special election, the winner may be sworn in once the state certifies results. Kelly’s campaign announced that his swearing-in would take place at noon on December 2nd. He will fill the rest of the 2017-2022 term former Sen. John McCain (R) won in 2016.
California’s 21st Congressional District: On Nov. 27, the Associated Press projected that David Valadao (R) defeated incumbent TJ Cox (D). Unofficial results showed Valadao ahead by 1,754 votes. Valadao declared victory in the race on November 25, while Cox had not conceded as of November 30. The legal deadline for results certification in the district is December 3rd.
Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District: On Nov. 28, Iowa completed a recount in the race between Rita Hart (D) and Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R). Hart requested a full recount on Nov. 13 when unofficial results showed Miller-Meeks leading by 47 votes. Following the recount, Miller-Meeks reportedly led by six votes out of more than 394,400 cast, making it the closest congressional race in the district since at least 1920. A state canvassing board was set to meet on Nov. 30 to certify the results.
New York’s 22nd Congressional District: The result in the race between incumbent Anthony Brindisi (D) and Claudia Tenney remains too close to call. Brindisi held an apparent 12-vote lead before the Thanksgiving holiday. On Nov. 30, Tenney’s campaign said correction of an error in Herkimer County gave her a 13-vote lead. There are more than 2,000 outstanding disputed absentee or affidavit ballots, and the state Supreme Court is expected to rule on their fate.
Democrats gained a veto-proof majority in the New York State Senate after enough remaining races were called over the weekend to bring them to a two-thirds majority in the chamber. Democrats already held a veto-proof majority in the state Assembly. In New York, two-thirds of members in both chambers must vote to override a veto, which is 100 of the 150 members in the New York State Assembly and 42 of the 63 members in the New York State Senate.
The status of a veto-proof majority has changed in four states as a result of the 2020 elections. These results are subject to change as more votes are counted and elections are certified.
– In Connecticut, Democrats gained a veto-proof majority in the state Senate.
– In Delaware, Democrats maintained a veto-proof majority in the state House and gained a veto-proof majority in the state Senate.
– In Nevada, Democrats lost a veto-proof majority in the state Assembly.
– In New York, Democrats maintained a veto-proof majority in the state Assembly and gained a veto-proof majority in the state Senate.
The veto override power can play a role in conflicts between state legislatures and governors. Conflict can occur when legislatures vote to override gubernatorial vetoes or in court cases related to vetoes and the override power. Although it has the potential to create conflict, the veto override power is rarely used. According to political scientists Peverill Squire and Gary Moncrief in 2010, only about five percent of vetoes are overridden.
Prior to April 2018, factions in the New York State Senate included the mainline Democratic Party, the Republican Party, and an offshoot of the Democratic Party called the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC). Republicans controlled the chamber from 2012 to 2018 through an alliance with the IDC and Democratic Sen. Simcha Felder. In April 2018, the eight members of the IDC rejoined the mainline Democratic conference, but Felder stayed with the Republicans, giving them an effective 32-31 majority in the chamber. In the November 2018 elections, Democrats expanded their majority to 40-23, giving them full control of the state Senate for the second time since 1964.
Forty-four states held regularly-scheduled state legislative elections on Nov 3. At the time of the election, there were 22 state legislatures where one party had a veto-proof majority in both chambers; 16 held by Republicans and six held by Democrats. Twenty of those states held legislative elections in 2020.
Voters in Florida and North Dakota rejected measures that would have required approval at two consecutive elections for constitutional amendments to be ratified.
Florida Amendment 4 was designed to require constitutional amendments to be approved by voters at two successive general elections to become effective. Going into the election, in Florida, if voters approve an amendment at one general election, it becomes part of the constitution. In Florida, constitutional amendments require a supermajority vote to become effective. This requirement was added to the constitution in 2006. The supermajority requirement would have applied to both elections if Amendment 4 was approved. The measure was rejected by a vote of 47.5% in favor to 52.5% against.
North Dakota Constitutional Measure 2 would have required initiated constitutional amendments passed by voters to be submitted to the legislature for approval. If the legislature did not approve the amendment, Measure 2 would have required amendments to be placed on the ballot again at the next statewide election to become effective if approved by the voters a second time. Measure 2 was rejected by a vote of 38% in favor to 62% against.
Nevada is the only state where initiated constitutional amendments must be approved at two consecutive elections. This does not apply to legislatively referred constitutional amendments, which must be approved twice by the legislature (with a majority vote) but only once by the state’s voters. Since the pass-it-twice requirement was created in 1962, there have been 14 citizen-initiated constitutional amendments that passed at the first election and appeared on the ballot again at the next election. Of the 14 measures, 12 were passed at their second elections (85.7%) and two failed (14.3%).
