Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District is in the midst of a recount that, according to the Washington Examiner, could lead to the race being decided by less than 10 votes.
The Examiner reported Wednesday that just 35 votes now separate Iowa state Sen. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R) and Democrat challenger Rita Hart in their battle for a seat in the U.S. House, with Miller-Meeks leading, as the count continues.
A tight race in Iowa
The Iowa seat had been held by Democrat Dave Loebsack for 14 years, but as of now, prospects look good for the GOP: according to the Examiner, the state overall voted strongly for Republicans this year, re-electing Sen. Joni Ernst and putting President Donald Trump ahead of Joe Biden by a full eight points.
The original vote count had Miller-Meeks up only 47 votes out of 395,000 cast, and Hart requested a recount hoping to flip the count the other way, the Examiner reported.
According to state election law, if the count ends up as a tie, the two names are put into a hat, and whichever name is picked is the winner.
Changing House demographics
Both sides desperately want to win the seat to boost their party’s standing in the House. Democrats are expected to keep the majority in the lower chamber, but will likely have the slimmest majority since World War II, according to The New York Times, and could have as few as 222 caucus members, just four seats over the majority of 218, the Examiner notes.
Meanwhile, Republicans succeeded in bringing to power a large number of GOP women, including the first Korean American woman to be elected to the House, Newsweek reports.
According to Newsweek, of the 28 Republican women elected to the House, 17 will be serving in the lower chamber for the first time.
Republicans overcome long odds
In most cases, Republicans made their congressional gains with less campaign money than their Democrat counterparts and with polls skewed against them.
Political pundits predicted Republicans would lose seats — as many as 20 — rather than gain them this year. Mysteriously, it seems that many people voted for down-ballot Republicans, but not for the guy at the top of the ticket.
Of course, that’s if you don’t believe there was fraud in the presidential race that would have accounted for the discrepancy, as President Trump has maintained in the weeks following the election.
Either way, Republicans should have a much easier time keeping Democrat excesses in check in the House this term — and could very well gain the majority themselves in 2022.