Why the AP Hasn’t Called House Oversight Yet
Republicans were just one seat away from retaking the U.S. House on Monday night, but the number of votes still to be counted in California and other states prevented The Associated Press from calling control of the room for the GOP.
A week after polls opened in the 2022 midterm elections, the AP called 217 House seats for Republicans to 205 for Democrats, who have held the House since 2018.
Republicans have come closer to seizing the House since voting closed a week ago, but weren’t there yet. California alone has 10 more races to call and the vote count continues elsewhere.
Democratic control of the US Senate was settled on Saturday when Senator Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada won re-election, but the majority in the US House is still in question.
WHY HAS NOT THE AP CALLED HOUSE CONTROL YET?
It’s simple: neither party has yet reached the required 218 seats.
The AP has declared winners in most contests, but a handful are exceptional.
The AP does not make projections and will only declare a winner when it is determined that there is no scenario that would allow the candidates in the tail to close the gap. In certain contested races where a party or candidate has a history of consistent and convincing victories, the AP may use results from AP VoteCast – a survey of American voters to determine why they voted the way they did. – to confirm the victory of a candidate, even if as soon as the polling stations close. But some races, as is again this year, can take days or even weeks to call.
WHICH STATES STILL COUNT VOTES?
California, the most populous state in the country, has more open ended contests than any other. There are ten races left to be called there, with millions of votes to count.
There are also close races in Colorado and Maine, among others, some of which are tight enough that they could head for a recount.
In Alaska, where incumbent Democrat Mary Peltola won a special election this summer to fill an Open House seat held for decades by Republicans, a second round of vote tabulation could take place.
This is because Alaska has ranked voting by choice in which voters rank candidates. If no one gets more than half of the votes cast by November 8, the person with the fewest votes is eliminated and the voters’ choices count as their second choice. The rounds continue until there are only two candidates left and whoever has the most votes wins.
Peltola led Republicans Sarah Palin and Nick Begich in a race too soon to be announced.
WHAT OTHER CHALLENGES ARE THERE?
In 2020, former President Donald Trump challenged the voting results for President in states across the country. Those challenges failed in court, though Trump continued to falsely insist the race was stolen.
So far, none of these kinds of objections have materialized.
Meg Kinnard can be reached at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP
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