With only one race left to be certified, the 2020 House of Representatives election has shaped up to be one of the most surprising in years. Facing a presumed Democratic landslide and fundraising gaps in many major races, House Republicans were universally expected to lose seats. The question was not if Democrats would gain seats, but how many.
Our pre-election guide predicted that 15 seats would change hands. Three would go to the Republicans while 12 would switch to the Democrats. Instead, we got what nobody expected: a minor Republican wave that has created one of the closest House delegations in recent memory. Only NY-22 remains uncalled as irregularities and administrative mistakes leave the final winner in doubt.
In a complete shock, every single incumbent Republican was re-elected. Moreover, Democrats only flipped three seats, two of which (NC-02 and NC-06) were due to court-ordered redistricting. Only GA-07, a Democratic-trending seat based in rapidly-growing Gwinnett County, changed hands on its own accord. In contrast, Republicans flipped 14 seats. With the exception of MN-07’s Collin Peterson, who was first elected in 1990, every one of them was a freshman incumbent first elected in 2018’s blue wave.
Surprisingly, three of these candidates (Young Kim, Michelle Steel, and David Valadao) were elected from Biden-won House districts in California. Republicans also came close against freshmen like Tom Malinowski (NJ-07), Abigail Spanberger (VA-07), and Lauren Underwood (IL-14). On the Democratic side, attempts to flip seats like CA-25, TX-24, and MN-01 fell short as well.
In the races for non-voting delegates, Democrats won the races in DC, Guam, and the US Virgin Islands. Democratic-caucusing-independent Gregorio Sablan won unopposed in the Northern Mariana Islands. Republican-affiliated Jenniffer González won the race for Resident Commissioner in Puerto Rico, and Amata Coleman Radewagen’s 69.1% margin of victory in American Samoa was the third-highest of any Republican in a contested race nationwide.
Open Seat Flips
- GA-07: Republican > Democratic (Bourdeaux defeats McCormick)
- IA-02: Democratic > Republican (Miller-Meeks defeats Hart)
- MI-03: Libertarian > Republican (Meijer defeats Scholten)
- NC-02: Republican > Democratic (Roberts defeats Swain)
- NC-06: Republican > Democratic (Manning defeats Haywood)
- CA-21: Democratic > Republican (Valadao defeats Cox)
- CA-39: Democratic > Republican (Kim defeats Cisneros)
- CA-48: Democratic > Republican (Steel defeats Rouda)
- FL-26: Democratic > Republican (Giménez defeat Mucarsel-Powell)
- FL-27: Democratic > Republican (Salazar defeats Shalala)
- IA-01: Democratic > Republican (Hinson defeats Finkenauer)
- MN-07: Democratic > Republican (Fischbach defeats Peterson)
- NM-02: Democratic > Republican (Herrell defeats Torres Small)
- NY-11: Democratic > Republican (Malliotakis defeats Rose)
- OK-05: Democratic > Republican (Bice defeats Horn)
- SC-01: Democratic > Republican (Mace defeats Cunningham)
- UT-04: Democratic > Republican (Owens defeats McAdams)
- NY-22: Tenney (R) leads Brindisi (D)