Republicans in Strong Position to Retake House as Counting Continues

WASHINGTON — Republicans remained poised to take control of the House of Representatives with more than a dozen races pending Monday as Congress returned to work and new members slated for office next year began orientation.

Democrats are projected to retain their Senate majority after their weekend victory in Nevada, giving them the 50 seats they need to control the House. Georgia’s final Senate race will be Dec. 6, with no candidate receiving a majority.

In the House, the GOP appeared on track to win its narrowest majority, nonpartisan analysts said. On Sunday night, additional vote counts in California and Arizona put Republican candidates within striking distance of victory, although those races have not been declared.

According to the Associated Press, Republicans currently hold 212 House seats to Democrats’ 204. The party needs 218 votes to secure a majority in the House. The GOP was only able to gain a couple more seats than that number, and the party got a boost Sunday by flipping a Democratic seat in Oregon.

Entering the election, Democrats had a 220-212 majority with three seats open.

The possibility of a super-narrow GOP majority is already challenging Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.). Mr. McCarthy is running for speaker on the assumption that Republicans will take back the House, but he faces opposition from the right wing of his party, which now has more leverage to influence the vote.

Mr McCarthy will need a simple majority from his conference in Tuesday’s leadership vote to be chosen as the party’s preferred leader. He will need a majority vote in the entire House in January to become Speaker.

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In a closed-door meeting on Monday, McCarthy emphasized that Republicans would hold the majority and hold the committee’s votes no matter how big the conference, two people who attended the meeting said. McCarthy received a standing ovation, two people said.

Rep. Andy Biggs (R., Ariz.) plans to run against McCarthy, according to people familiar with the matter. An ally of former President Donald Trump is unlikely to get enough votes to win, but the candidacy could be a gauge of the opposition to McCarthy.

Mr. McCarthy’s allies called Democratic Representative Henry Cuellar of Texas over the weekend to ask if he would switch parties to increase the GOP’s majority, according to people familiar with the calls.

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Mr. Cuellar turned them down, according to multiple people. A spokesman for Mr McCarthy said the calls were not made at Mr McCarthy’s request. “Anybody who says that is just playing in a fantasy,” said spokesman Mark Bednar.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R., Fla.) asked Mr. McCarthy during a closed-door meeting of members whether he would seek or accept Democratic support for his speakership proposal. Mr McCarthy replied: “No, and I never have,” said two people in the room.

Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) also faced opposition from some of his fellow Republicans, who questioned whether the party should delay the leadership election until the Georgia runoff, where Republican Herschel Walker is facing the Democratic incumbent. Senator Raphael Warnock. The Senate GOP primary is scheduled for Wednesday.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. The Senate GOP primary is scheduled for Wednesday.


Photo:

SARAH SILBIGER/REUTERS

New members are coming to Washington this week for orientation. Some who were not invited to race have also been invited and will be included in the leadership vote. House Democrats will vote on their leadership later this month, while the Senate is expected to keep the same top leaders.

Democrats performed better than expected in the midterm elections, even after losing their majority in the House of Representatives. They took a GOP-held Senate seat and flipped some House seats, including over the weekend in Washington.

Of the remaining uncalled competitive House races, half a dozen were held in California. They included re-election contests for Democrats Katie Porter and Mike Levin and GOP Reps. David Valadao, Mike Garcia and Michelle Steel, as well as one open seat. Close contests in Arizona, Colorado and Oregon were also closely watched by both parties.

As the race for control of the House continued, Senate Democrats celebrated their victory, while Arizona’s closely watched gubernatorial race between Republican Kari Lake and Democrat Katie Hobbs remained too close to call. Ms Hobbs was ahead by about 1 percentage point on Sunday night, with around 160,000 more ballots expected to be counted.

Although Ms. Lake had a path to victory, she will need to perform better on all remaining ballots. The campaign manager for Ms. Hobbs, Arizona’s secretary of state, released a statement Sunday night calling her “the clear favorite to be Arizona’s next governor.”

In the key swing states of Arizona, Nevada, Michigan and Pennsylvania, candidates who made false claims about the 2020 elections, applied for positions that could greatly influence the election administration. Here are some of the results of these midterm races and what they mean for the upcoming elections. Illustration: Laura Kammermann

to write Eliza Collins at [email protected] and Chad Day at [email protected]

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