Today’s installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
* It’s not official just yet, but as things stand, Rep. David Valadao (R) has fallen behind in California’s 21st congressional district, and he won’t catch up to T.J. Cox (D). If this holds, it’ll be the 40th and final House Democratic pickup of this election cycle.
* On a related note, one of the last uncalled congressional races was in New York’s 22nd, where Anthony Brindisi (D) has defeated far-right freshman Rep. Claudia Tenney (R).
* Now that he’s lost, Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R-Maine) is asking a federal court to declare his state’s election system unconstitutional. Barring that, the Maine Republican wants a judge to order a new election. Neither outcome appears likely.
* Something weird is going on with the election results in North Carolina’s 9th congressional district, where Mark Harris (R) appears to have defeated Dan McCready (D) by about 900 votes. However, the state board of elections unanimously agreed this week not to certify the results, and as the Charlotte Observer reported, one board member cited what he called “unfortunate activities” in the eastern part of the district.
* The Republican National Committee yesterday boasted about the extraordinary investments and efforts that went into Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith’s (R) special-election victory in Mississippi this week. I’m not sure why the RNC is bragging: Mississippi is a deep-red state and this Senate race was the closest the state has seen in 30 years.
* House Democrats met privately yesterday to choose their leadership for the new Congress. In the contested contests, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) was elected Democratic Caucus chair, while Rep. Katherine Clark (D-Mass.) was chosen as Democratic Caucus vice chair.
* And for those keeping track, as of this morning, the Democratic lead in the U.S. House popular vote is up to 8.4%, and it may yet inch higher. For comparison purposes, note that in 2010 – which was widely seen as a GOP “wave” cycle – Republicans won the U.S. House popular vote by 6.6%. In 1994, which was seen as a Republican “revolution,” the GOP won the U.S. House popular vote by 7.1%.