Tags: 2018 Midterm Elections | recount | battleground | senate | governor | house | majority

2 Senate Seats, 2 Govships, 11 House Seats Still Uncertain

arizona republican representative martha mcsally delivers remarks
Rep. Martha McSally, R-Ariz. (Tom Williams/AP)

Sunday, 11 November 2018 08:09 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Four days after the midterm elections Nov. 6, there is still no final call in 15 major contests: two governorships (Florida and Georgia), two U.S. Senate seats, and 11 U.S. House seats.

A 12th contest that was in doubt – California's San Diego-based 49th District – was called Saturday for Democrat Mike Levin against Republican State Sen. Diane Harkey.  Levin will succeed outgoing Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif.

A look at the latest news from the remaining political battlegrounds:

Arizona Senate

This has been a wild ride. Although Rep. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., led in the count almost all Tuesday evening, Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., pulled ahead by about 20,000 votes (roughly 1 percent). More than 370,000 votes remain to be counted, and about 230,000 are from Maricopa County (Phoenix).  The count is expected to be completed by the end of next week. 

Florida Governorship

Republican Ron DeSantis held a lead of 33,600, or 0.5 percent of the vote, on Election night. Democrat Andrew Gillun conceded, but subsequently retracted his concession and declared "Florida has never had a full recount." Under state election law, the margin is small enough for the state to pay for a full recount. DeSantis insists the numbers of Election night will hold up and "it's now time for us to come together as a state."

Florida Senate

Republican Gov. Rick Scott's wafer-thin lead over Sen. Bill Nelson, R-Fla., was about 0.25 percent of the total vote. After some legal sparring between Scott and the clerks in Broward and Palm Beach Counties, Secretary of State Ken Dentzner ordered a full recount, including a hand recount from tabulation machines that could not count the votes of candidates. The last complete recount in the Sunshine State was for its votes in the 2000 presidential election, which took five weeks.

Georgia Governorship

As of Saturday, Republican Brian Kemp led Democrat Stacy Abrams by 63,000 votes and amassed 50.3 percent of the total vote. But, as a recount is in process, Kemp (who recently resigned as secretary of state) is only 22,600 votes above the threshold needed to avoid a run-off. Should Kemp fall below the 50 percent mark, then he and state legislator Kemp will meet in a runoff Dec. 4. Kemp told reporters Abrams has no path to victory and he is proceeding with the transition to the governor's office.

California House Districts 39, 45, 48 (Orange County)

The populous Orange County is home to three disputed House districts presently in Republican hands. With an estimated 366,000 absentee ballots remaining to be counted throughout the county, it might be before the end of the month that their outcomes are decided. 

  • In California-39, former Assembywoman Young Kim, a protégé of outgoing Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., clings to a lead of roughly 2,000 votes over Democrat Gil Cisneros.
  • In the 45th, Rep. Mimi Walters, R-Calif., is standing firm with a 4,000 vote edge over Elizabeth Warren protégé Katie Porter.
  • And in the 48th, Democrat Harley Rouda has claimed victory with his 7,000 vote edge over veteran Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif. (The Associated Press has not called it and Rohrabacher has not conceded).


In the San Joaquin Valley district, Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Calif., initially led Democrat Josh Harder by 2,200 votes. By Saturday, however, venture capitalist Harder had moved into first by 3,200 votes. "It is trending against us," former Rep. George Radanovich, R-Calif., told Newsmax.  The count is proceeding and is not expected to be completed until next week.


Rep. Rob Woodall, R-Ga., was clinging to a lead of less than 1,000 votes over Democrat Carolyn Boureaux (who had conceded the race Tuesday evening). There are roughly 1,600 provisional ballots left to count, but as retired Georgia GOP consultant Matt Towery told Newsmax, "it was closer than expected, but I don't see how Rob loses."


A bizarre situation, as Rep. Bruce Poliquin, R-Maine, leads Democratic State Rep. Jared Golden. Since neither won a majority, a new system takes effect in which the votes of two Independents are redistributed between the two major contenders based on who was ranked higher on the ballots of those supporting minor contenders.

New Jersey-3

No bets here. Democrat and former Obama National Security Council staffer Andy Kim edged Rep. Tom MacArthur, R-N.J., by about 3,424 votes. Both have claimed victory, but no one will know until next week when at least 6,400 provisional ballots are counted.

New Mexico-2

In a major upset, Democrat Xochiti Torres Small claimed victory after absentee ballots put her ahead of the Republican favorite, State Rep. Yvette Harrell. Harrell has since refused to concede the race and is banking on more than 1,000 absentee ballots to put her past Small.

New York-22

Although Democratic State Assemblyman Andrew Brindisi was declared the winner of Election night, Rep. Claudia Tenney, R-N.Y., vowed a fight to the end. Within days, a technical error in Broome County cut Brindisi's winning margin from 1,400 to 1,293 votes.  Now, 17,000 absentee and military ballots are to be counted.


In race that has gone back and forth since Election night, Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, was initially declared the winner. But Democrat Gina Ortiz Jones came on strong in the counting of the final votes and moved into first place. A subsequent error in the vote count put Hurd, former CIA operative and one of two black Republicans in the House, back in the lead by 1,000 votes. A recount seems a foregone conclusion.


While President Trump singled out Rep. Mia Love, R-Utah, as one of the Republicans who did not want his help and then lost, he might be jumping to a conclusion. Love trails Salt Lake County Mayor and Democrat Ben McAdams by 3 percentage points but more than 162,000 mail ballots are left to count.

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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Four days after the midterm elections Nov. 6, there is still no final call in 17 major contests: two governorships (Florida and Georgia), two U.S. Senate seats, and 11 U.S. House seats.
recount, battleground, senate, governor, house, majority
Sunday, 11 November 2018 08:09 AM
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