Senate and House election results 2020

By Meg Wagner, Melissa Macaya, Veronica Rocha, Melissa Mahtani, Jessica Estepa and Amanda Wills, CNN

Updated 1:17 PM ET, Thu November 5, 2020
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1:00 p.m. ET, November 4, 2020

The Squad got bigger on Tuesday night. And their leverage is growing.

From CNN's Gregory Krieg

“The Squad” always expected to expand their ranks on Tuesday. What few Democrats predicted, though, was that their House caucus would actually lose seats overall, as appears to be the case with a few swing district incumbents trailing their Republican challengers.

House progressives are in a period of flux. The arrival of Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley gave the left a stronger voice than it’s had in decades, but their numbers were modest, even including a few reliable allies. When the rubber hit the road, Speaker Nancy Pelosi could do without their votes – a fact she rarely shied from discussing in public.

But on Tuesday, that dynamic might’ve begun to change.

New York’s Jamaal Bowman and Mondaire Jones, Missouri’s Cori Bush, and Marie Newman in Illinois all look to have stamped their tickets to Capitol Hill, replacing either incumbent or retiring moderate and conservative Democrats. Meanwhile, a handful of moderate Democrats are on pace to either be unseated by Republican challengers or fell short in their own.

The likely result: a bigger “squad” in a slightly smaller Democratic caucus. And with it, more leverage as the next Congress begins.

“It’s been just over a year since Nancy Pelosi dismissed the squad as four people without any following. Not only did they almost double in size, but they and their allies now have a much greater bloc of the Dem Caucus,” said progressive strategist Rebecca Katz. ”It shouldn’t have taken disastrous election results for Pelosi to understand her plan was flawed, but here we are. Still pretty clear she doesn’t get it.”

The Congressional Progressive Caucus had already taken steps to sharpen its posture, and potentially apply some new litmus tests for membership, before the election. But whether the caucus can marshal its members and their votes – or at least apply credible pressure to leadership – when trying to push or scuttle a piece of legislation, remains to be seen.

For now, the idea of a group defection – in the way the right-wing Freedom Caucus broke off from the conservative Republican Study Committee – doesn’t appear to be in the cards. But that can change. The Democratic majority, likely diminished but surely intact, will have difficult decisions to make as soon as they're sworn-in -- especially if Republicans keep hold of the Senate and there are negotiations on what will be a deeply unsatisfying compromise pandemic relief package.

Justice Democrats communications director Waleed Shahid didn’t shy away from the stakes.

“A progressive voting bloc and moving as a cohesive caucus is going to be more important than ever before,” he said.

12:02 p.m. ET, November 4, 2020

Top GOP House leaders all expected to remain in their posts 

From CNN's Manu Raju

Getty Images
Getty Images

After a surprisingly good night for House Republicans, who appear poised to gain seats but fall short of the majority, GOP aides expect the top three GOP leaders to retain their posts.

Aides said House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Minority Whip Steve Scalise and Conference Chair Liz Cheney have been making calls to lock down support to get re-elected for their current spots. 

Additionally, Rep. Tom Emmer, who chairs the National Republican Congressional Committee, has been making calls to lock down support to keep that job.

You can view real time results of all the House races here.

11:52 a.m. ET, November 4, 2020

She just became the first Black woman to represent Missouri in Congress. Here's what she wants you to know.

From CNN's Harmeet Kaur

Congresswoman-elect Cori Bush speaks during her election-night watch party on November 3 at campaign headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri.
Congresswoman-elect Cori Bush speaks during her election-night watch party on November 3 at campaign headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri. Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images

Cori Bush, a progressive activist and veteran of the racial justice protest movement, won a House seat in Missouri, becoming the first Black woman to represent the state in Congress, according to CNN projections.

Bush defeated newcomer Republican Anthony Rogers by a 79% to 19% margin in the race to represent Missouri's 1st congressional district, which covers St. Louis and parts of St. Louis County. She was expected to win the general election after her upset in the Democratic primary over incumbent Rep. William Lacy Clay – a Black lawmaker who, along with his father former Rep. William Clay Sr., had represented the district for 50 years.

"This is definitely a night to remember," Bush said in a speech on Tuesday.

Bush, a nurse and a pastor, became an organizer and protest leader after the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson in 2014. She ran on a progressive platform, championing policies including Medicare-For-All and the Green New Deal.

"As the first Black woman and also the first nurse and single mother to have the honor to represent Missouri in the United States Congress, let me say this: To the Black women, the Black girls, the nurses, the essential workers, the single mothers, this is our moment," she said.

