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Five uncalled races to watch in the battle for the House

This month’s surprising midterm elections have everyone on edge, with voters across the country waiting to see who will control the House in the next Congress. 

A week after Election Day, the balance of power in the House remains unknown, with 212 seats in the GOP column, 204 in the Democratic column and 218 needed for a majority. 

Republicans — despite a worse-than-expected midterm — are still likely to win the majority, but Democrats are clinging to slim hopes with about 20 races uncalled. 

Here are five of the most intriguing races to watch. 

California’s 13th District

The race between the two candidates fighting for California’s 13th District are separated by just 84 ballots as of Monday evening with 61 percent of the vote in.

Republican businessman John Duarte is ahead by one-tenth of a percentage point over Democratic state Assemblyman Adam Gray. 

The two candidates are facing off for an open House seat in the Golden State’s Central Valley, which became available after Rep. Josh Harder (D) moved to run in a more left-leaning district. The Cook Political Report rated the seat a “toss-up,” though the area became more favorable to Democrats after redistricting.

But with ballots outstanding in both Democratic- and Republican-rich counties, it’s unclear who will win. 

Merced and Stanislaus counties, both of which have broken for Gray, have more ballots to count, in addition to Madera and Fresno counties, which have voted for Duarte thus far.

Gray had an advantage over Duarte right out the gate with voter registration — the district is 42.8 percent Democratic and 28.4 percent Republican, according to CalMatters. The district went for President Biden over former President Trump in 2020, 54.3 percent to 43.4 percent.

But the GOP has made inroads in the race despite the early Democratic advantages. According to the Los Angeles Times, that could be a credit to Latino voters trending toward Republicans and low voter turnout from Democrats.

Arizona’s 6th District

Another tight race is taking place in Arizona’s 6th District, where Republican Juan Ciscomani and Democrat Kirsten Engel are jockeying for the open seat. 

Ciscomani, who was an aide to Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R), led Engel, a former state senator and representative, by a mere 0.66 percentage points with 89 percent of the vote in as of Monday evening. That translates to a 2,074-ballot edge.

The race in the Tucson-area district has been tightening, with Engel narrowing the gap between the two candidates. But there are still a number of outstanding votes in counties that have broken overwhelmingly for both candidates. 

If Republicans win, they will have flipped the seat. It was formerly held by Rep. Anna Kirkpatrick (D), who opted against running for reelection this cycle. It became the 6th District after redistricting and is more favorable to Republicans than before.

The Cook Political Report rated the seat “lean Republican.”

Arizona’s 1st District

Incumbent Rep. David Schweikert (R) is fighting for his political life against Democrat Jevin Hodge, 28, who leads the Grand Canyon State’s oldest Head Start program.

With 93 percent of the vote in, Schweikert was narrowly leading Hodge by 0.26 points, or 894 ballots, as of Monday evening. Hodge opened up with an edge over Schweikert on Election Day, but the incumbent took the lead on Sunday night.

The Phoenix-area district includes Maricopa County, the most populous county Arizona. Officials have said they are hoping to have most votes counted by Tuesday.

Mail-in ballots cast in Maricopa County go through a strict process before they are sent for tabulation. Roughly 80 percent of voters requested mail-in ballots in Maricopa County, according to The Washington Post.

The district became more favorable to Democrats after redistricting, and The Cook Political Report rated the seat a “toss-up.” 

If Schweikert wins, he will secure his seventh term in the House.

Oregon’s 6th District

The two candidates battling in this district are separated by just 4,400 ballots with 85 percent of votes counted.

Democrat Andrea Salinas has secured 49.8 percent of the vote, slightly more than Republican Mike Erickson, who stands at 47.9 percent. Constitution Party candidate Larry McFarland has 2.3 percent.

There are, however, plenty of ballots outstanding that could affect the results of the race. 

Washington and Clackamas counties — both of which have broken for Salinas thus far — have outstanding ballots, in addition to Marion and Polk counties, which are favoring Erickson.

Counting in Oregon could take longer after the state changed its rules to allow ballots postmarked on Election Day to be included in tallies. Before, the state only accepted ballots that arrived at election offices by Election Day. Election officials will accept ballots with valid postmarks until Tuesday. 

This is a new congressional district that was drawn after Oregon gained a House seat because of its population growth. 

Colorado’s 3rd District

This has been one of the most closely watched contests since Election Day, when Democrat Adam Frisch, a local businessman, opened up a commanding lead against firebrand Rep. Lauren Boebert (R).

Boebert, a first-term congresswoman and staunch supporter of Trump, chipped away at Frisch’s edge shortly after Election Day and ultimately took the lead on Thursday.

The incumbent is currently ahead of her Democratic challenger by 1,122 ballots with more than 95 percent of the vote in. The race, however, will likely undergo an automatic recount. A recount is triggered in Colorado if the final margin in the race is less than or equal to half a percentage point. Boebert currently leads by 0.34 points.

A win for Frisch would be a significant flip for Democrats and a symbolic move for the caucus, picking off one of the most recognizable Republicans in the House GOP conference.

Boebert, however, is likely to lock up her reelection. On Thursday, after the incumbent’s lead reached 1,136 votes, the Cook Political Report’s Dave Wasserman wrote on Twitter that it would be “much tougher to see her losing” after more ballots from a Democratic stronghold were counted.ISIan Swanson

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