WASHINGTON – Republicans were on track for a narrow House majority six days after the last polls closed in the midterm elections — as President Biden acknowledged Monday his fellow Democrats were unlikely to pull off a miraculous hold.
“I think we’re going to get very close in the House, but I don’t – I think it’s gonna be very close, but I don’t think we’re going to make it,” Biden told reporters following a news conference in Bali, Indonesia.
As of 12:30 p.m. Monday, Republicans had secured 212 seats, while Democrats had 205 seats, according to Reuters. Of the 18 races yet to be called, Republicans led in 10 of them, while Democrats led in eight.
If no further lead changes take place, the GOP will have 222 House seats in the next Congress, the same number the Democrats had after the 2020 elections.
Republicans had needed to flip a net of five seats to regain the majority after four years out of power. As of noon Monday, they had more than doubled that total, gaining a net of 11 seats.
In one of the 18 uncalled races, far-right Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) led Democratic challenger Adam Frisch by about 1,100 votes in Colorado’s 3rd District. With 99% of the expected vote in and Boebert leading Frisch by 0.4% points, an automatic recount (required in Colorado races decided by 0.5% or fewer) appeared in the offing.
Elsewhere, in Arizona’s 1st District, six-term GOP incumbent David Schweikert led Democrat Jevin Hodge by about 900 votes — just 0.2% — with 96% of the expected ballots in. Schweikert had benefited from a belated tally of Election Day mail-in ballots from Maricopa County, the most populous in Arizona, and his lead appeared likely to grow as more of the GOP-leaning Election Day vote came in.
Nine House races were still uncalled in California as of Monday, with the GOP leading in six of them. However, it could be weeks before the final count is certified in the Golden State — as county officials have until Dec. 8 to certify election results and the state secretary of state has until Dec. 16 to certify the vote totals and post them on their website.
There was also no decision in New York’s 22nd District, where Republican Brandon Williams led Democrat Francis Conole by just under 4,000 votes with 94% of the expected vote in.
Democrats have already won the 50 seats needed to guarantee them nominal control of the Senate, having flipped a net of one seat on election night. Currently, Republicans will have 49 Senate seats in the new Congress, with a Dec. 6 runoff in Georgia between Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican Herschel Walker to determine whether the final composition of the Senate will be 50-50 or 51-49 in favor of the Democrats.
Either way, control of the Senate will still rest with the Democrats due to the ability of Vice President Kamala Harris to break tie votes as chamber president.
The uncertainty over the final outcome of the election has led to a growing push by Republican senators to delay leadership elections set for Wednesday until at least after the Georgia runoff.
“If we hold those elections right away Wednesday, you probably have more campaigning done in a high school class president election than we would have in the most deliberative body in the world,” newly reelected Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) told Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures”.
“It is absurd. It is preposterous. They need to be delayed. We need to have these discussions,” Johnson added.
In the House, Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) of the conservative House Freedom Caucus told Fox News Digital Monday there would be an “alternative challenger” to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who Biggs said “doesn’t have 218” — a reference to the number of votes needed to become House Speaker.