In Maine, Democrat Jared Golden beat out Republican incumbent Congressmember Bruce Poliquin after the state’s new ranked-choice voting system put him ahead by a thin margin. The race was the first to use ranked-choice voting for a federal election, after Maine voted to implement the system in a 2016 ballot measure. The system allows voters to rank their preferred candidates in order of preference. Polinquin was the last Republican congressmember representing New England.
In California’s traditionally conservative Orange County, Democrat Katie Porter has scored an upset, beating out Republican incumbent Congressmember Mimi Walters and flipping another House seat for the Democrats. Porter is a consumer law expert and a protégée of Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Democrats have so far picked up 36 congressional seats, with a handful of races still uncalled.