Democrats take back the House

Democrats take back the House

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House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi at her weekly press conference explaining why Conor Lamb's victory is not a threat to her leadership of the Democratic House even as Lamb pledged not to support Pelosi. (©2018 Douglas Christian)
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi at her weekly press conference explaining why Conor Lamb's victory is not a threat to her leadership of the Democratic House even as Lamb pledged not to support Pelosi. (©2018 Douglas Christian)

WASHINGTON — Democrats captured the U.S. House Tuesday night, gaining more seats than they needed, according to CNN projections.

Leading the way early in the night was Pennsylvania, where Democrats were projected to have a net gain at least three seats. They also looked to have a net gain of two seats in Florida.

Democrats also found some success in seats in districts that President Donald Trump did not carry in 2016. For example, the first Democratic pickup of the evening was in the Virginian suburbs of Washington, D.C., where state senator Jennifer Wexton, a Democrat, thumbed two-term Republican Barbara Comstock.

At 11:15 p.m. EST, CNN projected that Democrats would win enough seats to take control of the House, based on expectations of wins in western states.

Other GOP incumbents who were losing reelection bids in districts carried by Hillary Clinton included Florida Rep. Carlos Curbelo, Illinois Rep. Peter Roskam, Minnesota Rep. Erik Paulsen, Kansas Rep. Kevin Yoder and Colorado Rep. Mike Coffman.

Curbelo was one of two Florida seats gained by Democrats. The other was won by Donna Shalala, a former Clinton administration official, taking the seat left open by the retirement of Republican Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, according to news reports.

Also in Virginia, Democrat Elaine Luria was leading Republican Rep. Scott Taylor, according to CNN.

Two races in the Old Dominion remained unclear at 11 a.m. EST.: Rep. Scott Taylor (R) was tied with Democrat Elaine Luria, while Rep. Dave Brat (R) was tied with former CIA operative Abigail Spanberger (D). Also in Virginian Republican Denver Riggleman was projected to defeat Democrat Leslie Cockburn in another race where Democrats had hoped to make gains, according to news reports.

Republicans seemed to hold strong in suburban seats and rural seats the Democrats thought may be in play.

In one of the highest profile races, GOP Rep. Andy Barr in Kentucky held back one of the Democrats’ best-known candidates, Amy McGrath. the former fighter pilot.

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