2017 United States elections

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2017 United States elections
2015          2016          2017          2018          2019
Off-year elections
Election dayNovember 7
Senate elections
Seats contested1 mid-term vacancy
Net seat changeDemocratic +1
2017 United States Senate special election in Alabama2017SenateElectionResultsNationwide.svg
About this image
Map of the 2017 Senate special elections
     Democratic gain (1)
House elections
Seats contested6 mid-term vacancies
Net seat change0
US House special elections 2017.svg
Map of the 2017 House special elections
     Democratic hold (1)      Republican hold (5)
Gubernatorial elections
Seats contested2
Net seat changeDemocratic +1
2017 New Jersey gubernatorial election2017 Virginia gubernatorial election2017 United States gubernatorial elections results map.svg
About this image
Map of the 2017 gubernatorial races
     Democratic hold (1)
     Democratic gain (1)

The 2017 United States elections were held, in large part, on Tuesday, November 7, 2017. This off-year election featured gubernatorial elections in Virginia and New Jersey, as well as state legislative elections in both houses of the New Jersey Legislature and in the Virginia House of Delegates (the lower house of the Virginia legislature). Numerous citizen initiatives, mayoral races, and a variety of other local elections also occurred. Special elections were also held for one seat of the U.S. Senate, representing Alabama, and six seats of the U.S. House of Representatives. The Democrats picked up the governorship in New Jersey and the Alabama Senate seat that was up for a special election. The governorship in Virginia and the six House seats that were up for special elections did not change party hands.

Analysts such as Harry Enten of FiveThirtyEight and Chris Cillizza of CNN interpreted the 2017 election results overall as demonstrating a move toward the Democratic Party. With the Democrats picking up the Senate seat in Alabama, it reduced the Republicans' majority in the Senate to 51–49. The analysts also noted that although none of five House seats held by a Republican switched to the other party in the 2017 special elections, in each race the Democrat received a higher percentage of votes than in recent elections for the same seat. Furthermore, Democrats made large gains in the Virginia House of Delegates, and picked up 42 seats in state legislatures.[1][2]

Federal elections[edit]

The following special elections were held to replace Senators or Representatives who resigned in the 115th U.S. Congress:


House of Representatives[edit]

State and territorial elections[edit]


Two states held gubernatorial elections in 2017:


The two states that held gubernatorial elections also held legislative elections:

As part of a federal court ruling that invalidated its state legislative districts, the North Carolina General Assembly was ordered to hold special elections in the fall of 2017 with updated district lines. However, the US Supreme Court has put a hold on the 2017 election until it rules on the matter.[15][16]

Special elections[edit]

A February 25 special election for the Delaware Senate seat left vacant by Bethany Hall-Long when she became the state's lieutenant governor was won by Democrat Stephanie Hansen.

An April 18 special election[17] for the Georgia Senate seat left vacated by Judson Hill[18] when he decided to run for US Congress 6th district seat vacated by Tom Price who was appointed Health and Human Services Secretary. Democratic candidate Christine Triebsch[19] and Republican Candidate Kay Kirkpatrick[20] ran for the vacated Georgia State Senate seat, which was won by Kirkpatrick.

There was a special election in the heavily Republican New York Assembly District 9 on May 23, which was won by Democrat Christine Pellegrino 58–42. Trump had won the district with 60% of the vote.[21]

As of September 13, Democrats have picked up a total of six Republican held seats as a result of special elections. This includes the New York Assembly seat picked up by Christine Pellegrino, two seats in the New Hampshire House of Representatives as well as two more in the Oklahoma House of Representatives, and one seat in the Oklahoma Senate.[22] Republicans picked up a total of one seat, in the Louisiana House of Representatives where Republican John Stefanski won a special election to the seat vacated by Democratic incumbent Jack Montoucet, who resigned to be appointed Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries by Governor John Bel Edwards.[23]

On September 26, Democrats flipped two more Republican-held seats. One was the Florida Senate seat formerly held by Frank Artiles, who had resigned after using racial slurs to describe fellow legislators. The seat was won by Annette Taddeo with 51% of the vote. The other was a seat in the New Hampshire House of Representatives, the third seat in that legislative body to change to Democratic control in 2017.[24]

On October 24 a special election was held to elect a new State Representative for Strafford 13 in the New Hampshire House of Representatives.[25] Casey Conley, a Democrat, won comfortably.[26]

On November 7, several states held special elections. There was a special election to fill the Washington State Senate seat for the Washington's 45th legislative district. Since the State Senate was evenly split going into the election, the contest election determined the partisan balance of power in Washington.[27] Democrat Manka Dhingra won a majority of votes in the first round of the election, but rules required the race to go to a second round regardless.[28] In the second round, with over $9,000,000 spent on the election through campaign contributions and political action committee expenditures, with a small number of votes yet to be counted, Dhingra led by over a 10% margin. Anticipating the Dhingra victory, Democratic Senate Minority Leader Sharon Nelson described a comprehensive agenda for the 60-day legislative session beginning in January that included voting rights reform and campaign-finance disclosure revision, as well as women's reproductive health, clean energy and firearms safety measures.[29] Dhingra won the second round.

