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Unsettled California races could swing control of US home

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The outcome of a tightly-matched California race streak that could play into House control remained shaky on Friday as millions of ballots went uncounted in the most populous state. from the country.

More than a dozen races in the state remained in play, though only a handful were deemed close enough to go either way. It takes 218 seats to control the House. Republicans had long blocked 211, with Democrats calling for 200.

It could take days or even weeks to determine who will receive the hammer next year.

If Democrats fail to protect their slim majority, Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield would be in line to replace Speaker Nancy Pelosi from San Francisco.

In California, the main battlegrounds are Orange County – a suburban swath southeast of Los Angeles that was once a GOP stronghold but has become increasingly diverse and Democratic. – and the Central Valley, an inland expanse sometimes called the nation’s salad bowl for its agricultural production.

One of the tightest races pitted Democratic Rep. Katie Porter, a star of the party’s progressive wing, against Republican Scott Baugh, a former lawmaker, in an Orange County district roughly evenly divided among Democrats. and Republicans.

Returns showed Porter widening his narrow lead to 4,555 votes, or 51.2% to 48.8% for Baugh. Previously, Porter’s advantage was around 3,000 votes.

In another close fight in a Democratic-leaning district north of Los Angeles, Republican U.S. Representative Mike Garcia saw his comfortable advantage over Democratic challenger Christy Smith drop slightly. Its margin remained at 12 points, 56% to 44%.

Democrats have long dominated the California congressional delegation, which drops to 52 seats next year, from 53 seats, as its population growth has stalled, though it remains the largest delegation in Congress.

In the current term, Republicans hold just 11 of 53 seats in the heavily Democratic state.

With an incomplete count, Republicans have won six races so far and were leading in six others.

Democrats won 30 seats and were ahead in 10 other contests. In two of those races, only Democrats were on the ballot, meaning that the party will hold control of those seats.

But many uncertainties remained. As of Thursday, nearly 5 million ballots remained uncounted statewide.

East of Los Angeles, Republican Rep. Ken Calvert regained the lead after trailing Democrat Will Rollins. With about half the votes counted, Calvert held a 1 point advantage. Calvert, first elected in 1992, is the longest-serving Republican in California’s congressional delegation.

In the Central Valley’s 22nd District, where about half of the votes were counted, an update showed Democrat Rudy Salas taking the lead from Republican Rep. David Valadao, who voted to impeach the then-president. , Donald Trump. The two are split by 5 points, after Valadao were more than 8 points clear.

In a competitive neighborhood rooted in San Diego County, Democratic Rep. Mike Levin saw his advantage grow slightly over Republican businessman Brian Maryott. Levin holds a 4-point margin, with about two-thirds of the votes counted.

President Joe Biden was in the district in the final days of the campaign in hopes of boosting Levin’s chances.

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Follow AP coverage of the 2022 midterm elections at https://apnews.com/hub/2022-midterm-elections. And check out https://apnews.com/hub/explaining-the-elections to find out more about the issues and factors at play in the medium term.