Why AP hasn't called control of Congress yet

With the U.S Capitol in the background, people walk down steps on Election Day in Washington, Nov. 8, 2022. (Mariam Zuhaib/AP)
With the U.S Capitol in the background, people walk down steps on Election Day in Washington, Nov. 8, 2022. (Mariam Zuhaib/AP)

A look at where control of Congress stands in the 2022 midterm elections.

Why hasn't the AP called control of Congress yet?

In short, because neither party has yet reached the 218 seats necessary to win in the House or the 50 (for Democrats) or 51 (for Republicans) required in the Senate. When that will happen isn't clear.

If Democrats retain their 50 seats, they keep control because of Vice President Kamala Harris’ tie-breaking vote.

The AP does not make projections and will only declare a winner when it’s determined there is no scenario that would allow the trailing candidates to close the gap. In some contested races where a party or candidate has a history of consistent and convincing wins The AP can use results from AP VoteCast to confirm a candidate's victory, even as soon as polls close. VoteCast is a survey of American voters aimed at determining why they voted how they did.

In House races, The AP has thus far declared Republicans winners in 199 seats compared with 172 for the Democrats early Wednesday. Other races hadn't been called yet. In the Senate, where about a third of the 100 seats were up for election, the count of AP race calls meant the chamber stood at 48-48.

Counting continues

Key races, like contests for governor and U.S. Senate in Arizona and Nevada, remained uncalled on Wednesday as officials there continue to tally votes, including mail-in ballots.

In other close races, like the Georgia Senate contest between incumbent Democrat Raphael Warnock and Republican Herschel Walker, runoff contests are either pending or probable.

In Alaska, where incumbent Democrat Mary Peltola won a special election this summer to fill an open seat held for decades by Republicans, a second round of vote tabulating could take place.

That's because Alaska has ranked-choice voting in which voters rank candidates. If no one gets 50% plus one, then the person with the fewest votes gets eliminated and voters' choices count toward their second pick. The rounds continue until two candidates are left and the one with the most votes wins.

Peltola was leading Republicans Sarah Palin and Nick Begich in a race too early to call.


In 2020, former President Donald Trump challenged outcomes in close races across the country. Those challenges failed in courts, though Trump continued to insist falsely that the race was stolen.

So far, nothing like those kinds of objections has materialized.



More from WBUR

Listen Live