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Thomas Gallatin / November 18, 2020

Owens Win Boosts GOP House Flips to 12

House Dems have now lost every toss-up race and two “likely D” races.

Republican Burgess Owens has defeated Democrat Representative Ben McAdams in Utah’s 4th House District. Following two weeks of counting, Owens finally secured the victory and McAdams has conceded. Owens announced his win by thanking the Salt Lake City community for electing him and committing to serving them.

“Owens, 68, is a political newcomer who made a friend in [President Donald] Trump, who’s long touted him as a rising star within the GOP,” says the Washington Examiner’s Mica Soellner. “Owens is black and often speaks out about economic opportunities for minorities and defended Trump’s record on race at the Republican National Convention in August.”

Owens’s victory flips the seat back to Republicans after it was lost to moderate Democrat Ben McAdams in 2018. And Owens’s election serves as yet another example of how the Republican Party has been successful under Trump in expanding its appeal with minority Americans. He now becomes the 12th Republican to unseat an incumbent Democrat this cycle, serving to winnow down the House majority Democrats unequivocally thought they’d expand.

The election loss was a big blow to Democrats, who have yet to win a single one of the 27 “toss-up” House races. Cook Political Report editor David Wasserman noted, “Republicans have also won 5 of the 18 races [the Cook Political Report] rated as Lean D (28%), and 2 of the 18 races we rated as Likely D (11%).” For context Wasserman observed, “In the 2018 ‘blue wave,’ Dems won 2 of the 29 races we rated as Lean R (7%), and 2 of the 29 races we rated as Likely R (7%).” The “blue wave” is looking a lot more like a red tide, slowly rising to envelop Democrats’ hopes.

A former NFL player, Owen was a critic of the league’s “woke” social justice activism, including decrying the use of the song “Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing” (the “black national anthem”) as a step backwards toward segregation. “There is no ‘black national anthem,’” Owens asserted. “Why does it feel like the country is trying to segregate again sometimes?” Welcome to Congress, Mr. Owens, where you’ll be battling those segregationists on a daily basis.

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