Dems gain House; GOP retains Senate

Sergio Conner
November 8, 2018

But blue-collar voters and rural America embraced his aggressive talk and stances.

Republicans are expected to retain their slight majority in the US Senate, now at two seats, which would let them retain the power to approve US Supreme Court and other judicial nominations on straight party-line votes. Democrat and former speaker Nancy Pelosi serves as House minority leader.

Trump blamed the political vitriol on election season.

Early Wednesday, Trump warned Democrats against using their new majority to investigate his administration.

Democrats could derail Trump's legislative agenda for the next two years should they win control of the House or the Senate. It wasn't clear what "leaks" he was referring to.

Republicans now hold 33 governorships and 65 legislative chambers, with Democrats controlling 31 and two being tied, according to the nonpartisan National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), which does not include Nebraska's nonpartisan, unicameral legislature in its count.

The most recent record in voter turnout during congressional midterm elections, when the White House was not on the line, came in 1982, when 49 percent of the voting-age population showed up to vote, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Trump's Republican coalition is increasingly older, whiter, more male and less likely to have a college degree.

Many Democratic candidates in tight races shied away from harsh criticism of Trump, focusing instead on bread-and-butter issues like maintaining health insurance protections for people with pre-existing medical conditions and safeguarding the Social Security retirement and Medicare healthcare programs for senior citizens.

Democrats also boast record diversity on the ballot. Wexton was among the record number of women running this year.

Democrats welcomed other firsts, including two Muslim-American women, Rhasida Tlaib of MI and Minnesota's Ilhan Oman, who is also the first Somali-American elected to Congress.

Gillum, the mayor of Tallahassee, was aiming to become the state's first African-American chief executive, and the intense and acrimonious race was marred by charges of racist campaign tactics. There are now 236 Republicans, 193 Democrats and six vacancies.

In suburban areas where key House races will be decided, voters skewed significantly toward Democrats by a almost 10-point margin.

There are also elections for 36 of the 50 state governors.

The road to a House majority ran through two dozen suburban districts Hillary Clinton won in 2016. At 10 pm EST (8:30 am IST), Democrats need 12 more to take the House for the first time in the Trump era (and in the last eight years).

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Trump, the GOP's chief messenger, warned that significant Democratic victories would trigger devastating consequences.

In Kansas, Democrat Sharice Davids beat a GOP incumbent to become the first gay Native American woman elected to the House.

But an important battle in Trump-friendly Kentucky went to the Republicans as incumbent Andy Barr held off a strong challenge from Amy McGrath, a former fighter pilot, putting a dent in Democratic promises of a so-called blue wave.

Trump's team immediately sought to give him credit for retaining their narrow Senate majority, even as their foothold in the more competitive House battlefield appeared to be slipping.

In the Senate, depending on how results from other races shake out, there is the possibility that control is not known on election night or for weeks after.

What it would mean: President Trump and Republicans would step on the gas, validated by an election cycle dominated by negative news coverage and polling that said the GOP had its back against the wall.

They paved their path to victory by defeating Democrats Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Missouri's Claire McCaskill. Ted Cruz fended off Rep. Beto O'Rourke, the well-financed liberal darling, and Tennessee, where Rep. Marsha Blackburn prevailed.

But Tuesday's elections remain noteworthy for the fact they generated unprecedented interest among voters keen to weigh in on the first two years of a presidency riven by angry anti-immigrant rhetoric, bitter political feuding and pointed personal attacks on the part of Trump himself.

"It's all fragile", he said on the call.

The president bet big on a xenophobic closing message, warning of an immigrant "invasion" that promised to spread violent crime and drugs across the nation.

In other states Trump carried in 2016, Democratic Sen.

With a characteristic mix of folksiness, bombast and sometimes cruel humor, he says voters must choose between his stewardship of a booming economy and what he claims would be the Democrats' extreme-left policies.

Based on data from Gallup, no other president in modern U.S. history had such a low approval rating heading into their first midterm election.

Senators Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of MA easily won re-election as they consider bids for the Democratic presidential nomination. A handful of others played outsized roles in their parties' midterm campaigns, though not as candidates, and were reluctant to telegraph their 2020 intentions before the 2018 fight was decided.

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