On Monday night, in the last uncalled House race in the nation, Democrat TJ Cox took the lead over Republican Rep. David Valadao for the first time, after a new batch of ballots from Kern County put him up 50.2 to 49.8 in California’s 21st Congressional District. Prior to this update, Valadao had been ahead by that same margin, though the spread between the two candidates has almost continuously narrowed since election night, when Valadao led by over 7 points.
At this point, though, the incumbent looks unlikely to reclaim that lead. If there are any remaining ballots in Kern or Fresno Counties, where Cox has performed well, it should be lights out for Valadao, but even if the only untallied votes are in Republican-friendly Kings and Tulare Counties, Cox is still probably favored to win narrowly. If he does succeed, he’d give Democrats an even 40-seat pickup in the House, good for a 235-200 majority come January.
Kings says it expects to provide a new update on Tuesday, while Fresno says it will do so on Wednesday. Tulare typically issues daily updates, though very few ballots are left there that are in the 21st District. As for Kern, we may not see another ballot drop until Monday, so we might not get our final answer on this race until next week.
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