Live updates: Democrats seek to extend House advantage

Bonnie Cash

House Democrats are expected to maintain their majority in Tuesday’s elections as they seek to build upon the voter backlash against President Trump in the suburbs. 

Despite already being in the minority, Republicans are playing a lot of defense this cycle in districts that were once considered GOP strongholds. At the same time, a handful of Democrats in conservative districts are in tough fights for reelection.

The first competitive races to be called late Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning indicated that Republicans are managing to hang on in numerous districts that appeared to be in play and knocking off several Democratic incumbents.

To follow updates about Senate races click here, and we’ll have updates about the race for the White House here.

Check back for updates and results from House races across the country.


New Mexico becomes first state to elect all women of color to House delegation
8:00 a.m.

New Mexico has become the first state to elect all women of color to its House delegation.

Incumbent Deb Haaland (D-N.M.) won reelection, Democrat Teresa Leger Fernandez won an open seat and Republican Yvette Herrell defeated incumbent Rep. Xochitl Torres Small (D).


The Squad’ easily win reelection
7:45 a.m.

All four members of the ‘squad’ — Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Illhan Omar (D-Minn.), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) and Rashida Tlaid (D-Mich.) — easily won reelection Tuesday night after fending off conservative challengers.

“Our sisterhood is resilient,” Omar said in a tweet featuring all four women. 

The quartet has drawn the frequent ire of President Trump and other Republicans for their left-leaning views on various issues from climate change to health care. 


Democrats still don’t have a net gain of seats
3:02 a.m.

As of 3 a.m. Wednesday morning, Republicans have flipped at least six seats while Democrats have only wrested control of two.

There’s still a long way to go, but the early results are a far cry from the gains of around a dozen seats that House Democrats had predicted in recent days.

The Hill live blog on the House is now signing off. It is expected that Democrats will retain the majority, but there are still many competitive races still to be called. Check back with for results, as we will be posting them as they come in. 


Torres Small projected to lose in New Mexico
2:25 a.m.

Rep. Xochitl Torres Small (D-N.M.) is projected to lose reelection in a district that she flipped from red to blue two years ago.

That makes Torres the sixth House Democrat overall to fall short in Tuesday’s elections. She had faced an uphill battle in a district that Trump carried in 2016 and her race was considered a toss up against Republican Yvette Herrell.


Cunningham projected to lose in South Carolina
2:17 a.m.

Rep. Joe Cunningham (D-S.C.) is now the fourth Democrat who flipped a district from red to blue in 2018 to lose reelection.

Cunningham became the first Democrat in 40 years to represent his coastal South Carolina district in 2018. The district was previously represented by former Rep. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.), who lost his primary four years ago over his criticism of Trump.

Cunningham was favored to win reelection heading into the election. But he ended up losing to state Rep. Nancy Mace, who will be the first Republican woman to represent the district.


Peterson projected to lose in Minnesota
1:44 a.m.

Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), the House Agriculture Committee chairman, is projected to lose his fight for reelection against Republican Michelle Fischbach.

Peterson has served in the House since 1991 and had carved an independent profile as a Democrat who broke with his party on issues like abortion, gun control, the 2010 health care law and Trump’s impeachment. His position as the top Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee also enhanced the power of incumbency in his rural, farm-rich district.

But he ultimately fell short this cycle after Trump won his district by 30 points in 2016. Peterson had won reelection by about 5 points in both 2016 and 2018.


Horn concedes in Oklahoma
1:40 a.m.

Rep. Kendra Horn (D-Okla.) has conceded to Republican Stephanie Bice in her bid for a second term in the House.

Horn pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the 2018 cycle by unseating a GOP incumbent in the Oklahoma City suburbs. But her surprise win in 2018 didn’t carry over two years later in a district that Trump carried by 13 points in 2016.


Republicans holding on in Texas
1:26 a.m.

Republicans are by and large successfully defending seats in Texas that had been considered competitive.

Texas GOP incumbents like Reps. Michael McCaul and Van Taylor are projected to win reelection. And an open seat in the 22nd District that had been up for grabs has been called for the Republican in the race, Troy Nehls.

Two other open seats that had been considered as leaning toward Democrats, in the 23rd and 24th districts, had not yet been called as of early Wednesday morning. 

