November 12, 2020

Updates on the Congressional and Senate Election

The election has been called for former Vice President Joe Biden to become the 46th President of the United States. At the time of this article, President-elect Biden has 279 Electoral College Votes (ECV) compared to 217 for President Donald Trump (270 ECV are needed to win). That said, three states still have not been called, as the margins in two of them are razor thin:

  • Arizona was initially called for President-elect Biden, but since then the state has fallen back in the uncalled category because the vote differential is just 12,000 out of the more than three million votes cast in the state. Arizona has 11 ECV.
  • In Georgia, there is a 14,000 vote differential out of more than 4.8 million votes. Georgia will go through a recount as required by state law because of the vote margin being so close. Georgia has 16 ECV.
  • In North Carolina, President Trump has a lead of over 70,000 votes out of the more than 5.3 million votes. North Carolina has 15 ECV.

Even if President Trump won all three of these uncalled states, he would still fall short of the necessary 270 ECV to win.

Understandably overshadowed by the Presidential election are the results of the Senate and House races. There were 35 Senate seats up for election heading into Election Day. Republicans had majority control of the Senate prior to the election. Democrats needed to gain four seats to gain control of the Senate but, as of now, have a net gain of one seat. Currently, Republicans have a 50 to 48 advantage in the composition of the Senate for the next Congress. Only two races have not been called and both are run-offs in the state of Georgia. Both seats are currently held by Republicans, and Republicans need to hold just one of the two seats in order to maintain their majority in the Senate. If Democrats win both races, there will be a 50-50 standoff in the Senate, which means Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will hold the tiebreaking vote. The run-off elections will take place on Jan. 5.

In the House, all 435 House seats were up for election. Heading into the election, Democrats had majority control by a margin of 35 seats. Republicans flipped nine Democrat seats while Democrats flipped three Republican seats, leading to a net gain of six for the GOP. The House was expected to stay in Democratic control after the election, and that, is in fact, the case — though the margin for Democrats has shrunk.