Election News

Competitive Presidential Election States: 2020 vs. 2016

Most competitive states in the 2020 presidential election, with a comparison to 2016.  The faithless electors in 2016 are ignored for this analysis.

Decided by 5% or less

Eight states were decided by 5% or less in the 2020 presidential election.  This is down from 11 states (and one congressional district) in this category in 2016. However, the net change was only a reduction of 10 electoral votes. Georgia (16 electoral votes) was the only state added to the list in 2020. It was the closest state in the country, decided by about 0.25%. The other four states flipped by Joe Biden: Pennsylvania (20), Michigan (16), Arizona (11) and Wisconsin (10) were also decided by 5% or less in 2016.

Exiting this category were Minnesota (10), Colorado (9), New Hampshire (4), Maine at-large (2) and NE-2 (1).  All these states, except Colorado, were decided by between five and ten points (bottom map).  The Democratic margin of victory was 13.5% in Colorado vs. 4.9% in 2016. This 8.6% shift was the 2nd largest change in the country behind Vermont's 9.5%.

Decided by 5-10%
An additional 80 electoral votes from 6 states and two congressional districts fell into this category. These are shown in the lighter red/blue below. In addition to the four states and NE-2 mentioned above, this category includes Texas (38 electoral votes), Ohio (18), Iowa (6) and ME-2 (1).  The three states were in this category four years ago; ME-2 was decided by just over 10%. Also exiting this category were Virginia (13) and New Mexico (5).
Taken together, Joe Biden won by >10% margin in states worth 210 electoral votes. This compares to Hillary Clinton's 183 four years ago. The difference was Virginia (13), Colorado (9) and New Mexico (5). Donald Trump's 125 electoral votes in this category was only one different than 2016, as ME-2 (1) was closer.  These are reflected in the dark blue/red colors in the bottom map. 

Joe Biden Wins Electoral College Vote; Affirmed as President-Elect

Joe Biden won the electoral college vote Monday, affirming him as the president-elect.  California's 55 electoral votes put the former vice-president over the top.

With only Hawaii outstanding, the vote has gone smoothly, with all electors voting as pledged.

The ballots will be formally counted in a joint session of Congress on January 6, 2021. 



Electoral College Meets Monday to Vote for President

The Electoral College meets on the first Monday after the second Wednesday in presidential election years. This year, that date is December 14.  Electors will gather in their respective states (and District of Columbia) to cast their votes. Each elector will fill out two ballots, one for president and one for vice president.

After each state certifies the vote, it files a Certificate of Ascertainment that lists the slate of electors associated with each candidate and the number of votes received. The electors that meet Monday are those associated with the candidate receiving the most votes. For example, Biden won Massachusetts, so it is the slate of Democratic electors that will cast the vote.

As a practical matter, this means the Electoral College vote is largely symbolic; the final result is unlikely to deviate much (if at all) from the expected total of Biden 306, Trump 232. The votes will be forwarded to Congress, where they will be tallied in a joint session on January 6.

As the votes become known, we'll populate this map with the results

The schedule below shows the time the electors are expected to convene in each state. Indiana, Tennessee, New Hampshire and Vermont kick things off at 10:00 AM Eastern; Hawaii is the final state at 7:00 PM Eastern.  

The schedule below has updated meeting times for Nebraska and New Hampshire.

Hawaii is Final State to Certify Presidential Vote; Electors to Vote Next Monday

Hawaii became the final state to certify the results of its presidential election Tuesday, declaring Joe Biden the winner with 63.1% of the vote. All 50 states and DC have now certified their vote. As expected, president-elect Joe Biden emerged from this process with a 306-232 advantage in the electoral college.


The electors will meet in each state on Monday, December 14, to cast their votes.  

Louisiana 5th District Election: Overview and Live Results

Voters in Louisiana's 5th congressional district will elect a representative Saturday in a top-two election. None of the nine candidates in the November 3 all-party primary received a majority of the vote, forcing Saturday's runoff.  

This is a deep red district and both those who advanced to today's election are Republicans. Luke Letlow, who is the former Chief of Staff for the district's retiring representative, Ralph Abraham received 33% of the vote. State Representative Lance Harris finished second with about 16.5%. 

Polls close at 9:00 PM Eastern Time. Live results will appear below.