Trump, meanwhile, is projected to win the state of Texas as a whole in the Electoral College.


Democrat concedes in open Virginia race
12:41 a.m.

Virginia’s 5th District was viewed as a top bellwether for whether Democrats would make substantial gains on their 2018 blue wave. Democrats flipped two seats from red to blue in Virginia in 2018 and hoped to gain the 5th District, which stretches from Northern Virginia to the North Carolina border.

But Democrat Cameron Webb said in a statement shortly after midnight that he was conceding the race to Republican Bob Good, saying that his opponent’s lead was wide enough that the remaining ballots wouldn’t make up the difference.

Good ousted the incumbent, Rep. Denver Riggleman (R-Va.), in the GOP primary earlier this year.

Meanwhile, Republicans are also hanging on to other competitive seats they were defending. Reps. Ann Wagner (R-Mo.) and Steve Chabot (Ohio) are also projected to win reelection.


Republicans hold on to competitive seats in Illinois, Arkansas
11:52 p.m.

Republicans are projected to prevail in two competitive House races that were considered by political prognosticators as toss-ups heading into Tuesday.

Reps. Rodney Davis (Ill.) and French Hill (Ark.) were both projected to win in their respective races.

Democrats had eyed those districts as top targets to potentially expand their inroads in suburban areas, but ultimately fell short on Tuesday.


Shalala loses in Florida
10:56 p.m.

Rep. Donna Shalala (D-Fla.) is projected to lose her bid for a second term in a rematch against Republican Maria Elvira Salazar.

It’s the second loss for Democrats in southern Florida in Tuesday’s elections, after fellow first-term Rep. Debbie Mucarsel Powell (D-Fla.) was also projected to lose to Republican Carlos Gimenez.

Shalala previously flipped the Miami-based district from red to blue in 2018 after the incumbent at the time, former Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, retired. But Salazar, a former TV journalist, won out this time over Shalala, a former Health and Human Services secretary.

Hillary Clinton won the district by 20 points in 2016.


Democrats flip two North Carolina seats
10:44 p.m.

Democrats are projected to flip two open seats in North Carolina from red to blue, which was expected due to redistricting.

The seats are currently represented by retiring GOP Reps. Mark Walker and George Holding, who previously announced they would not seek reelection.


Mucarsel-Powell loses in Florida
10:18 p.m.

Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D) is projected to lose her bid for a second term in a southern Florida swing district.

Mucarsel-Powell was favored by multiple nonpartisan political prognosticators to win reelection, but Democratic underperformance in southern Florida ultimately led to her loss against Republican Carlos Gimenez.

Mucarsel-Powell had flipped the district from red to blue in 2018, ousting then-Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.). Hillary Clinton also carried the district by 16 points in 2016.

Gimenez’s victory, meanwhile, is a boost for Republicans who had low expectations heading into Tuesday night and may help limit any Democratic net gains.


Cawthorn wins race to replace Meadows
9:34 p.m.

Madison Cawthorn is projected to win the race to represent North Carolina’s 11th District, which is expected to make him the youngest member of Congress next year.

Cawthorn, 25, became a GOP star overnight when he unexpectedly won the party’s primary earlier this year to fill the vacancy left by White House chief of staff Mark Meadows.

Aside from his age that makes him decades younger than many of his future House GOP colleagues, Cawthorn’s willingness to be provocative is likely to draw a lot of attention when he takes office next year.

“To my fellow Republicans, I say this: We don’t just need a bigger tent. We need a brighter and bolder tent. We need a tent that attracts Americans with real solutions and a tent that produces principled fighters who will be fearless in the face of tyranny,” Cawthorn said in a statement after his projected victory Tuesday.

The general election became more competitive due to redistricting as well as scrutiny over Cawthorn’s record.

Photos on his Instagram page in 2017 showed him visiting a German country home used by Adolf Hitler and Nazi officials known as the “Eagle’s Nest,” which Cawthorn described as an item “on my bucket list for awhile.”

Cawthorn’s Democratic opponent, retired Air Force colonel Moe Davis, tweeted in response: “Hitler’s vacation retreat is not on my bucket list.”

