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Redistricting changed the political complexion of numerous congressional districts, forcing (as we’ve documented all year long) incumbents to decide where to take their chances after constituents were divided/shifted/gerrymandered.
Now, with almost all the results in, we have a new cohort of swing districts — ones where voters rejected the congressional candidate of the party they favored for the White House two years ago.
Standing out in that group is the longest-serving woman in US House history. Come January, Ohio Democrat Marcy Kaptur will represent a district that went for Donald Trump in 2020. She’ll also surpass former Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) and become the longest-serving woman in congressional history.
Four other Democrats will join her in representing swing districts:
- Alaska went for Trump by 10 percentage points and also re-elected Rep. Mary Peltola.
- Maine’s 2nd Congressional District, with a 6-point Trump edge, returned Jared Golden to office.
- Freshman-to-be Marie Gluesenkamp Perez won in a southwestern Washington state district with a Trump edge of 4.2 points.
- Rep. Matt Cartwright will continue to represent northeastern Pennsylvania, now the choice of a revised district with a Trump edge of 2.9 points.
There’s an even longer list of Republican congressional winners in seats that picked Joe Biden two years ago.
The most pro-Biden district in that group is New York’s 4th, where voters in southwestern Nassau County soon will be represented by Republican Anthony D’Esposito after saying yes to Biden by 14.5 percentage points.
At least 16 other Republicans were chosen by previously Biden-favoring electorates. They’re arranged according to the size of the president’s 2020 percentage-point margin of victory:
- Rep. David Valadao (Calif.) won in a redrawn district that went for Biden by almost 13 points.
- Rep. Mike Garcia (Calif.) got his return ticket punched in a district that favored Biden by 12.4 points.
- Rep.-elect Mike Lawler (N.Y.) will be serving a district that favored Biden by 10.
- Rep.-elect Lori Chavez-DeRemer (Ore.) won in a seat that went for Biden by 8.8 points.
- Rep.-elect George Santos (N.Y.) was the choice of voters in a district Biden carried by 8 points.
- Rep.-elect Brandon Williams (N.Y.) won in a district that favored Biden by 7.4 points.
- Nebraska Rep. Don Bacon won in a district that would have gone for Biden by 6.3 points.
- California Rep. Michelle Steel won re-election in a district that favored Biden by 6.2 points.
- Rep.-Elect Marc Molinaro was the choice in a New York district with a 4.6-point Biden tilt.
- Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (Pa.) convinced voters to return him to office in a seat with another 4.6-point Biden tilt.
- New Jersey voters went for a familar name in choosing Rep.-elect Tom Kean Jr. to serve in a district that went for Biden by 3.7 points.
In a group unto themselves: Republicans who came out on top in districts designed during redistricting to be competitive:
- Rep. Young Kim (Calif.) will represent a seat that went for Biden by 1.8 points.
- Rep.-elect Jen Kiggans (Va.) won in a district that favored Biden by 1.7 points.
- Rep. David Schweikert (Ariz.) convinced voters to reup his job in a district that gave Biden a 1.4-point edge.
- Rep.-elect Nick LaLota (N.Y.) came out on top in a district that barely split for Biden, by 0.2 point.
- Arizona Rep.-elect Juan Ciscomani won in a seat that Biden carried by 0.1 point.
We’re watching for one more possible addition to the “Biden Then Republican” list: California’s 13th Congressional District, which favored Biden by nearly 11 percentage points. Republican John Duarte is almost 600 votes ahead with the final results not yet tabulated.
If that looks like a lot of split-district results, pause a moment and do the math. Purple-seaters will make up only 5% of the House membership in the 118th Congress. — Greg Giroux
ARIZONA: CERTIFICATION SUIT
Republicans in one Arizona county are playing chicken with the state over certification of the general election results.
Cochise County refused to meet yesterday’s deadline and delayed the official canvass until Friday, The Associated Press reports. Secretary of State Katie Hobbs then filed suit in Arizona Superior Court, reports NBC News.
Meanwhile, a lawsuit in Pennsylvania seeks to block certification of the election in Delaware County, according to the New York Times.
Getting the votes from Cochise included in the state’s certified results will matter a lot to Republican Juan Ciscomani, who was projected as the winner in the 6th Congressional District by less than one percentage point. Without Cochise County’s results in the official total, the winner of that seat would be Democrat Kirsten Engel.
- Maricopa County certifies election results in raucous meeting (Axios)
- Losing Candidate for Governor Seeks Records in Suit Against Arizona County (AP)
Caught Our Eye
- More than half of the Republicans who were in Congress in 2017 won’t be in office when the next Congress is seated in January. — Laura Davison
- Come January, more than 80% of Americans will live in states with governments entirely controlled by one political party. (LA Times)
- Here’s who N.C. Republicans could target in the next redistricting (WRAL)
- Preliminary figures show lower midterm election turnout in Florida, Georgia, Iowa and Texas. (AP)
- Turnout was up in Arizona, Pennsylvania, Nevada and New Hampshire. (NBC)
- Hear the latest episode of BGOV’s Downballot Counts podcast
- Our past coverage: BGOV Archive
- Redistricting litigation trackers: Loyola Law School Brennan Center
To contact the reporter on this story: Greg Giroux in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Katherine Rizzo at email@example.com