Control of Congress: Why the AP hasn’t called Senate, House

Published: Nov. 10, 2022 at 11:03 AM EST
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WASHINGTON (AP) — Control of Congress hangs in the balance two days and counting after the 2022 midterm elections. Let’s take a closer look at where things stand.

WHY HASN’T THE AP CALLED CONTROL OF CONGRESS YET?

In short, because neither party has reached the 218 seats necessary to win in the House or the 50 (for Democrats) or 51 (for Republicans) required in the Senate. When that will happen isn’t clear — it could be days or even weeks.

If Democrats retain their 50 seats, they keep control because of Vice President Kamala Harris’ tie-breaking vote.

The AP does not make projections and will only declare a winner when it’s determined there is no scenario that would allow the trailing candidates to close the gap. In some contested races where a party or candidate has a history of consistent and convincing wins The AP can use results from AP VoteCast to confirm a candidate’s victory, even as soon as polls close. VoteCast is a survey of American voters aimed at determining why they voted how they did.

In House races, the AP had declared Republicans winners in 207 seats compared with 184 for the Democrats by early Thursday. Other races hadn’t been called yet. In the Senate, where about a third of the 100 seats were up for election, the count of AP race calls meant the chamber stood at 49-48 in Republicans’ favor.

COUNTING CONTINUES

Key races, like contests for governor and U.S. Senate in Arizona and Nevada, remained uncalled Thursday as officials there continue to tally votes, including mail-in ballots.

In other close congressional races, runoff contests are either pending or probable. The Georgia Senate contest between incumbent Democrat Raphael Warnock and Republican Herschel Walker, for example, will be decided in a runoff set for Dec. 6.

The balance of power in Washington hanging in the balance, with some key races still left unsettled. (CNN, POOL, WDIV, WSB, SENATE TV, WTVD, NET SHARE AND CNN)

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 tabulating could take place.

That’s because Alaska has ranked choice voting in which voters rank candidates. If no one gets 50% plus one, then the person with the fewest votes gets eliminated and voters’ choices count toward their second pick. The rounds continue until two candidates are left and the one with the most votes wins.

Peltola was leading Republicans Sarah Palin and Nick Begich in a race too early to call.

CHALLENGES?

In 2020, former President Donald Trump challenged outcomes in close races across the country. Those challenges failed in courts, though Trump continued to insist falsely that the race was stolen.

So far, nothing like those kinds of objections has materialized.

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Mike Catalini can be reached at https://twitter.com/mikecatalini

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Check out https://apnews.com/hub/explaining-the-elections to learn more about the issues and factors at play in the 2022 midterm elections. Follow AP’s coverage of the 2022 midterm elections at: https://apnews.com/hub/2022-midterm-elections