Her win is a victory for the progressive left, coming as Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley – known as the Squad – won reelection. She also joins fellow progressive Jamaal Bowman in New York, who won his House race, according to CNN projections.

Road to the Capitol: This was Bush's third run for Congress. She ran for US Senate and lost in 2016, and unsuccessfully challenged Clay for his House seat in 2018. 

This time, she raised more money and benefited from heightened visibility, securing the backing of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, the youth-led Sunrise Movement and other leftist and progressive leaders.

The primary race also took place during a national uprising against racial injustice after the killing of George Floyd and the coronavirus pandemic, which has disproportionately affected people of color.

"To all the counted outs, the forgotten abouts, the marginalized, and the pushed asides. This is our moment," Bush wrote on Twitter. "We came together to end a 52-year family dynasty. That's how we build the political revolution."

12:38 p.m. ET, November 4, 2020

NYC mayor congratulates New Jersey for legalizing marijuana

From CNN's Kristina Sgueglia

NYC Media
NYC Media

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio congratulated New Jersey for legalizing marijuana, something he says he believes in and “has to be done the right way” in New York.

“We see it in New Jersey, now it’s time for New York to do it, legalize marijuana the right way,” de Blasio said in a press conference Wednesday.
“Hopefully that will soon be coming in this state as well,” he added.

Voters in New Jersey and Arizona approved ballot measures to legalize recreational marijuana on Tuesday, along with South Dakota, that approved marijuana for both recreational and medical use, according to CNN projections.

South Dakota will be the first state ever to approve medical and recreational marijuana measures at the same time.

Results have not yet been determined for Montana's ballot questions on recreational marijuana and Mississippi's medical marijuana measure.

The initiatives would only be the first step in the process, said John Hudak, deputy director at the Brookings Institution, where he specializes in state and federal marijuana policy.

After voters approve the measures, he said, the state legislatures normally would need to set up regulatory structures within each state. Currently, 11 states have legalized full, adult marijuana use.

You can read more detail on each state's marijuana ballot here.

9:50 a.m. ET, November 4, 2020

Republicans had a better night than expected in the House, but it's still early

Republicans had a better night than expected holding on to some of their House seats. At least two incumbent Democrats were ousted by GOP challengers, and more could come as many races are yet to be called.

On the Democratic side, all four congresswomen of "the Squad" — Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts — won reelection. Since taking office in January 2019, the lawmakers, all women of color, have electrified the progressive base thanks to their social media savvy but have also attracted controversy, most notably over their criticism of the US relationship with Israel.

Based on the races called so far, here's what the balance of power look like in the House right now:

Democrats have 181 seats. Republicans have 171 seats.

You can view real time results of all the House races here.

9:28 a.m. ET, November 4, 2020

Democrats' path to a Senate majority is narrowing

It's the morning after Election Day, and CNN has not yet projected who will win in 7 of the 35 2020 Senate races. 

Republicans have dramatically narrowed the path for Democrats to take back the majority, preventing upsets in red states such as South Carolina, Iowa and Montana. But with much of the vote still being counted, Democrats could still win four of these remaining races — and the White House — to take the Senate majority.

Here's a look at the states where Senate seats are still up for grabs:

  • Alaska: GOP Sen. Dan Sullivan faces Democrat Al Gross.
  • Arizona: GOP Sen. Martha McSally is up against Democrat Mark Kelly.
  • Georgia: GOP Sen. David Perdue faces Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff.
  • Georgia special election: This race will go into a runoff between Republican incumbent Sen. Kelly Loeffler and Democrat Raphael Warnock. The special election had featured a divisive, intra-party matchup between Loeffler and GOP Rep. Doug Collins.
  • Maine: GOP Sen. Susan Collins faces a challenge from Democrat Sara Gideon.
  • Michigan: Democratic Sen. Gary Peters faces Republican challenger John James.
  • North Carolina: GOP Sen. Thom Tillis is running against Democrat Cal Cunningham.

Here's a look at where the balance of power currently sits:

Watch breakdown of Senate races:

8:16 a.m. ET, November 4, 2020

This 25-year-old will be youngest member of Congress in modern history, CNN projects

From CNN's Lauren Dezenski

Madison Cawthorn answers questions at a forum in Asheville, North Carolina, on September 4.
Madison Cawthorn answers questions at a forum in Asheville, North Carolina, on September 4. Angeli Wright/USA Today Network/Imagn/Sipa

At 25 years old, Madison Cawthorn will become the youngest member of Congress in modern history, according to US House records.

