Democrats get first House pick-up of midterm election: US networks

Sean Reid
November 7, 2018

That would give the Senate the role of blocking House-passed Democratic initiatives on everything from health care to the potential repeal of tax cuts on the wealthy that the GOP enacted past year.

Democrats needed to pick up two dozen seats to seize the House majority and two seats to control the Senate.

The White House has shown no signs of following through on Trump's pledge, but Democrats will attempt to advance it regardless.

Joe Donnelly in IN and Republican Marsha Blackburn's win in Tennessee made it much more hard for Democrats to make inroads.

Unlike past presidents facing potentially unfavourable mid-term elections, Mr Trump hasn't shied from the spotlight - and it looks like he's succeeded in making this vote about him.

Almost 40 percent of voters cast their ballots to express opposition to the president, according to AP VoteCast, a national survey of the electorate, while one-in-four said they voted to express support for Trump.

But with turnout a key unknown factor and pollsters still unsure about the effect of Trump's maverick style on voters, both parties admit that they may be in for a surprise.

Overall, 6 in 10 voters said the country was headed in the wrong direction, but roughly that same number described the national economy as excellent or good.

Voters reported that their No. 1 issue in this election was health care - mentioned by just under half of those surveyed.

They also made inroads into Trump country as Democrats tried to win back white working-class voters.

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

Democrats were also heartened by heavy turnout after a bitter campaign which at Trump's own insistence was widely seen as an unofficial referendum on his polarizing presidency.

The president's current job approval, set at 40 percent by Gallup, was the lowest at this point of any first-term president in the modern era.

In the last two decades there have only three election cycles where one party picked up 24 or more seats. And in New Jersey, Democrats re-elected embattled Sen. What was not normal was that Menendez had been indicted on corruption charges and escaped with hung jury. The Justice Department dropped the charges after his trial ended in an hung jury.

"This is the single most important off-year election of my lifetime".

Ms. Comstock would be the first GOP casualty of the night, losing her district in suburban Washington.

In south Florida, former Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala defeated Republican Maria Elvira Salazar. But the share of the country that could decide control of the House of Representatives might be smaller.

They face a far more hard challenge in the Senate, where they are nearly exclusively on defence in rural states where Trump remains popular. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, and potential 2020 presidential candidate Sen.

He and the first lady were to host an evening watch party for family and friends.

Vice President Mike Pence congratulated his brother for serving in the US Congress.

The political and practical stakes were sky-high.

Some Democrats have already vowed to force the release of his tax returns.

In other words, the GOP could actually expand their control over the Senate by quite a bit.

Tuesday's elections also tested the strength of a Trump-era political realignment defined by evolving divisions among voters by race, gender, and especially education.

Given Trump's stunning victory in 2016, few expressed confidence in predictions. Democrats are relying more upon women, people of color, young people and college graduates. More women than ever were running, along with veterans and minorities, many of them motivated by alarm over Trump's rise.

In some House races, Democratic challengers had a three-to-one cash advantage over the incumbent Republicans they were trying to unseat.

Tuesday's results will be colored by the dramatically different landscapes in the fight for the House and Senate.

There were still a number of races to be decided and called as of late Tuesday night, including most of the close California races.

Meanwhile, Democratic incumbents won re-election in Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Wisconsin, states Trump carried in 2016.

Democrats boast record diversity on the ballot. Democrat Tammy Baldwin easily held her seat there and Republican Gov. Scott Walker trails in his bid to be re-elected as governor.

All 435 seats in the House of Representatives, 35 seats in the 100-member Senate and 36 governorships were up for grabs.

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