On the same day, Democrats won a fourth seat in the New Hampshire House of Representatives with Democratic Erika Connors winning an election to fill a vacancy for the Hillsborough 15 district caused by the death of Republican Rep. Steve Vaillancourt.[30] Democrats also picked up two seats previously held by Republicans in the Georgia House of Representatives, as well as advancing two candidates to a runoff election for a Georgia State Senate seat formerly held by a Republican.[31]

On November 14, Democrat Allison Ikley-Freeman won an Oklahoma Senate special election in the previously Republican-held 37th district by 31 votes.[32]


Two states held supreme court elections in 2017:

  • Pennsylvania held elections for three seats—one competitive election and two retention elections. In the Pennsylvania system, a justice must first be elected in a competitive race, and at the end of their term there is an up-or-down election on whether that justice should be retained.
  • Wisconsin re-elected Republican-backed Justice Annette Ziegler without opposition to a second ten-year term.

Puerto Rican status referendum[edit]

A referendum regarding the political status of Puerto Rico was held on June 11. Puerto Rican voters were asked whether they prefer statehood, independence/free association, or maintain the current U.S. territorial status. This was the fifth such plebiscite overall, and the first one since 2012.[33] Because there were almost 500,000 blank ballots in that 2012 referendum, creating confusion as to the voters' true desire, Congress decided to ignore that vote and then subsequently allocated funds for holding this 2017 one.[34][35] 97% of the voters chose statehood in the referendum, though turnout was only at 23%.[36]

Constitutional convention of New York[edit]

Under the provisions of the New York Constitution, every twenty years the state is required to place before the voters a proposal to hold a constitutional convention to be held the following year, with any suggested amendments being voted on in the year after that. Therefore, in November 2017 a proposal was placed on the ballot for a 2018 convention, with any amendments to be voted on in 2019. On this vote, over 80% voted against a constitutional convention.

Mayoral elections[edit]

Various elections were held for officeholders in numerous cities, counties, school boards, special districts and others around the country. Below is a list of the mayoral elections held in the main cities of the United States:


Fifteen candidates who were members of the Democratic Socialists of America were elected to office in thirteen states, most notably Lee J. Carter in the Virginia House of Delegates, thus adding to the twenty members already holding elected office nationwide.[63]

Tables of partisan control results[edit]

These tables show the partisan results of the Congressional special elections and gubernatorial races in 2017. Bold indicates a change in control.

Senate seats
  Before 2017 elections[64] After 2017 elections[65]
Seat Incumbent State delegation Winner State delegation
Alabama Class 2 Rep Rep 2–0 Dem Split 1–1
United States Rep 52–48[a] Rep 51–49[a]
House Congressional seats
  Before 2017 elections[64] After 2017 elections[65]
Seat Incumbent State delegation Winner State delegation
California 34th Dem Dem 39–14 Dem Dem 39–14
Georgia 6th Rep Rep 10–4 Rep Rep 10–4
Kansas 4th Rep Rep 4–0 Rep Rep 4–0
Montana at-large Rep Rep 1–0 Rep Rep 1–0
South Carolina 5th Rep Rep 6–1 Rep Rep 6–1
Utah 3rd Rep Rep 4–0 Rep Rep 4–0
United States Rep 241–194 Rep 241–194[b]
State Incumbent[64] Winner[65]
New Jersey Rep Dem
Virginia Dem Dem
United States Rep 34–15–1[c] Rep 33–16–1
State legislatures
State Incumbent[64] Winner[65]
New Jersey Dem Dem
Virginia[d] Rep Rep


  1. ^ a b Maine Senator Angus King and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, the two Independents who caucus with the Democrats, are counted as Democrats.
  2. ^ Vacant seats that have pending special elections in 2018 are counted as still being held by their respective incumbent party.
  3. ^ Reflects the August 2017 announcement by West Virginia Governor Jim Justice that he changed his party affiliation from Democratic to Republican.
  4. ^ Includes both chambers of the Virginia General Assembly. The then-Republican-controlled Senate of Virginia was not up for election in 2017.


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External links[edit]