GOP poised to retain a smaller House majority in election

Republicans seem likely to keep their House majority in Tuesday's election, though it's expected to shrink. A look at Election Day and beyond:

PARTY BREAKDOWN

It's 247-188, including three vacancies, the most Republicans since 1931. Operatives on both sides say they expect the GOP to lose perhaps 10-15 seats for the new Congress that convenes Jan. 3.

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SIZE MATTERS

With an ever-growing proportion of hard-right conservatives, leaders such as Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., have a tougher time uniting the party behind bills and strategies. It also makes it harder for Ryan to secure the votes he'll need to remain speaker. Ryan has campaigned for numerous GOP candidates this year including about one-quarter of the roughly 40 House Freedom Caucus members, among the most rebellious Republicans.

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NOTEWORTHY RACES

Republican Liz Cheney should easily win the at-large Wyoming House seat once held by her father, Dick Cheney, who later became vice president. ... Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., whose investigations of President Barack Obama's administration included one into the 2012 attack that killed four Americans in Benghazi, Libya, is in a difficult race. ... The longest serving Republican in Congress, Alaska Rep. Don Young, is facing an unexpectedly tough challenge from Democrat Steve Lindbeck. Young was elected in 1973. ... Florida Democrat Charlie Crist, the state's former Republican governor, has a good chance of ousting Rep. David Jolly.

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DONALD TRUMP EFFECT

Spotty. Democrats hoped that Trump's name atop the GOP ticket would propel big House gains for them. He's imperiling some Republicans such as Bob Dold in Illinois and Scott Garrett in New Jersey. But other Republicans whom Democrats had hoped to beat remain well-positioned to survive, such as Rod Blum of Iowa and New York's Lee Zeldin and John Katko. Computer-driven redistricting helps both parties' incumbents. Executive director Rob Simms of the National Republican Congressional Committee says House GOP candidates separated themselves from "the noise" of the presidential race.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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