The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Republicans close to winning control of House of Representatives

The party has 215 seats, according to The Washington Post’s unofficial count, but 218 are needed to gain control. Ballot counting continues in several districts.

Members-elect of the House of Representatives pose for a photo at the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday in Washington, D.C. The Republican Party is near to having a majority in the House beginning in January, but some of the races are too close to call. (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

Republicans stood a few seats short of retaking control of the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday afternoon, but the amount of votes still to be counted in California and other states prevented The Washington Post from calling control of the chamber for the Republican Party.

The Post has called 215 seats in the House for Republicans to 205 for Democrats. The Democratic Party has had the majority of seats in the House since 2018.

The Post uses information from the Associated Press and Edison Research, two organizations with researchers and analysts keeping track of results posted in each district. As unofficial voting tallies are posted by districts, the analysts figure out whether a candidate who appears to be losing has any chance of winning. Once it is clear that the remaining uncounted votes cannot change who wins, those organizations will declare a winner. That call is not official, however. Districts and states must certify election results, a process that often takes several weeks.

In U.S. elections, why does it take so long to count votes?

Democratic control of the U.S. Senate was unofficially settled Saturday when Senator Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada won reelection. The party has 50 seats compared with Republicans’ 49. A Senate race in Georgia failed to produce a winner because no candidate received at least 50 percent of the votes. Control of that seat will be decided in a December 6 runoff election between Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger Herschel Walker. Even if Walker wins, Democrats will keep control. That’s because Vice President Kamala Harris, a Democrat, would break any tie votes.

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