A legislatively referred constitutional amendment on the ballot in Arkansas would have changed many aspects of the state’s initiative process including:
increasing the signature distribution requirement,
shortening the signature deadline, and
eliminating the current opportunity proponents have to collect additional signatures if they fall short.
The amendment would also have changed the size of the vote required of the state legislature to refer constitutional amendments to voters from a simple majority to a three-fifths (60%) supermajority vote requirement. The measure was defeated by a vote of 44% in favor to 56% against.
Two direct democracy measures on the ballot in Montana that were referred by the state legislature were approved. They did not change the state’s initiative distribution requirements but rather amended the state constitution’s language to match the distribution requirements that were already enforced.
The general election for Stockton, California, was held on November 3, 2020. The primary election was held on March 3, 2020, and the filing deadline to run passed on December 6, 2019.
In the mayoral race, Kevin Lincoln (R) defeated incumbent Michael Tubbs (D). As of November 19, Lincoln had earned 56.2% of the vote to Tubbs’s 43.9%. Mayoral elections in Stockton are nonpartisan, meaning that candidates’ party affiliations do not appear on the ballot.
Three seats on the seven-seat city council were up for nonpartisan election in 2020. The District 6 seat was on the ballot on November 3. As of November 19, Kimberly Warmsley led Gloria Allen with 70.1% of the vote to Allen’s 29.9%.
During the March 3 primary, incumbent Daniel Wright won the District 2 seat outright by earning more than 50% of the vote. In District 4, incumbent Susan Lenz was unopposed.
Stockton is the 13th-largest city in California and the 63rd-largest city in the U.S. by population.
After the 2020 elections, Republicans had 23 trifectas, Democrats had 15 trifectas, and 11 states had divided governments. Trifecta status in Alaska is pending. A trifecta occurs when one political party holds the governorship and majorities in both chambers of the state legislature.
Two divided government states gained Republican trifecta status following the 2020 elections. Joe Biden (D) won New Hampshire, which gained a Republican trifecta when Republicans won majorities in the state legislature. Donald Trump (R) won Montana, which gained a Republican trifecta when Greg Gianforte (R) won the governorship.
Besides New Hampshire, Biden also carried the Republican trifecta states of Arizona and Georgia. Republicans have had a trifecta in Arizona since 2009 and in Georgia since 2005.
In total, Trump won 20 Republican trifectas and Biden won three. Biden won the statewide vote in all 15 Democratic trifecta states.
Biden won three states Donald Trump (R) won in 2016 that now have divided governments. Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania all went to Trump in 2016 and Biden in 2020. All three states previously had Republican trifectas; Michigan’s and Wisconsin’s were broken in the 2018 elections, while Pennsylvania’s was broken in the 2014 election.
Biden also won the presidential vote in four other divided government states: Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Vermont. Hillary Clinton (D) won these states in 2016.
Trump won four divided government states that he also won in 2016: Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, and North Carolina. These states all gained divided trifecta status after electing Democratic governors. Louisiana elected a Democratic governor in 2015, followed by North Carolina in 2016, Kansas in 2018, and Kentucky in 2019.
Seventy-five congressional races in 2020 were decided by 10 percentage points or fewer, including eight for U.S. Senate and 67 for U.S. House. Thirty-five races were decided by fewer than five percentage points; three of those were U.S. Senate races and 32 were U.S. House races.
Democratic candidates won 40 of these elections and Republican candidates won 35. Out of the races decided by fewer than five percentage points, Democrats won 22 and Republicans won 13.
Fourteen U.S. House races remained uncalled as of Nov. 18, and eight seemed likely to be decided by fewer than 10 percentage points.
In comparison, 102 races were decided by 10 percentage points or fewer in 2018. Of these, 12 were elections for the U.S. Senate and 90 were elections for the U.S. House. Democratic candidates won 49 of these elections and Republican candidates won 53.
Fifty races in 2018 were decided by fewer than five percentage points: five elections for the U.S. Senate and 45 elections for the U.S. House. Democratic candidates won 24 of these elections and Republican candidates won 26.
There were 42 and 56 congressional races decided by 10 percentage points or fewer in 2016 and 2014, respectively. In 2016, nine were elections for the U.S. Senate and 33 were elections for the U.S. House, with candidates from each major party winning 21 of the elections. In 2014, seven were elections for the U.S. Senate and 49 were elections for the U.S. House. Democratic candidates won 32 of these elections and Republican candidates won 24.
For races decided by fewer than five percentage points, there were 22 in 2016 and 31 in 2014. In 2016, five elections were for the U.S. Senate and 17 were for the U.S. House seats, with Democratic candidates winning 14 of these elections and Republicans winning eight. In 2014, five were elections for the U.S. Senate and 26 were for the U.S. House, with Democratic candidates winning 17 of these elections and Republican candidates winning 14.