Post-Election Report

Government Relations

Despite predictions, the Republican Red Wave never formed, and Democrats found themselves holding onto key seats in the U.S. House of Representatives as well as flipping the first U.S. Senate seat of the cycle in Pennsylvania. Republicans still appear to be on the path to a majority in the House, while the control in the Senate again rests on a Georgia runoff as Arizona leans Democrat while Nevada appears to be leaning Republican as of this writing.


Democrats appear to be holding their own in the gubernatorial races around the country, having held on in key races in Michigan, Maine, New Mexico, New York, Minnesota, Kansas, and Wisconsin and winning open seats in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Massachusetts, with the last two states flipping away from Republicans.

The most contested races remain outstanding in Alaska, Arizona, Oregon, and Nevada. If current leads hold, the Republicans will control more governorships, 24 to the Democrats’ 22, with four races still to be called. 

The U.S. House of Representatives

Control for the U.S. House remains officially undecided as of this writing, but Republicans appear to be heading towards a narrow majority. Republicans need a net gain of five seats and have definitively flipped eight seats to the Democrats’ five seats. Republicans currently hold a 207-184 lead based on called races as of this writing.

While Republicans quickly added seats in states like Florida, Texas, Montana and North Carolina, where newly created districts were drawn following the 2020 reapportionment, the early successes slowed as the night progressed and Democrats staunchly defended incumbents and made a few early flips in states like Ohio and North Carolina.

Democratic retirements left open seats that were not as easy to flip for Republicans, and incumbent Democrats in competitive districts held on in key seats in the Virginia exurbs of Washington D.C. Representatives Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) and Jennifer Wexton (D-VA) defended their seats in sought after districts by Republicans. Republicans were able to pick up a seat in Norfolk Virginia as State Senator Jen Kiggans (R) defeated Representative Elaine Luria (D-VA) by four points. 

Meanwhile, Democrats picked up seats with a win in Ohio’s 1st District, where Cincinnati City Council Member Greg Landsman (D) defeated Representative Steve Chabot (R-OH) by a five-point margin; a new Republican-leaning district in North Carolina, where Wiley Nickel (D) defeated Bo Hines (R) by two points and an Illinois district held by Republicans for decades, where Nikki Budzinski (D) defeated Regan Deering (R) by nine points. 

In Michigan, Representative Elissa Slotkin (D-MI) held on in one of the closest-watched races in the country. Hillary Scholten (D) defeated former Trump Administration appointee, John Gibbs (R), by nearly 13 points, flipping the seat in Grand Rapids away from Republicans for the first time since 1992.

Republicans picked up a seat in New Jersey that was lost in 2018 as Thomas Kean, Jr. (R) defeated Representative Tom Malinowski (D-NJ) by a vote of 52-47 percent. Republicans also flipped the 3rd District seat in New York (which includes part of Long Island and Queens) that has been held by Democrats since 2011 as George Santos (R) defeated Robert Zimmerman (D).

One headline race that shifted late against the incumbent is the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s own Chairman, Representative Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY), who conceded his race on Wednesday to Michael Lawler (R) in a newly drawn district after Republicans dumped millions of late dollars into the race.

Despite declared narrow victories along the East Coast, Republicans are coming up short against a New England blue wall. In Rhode Island, popular Cranston Mayor Allan Fung (R) lost his challenge to Seth Magaziner (D) in an open seat. George Logan (R) fell short by less than a point (49.6 percent to 50.4 percent) of unseating Representative Jahana Hayes (D-CT) in western Connecticut.

Maine’s 2nd District is likely to head to a ranked choice vote as former Representative Bruce Poliquin (R), who holds 44 percent of the vote, is trying to retake his seat from Representative Jared Golden (D-ME), who holds 48 percent of the vote. Ranked choice results are expected to be tabulated next week, and this rematch favors Golden as he was first sent to Congress on a ranked choice victory over Poliquin in 2018.

In Iowa, Zach Nunn (R) has unseated Representative Cindy Axne (D-IA) to complete a Republican sweep of the Hawkeye state.

Arizona votes are still being counted, but Representative Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ) is presently falling short of Eli Crane (R) in the Sedona and Flagstaff area, while Representative David Schweikert (R-AZ) is trailing by a full point in his race with Jevin Hodge for the 1st District.

