The congressional recount attempting to decide if state Sen. Mariannette Miller-Meeks’ (R-Ottumwa) 47 vote lead over former state Senator and 2018 Lt. Governor nominee Rita Hart (D) will hold is likely to continue through Saturday. Under Iowa election law, counties have 18 days to conduct a recount. Therefore, the time will expire for some counties on Friday and the remainder at the Saturday’s end.
Approximately 17,000 “undervotes” are present, which are returned ballots without a choice in the congressional race, or where voter intent is not clear. Over 393,000 people are recording as casting a congressional vote, a 6% increase over the 2016 presidential election year total.
The Republicans have now gained a net of 9 seats in the House with five races remaining uncalled. In the five outstanding contests, Republicans lead in four.
One of them, in Iowa, has been certified as a 47-vote win for state Sen. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-Ottumwa), but Democratic nominee Rita Hart has requested a recount in all 24 of the 2nd District’s counties, which began yesterday. Republicans, including Rep. Mike Garcia (R-CA), hold tenuous leads in the two remaining California races. Former Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-NY) looks poised to re-claim New York’s 22nd District, and Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-NJ) continues to lead as final counting winds down in his New Jersey re-election race.
Another race will be decided in a Louisiana December 5th runoff election. There, former congressional aide Luke Letlow and state Rep. Lance Harris (R-Alexandria) will advance to a secondary vote. Since both are Republicans, the GOP is assured of holding the open seat regardless of the outcome.
The closest election in the nation comes in the open southern district of Iowa. There, state Sen. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-Ottumwa) has defeated former state Senator and 2018 Lt. Governor nominee Rita Hart (D) by a scant 47 votes. Ms. Hart is filing for a recount in each of the district’s 24 counties, a process that will likely begin next week.
Two counties reported previous problems, but both have been resolved and double checked for accuracy. Their adjusted totals are reflected in the published final result. A total of 393,383 individuals voted in the election according to the Iowa Secretary of State’s office, which is undoubtedly an all-time high. In the last presidential election year of 2016, the congressional vote total was 370,032. Incumbent Rep. David Loebsack (D-Iowa City) is retiring after serving seven terms.
Since seven House races were called yesterday, we now see 16 congressional contests called, eight of which are in New York and three in California.
Below is the list of the outstanding races and their current status:
AK-AL: Rep. Don Young (R)
Status: 59.2%; Reporting 69%
R+ 43,761 votes
CA-21: David Valadao (R)
Status: 51.4% ; Reporting 71%
R+ 4,041 votes
CA-25: Rep. Mike Garcia (R)
Status: 50.0%; Reporting 86%
R+ 159 votes
CA-39: Young Kim (R)
Status: 50.6%; Reporting 97%
R+ 4,168 votes
IA-2: Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R)
Status: 50.0%; Reporting 100%
R+ 40 votes
IL-14: Rep. Lauren Underwood (D)
Status: 50.4%; Reporting 100%
D+ 3,524 votes
LA-5: Luke Letlow (R)
Status: 33.1%; Reporting 100%
Runoff - Dec 5
NY-1: Rep. Lee Zeldin (R)
Status: 61.3%; Reporting 100%
R+ 65,120 votes
NY-2: Andrew Garbarino (R)
Status: 57.8%; Reporting 100%
R+ 44,898 votes
NY-3: George Santos (R)
Status: 50.5%; Reporting 100%
R+ 4,171 votes
NY-11: Nicole Malliotakis (R)
Status: 57.9%; Reporting 95%
R+ 37,158 votes
NY-18: Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D)
Status: 51.0%; Reporting 100%
D+ 7,896 votes
NY-19: Rep. Antonio Delgado (D)
Status: 50.4%; Reporting 100%
D+ 7,893 votes
NY-22: Claudia Tenney (R)
Status: 54.5%; Reporting 100%
R+ 28,394 votes
NY-24: Rep. John Katko (R)
Status: 58.5%; Reporting 100%
R+ 55,102 votes
UT-4: Burgess Owens (R)
Status: 47.6%; Reporting 95%
R+ 1,780 votes
13 of 16 R Leads
At this point, only three states saw incumbent Senators being defeated: Doug Jones (D-AL), Martha McSally (R-AZ), and Cory Gardner (R-CO). Under Georgia law, since both of their Senate races, the regular cycle campaign and the special election, failed to produce a majority winner, a runoff election will be held for each position on January 5th.
