House Democrats appear to have underperformed Biden again. This is the third time in a row that Democrats got a lower % of the two-party vote than their presidential candidate, though the difference was smaller than 2012 or 2016.

Did the statewide Democratic House popular vote wins add up to 270 or more electoral votes?

A helpful resource that might help: https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/there-wasnt-that-much-split-ticket-voting-in-2020/

By the way, we can treat ME and NE as statewide especially considering ME-2 and NE-2 kept their House members which aligned with the statewide presidential vote.

  • They did in 2018, and received 296 electoral votes. Commented Dec 5, 2020 at 17:54
  • 1
    I believe another answer showed that more GOP reps run unopposed than Dems, which would skew this vote. Commented Dec 7, 2020 at 17:40
  • Can you define exactly what you mean by house Democrats underperforming Biden? Did they get a smaller proportion of the popular vote overall? Did Biden "win" more of the Congressional districts? Commented Dec 9, 2020 at 18:09
  • The last sentence of your linked article states "Democrats performed about the same in all three races, but the structures through which those results were filtered — the Electoral College, the Senate seats that happened to be up and a House map biased toward Republicans — produced different results." Commented Dec 9, 2020 at 19:43
  • Just to give some numbers: House democrats received 50.8% of the popular vote vs 51.2% for Biden. Not a big difference. Similarly, when counting Bidens votes per district, it looks like he "won 223 districts". Again very similar to the actual 222 congressional seats won by the democrats. Commented Dec 9, 2020 at 19:55

1 Answer 1


No, in terms of state-aggregated vote counts, House Democrats lost the 'electoral college' by 261 electoral votes to the Republican's 274. This increases to 264 votes if we include DC's three electoral votes by including the votes for DC's non-voting House delegate.

As you mention, there is no need to split out Maine & Nebraska's electoral votes which are apportioned on a per-district basis, as both states elected all of their representatives from the same party - Maine elected two Democrats, while Nebraska elected three Republicans.

The states in which a different party to the one which won the presidential election obtained more votes in the House elections are Arizona D->R (11), Georgia D->R (16), North Carolina R->D (15), Pennsylvania D->R (20), and Wisconsin D->R (10).

enter image description here

The code used in this answer can be found on GitHub.

  • 1
    This is even more interesting since incumbency appears to be a favorable factor in winning a House race pewresearch.org/politics/2020/10/21/… Commented Dec 7, 2020 at 12:06
  • Could you explain which numbers you used and what exactly the calculations were you performed with those numbers to call the individual states? I want to make sure I understand what exactly is plotted here. Commented Dec 9, 2020 at 19:47
  • @user2705196 I've used the current totals for the House races as provided by the NYT's feed. For each state, I've summed the votes each party received over each of the state's congressional districts. I then take the party which received the most votes overall in each state, and assign them the state's electoral votes. The basic question being answered is: "If everyone voted for President the same way that they voted in the House elections, who would have won?". If you check out the code linked at the bottom of the post you can see my working: hopefully it should be fairly readable.
    – CDJB
    Commented Dec 9, 2020 at 19:53
  • Great, thanks a lot! The code is very readable indeed. But I wanted to double check to make sure I understood it correctly (plus it will be helpful for others who don't want to look into the code). Commented Dec 9, 2020 at 19:56

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .