Democrats projected to retain control of the House of Representatives

Key Points
  • Democrats will keep control of the House of Representatives, NBC News projected.
  • Control of the chamber will help the party set the U.S. policy agenda if it can gain control of the Senate and White House, or offer a buffer against the GOP if it cannot.
  • Many key House races were still undecided Tuesday night.
Democrats projected to maintain majority in the House of Representatives, reports NBC News
Democrats projected to maintain majority in the House of Representatives, reports NBC News

Democrats will keep their House majority, NBC News projected Tuesday, as the major U.S. parties jockeyed for control of the White House and Senate in the 2020 election.

Democrats entered Election Day heavily favored to keep control of the chamber. Their hopes of expanding their advantage appeared to dim on election night, as some Democratic incumbents will lose and the party will fall short in picking up some of its top GOP-held targets, according to NBC News projections.

As of early Wednesday morning, NBC News estimated Democrats would hold 227 seats and Republicans would have 208 in the next Congress. The projection could change.

Democrats have a 232-197 majority in the current Congress. One representative is a Libertarian, while the House has five vacancies.

U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) talks to reporters about Election Day results in races for the House of Representatives, at Democratic National Committee headquarters on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., U.S., November 3, 2020.
J. Scott Applewhite | Reuters

Competitive House races across the country, led by multiple contests in Texas and New York, were expected to determine whether Republicans could cut into Democrats' edge. Democrats flipped House control in the 2018 midterms by gaining a net 40 seats.

Democratic representatives including Kendra Horn of Oklahoma and Collin Peterson of Minnesota are projected to lose their seats, according to NBC. Meanwhile, Republicans are expected to win in a range of districts Democrats targeted in Texas, where the party aimed to gain ground this year.

Keeping House control will ensure Democrats can push policy priorities through if Joe Biden wins the White House and the party flips Senate control. If Democrats fail to win the White House or Senate, the House majority provides a buffer for them against Republican goals.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is expected to run to extend her second stint as leader of the House. She previously had agreed to limit her leadership of the House to four years in order to win support after the party gained control in the 2018 election.

How Congress changed after the 2020 election
How the 2020 election will change Congress