In races of note, Maine Sen. Susan Collins (R) defied pollsters projecting a Democratic victory for state House Speaker Sara Gideon (D) and won by nine percentage points. Despite over $100 million being spent against both Sens. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC), both were re-elected with victory percentages exceeding 58 and 54%, respectively. Democratic Sen. Gary Peters (MI) scored a close win over GOP challenger John James; Sens. Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Steve Daines (R-MT) recorded strong victories despite polling suggesting that both could lose.
In the four open seat campaigns, the incumbent party won each. The new Senators are Roger Marshall (R-KS), Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), and Cynthia Lummis (R-WY).
Two races, in addition to both Georgia Senate seats going to runoffs, remain uncalled but with a clear trend. With only 50% of the votes counted in Alaska, Sen. Dan Sullivan (R) has a strong 62-32% lead. In North Carolina, with the post-election ballot reception period closing on November 12th, Sen. Thom Tillis (R) looks to have a small lead that won’t be surpassed, again despite polling projecting a Democratic victory for party nominee Cal Cunningham.
Assuming the uncalled races remain Republican, the GOP will have a 50-48 advantage heading into the Georgia runoffs, meaning they will retain the majority with a win in at least one of the two Senate races to be decided January 5th.
Two Senate races were called yesterday, one for Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) who scored a 51-42% victory over state House Speaker Sara Gideon (D-Freeport). Ms. Gideon conceded the race yesterday even though the count had not ended. In Michigan, Sen. Gary Peters (D) was projected with a very close win (49.6 – 48.5%) over GOP challenger John James.
The two calls mean that the high number for the Republican majority is 52, with the Democratic maximum being 51. The most likely outcome from the current trends and potentially projecting the runoff election under what may be a Biden victory at the presidential level is either a Republican majority of 51 or 52 seats.
In the House, 40 races remain uncalled, yet many of them are now reporting 100% of the vote being received. Of the 40, the Republicans lead in 25 and the Democrats in 15. This would translate in a Republican net gain in the House of most likely between five and nine seats.
Below is a list of the races that remain uncalled and which candidate is currently leading.
Alaska: Sen. Dan Sullivan (R) - Status: 62.3%; Reporting: 50%
Georgia-A: Sen. David Perdue (R) - must reach 50%; Status: 50.2%; Reporting: 97%
Georgia-B: Rev. Raphael Warnock (D) - Status: 32.5%; Reporting: 96%
Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R) - Status: 26.2%; Reporting: Runoff
Maine: Sen. Susan Collins (R) - Winner; Status: 51.1%
Michigan: Sen. Gary Peters (D) - Winner; Status: 49.6%
North Carolina: Sen. Thom Tillis (R) - Status: 48.7%; Reporting: 93%
AK-AL: Rep. Don Young (R) - Status: 63.3%; Reporting: 53%
AZ-1: Rep. Tom O'Halleran (D) - Status: 52.1%; Reporting: 92%
AZ-6: Hiral Tipirneni (D) - Status: 50.3%; Reporting: 76%
CA-4: Rep. Tom McClintock (R) - Status: 52.9%; Reporting: 87%
CA-8: Jay Obernolte (R) - Status: 53.3%; Reporting: 37%
CA-21: David Valadao (R) - Status: 51.4%; Reporting: 42%
CA-25: Christy Smith (D) - Status: 50.3%; Reporting: 77%
CA-39: Young Kim (R) - Status: 50.2%; Reporting: 89%
CA-48: Michelle Steel (R) - Status: 50.3%; Reporting: 93%
CA-50: Darrell Issa (R) - Status: 52.2%; Reporting: 51%
GA-7: Carolyn Bourdeaux (D) - Status: 51.2%; Reporting: 100%
IA-2: Marianette Miller-Meeks (R) - Status: 50.0%; Reporting: 100%
IL-14: Jim Oberweis (R) - Status: 50.1%; Reporting: 100%
IL-17: Cheri Bustos (D) - Status: 51.8%; Reporting: 100%
IN-5: Victoria Spartz (R) - Status: 50.2%; Reporting: 99%
MI-3: Peter Meijer (R) - Status: 53.1%; Reporting: 99%
MI-5: Dan Kildee (D) - Status: 54.3%; Reporting: 100%
MI-11: Haley Stevens (D) - Status: 50.0%; Reporting: 97%
MN-1: Rep. Jim Hagedorn (R) - Status: 48.6%; Reporting: 100%
MN-2: Rep. Angie Craig (D) - Status: 48.2%; Reporting: 100%
NJ-2: Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R) - Status: 51.0%; Reporting: 75%
NV-3: Rep. Susie Lee (D) - Status: 48.2%; Reporting: 85%
NV-4: Rep. Steven Horsford (D) - Status: 49.7%; Reporting: 65%
NY-1: Rep. Lee Zeldin (R) - Status: 61.3%; Reporting: 99%
