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GOP secures slim House of Representatives majority

More than a week after the midterm elections, the Republicans have secured the majority in the House of Representatives. But by only one seat for now, and the majority will remain slim, with only nine seats still contested.

Of the 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, the Republicans have secured 218. Democrats have secured 211, and six seats are still contested.

The majority is extremely slim and will remain so. This is not unlike the situation in the Senate, where Republicans will control 50 out of one hundred seats, while the Democrats and two Independents who are caucused with them hold an equal number of seats. In such a situation, the Vice President who also presides over the Senate but does not usually vote is allowed to cast a deadlock-breaking vote. The current VPOTUS is Ms Kamala Harris, a Democrat, effectively giving the Dems tentative control over the Senate.

So the executive branch and the Senate are held by the Democrats, and the House of Representatives by the Republicans. The Supreme Court too has a comfortable six-to-three conservative majority.

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This is by far not the historic first but may cause some trouble for Biden’s administration. Congress holds the power of the purse, so there will be a need for some political horse-trading and lobbying needed to arrange for the support of both houses for certain projects and bills. The fiscally conservative Republicans are not keen on big spending in most cases. And they may also try to attract some of the more centre-leaning Democratic senators to support their bills or vote against the general party line themselves.

It looks like the 118th Congress is going to be an interesting place to look at.

27th going Red

It was California’s 27th Congressional district that took the party over the line, with Mike Garcia winning over Christy Smith. Mr Garcia will be taking over from the current Democratic Congressperson for the district, Ms Judy Chu, who has been redistricted to run in the 28th. Considering Ms Chu won the elections in the 27th for five consecutive terms, last time with a comfortable 69.8 pct. of the vote, it might be that her leaving just cost the Dems that particular part of the Sunny State.

On an interesting note, Mr Garcia was himself redirected from the 25th, which this time elected Raul Ruiz, a Democrat.

Mr Garcia first won the 25th in the 2020 special elections after the previous Democratic Congresswoman Katie Hill resigned over sexual misconduct allegations. In that race, Garcia won against… Christy Smith.

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Obviously, California is largely Democratic and considered a stronghold of the party, practically guaranteeing to secure all of its Electoral College votes in the winner-takes-all presidential election (a small number of states distribute their EC votes between candidates). But when it comes to elections to the House as well as in local elections the support for the Dems is concentrated along the coast and, as usual in the U.S., large cities.

The 27th is definitely no backwater inhabited by roadkill-eating mountain men, as the state’s latte and limousine liberal elites might be tempted to see their GOP-supporting fellow staters (in all fairness, the majority of the Democratic electorate does not fall into either of those two categories), so the Dems can start scratching their heads trying to figure out what just happened there.

If that is any comfort to them, a lot of Republicans are now wondering what turned the much-expected “red wave” into a ripple.

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