Mark Kelly Sworn In to Senate; Defeated Martha McSally in Arizona Special Election

Arizona Democrat Mark Kelly was sworn in as a U.S. Senator Wednesday. Kelly had defeated Republican Martha McSally in the November 3 elections.  Since this was a special election - to complete the term of the late John McCain - Kelly became eligible to be seated once the state certified its election results. It did so on Monday.

The seat will be up again in 2022 for a regular six-year term.

The transition reduces the GOP majority to 52-48 for the remainder of this Congress. It will also be the count for the first couple days of the 117th Congress. The two other seats that flipped in November, Alabama D->R and Colorado R->D will offset. All eyes will of course be on the two runoff elections in Georgia on January 5. Republicans need to win one of those to maintain control of the Senate.

The image below shows the current partisan composition of the Senate by state, followed by what the chamber will look like on January 3 based on this year's elections. The green coloring represents the two independents, both of whom caucus with the Democrats.

All three of the seats that flipped parties moved that state to a single party Senate delegation. As of January 3, treating the independents as Democrats, only five states will have a split delegation:  Montana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Wisconsin. This will be the smallest number of split delegations since direct election of Senators began in 1913.

Georgia 5th District Special Election Runoff

Voters in Georgia's 5th congressional district will elect a representative Tuesday via a special election runoff. This was the seat previously held by the late John Lewis.

The winner will only serve a month in Congress.

No candidate received a majority of the vote in the September 29 special election; forcing Tuesday's runoff. Advancing were two Democrats, Kwanza Hall and Robert Franklin. Hall led with 32% of the vote; Franklin finished 2nd with 28%.


After Lewis died, the Georgia Democratic Party chose State Sen. Nikema Williams as a replacement nominee for the November general election. Williams won easily in this safely Democratic district. She'll be sworn in with the rest of the 117th congress on January 3. 

Where Things Stand: 2020 Election Results Maps

Interactive maps for the November 3, 2020 general election. A few races remain uncalled as of this writing; the maps will update as elections are decided.

Election Results by State >>


States continue to certify the results. See the current certification map and calendar here.  The electors meet to vote in their respective states December 14. 

Five states Donald Trump won in 2016 were won by Joe Biden:  Arizona (11), Georgia (16), Michigan (16), Pennsylvania (20), Wisconsin (10). In addition, Biden won the electoral vote associated with Nebraska's 2nd district. Before accounting for faithless electors, the result is a mirror opposite of Trump's 306-232 win in 2016.


Democrats gained two seats (Arizona and Colorado) while Republicans flipped Alabama. None of these was a large surprise. The GOP was able to sweep the other seats seen as most competitive: Iowa, Maine, Montana and North Carolina. Control of the Senate in 2021 will come down to two runoff elections in Georgia on January 5. Republicans maintain control by winning either of these runoffs. 

The 117th Congress is expected to be seated on January 3. There will be seven new Senators sworn in that day:  Tommy Tuberville (R, AL); Mark Kelly (D, AZ); John Hickenlooper (D, CO); Roger Marshall (R, KS); Ben Ray Lujan (D, NM); Bill Hagerty (R, TN); Cynthia Lummis (R, WY). 


Democrats will retain control but with a notably smaller majority. Heading into the election, the party held a 233-201 advantage, with one Libertarian. As of this writing, that number is 222-209, with four seats uncalled. NY-1 seems almost certain to stay in GOP hands, which will make it 222-210. The other three races are incredibly tight. See the latest results below the map. 

Aside from two seats gained through court-ordered redistricting in North Carolina, the only Democratic flip was in GA-7. Republicans have won back at least 10 seats they lost in 2018. With these gains, Republicans will have the majority of House delegations in 26 or 27 states, while Democrats will have 20. Currently, the GOP edge is 26-23.

The 117th Congress is scheduled to be seated on January 3. Speaker Pelosi's majority will get even more narrow after that, at least temporarily.  At least one member, Cedric Richmond (LA-2) has been tapped to join the Biden Administration; he is expected to resign before January 20.  

CA-25: A rematch of the district's special election held in May, after the resignation of former Rep. Katie Hill. Republican Mike Garcia flipped the seat.

IA-2: Incumbent Democrat David Loebsack did not seek reelection.

NY-22: A rematch of the 2018 election; Democrat Anthony Brindisi defeated incumbent Republican Claudia Tenney.


