United States midterms: Democrats flip the House of Representatives

Gladys Abbott
November 7, 2018

Joe Manchin's battle to keep his seat in West Virginia, a state Trump carried by a mammoth 42 percentage points in 2016. Ted Cruz fended off Rep. Beto O'Rourke, the well-financed liberal darling, and in Tennessee, where Rep. Marsha Blackburn prevailed.

Republicans are expected to retain their slight majority in the U.S. Senate, now at two seats, which would let them retain the power to approve U.S. Supreme Court and other judicial nominations. But even when Alaska previously was under single-party rule - Sean Parnell was the Republican governor and the House and Senate were all Republican-led - Parnell couldn't get some of his key legislation passed.

It would also leave the Senate as the showcase for the GOP's goals of tax and spending cuts, trade, immigration restrictions, curbs on Obama's health care law and judicial nominations. He declared at nearly nightly rallies in the closing days that a vote for a Republican was a vote for him.

Democrats also had opportunities because of the retirements of GOP Sens. Bredesen had promised a bipartisan approach if elected and had won the endorsement of music star Taylor Swift.

In the race for the Senate, Republicans picked up two seats, defeating Sen. Heitkamp was hurt late in her campaign by an ad that mistakenly named some women as victims of sexual abuse. Two independents, Jason Grenn from Anchorage and Dan Ortiz from Ketchikan, and three Republicans, Gabrielle LeDoux of Anchorage, Paul Seaton of Homer and Louise Stutes of Kodiak, joined with Democrats for a 22-18 majority coalition caucus.

While the occupant of the White House is typically central to midterm elections, Trump has worked especially hard to make this one about him.

Democrats also could recapture governorships in several battleground states such as Michigan, Wisconsin and OH, a potential help for the party in those states in the 2020 presidential race.

The morning of Election Day, pollster Nate Silver's FiveThirtyEight.com found that Democrats had an 87% chance of retaking the House but only a 19% chance of retaking the Senate. Trump prevailed in IN by 19 points.

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

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

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The campaign unfolded against a backdrop of jarring political imagery, heated rhetoric and angry debates on immigration, health care and the role of Congress in overseeing the president.

"We usually hope for 200 voters for the entire day, but by 9 o'clock we already have had 69", said Bev Heidgerken, 67, a volunteer at a polling place in Davenport, Iowa.

However, Gallup finds that Republicans and "Republican leaners", in contrast, are less anxious about what will happen in the USA if Democrats obtain a majority in either house of Congress.

Republicans have privately encouraged the president to back off, to no avail.

Some voting problems reported Problems with voting machines prevented Americans from casting ballots in a dozen states, U.S. rights advocates said, following complaints about registration problems, faulty equipment and intimidation received during early balloting.

"Trump is improving the economy - that's the most important thing for me", Rivera said.

While the economy continues to thrive, Trump has spent much of the campaign's final days railing against a caravan of Latin American immigrants hoping to seek asylum at the USA border. Under President Dwight Eisenhower, the S&P 500 rose 29 per cent from his election in November 1952 through November 1954.

AP VoteCast also shows a majority of voters considered Trump a factor in their votes.

A sharply divided USA electorate voted Tuesday to elect a new Congress and to render a midterm verdict on President Donald Trump, in a vote that could shift the balance of power in Washington and alter the next two years of Trump's presidency.

Senators Bernie Sanders of Vermont, a 2016 Democratic presidential contender, and Tim Kaine of Virginia, Hillary Clinton's vice presidential nominee in 2016, easily won re-election, news networks projected. "So we see it as a sign of great strength that we're talking about a path, even a narrow path, to a Senate Democratic majority". Bob Menendez won a third Senate term. Progressive activists and several Democratic state senators had criticized the IDC for cozying up to Republicans and blocking bills drafted by Democrats. And thanks to Harry Reid, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will have no trouble maneuvering for votes for President Trump's next Supreme Court pick.

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