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The Big Number: Democrats have 5% to 15% chance of keeping grip on House, Cook Political Report analyst says


So what are the Democrats’ chances for maintaining control of the U.S. House of Representatives, with Republicans fewer than 10 wins away from a majority as of Friday afternoon?

“For Democrats to have a chance to win the House, they would need to run the table in California and Washington, and to do that the outstanding mail ballots would need to break much more heavily in their favor than we’ve seen so far,” said David Wasserman, senior House editor for the nonpartisan Cook Political Report.  

“They would need to overtake probably either Mike Garcia or Ken Calvert in L.A. County and the Inland Empire, and at this point, their odds of running the table are pretty slim. I’d put it around between maybe 5% and 15% — somewhere in that range, but it can’t be discounted entirely.”

Garcia and Calvert are Republican congressman who were leading Friday in their races in the state’s 27th and 41st congressional districts, respectively, but the contests hadn’t been called yet.

Read more: Republicans fewer than 10 wins away from House control, while Senate could depend again on Georgia runoff

Wasserman’s comments came Friday afternoon in response to a MarketWatch question, as the CPR analyst gave a briefing to reporters.

“We still don’t know whether the patterns in California are more similar to those in another big blue state like New York or whether they’re more similar to what we’ve seen in Nevada and Arizona or Washington, where Democrats appear to have held their own,” Wasserman also said.

In New York state, Democrats have suffered setbacks such as Democratic Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney’s loss to Republican challenger Mike Lawler in their House race. Maloney, as the head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, has been in charge of maintaining his party’s majority in the House.

During his briefing, Wasserman shared the graphic below, saying it showed 211 races that at least one media organization has called for Republicans, 202 races that at least one outlet has called for Democrats, and 22 contests that have yet to be determined. Among the 22 undecided contests, he said eight probably will go to the GOP, eight likely will go to Democrats and six are toss-ups.


The Associated Press projected the GOP has scored 211 House seats as of Friday afternoon, close to the 218 needed for a majority in that 435-member chamber of Congress and above Democrats’ total of 196.

The House switching to red from blue would fit the historical pattern in which a first-term president’s party tends to lose congressional ground in the midterms. Democrats have had a grip on the House since the 2018 midterms.

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