Published: Mon, November 12, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

Flip this House! Dems take control

Flip this House! Dems take control

Democratic candidates buoyed by widespread opposition to Donald Trump seized the balance of power on Capitol Hill, but Tuesday's US midterm elections failed to produce what critics had hoped would be an even more scolding rebuke of the most controversial and divisive president of the modern era.

Republicans are bracing for a likely loss of seats in the House of Representatives but are favored to hold on to the Senate.

Anna Giaretelli from the Washington Examiner joined Larry Williams Drive to discuss the latest updates from the tight contest.

Democrats could derail Mr Trump's legislative agenda for the next two years should they win control of the House or the Senate.

Victories in contested House races across Florida, New York, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Minnesota gave them cause for optimism.

Democrats' longshot prospects for capturing a Senate majority were pinned on expectations that their supporters, roused by revulsion toward Trump, would surge to the polls.

Blackburn, a conservative who is also an ardent Trump backer, defeated former Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen, 74.

With the final days of the 2018 campaign interrupted by a spate of politically motivated attempted bombings and a massacre at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, about 2 in 10 Democratic and Republican voters think their own party's way of talking about politics is leading to an increase in violence.

Republicans had expected the GOP tax plan would be the cornerstone of their election agenda this year, but it became a potential liability in key states along the East and West coasts where residents could face higher tax bills because of limits on property and sales tax deductions. Democrats needed to gain 23 seats to reclaim control.

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.

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Democratic control of either chamber would also complicate the approval of the renegotiated North American Free Trade Agreement and snuff out any chance of securing funds for a wall on the southern border, which was Trump's signature campaign promise.

"Pelosi hailed the election results as "'a new day in America".

Pushing the Democrats closer to their House victory were Lauren Underwood and Sean Casten of IL, who unseated incumbent Republican Congressmen Randy Hultgren and Peter Roskam, respectively. Dean Heller, the only Republican seeking re-election in a state Democrat Hillary Clinton won in the 2016 presidential race.

Republicans now control 29 governorships to 21 for the Democrats.

All 435 seats in the House, 35 seats in the 100-member Senate, and 36 of the 50 state governorships were up for grabs when polls opened. Bernie Sanders and Democrats Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Kirsten Gillibrand of NY and Minnesota's Amy Klobuchar were easily re-elected. It was about restoring the Constitution and providing a balance to the Trump administration. Almost 4 in 10 said they were casting ballots to express opposition to him, while just 1 in 4 said their vote was an expression of support for the president. O'Rourke held an early lead over the former presidential candidate in the race for the US Senate, before the race tightened.

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.

Trump encouraged voters to view the first nationwide election of his presidency as a referendum on his leadership, pointing proudly to the surging economy at recent rallies.

Opposition to Trump proved to be more a motivating factor for Democrats than support for the president a factor for Republicans.

Republicans were forecast to have defeated several Democratic senators in states won by Trump - Florida, Indiana, Missouri and North Dakota.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum is narrowly trailing his challenger Republican Ron DeSantis.

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