Colorado is also surprising some watchers as Representative Lauren Boebert (R-CO) and Adam Frisch (D) battle in a race too close to call in the 1st District. Additionally, Democrats won a newly drawn competitive seat and a separate open seat.

Races are still too early to call in the most competitive districts in California, but Republicans appear to be holding off challenges to Representatives David Valadao, Young Kim and Mike Garcia in districts that are traditionally very tough races for Republicans, while incumbent Representative Ken Calvert (R-CA) trails his challenger, Will Rollins (D), in what could be another flipped seat going to the Democrats.

U.S. Senate

The control of the Senate remains a toss-up as key races still await final counting. At this point, it appears the country is heading toward a repeat of 2020, where a runoff in Georgia could again decide the majority.

The biggest surprise of election night was Pennsylvania’s John Fetterman (D) flipping retiring Republican Senator Pat Toomey’s seat by defeating Dr. Mehmet Oz (R). This win has put the biggest pressure on Republicans to win two of the remaining three competitive seats in Arizona, Nevada or Georgia in order to gain control of the Senate.

Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) held off a strong challenge from Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes (D). Johnson has been declared the victor by a narrow 50.5 percent to 49.5 percent.

In Arizona, Senator Mark Kelly (D-AZ) holds onto a 51 to 46 percent lead over Blake Masters (R), with two-thirds of the votes counted.

Adam Laxalt (R) appears to have an edge in Nevada, potentially unseating Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV). The count stands at 49.6 percent to 47.5 percent, with 78 percent of the votes counted.

Once again, all eyes will be on Georgia as the state is headed to a December 6th runoff with neither Senator Raphael Warnock (D-GA) nor challenger Herschel Walker (R) surpassing 50 percent of the overall vote. In a race that traded leads throughout election night with both candidates reporting above 50 percent at different points during the counting, they now sit a point separated at 49.4 percent to 48.5 percent. Libertarian candidate Chase Oliver is playing spoil sport for both parties with 2.1 percent. 

Republicans are expected to maintain control of the seat in Alaska, although it may not be the current incumbent as they complete their first ranked choice general election. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) trails behind another Republican, Kelly Tshibaka, while Patricia Chesbro (D) follows with 10 percent and a third Republican candidate, Buzz Kelley, trails with less than three percent.

Ohio Senate

Republican J.D. Vance will be Ohio’s newest U.S. Senator after holding off his Democratic challenger, U.S. Representative Tim Ryan. Vance, an author and venture capitalist living in Cincinnati, won his first term in the Senate by taking 53.28 percent of the vote to Congressman Ryan’s 46.72 percent. Vance will be the state’s junior Senator following Senator Rob Portman’s (R) decision not to run for re-election.  

Ohio’s Congressional Delegation

Ohio will send 10 Republicans and five Democrats to the U.S. House for the 118th Congress in 2023. Ohio lost a seat through reapportionment this year and saw retirements from Representatives Bob Gibbs (R) and Anthony Gonzalez (R).

Ohio Democrats have much to celebrate in delivering one of the first red-to-blue flips of the night when Representative Steve Chabot (R) was defeated by Cincinnati City Council Member Greg Landsman (D) in the newly drawn 1st District.

Representative Marcy Kaptur (D) held on against challenger J.R. Majewski (R) in a seat that became more competitive through redistricting yet proved to be a solid hold for the longest-serving female in the history of Congress. 

Ohio’s 13th district, vacated by Representative Tim Ryan (D) in his run for U.S. Senate, and redrawn to cover a region previously held by retiring Representative Gonzalez (R) is marked as a flip for Democrats as State Representative Emilia Sykes (D) won a closely watched race against Madison Gesiotto Gilbert (R).

Other winners of the night included: Representatives Joyce Beatty (D), Shontel Brown (D), Brad Wenstrup (R), Jim Jordan (R), Bob Latta (R), Bill Johnson (R), Warren Davidson (R), Mike Turner (R), Troy Balderson (R), David Joyce (R) and Mike Carey (R), along with new member Max Miller (R).

For additional information on this topic, please contact your regular Calfee attorney or the author(s) listed below: