Why AP has called control of the US House for Republicans

Nov 16, 2022, 5:20 PM | Updated: 5:36 pm

Republicans won control of the U.S. House on Wednesday after The Associated Press declared Mike Garcia the winner of a race in California, securing the party the requisite 218th seat for the majority in the chamber.

The release of thousands of votes in California’s 27th District allowed the AP to determine that not enough votes were outstanding for Democratic challenger Christy Smith to overtake Garcia.

It took more than a week after the Nov. 8 midterm elections for Republicans to reach the minimum 218 seats needed to flip the House from Democratic control for the next Congress. The full scope of the party’s majority may not be clear for several more days — or weeks — as votes in competitive races are still being counted.

Democrats will finish with at least 210 seats but no more than 217.

The AP does not make projections and will only declare a winner in a race when it’s determined there is no scenario that would allow the trailing candidates to close the gap.


With some states breaking records in terms of mail-in ballots, vote counting was slowgoing in many states. Following voting changes during the coronavirus pandemic, some states instituted more permanent balloting changes, including no-excuse absentee and early in-person voting.

Republicans were within six seats of reaching the 218 needed for a majority last Sunday, but contests in California and Colorado remained uncalled. On Monday night, the party picked up another few seats, to reach the 217 mark.

It wasn’t until Wednesday that Republicans finally hit 218 with new votes coming in from California.


Republicans have been angling to take over Congress from Democrats, who have controlled the Senate since 2021 and the House since 2019.

The party that controls the House is able to elect a new speaker. Taking power on Jan. 3, the GOP caucus will elect a new speaker, run every committee and decide what bills come to the House floor.

House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy has already unveiled his “Commitment to America,” a broad outline of economic, border security and other policies that the GOP would propose in the early days of the next Congress.

McCarthy won the nomination for House speaker on Tuesday, with a formal vote in January.

With the House under Republican control, it is possible that much of President Joe Biden’s agenda would be effectively dead for the final two years of his term. Bills need to be approved by both the House and Senate to make it to Biden’s desk.


Last Saturday, the AP determined that Democrats had maintained control of the Senate after calling the Nevada Senate race for incumbent Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto over Republican challenger Adam Laxalt. The Georgia race between Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger Herschel Walker is headed to a runoff next month, meaning that Democrats could pick up a 51st seat.

If Republicans win in Georgia, the chamber will remain split at 50-50, as it is currently, with Vice President Kamala Harris — who sides with Democrats — being a tiebreaking vote.

Last Friday, AP declared that Democratic incumbent Mark Kelly had defeated Republican challenger Blake Masters in Arizona, bringing the chamber’s partisan divide to an even 49-49.


Meg Kinnard can be reached at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP


Check out https://apnews.com/hub/explaining-the-elections to learn more about the issues and factors at play in the 2022 midterm elections.

Follow AP’s coverage of the elections at: https://apnews.com/hub/2022-midterm-elections

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Lead water pipes pulled from underneath the street are seen in Newark, N.J., Oct. 21, 2021. (AP Pho...

Associated Press

Biden to require cities to replace harmful lead pipes within 10 years

The Biden administration has previously said it wants all of the nation's roughly 9 million lead pipes to be removed, and rapidly.

4 days ago

Facebook's Meta logo sign is seen at the company headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., on, Oct. 28, 2...

Associated Press

Meta shuts down thousands of fake Facebook accounts that were primed to polarize voters ahead of 2024

Meta said it removed 4789 Facebook accounts in China that targeted the United States before next year’s election.

4 days ago

A demonstrator in Tel Aviv holds a sign calling for a cease-fire in the Hamas-Israel war on Nov. 21...

Associated Press

Hamas releases a third group of hostages as part of truce, and says it will seek to extend the deal

The fragile cease-fire between Israel and Hamas was back on track Sunday as the first American was released under a four-day truce.

8 days ago

Men look over the site of a deadly explosion at Al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza City, Wednesday, Oct. 18, ...

Associated Press

New AP analysis of last month’s deadly Gaza hospital explosion rules out widely cited video

The Associated Press is publishing an updated visual analysis of the deadly Oct. 17 explosion at Gaza's Al-Ahli Hospital.

12 days ago

Peggy Simpson holds a photograph of law enforcement carrying Lee Harvey Oswald's gun through a hall...

Associated Press

JFK assassination remembered 60 years later by surviving witnesses to history, including AP reporter

Peggy Simpson is among the last surviving witnesses who are sharing their stories as the nation marks the 60th anniversary.

12 days ago

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, chairs the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Sunday, ...

Associated Press

Israeli Cabinet approves cease-fire with Hamas; deal includes release of 50 hostages

Israel’s Cabinet on Wednesday approved a cease-fire deal with the Hamas militant group that would bring a temporary halt to a devastating war.

13 days ago

Sponsored Articles


Desert Institute for Spine Care

Desert Institute for Spine Care (DISC) wants to help Valley residents address back, neck issues through awake spine surgery

As the weather begins to change, those with back issues can no longer rely on the dry heat to aid their backs. That's where DISC comes in.



Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to this fall

Fall brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Cardinals and Coyotes.



Importance of AC maintenance after Arizona’s excruciating heat wave

An air conditioning unit in Phoenix is vital to living a comfortable life inside, away from triple-digit heat.

Why AP has called control of the US House for Republicans