CA-25: Real Clear Politics Declares
According to the Real Clear Politics electoral count, Rep. Mike Garcia (R-Santa Clarita) has defeated state Assemblywoman Christy Smith (D-Newhall). With 338,523 votes being tabulated, Mr. Garcia’s lead stands at 405 votes.
The number of remaining votes, and from where they are coming, appears not plentiful enough to overturn Rep. Garcia’s slight edge. Our rudimentary estimate suggests he will win the final vote count by approximately 375 votes. If this proves true, the Garcia seat would become the 211th for the GOP.
IA-2: Winner by Six
The IA-2 race between state Sen. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-Ottumwa) and former state Senator and 2018 Lt. Governor nominee Rita Hart (D-Clinton County) appears headed to certification today. Ms. Miller-Meeks’ 47 vote lead at the end of official counting shrunk to just six votes from the recount, but she is expected to be certified as the race winner in just a few hours.
We can expect Ms. Hart to continue to file legal challenges, hoping to obtain orders to count votes that have been previously disqualified. With such a small margin, it is conceivable that the House won’t seat Ms. Miller-Meeks even though she will be an officially certified winning candidate. Such action would not be without precedent.
In the end, it is possible that we could even see a new election being called but much will happen before we reach such a conclusion. Should the Miller-Meeks’ certification hold, this would become the GOP’s 212th seat, meaning they would only be six conversion districts away from re-claiming the majority in 2022.
NY-22: Race Flips
The Upstate NY-22 race has been the slowest to reach culmination and while the final outcome is still undetermined, we now see a lead change. At one point in the early counting, former US Rep. Claudia Tenney (R) held a lead of greater than 50,000 votes over freshman Rep. Anthony Brindisi (D-Utica), yet the race was never called.
Prior to the holiday break, Ms. Tenney’s early overall advantage had dropped to just 300 votes, 155,730 to 155,330. When counting resumed, she found herself on the outside looking in, though tabulations are still not complete. At this point, with 317,489 votes counted, it is Rep. Brindisi with the slightest of leads, just 13 votes with 99% reporting.
This is likely another race that will likely drag on through legal challenges and motions because the result will probably result in a virtual tie. The resolution of this contest and that in IA-2 will be interesting to observe. Both could take several weeks, and possibly months, to unravel as we have seen in the past when the outcomes are as close as these.
CA-25: Garcia Still Holding
The laborious post-election counting process continues in California’s lone contested House race, the 25th District contest between Rep. Mike Garcia (R-Santa Clarita) and state Assemblywoman Christy Smith (D-Newhall). For the past couple of days with no update counting totals being reported, Mr. Garcia’s lead stood at exactly 400 votes of 338,345 cast ballots.
With a new vote batch released last night, the Congressman’s lead has increased by five votes with approximately 2,700 votes awaiting signature verification and tabulation. If these trends continue, Rep. Garcia is estimated to win re-election by approximately 375 votes.
NY-22: Undetermined Race Down to 300 Votes
The Upstate NY-22 race has been the slowest to reach culmination and it is still undetermined. At one point in the early counting, former US Rep. Claudia Tenney (R) held a lead of greater than 50,000 votes over Rep. Anthony Brindisi (D-Utica), yet the race was never called.
The lead continued to dwindle to just over 25,000, then to 11,000, before dropping to just over 9,000. Now, the race, with over 315,000 total votes cast and recorded, already an increase of 6.6% when compared with 2016, sees the margin winnowing down to only a 300-vote spread with 99% counted.
Voter Turnout: Record High Keeps Growing
Those who predicted that 2020 presidential election turnout would exceed 155 million people have now been proven correct. According to The Green Papers statistical website, the entire voting universe in the 2020 presidential election, while still growing as states finish their canvassing process, has reached 155,043,792 voters.
This figure represents an increase of more than 18.25 million people since the previous presidential election in 2016. The totals represent at least a 13.3% uptick in voter participation between the two presidential years at a time the national population grew only 1.2% during the same time span.
There are now only two presidential candidates in United States electoral history who have received more than 70 million votes, and they are Joe Biden and Donald Trump, both in 2020. Mr. Biden is the only person ever to receive more than 80 million votes and, despite losing the popular vote, President Trump increased his vote total by just under 11 million when compared to his aggregate 2016 number.
Candidate Recruitment: GOP Targets
Staring at another difficult US Senate map in 2022 where Republicans are forced to protect 20 Senate seats as opposed to the Democrats’ 13, new National Republican Senatorial Committee chairman Rick Scott (R-FL) looks to have his sights set on three GOP Governors, attempting to convince them to challenge incumbent Democratic Senators.
The reported Republican Senate candidate wish list includes Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (term-limited in 2022; would potentially oppose Sen-Elect Mark Kelly who must run for the full six-year term). The others are Govs. Larry Hogan (against Sen. Chris Van Hollen) and Chris Sununu (versus Sen. Maggie Hassan). There is no guarantee that any of the Governors will run for the Senate, but they represent the most formidable potential challenger to the Democratic incumbent in each situation.
IA-2: Miller-Meeks' Lead Shrinks
The IA-2 open seat congressional election was certified for Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks as a 47-vote victory of 393,677 cast ballots. The Secretary of State’s office reports that the districtwide recount – 15 of the 24 counties are now complete – have reduced the Miller-Meeks edge over former state Senator Rita Hart (D) to just 36 votes. Further reports also suggest that Scott County, which has not yet reported, has found an additional net 30 votes in favor of Hart meaning the lead could be as little as six votes.
Rep. Mark Walker (R-Greensboro), who did not seek re-election to the House because the state Supreme Court’s re-drawing of the North Carolina congressional map left him without a district, may formally announce his US Senate campaign as early as December 1st according to reports. Sen. Richard Burr (R) has stated publicly on several occasions that he will not seek re-election to a fourth term in 2022.
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