26 ‘Toss-Up’ Districts All Go to GOP, Plus 7 Seats That Lean Democrat

November 19, 2020 Updated: November 19, 2020

The GOP made gains in the House this election, coming out of the Nov. 3 election winning all 26 of the districts considered “toss-ups” by the Cook Political Report. Republicans also picked up seven of the 36 seats that the major political forecaster rated as leaning in favor of the Democrats.

“The House count stands at 221D-209R, and here are my information ratings of the five outstanding races following today’s developments,” Cook Political Report editor Dave Wasserman said on Twitter. “#CA21 – Likely R, #CA25 – Lean R, #IA02 – Lean R (recount), #NJ07 – Likely D, #NY22 – Toss Up.”

Before the election, Democrat leaders said they were confident of a blue wave and expanding their majority in the House.

Cheri Busto (D-Ill.), Chairwoman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee On Election Day, said on Election Day that the party had been working on keeping and expanding its House majority since the 2018 election.

“It meant that we are protecting our majority by going on offense early by stretching Republicans thin and forcing them to make tough choices, in their territory, not in ours. It meant that we recruited inspiring candidates who understand their communities and have lived the same struggles, like their neighbors, deep into the map that we have defined and meant backing that up by building our massive war chest,” Busto said at a virtual press conference.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also spoke during the press conference, expressing confidence that Democrats would increase their numbers in the House.

“Tonight, House Democrats are poised to further strengthen our majority, the biggest most diverse most dynamic women-led house majority in history.”

But as the vote tallies are being finalized, the outcome will most likely see Republicans pick up about 15 seats in the House, still leaving Democrats ahead but with a decreased majority when the 117th Congress convenes in January.

Democrats were also hoping to claim a majority in the Senate. But with the current numbers—50 to 48 with the Republicans holding the advantage—Democrats at best will be tied 50-50 with the GOP after the Georgia Senate runoffs in January, leaving the vice president to cast the tie-breaking vote.

Again, Republicans came out with more support in the “toss-up” races identified by the Cook Political Report. Of the seven “toss-ups,” the GOP won five seats, as well as all four races listed as “lean Republican.” The remaining two “toss-up” races, both in Georgia, are yet to be determined as the state prepares for two runoffs on Jan. 5, 2021.

In the downballot races, the election outcome was also disappointing for Democrats. According to another major political forecaster FiveThirtyEight, Republicans are likely to have won almost every contest in seats that will control the redrawing of congressional district borders as scheduled next year. The redistricting process happens every ten years, and could see the GOP exert its advantage for another decade of Republican-favoring maps.

“Republicans are set to control the redistricting of 188 congressional seats — or 43 percent of the entire House of Representatives. By contrast, Democrats will control the redistricting of, at most, 73 seats, or 17 percent,” elections analyst Nathaniel Rakich wrote.