Nov 08, 2018
As anticipated in most pre-election polls, Democrats will take control of the House of Representatives in the 116th Congress, and Republicans added at least two seats to their narrow majority in the Senate.
With several races still too close to call, while absentee ballots are counted, Democrats added a net of at least 28 House seats, giving them a majority of 223 in the 435-member chamber. As a result, it is expected that Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) will again be elected Speaker when members of the new Congress return to Washington next week. In the House Agriculture Committee, Ranking Member Collin Peterson (D-MN) will regain the gavel from current Chairman Mike Conaway (R-TX).
In the Senate, Republicans added at least two seats to their 51-49 majority, as three Midwest Democrats from heavily red states – Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota, Claire McCaskill in Missouri, and Joe Donnelly in Indiana – were defeated while incumbent Republican Dean Heller in Nevada lost his bid for re-election.
The result will not change the need for bipartisan support to pass legislation in the Senate, where a supermajority of 60 votes is needed to overcome potential filibusters.
In races for governor, Democrats picked up a net of six states, including Illinois, Kansas, Michigan and Wisconsin. Since most terms are for four years, these pickups could be important in 2021, when most state legislatures redraw the boundaries of their House districts after the 2020 census and governors can either approve or veto the new maps.