In the aftermath of most Congressional elections, it is often noted that Democrats did better in the House popular vote than they did in terms of actual seats won, indicating a role for the incumbency effect and gerrymandering redounding your Republicans’ benefit. But in the 2022 Congressional election, Republicans have won the House popular vote by a significant margin, while they seem poised to win a House majority by a razor-thin margin, or potentially even to lose in the House.

But I have seen a lot of people note that this is a misleading statistic this time around, because there was a larger-than-usual number of uncontested Republican districts this time around, inflating House popular vote numbers and overstating public support for Republicans. So my question is, what does the House Popular Vote look like if you exclude uncontested districts?

I know votes aren’t done being counted, but I just want to know how the numbers stand now.

  • Per the "Wonky Aside" in the middle of this pre-election article, there were 23 districts where the Republican ran unopposed. FiveThirtyEight doesn't seem to have put out anything analyzing those numbers post-election. They might not do so until the official, certified vote totals start rolling out.
    – Bobson
    Commented Nov 14, 2022 at 8:02
  • The concern I have with this is that any number will be biased to some degree. If you include uncontested races, then you include races where nobody was able to vote for "the Democrat" (or "the Republican" as the case may be), but if you exclude those races, then you exclude a whole bunch of safe districts and bias the count as a whole away from those districts. You also have to decide what you want to do with various districts in CA where two Democrats ran against each other (which results from CA's nonpartisan primaries) - are those "contested?"
    – Kevin
    Commented Nov 14, 2022 at 8:46
  • 1
    Re Republicans have won the House popular vote by a significant margin -- citation needed. Commented Nov 14, 2022 at 11:00

1 Answer 1


It depends on what you mean by uncontested races - do we just count districts with only one candidate, or those with only candidates from one major party? In some states, truly uncontested races don't change the total popular vote, as the sole candidate wins the seat without voters actually casting votes - in these midterm elections the uncontested districts in Florida and Louisiana didn't record any votes for the sole candidate.

In total, sixteen seats were completely uncontested; Arizona's 8th & 9th, Florida's 5th, Illinois' 7th, Louisiana's 4th, Massachusetts' 4th, New York's 13th, Pennsylvania's 13th & 14th, South Carolina's 3rd & 4th, Texas' 6th, 11th, 25th & 31st, and Wisconsin's 6th. The seats in Illinois, Massachusetts and New York were won by Democrats, with the rest being won by Republicans. The Cook Political Report currently puts this at 47,244,474 votes for the Democrats, and 52,268,015 votes for the Republicans, for a two-party percentage of 47.48% vs 52.52%. With the votes cast in these completely uncontested districts removed (2,154,009 for Republicans, and 405,472 for Democrats), we get new totals of 46,839,002 votes for the Democrats and 50,114,006 for the Republicans - or a two-party percentage of 48.31% to 51.69%.

Nineteen districts, however, either had only one major party contesting the election or had two candidates from the same party contesting a run-off after a jungle primary. Ten of these were won by Republicans, while nine were won by Democrats. The full results are below, and removing these votes from the popular vote total gives an updated total of 45,693,092 votes for Democrats and 48,245,180 total votes for Republicans; or a two-party percentage of 48.64% vs 51.36%. Districts marked with an asterisk in the table below were completely uncontested.

As you mention, these results are not final as counting is still ongoing in some districts. California in particular has quite a low reporting percentage at the moment, so the number of votes for Democrats in uncontested districts is likely to increase.

District Republican Candidate(s) Democrat Candidate(s)
AL-01                                    139,854  -
AL-06                                    154,058  -
AZ-08*                                    185,214  -
AZ-09*                                    185,322  -
CA-10  -                                 147,821
CA-15  -                                 117,917
CA-16  -                                 171,697
CA-29  -                                    76,650
CA-30  -                                 138,008
CA-34  -                                    75,565
CA-37  -                                    83,827
FL-05*  -  -
FL-06                                    226,140  -
FL-18                                    167,215  -
IL-07*                                    - 155,143
LA-04*  -  -
LA-06                                    205,165  -
MA-04*  -                                 141,315
ND-00                                    147,984  -
NY-09  -                                 111,162
NY-13*  -                                 109,014
PA-03  -                                 223,263
PA-13*                                    259,764  -
PA-14*                                    229,688  -
SC-03*                                    189,491  -
SC-04*                                    164,956  -
SD-00                                    253,772  -
TX-06*                                    147,924  -
TX-11*                                    181,769  -
TX-19                                    152,042  -
TX-25*                                    184,850  -
TX-26                                    183,379  -
TX-31*                                    185,814  -
WI-06*                                    239,217  -
WI-08                                    239,217  -
Total                                 4,022,835                              1,551,382

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