GOP expands House majority

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The Republican Party has expanded its majority in the House of Representatives to its largest level since the 1940s, according to election-night projections from several networks and the Associated Press.
Republicans needed to gain a net 11 seats to reach the goal of a 245-member House majority set by party leaders.
{mosads}By Wednesday morning, Republicans had flipped 15 seats, in Florida, North Carolina, Georgia, West Virginia, Illinois, New Hampshire, New York, Iowa, Texas, Utah, Maine and Nevada.
Democrats had only toppled one incumbent Republican by early Wednesday — Rep. Steve Southerland (R-Fla.) was defeated by attorney Gwen Graham  — though they could make it two if Rep. Lee Terry (R-Neb.) loses. Terry was trailing state Sen. Brad Ashford (D) early Wednesday but the race had not been called. Even if Democrats flip two seats, Republicans would still have netted 13 seats.
Projections of victory for Utah’s Mia Love (R), who becomes the first African-American Republican woman elected to Congress, and Republican Will Hurd over Rep. Pete Gallego (D-Texas), essentially ensured the GOP would meet its 245-member goal.
National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Rep. Greg Walden (Ore.) praised the role played by “fantastic candidates” in his party’s strong showing. “President Obama and Nancy Pelosi have failed and now Republicans have the strongest House majority in decades,” he said.
House Minority Leader Pelosi (D-Calif.) acknowledged that it was a “difficult night” for her party.

“In a difficult night for Democrats, our members and candidates won hard-fought campaigns supported by and connected to their constituents, and strengthened by the tenacious leadership of DCCC Chairman Steve Israel,” Pelosi said.
Israel (N.Y.) himself said, “in short, it could have been worse,” in a statement emailed to the media in the early hours of Wednesday.
Republicans notched up three gains in New York alone. Among them, Elise Stefanik (R), 30, will become the youngest member of either chamber, having won the seat being vacated by retiring Democratic Rep. Bill Owens.
Democrats also fell short of a key target in the Empire State. The party invested millions in a bid to unseat Rep. Michael Grimm (R), who faces a 20-count indictment for employing illegal immigrants at a restaurant he owned and under-reporting revenue to the IRS. But Grimm hung on Tuesday night.
Elsewhere, nineteen-term incumbent Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.) the top Democrat on the House Transportation and Infrstructure Committee, was toppled Tuesday by Republican Evan Jenkins.
Rep. John Barrow (D-Ga.) also lost. Barrow’s defeat is especially significant as he is the last white House Democrat representing a district in the Deep South.
The ousting of Rahall and Barrow further thinned the ranks of centrists in the House.
Unlike the Senate, control of the House was not truly in play in 2014, due to a limited number of competitive seats, President Obama’s low approval ratings and an overall political environment that favored Republicans.
Only seven races were considered possible Democratic pickups. But Democrats were unable to win any of the open seats they had considered potential gains in Arkansas and Iowa. 
Eight competitive House races remain too close to call. The open race in California’s 31st district and races involving incumbent Reps. Lee Terry (R-Neb.), Ron Barber (D-Ariz.), Ami Bera (D-Calif.), Scott Peters (D-Calif.), Julia Brownley (D-Calif.), Raul Ruiz (D-Calif.), and Jerry McNerney (D-Calif.).
In addition, Reps. Jim Costa (D-Calif.), John Delaney (D-Md.) and Louise Slaughter’s (D-N.Y.) reelection races turned out to be unexpectedly close and had still not been called as of Wednesday morning.
Barber’s race against retired GOP Air Force Col. Martha McSally was especially close, as Barber trailed by 36 votes with 75 percent of precincts reporting.
This story was last updated at 1:00 p.m on November 5.
Tags Ami Bera John Barrow Julia Brownley Nick Rahall Pete Gallego Ron Barber

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