Only one of the 11 seats up for election this year was expected to be highly competitive.  In the end, Greg Gianforte won that Montana race rather easily, flipping the seat for the GOP. Gianforte will be one of two new governors; Spencer Cox (R, UT) succeeds the retiring fellow Republican Gary Herbert.  The tightest election ended up being in North Carolina, where incumbent Democrat Roy Cooper won by 4.5% over Lt. Gov. Dan Forest.

2021 will bring gubernatorial elections in New Jersey and Virginia.

Interactive Map: States Certifying 2020 Presidential Election Results

We've had some requests for a map of states have certified their 2020 presidential election results. That appears below; the image will update as more states certify.  We're using this resource from The New York Times to help populate the map. 

States that have certified their results are shown as dark red/blue. Others are shown lighter red/blue based on the projected winner.  


11 states have certified as of November 22:  Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia, Wyoming

Estimated certification dates/deadlines for the remaining states and DC follow. Note that these aren't all ironclad, as the date has passed in a few cases. 

November 13 Mississippi
November 18 Arkansas, Massachusetts
November 20 North Dakota
November 23 Kentucky, Maine + ME-01, ME-02Michigan, Pennsylvania, Utah
November 24 Indiana, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Washington DC
November 25 Alabama, Alaska
November 30 Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Montana, Nebraska + NE-01 + NE-03, NE-02
December 1 Kansas, Wisconsin
December 2 New Hampshire
December 3 Connecticut, Oregon, Texas, Washington, West Virginia
December 4 Illinois
December 7 New York
December 8 Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey
December 11 California
No Fixed Date Hawaii, Rhode Island, Tennessee

Source:  Ballotpedia

Democrats Retain a Reduced Majority in House; 10 Races Remain Uncalled

Democrats will have a noticeably smaller majority when the 117th Congress begins in January.  Prior to the election, the party held a 233-2011 1This includes five vacancies allocated to the party that last held the seat. edge over Republicans, with one seat (MI-3) held by Libertarian Justin Amash, who left the GOP in 2019. Republicans regained that seat and have flipped ten others thus far. Democrats have flipped three seats, two of which were virtually certain due to court-mandated redistricting in North Carolina. 

Of these ten Republican gains, nine were seats the party had lost just two years ago. Freshman Democrats Gil Cisneros (CA-39), Harley Rouda (CA-48), Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (FL-26), Donna Shalala (FL-27), Abby Finkenauer (IA-1), Xochitl Torres Small (NM-2), Max Rose (NY-11), Kendra Horn (OK-5) and Joe Cunningham (SC-1) all went down to defeat. In addition, Collin Peterson failed to win a 16th term in the strongly pro-Trump MN-7.  The one Democratic gain not associated with redistricting was in suburban Atlanta GA-7, where Carolyn Bourdeaux prevailed. Bourdeaux lost to incumbent Republican Rob Woodall in 2018; it was the closest House race in the country that year. Woodall did not run this year.

Here's a map of where things stand, with the 10 uncalled races shown as toss-up. Click or tap for an interactive version. For those looking ahead, keep in mind that the map will change for 2022, as redistricting will occur based on the upcoming Census results. 

Update: The map below will change as these 10 races are called.


Uncalled Races

CA-21 is a rematch. T.J. Cox (D) defeated incumbent David Valadao (R) in 2018; it was the final U.S. House race to be called that year.

CA-25 is a rematch of the district's special election held in May, after the resignation of former Rep. Katie Hill.

Just 47 votes separate the candidates in IA-2, out of nearly 400,000 cast. A recount is expected.  Incumbent Democrat David Loebsack did not seek reelection.

The Associated Press called NJ-7 on election night for incumbent Democrat Malinoski.  Our results partner, Decision Desk HQ has not made a call as of yet; the race continues to tighten as more results come in. 

The count of absentee ballots did not begin in New York until several days after the election. This has delayed the determination of a winner in several districts.  

NY-2 is an open seat, with the retirement of 14 term Republican Peter King.

Heading into the election, NY-3 was seen as safely Democratic.  

NY-22 is a rematch of 2018, where Anthony Brindisi (D) ousted then-incumbent Claudia Tenney (R).

Republican Burgess Owens has declared victory over Democrat Ben McAdams who flipped the district in 2018.  While the race hasn't yet been called, Owens appears to have the edge.


LA-5 will be decided in a December 5 runoff as no candidate will get a majority of the vote. However, both candidates advancing are Republicans, so the district is decided from a party perspective; that is reflected on the above map.