NY-2: Andrew Garbarino (R) - Status: 58.1%; Reporting: 99%
NY-3: George Santos (R) - Status: 50.5%; Reporting: 99%
NY-4: Rep. Kathleen Rice (D) - Status: 52.0%; Reporting: 100%
NY-11: Nicole Malliotakis (R) - Status: 57.9%; Reporting: 95%
NY-18: Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D) - Status: 50.8%; Reporting: 100%
NY-19: Rep. Antonio Delgado (D) - Status: 51.3%; Reporting: 98%
NY-22: Claudia Tenney (R) - Status: 54.9%; Reporting: 100%
NY-24: Rep. John Katko (R) - Status: 58.5%; Reporting: 100%
PA-7: Lisa Scheller (R) - Status: 50.7%; Reporting: 86%
PA-8: Jim Bognet (R) - Status: 50.5%; Reporting: 86%
PA-10: Rep. Scott Perry (R) - Status: 54.9%; Reporting: 89%
PA-17: Sean Parnell (R) - Status: 51.0%; Reporting: 94%
TX-24: Beth Van Duyne (R) - Status: 48.8%; Reporting: 99%
UT-4: Rep. Ben McAdams (D) - Status: 48.2%; Reporting: 69%
VA-7: Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D) - Status: 50.6%; Reporting: 100%
WA-3: Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R) - Status: 54.7%; Reporting: 80%
The closing polls have established a trend in most places, but the Iowa numbers are still bouncing between Sen. Joni Ernst (R) and challenger Theresa Greenfield (D). The Des Moines Register Poll has proven most accurate in measuring Iowa voters, and their final 2020 survey (Selzer & Company; 10/26-29; 814 IA likely voters; live interview) shows Sen. Ernst holding a 46-42% lead. Insider Advantage (10/30; 400 IA likely voters) finds a similar 51-45% Ernst advantage.
Conversely, Public Policy Polling (11/1-2; 871 IA voters; interactive voice response system) sees a slight edge for Ms. Greenfield as does Change Research (10/29-11/1; 1,084 IA likely voters; online), both posting 48-47% splits.
Monmouth University conducted a recent Iowa statewide poll but did so by testing each of their four congressional districts individually.
Monmouth’s registered voters’ poll, which tends to reflect a mid-level turnout pattern, finds Rep. Abby Finkenauer (D-Dubuque) holding a 52-44% edge over state Rep. Ashley Hinson (R-Cedar Rapids) in the eastern 1st District, former state Senator Rita Hart (D) posting a 49-43% lead over state Senator and former congressional candidate Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R) in the open 2nd District, Rep. Cindy Axne (D-Des Moines) posting a 53-42% mark over former Congressman David Young (R) in southwestern District 3, and state Sen. Randy Feenstra (R-Hull/Sioux County) leading Democrat J.D. Scholten, 48-42%, in the open western 4th CD. Other firms find all of the races, with the exception of District 4, as polling much closer.
At the beginning of August, Monmouth University found freshman Rep. Abby Finkenauer (D-Dubuque) leading former television news anchor Ashley Hinson (R) by a ten-point margin, 51-41%. Now, Basswood Research, polling for the Congressional Leadership Fund (9/26-28; 400 IA-1 likely voters; live interview), projects a major race status change as their survey result shows the two candidates tied at 45-45%. The 1st District has been competitive since the 2014 election, and it appears this pattern will continue in the closing stages of the current campaign.
Monmouth University went into the field to survey the Hawkeye State vote and divided the large sampling universe into segments for purposes of testing each of the state’s four congressional districts. The survey (7/25-8/3; 1,665 IA registered voters; 400 via live interview and 1,265 online; congressional district sample sizes were not released) finds two Democrats and a pair of Republicans leading in the four districts.
In the 1st, and all of the succeeding reported numbers are under the high voter turnout model, freshman Rep. Abby Finkenauer (D-Dubuque) leads Cedar Rapids state Rep. Ashley Hinson (R), 52-41%. In the 2nd, and confirming an earlier Harper Polling survey that found the race tight, state Sen. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-Ottumwa) holds a slight edge over former state Senator and 2018 Lt. Governor nominee Rita Hart (D), 48-44%. Third District freshman Rep. Cindy Axne (D-Des Moines) records a 50-42% advantage over former US Rep. David Young (R). In the western 4th CD, state Sen. Randy Feenstra (R-Hull), who defeated Rep. Steve King (R-Kiron) in the June GOP primary, is establishing a large lead over 2018 Democratic nominee J.D. Scholten, 55-34%.
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