The Current State of U.S. Midterm Elections as of November 18, 2018
Congressional elections cover a lot of ground, and in 2018, the midterm elections here in the United States have dragged on through 11+ days of counting and recounting, disappearing and reappearing boxes, lawsuits, cable news pontificating, and even threats to abolish the Senate altogether.
With all that going on, you may be finding it hard to keep track of which races have, at long last, been decided, and which are still outstanding.
So in the interest of clearing things up, here below we will list some of the races for which the outcome has been decided since Monday -- that is, high-profile races that went past the first weekend after Election Day -- and more importantly, those that are, amazingly, still not quite decided in the House, Senate, and governor's offices.
On Sunday evening, we'll give you the latest total seats won/lost in the Senate and House by the parties-- you know, the new balance of power that we'll have in Washington when the 2019 legislative session gets underway. So make sure you come back later today.
Okay, ready for the update? Take a deep breath because here we go.
RACES DECIDED SINCE MONDAY, NOVEMBER 12
CA-39: (BREAKING) Officially decided only late Saturday night, Democrat challenger Gil Cisneros defeated Republican candidate Young Kim in a narrow race, flipping this seat vacated by retiring Rep. Ed Royce. This district was the last holdout in the House for former Republican stronghold Orange County, which is now officially blue through and through.
CA-45: Democrat Katie Porter, who was mentored by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, defeated incumbent Republican Rep. Mimi Walters (R), who was in the GOP House leadership. This seat was the second-to-last domino to fall in Orange County, just three days before Cisneros flipped his district (above). Porter finished with 145,895 votes over Walters with 136,902.
ME-02: Democrat Jared Golden defeated incumbent Republican Rep. Bruce Poliquin in a run-off, with results made official on Thursday. Poliquin won in the first round of ballots on election night, but the fact that no one had a majority necessitated a run-off between the two vote leaders, and in the end, the Democrat flipped not only the result, but the seat from red to blue. Golden won with 139,231 votes to Poliquin's 136,326, a margin of 2,905 votes.
ARIZONA: Democrat Rep. Kyrsten Sinema won Jeff Flake's old seat over Republican Rep. Martha McSally. This race, too, had accusations of mishandled ballots flying, but the results were certified, McSally conceded, and Sinema is headed to the Senate. Let's not dwell on bad news.
FLORIDA: (BREAKING) On Saturday, Republican Ron DeSantis declared victory and Democrat Andrew Gillum conceded defeat in Florida's gubernatorial election. There are no more recounts or lawsuits over the result. Interestingly, however, the undecided (but all-but-over) Senate race involving the current sitting governor could mean that, although Gillum won't be Florida's next governor, neither will DeSantis. Possibly. Essentially, if Rick Scott is sworn in as senator, it will be about a week before DeSantis would be sworn in as governor, meaning for that week the state would have an interim governor — current Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera.
Florida just can't stop being Florida, can it?
GEORGIA: Republican Brian Kemp, current Georgia secretary of state, has officially defeated challenger Stacey Abrams, who on Friday refused to say the word "concede" and is suing over the result, but admitted defeat and acknowledged Kemp will be the next governor. This hotly contested race is only over in a practical sense. Abrams' organization has sent volunteers across Georgia to find examples of rejected ballots that they think were rejected unfairly, and she has declared that the election shows "democracy failed."
RACES THAT ARE NOT YET DECIDED
GA-07: Incumbent Rep. Rob Woodall (R) won his re-election bid over Democrat Carolyn Bourdeaux in results that were certified on Saturday, but only by a margin of 419 votes. It is sufficiently narrow for a recount, which challenger Bourdeaux is requesting.
NY-22: Incumbent Rep. Claudia L. Tenney (R) trails in her re-election bid against Democrat state Assemblyman Anthony J. Brindisi. Prior to the counting of additional absentee ballots on Friday, Tenney stood at 116,638, behind Brindisi with 117,931, a difference of 1,293 votes, or about .54 percent. As of this posting (3 a.m. EST Sunday), the latest uncertified results have Brindisi up by 3,223. Ballot counting will continue into the week.
TX-23: Incumbent Rep. Will Hurd (R) leads in his re-election bid over Democrat and Iraq war vet Gina Ortiz Jones, but the results have not yet been certified. As of this posting, Hurd is up with 102,903 over Jones's 101,753, a difference of 1,150 votes... less than 1 percent. Interestingly, despite Hurd's lead and the fact that the race is not officially decided, Democrat Ortiz Jones attended congressional freshman orientation last week by invitation.
UT-04: Incumbent Rep. Mia Love finally took the lead on Saturday in her re-election bid over Democrat Mayor of Salt Lake City Ben McAdams. As of this posting, Love is in the lead with 129,006 votes over McAdams with 128,587, a difference of 419 votes, or a little less than two-tenths of a percent. Officials in Utah have until Tuesday, November 20, to finish counting votes. Interestingly, despite the fact that counting was still far from over, the day after the election President Trump effectively declared Love dead in the water, saying, "Mia Love gave me no love, and she lost. Too bad. Sorry about that, Mia.”
Florida: Current Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) still has the lead over incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson (D) in the race to end all races. The many, many, many ballot issues in Florida are far too extensive to go over here, but the state of the race currently is that unless Democrats find a whole lot more ballots than are currently waiting to be recounted, it's basically mathematically impossible for Nelson to pull out a win. Still, because of the problems, this is not yet certified nor officially, mercifully over.
[UPDATE: Hours after publication Rick Scott won as the recount was certified. Bill Nelson conceded Sunday afternoon.]
And there you have it. At least, there you have it as of 3 a.m. EST on Sunday the 18th. Come back tonight when we update the balance of power in Congress.