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USA midterm elections results as they come in
08 November 2018, 10:33 | Darnell Patrick
The Fight for the Senate, 2018: The Results As They Come In
Despite a seemingly energized grassroots electorate, the Democratic Party has been viewed as a long shot to take back control of the Senate where Republicans now hold a narrow majority of 51 seats to 49 seats for Democrats.
The president's strategy of emphasizing divisive issues risks backfiring on Republican candidates in suburban swing districts that probably will determine control of the House.
A Democrat-controlled House was expected to pursue anti-corruption and voter-rights legislation, and hold multiple investigations on controversial aspects of the Trump administration, not least being allegations of collusion between his 2016 campaign and Russian Federation.
Pollsters suggest Democrats may win the 23 seats they need to take over the House of Representatives, and possibly 15 or so extra seats.
The House has 435 voting representatives, divided proportionally to the population of each state.
The Southwest states feature a number of key races: at least two Senate races are key to the GOP's chances of either holding on to the Senate or increasing their lead.
In Indiana, Trump-backed businessman Mike Braun defeated Democratic incumbent Joe Donnelly. We have already seen that with Beto O'Rourke, the Democratic challenger to Senator Ted Cruz in Texas.
Democrats could also recapture governor's offices in several battleground states such as Michigan, Wisconsin and OH, a potential help for the party in those states in the 2020 presidential race.
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.
If Republicans lose a lot of seats this time around, it will be perceived as a pushback from the American people against Trump's agenda.
Democrats struck first in the battle for the House of Representatives, with Jennifer Wexton ousting incumbent Republican Barbara Comstock in a suburban Virginia district outside Washington, according to data provider DDHQ and U.S. media outlets.
Outside Richmond, one-time tea party favorite Rep. Dave Brat faced an unusually strong challenge from Democrat Abigail Spanberger, a former Central Intelligence Agency operative motivated to run for office after the GOP vote to gut the Affordable Care Act. When the Cook Report classified Menendez's race as a toss-up recently, things got tense for Democrats over a race that under normal circumstances they would have won going away.
The closing days of the midterm campaign have played out with split screen images of Democrats and Republicans emphasizing different messages to the voters they hope will show up to the polls on Tuesday. "This country, our politics are in a very bad place".
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The other powerful position that California Democrats will lobby their Party to fill is Chair of the House Foreign Relations Committee, which is being vacated by retiring 13-term Republican member Ed Royce (R-Fullerton).
Democrats failed to defeat a vulnerable incumbent in Kentucky, where Republican Rep. Andy Barr won over former Marine fighter pilot Amy McGrath.
Some 182 Republican incumbents are defending House seats in districts Trump won in 2016. Ahead of the vote, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi confidently predicted last week that Democrats would indeed win back the House. Republicans who rode their opposition to Obamacare to the House majority in 2010 were forced to backtrack in race after race, insisting that they actually did support such protections.
Almost 40 per cent of voters cast their ballots to express opposition to the president, according to AP VoteCast, a national survey of the electorate, while about 25 per cent said they voted to express support for Trump. Polls show Wexton claiming the seat, which has been held by a Republican for over 30 years.
Americans are voting in nationwide elections that are being seen as a referendum on Donald Trump's presidency. Still, Republican voters tended to be overwhelmingly supportive of the president.
Trump himself noted the energy as he wrapped up a punishing schedule of rallies around the country that were meant to boost Republican candidates - and his own brand heading towards reelection in 2020. He was active on Twitter throughout much of the day, blasting out endorsements for Republican candidates and weighing in on the balloting.
Two issues more than any others were on voters' minds: 25 percent described health care and immigration as the most important issues in the election.
"I think Trump is terrible", Reynolds said.
A majority of the 113,000 voters surveyed said the country is headed in the wrong direction.
His opponents say taking control of the House and Senate is the only way to stop Trump's agenda on issues like immigration, nominating judges, and healthcare.
There are 35 Senate races being decided across 33 states. More women than ever were running, along with military veterans and minorities, many of them motivated by Trump's rise. At least 255 women were on the ballot as major party congressional candidates. Democrats are relying more upon women, people of color, young people and college graduates.
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