In its final pre-election forecast, The Cook Political Report predicted that Democrats were on track to strengthen their majority in the House of Representatives.
However, that isn’t how things turned out, in fact quite the opposite: Rather than gaining, Democrats actually ended up losing seats across the country. Now, with Rep. Ben McAdams (D-UT) conceding the race to Republican candidate Burgess Owens in Utah, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) small majority has narrowed even further.
Republicans pick up seats
Almost two weeks after Election Day, Desert News reported that Owens has prevailed in Utah’s 4th congressional district over McAdams, the Democratic incumbent.
“I received a call from @BenMcAdams he expressed appreciation for the opportunity to serve #UT04 and his commitment to a smooth transition,” Owens announced in a tweet Monday.
“My sincere thanks to him for both,” Owens continued. “Thank you my fellow Utahns, I am committed to have an open ear to serve you. Thank you for the opportunity.”
Deseret News also quoted an official statement from the winning candidate. “It was a hard fought race and I am grateful for Ben’s kind words, his service and desire for a smooth transition,” the Republican said of his opponent’s concession. “I am eager and excited to work on behalf of every constituent in the district and continue to serve our community. It is time to get to work.”
Utah GOP Chairman Derek Brown celebrated Owens’ razor-thin victory, telling Desert News that the former NFL player “ran a principle-centered race, focused on the real issues that matter to Utahns, and won after truly historic levels of participation.”
Pelosi loses flexibility
Owens is the second African-American congressional representative to be elected in Utah, the first being former Rep. Mia Love (R).
There are still several uncalled House races, many of which a Republican candidate maintains a lead, FiveThirtyEight reported.
If those races result in more wins for Republicans, Pelosi will have even less flexibility, and the losses are likely to exacerbate ideological tensions within her caucus.
In a leaked post-election conference call, one Democrat could be heard warning that the party would “get f***ing torn apart” unless it back off from its far-left positions, Breitbart reported.
Besides losing House seats, Pelosi has her own position as speaker to worry about. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told Fox News that if 10 of the Democrats who opposed her speakership two years ago oppose her again, Pelosi won’t maintain the speakership. “If those 10 vote against her again, she will not be speaker of the House, because she won’t have 218 because of the gains of the Republicans,” he said.