Although final results are still pending, radiology’s advocates will see dramatic shifts in power and political perspective in the Senate and House of Representatives when the 116th Congress convenes in January.
Republicans added as many as three seats to increase their current slim 51-49 majority in the to Senate 54-46. The fate of the seats in Mississippi will be determined in future special elections and the results for the Arizona senate seat is still too close to call.
Nine Senate seats were considered toss-ups leading up to election day. President Trump won in eight of those nine contested states in 2016. Nevada was the only exception when it went for Hillary Clinton.
In the midterms, Republican candidates won six of those nine toss-up races. Democrats held the Senate seat in Montana and flipped the seat in Nevada in their favor. The senate race in Arizona is considered still to close to call. Of the nine Senate toss-up seats, four will now be held by former House members (Arizona: either Rep. Martha McSally or Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, North Dakota: Rep. Kevin Cramer, Nevada: Rep. Jacky Rosen, and Tennessee: Rep. Marsha Blackburn).
Democrats won control of the House. They needed a 23-seat margin to recapture the majority, and as of Nov. 8, they had flipped 28 seats to give them an estimated 26-seat majority (223-197) when lower chamber is gaveled in to session in January.
Thirty Republican incumbents in the House lost to Democratic challengers. Of that total, 19 districts were won by Clinton in 2016. Fifteen seats are still uncalled.
RADPAC’s Election-Night Success
RADPAC contributed nearly $2 million in this election-cycle to support nearly 100 pro-radiology congressional incumbents and challengers. RADPAC supported 90 general election races in the House and 76 of those candidates won (an 84 percent success rate). Two RADPAC-supported races have yet to be called.
In Senate races, RADPAC racked up an 86 percent success rate, with victories for six of the seven candidates it supported.
RADPAC supported two challengers and two incumbents with independent expenditures that led to three victories, one defeat and a 75 percent success rate. Rep. Blackburn won her bid to move over to the Senate. Rep. Richie Neal and Frank Pallone retained their seats in the House.
Steve Ferrara, MD, came up short in his campaign to become the first-ever radiologist elected to Congress. Ferrara lost his race for Arizona’s 9th congressional district by a margin of 32,354 votes (59 percent to 40 percent or 101,183 votes to 68,829 votes*). Ferrara’s vote total outperformed the 2014 Republican nominee in the last mid-term election in this congressional district. The final voter turnout in Arizona is expected to reach 65 percent, which would be the highest percent for a mid-term election in the state since 1982.
The new Congress will include four health care providers in the Senate and 23 health care providers in the House — meaning only 27 of the 535 members of Congress (five percent) will have a provider background.
*As of November 8,472,000 ballots still to be counted in Maricopa County, including 277,000 early ballots that were received before Election Day and 195,000 early ballots, provisional ballots and out-of-precinct ballots from Election Day.