CNN projects the Republican will beat Democrat Moe Davis for North Carolina's 11th Congressional District, once held by White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.

Cawthorn, a political newcomer and staunch conservative, pulled off a surprise primary victory over a candidate backed by President Trump.

New York Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez was previously the youngest elected member in modern history at 29 years, 2 months and 22 days in 2018.

Cawthorn cited Ocasio-Cortez in his decision to run for office. He wrote on his website that he ran for office because "our faith, our freedoms and our values are under assault from coastal elites and leftists like (House Speaker) Nancy Pelosi and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez."

Who is Cawthorn? Cawthorn, who was partially paralyzed in a 2014 car accident, is the owner of a real estate investment company and a motivational speaker.

He is fiscally conservative, anti-abortion, pro-gun and an immigration hardliner. Cawthorn also supports term limits for members of Congress. He says he is an eighth generation resident of the 11th Congressional District, and that he was homeschooled in Hendersonville.

Some background: The youngest House member ever elected was William Charles Cole Claiborne of Tennessee, elected in 1797 at age 22. He was seated despite not meeting the constitutional age requirement of 25 for the House, according to US House records.

Meet the new youngest member of Congress:

6:40 a.m. ET, November 4, 2020

It's almost 6:30 a.m. ET. Here's what you need to know about where the presidential race stands.

Getty Images
Getty Images

The election is far from over with millions of votes outstanding in key states like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan — ballots that were cast before Election Day that have yet to be counted. 

Race to 270:

Based on CNN's current projections, Joe Biden has 224 electoral votes while President Trump has 213 electoral votes.

Reminder: Each candidate needs 270 electoral votes to win the presidency.

These are the 9 states that have not been called yet:

These are the nine states that have not yet been called, whose electoral votes are still up for grabs:

  1. Alaska
  2. Arizona
  3. Georgia
  4. Michigan
  5. Maine
  6. Nevada
  7. North Carolina
  8. Pennsylvania
  9. Wisconsin

US stock futures jittery on fears of a contested election:

US stock futures swung wildly early Wednesday as the prospects of a quick, decisive result to the election faded and President Trump made baseless claims about the vote, leaving investors on edge.

Uncertainty is the enemy of markets. Investors had hoped that early results would point to a clear winner sooner rather than later, avoiding the nightmare scenario of a contested election.

You can follow updates on the presidential race here.

6:13 a.m. ET, November 4, 2020

Catch up: Here are some of the issues states voted on

It's the morning after Election Day and if you're just reading in, here's a look at some of the issues voters have been deciding on across America:

Arizona, New Jersey, South Dakota vote to legalize recreational marijuana

Voters have approved ballot measures to legalize recreational marijuana in Arizona and New Jersey, and both recreational and medical use in in South Dakota, CNN projects.

South Dakota will be the first state ever to approve medical and recreational marijuana measures at the same time.

Results have not yet been determined for Montana's ballot questions on recreational marijuana and Mississippi's medical marijuana measure.

The initiatives would only be the first step in the process, said John Hudak, deputy director at the Brookings Institution, where he specializes in state and federal marijuana policy.

After voters approve the measures, he said, the state legislatures normally would need to set up regulatory structures within each state. Currently, 11 states have legalized full, adult marijuana use.

You can read more detail on each state's marijuana ballot here.

Louisiana voters approve amendment limiting abortion protections

Louisiana voters approved Proposed Amendment No. 1 by 62% to 38%, according to CNN projections. Should Roe be overturned, the amendment would prevent the state courts from declaring abortion restrictions unconstitutional at the state level.

The state isn't the first to amend its constitution this way — Alabama and West Virginia did so in 2018, as did Tennessee in 2014.

The Louisiana ballot measure marked another attempt by the state to restrict abortion. The US Supreme Court struck down in June a Louisiana restriction barring doctors from performing the procedure unless they had admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, and a decision from a federal appellate court prevented the state's "heartbeat" abortion ban, passed last year, from going into effect.

Colorado voters reject a ban on abortion beginning at 22 weeks of pregnancy

In Colorado, voters rejected Proposition 115 by a 59% to 41% vote, according to CNN projections. It would have banned abortion beginning at 22 weeks of pregnancy. The measure included exceptions to save the life of the pregnant woman but not for instances of rape or incest. Doctors who continue to perform abortions at 22 weeks would have faced a fine up to $5,000.

The results maintain Colorado as one of seven states that do not bar some abortions past a specific point in pregnancy, according to data from the abortion-rights research group the Guttmacher Institute. Data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment's office shows that women from more than 30 states have traveled to Colorado to access abortions.