Cawthorn also came under fire in October for creating an attack website accusing a journalist of leaving a job in academia “to work for non-white males, like [Sen.] Cory Booker [D-N.J.], who aims to ruin white males running for office.” Cawthorn later said that “the syntax of our language was unclear and unfairly implied I was criticizing Cory Booker.”


Ex-White House doctor wins race in Texas
9:03 p.m.

Ronny Jackson, Trump’s former White House doctor, is projected to win his race in Texas’s 13th District to fill the seat vacated by retiring Rep. Mac Thornberry (R).

Jackson previously served as former President Obama’s physician at the White House. He drew national attention in 2018 when he held a press conference offering a glowing assessment of Trump’s health and said that “if he had a healthier diet over the last 20 years, he might live to be 200 years old.”

Trump nominated Jackson to be Veterans Affairs secretary later in 2018, but Jackson withdrew from consideration after allegations surfaced that he drank on the job and overprescribed medications.


Marjorie Taylor Greene will be a member of Congress
8:45 p.m.

The House will soon include a member who has expressed support for the baseless QAnon conspiracy theory.

Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene is projected to win her race in Georgia’s 14th District.

Greene’s victory is not unexpected in a deep-red district, which was represented by former Rep. Tom Graves (R-Ga.) until his resignation in early October.

Greene walked back her support for the QAnon conspiracy theory after winning the GOP primary in August, saying in a Fox News interview that she had encountered “misinformation.”

House GOP leaders previously condemned Greene’s videos expressing racist, Islamophobic and anti-Semitic views before she won the GOP primary.

The Democratic candidate in the race, Kevin Van Ausdal, dropped out in September, citing “family and personal reasons.”


Frankel defeats Loomer in Florida
8 p.m.

Rep. Lois Frankel (D-Fla.) is projected to defeat far-right activist and provocateur Laura Loomer in the Palm Beach-area district that includes Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate.

Frankel was expected to win in the safely Democratic district, but Loomer’s GOP primary victory over the summer added to House Republicans’ woes of fringe voices gaining prominence.

Loomer has been banned from multiple social media and technology platforms for violating rules against hate speech, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Lyft and Uber. She has described herself as a “proud Islamophobe” and interrupted a House committee hearing in 2018 to accuse Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey of trying to tilt the 2018 midterm elections to the Democrats.

Trump praised Loomer after her primary victory, but House GOP lawmakers at the time privately dismissed her as an “irrelevant nut job” in comments to The Hill.  

Republican Byron Donalds wins in Florida
7:45 p.m.

Republican Byron Donalds is projected to win his race over Democrat Cindy Banyai to succeed retiring GOP Rep. Francis Rooney in a southwestern Florida Republican party stronghold.

Donalds’s win means that House Republicans will have at least one Black member in their ranks. Retiring Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas) is currently the only Black member of the House GOP conference.


First polls close in Indiana and Kentucky
6:10 p.m.

The first polls have closed in parts of Indiana and Kentucky.

One of the most closely watched House races is in Indiana, where the 5th District currently represented by retiring GOP Rep. Susan Brooks is up for grabs.

The suburban Indianapolis district is growing more affluent and college-educated, making it prime territory for Democrats to make inroads in traditionally Republican strongholds.

That open-seat race is among 10 bellwether House races that strategists in both parties are watching closely for the key indicators of where this night is going.

While House Democrats are confident they’ll make additions to their majority in Tuesday’s elections, they’re also preparing for a protracted legal battle over the results of contested races.

Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.), head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), told reporters Tuesday morning that Democrats have already dedicated $10 million this cycle to “litigation efforts.”

“This is an Election Day that may end up looking like an election week,” Bustos said. “I hope [it’s] not a whole lot longer than that, but if it [is], the goal here is to count every single vote, and we have a whole team leading up to this.”

Tags 2020 election Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Ann Wagner Ayanna Pressley Carlos Curbelo Cheri Bustos Collin Peterson Cory Booker Deb Haaland Debbie Mucarsel-Powell Denver Riggleman Donald Trump Donna Shalala Francis Rooney French Hill George Holding Hillary Clinton House Ileana Ros-Lehtinen Joe Cunningham Kendra Horn Lois Frankel Mac Thornberry Mark Meadows Mark Sanford Mark Walker Michael McCaul Rodney Davis Steve Chabot Susan Brooks Tom Graves Van Taylor Will Hurd

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