Democrats gained at least 40 House seats in races across the country, but the wave’s course veered from two key states: Ohio and North Carolina.
Looking at top-of-the-ballot results, it’s no surprise that Democrats failed to chip into Ohio’s House delegation. Democratic performance statewide indicated a fundamental problem for the party in the Buckeye State, with Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown’s closer-than-expected victory against an underwhelming challenger and a 36-year politician winning the governorship for Republicans.
Like in Ohio, North Carolina also included three Democratic takeover targets. The outcome of the 9th District race, originally called for Republican Mark Harris, is now in question due to allegations of election fraud. But even if Democrats prevail in a special election, Democrats would end up with just four of the state’s 13 seats, a concerning indicator for party performance ahead of the 2020 elections.
But the state hosted a “blue moon” election this year, meaning no statewide office was on the ballot, making it difficult to compare this year to previous cycles. The sum of raw votes for House races statewide provides some clarity, but that number is complicated by a second factor: the state courts have ruled the map under which the 2018 U.S. House election took place unconstitutional. Plus, one of the 13 congressional district races went unchallenged, likely curtailing the overall number of Democratic votes. And in another snag, the reports…