Divisive Trump era ushers record number of women into House

Clay Curtis
November 8, 2018

With control of Congress, statehouses and the president's agenda at stake, some of the nation's top elections were too close to call.

In the end, the elections will go one of three ways: Republicans hold both chambers, Democrats take the majority in both, or the parties split the House and Senate.

Every seat in the House, 35 seats in the 100-member Senate and 36 of the 50 state governorships were up for grabs.

Democrats have expressed confidence that they'll score the net gain of 23 seats needed to take control of the House for the first time since 2010. Wexton is part of a "blue wave" of Democrats who are expected to flip the House. In the final stretch, Mr Trump hardened his rhetoric on issues that appealed to his conservative core supporters, issuing warnings about a caravan of Latin American migrants headed to the border with Mexico and condemnations of what he called United States liberal "mobs". Republicans now hold a 51-49 edge in Senate seats and are a strong favourite to retain control of the legislative body. McGrath raised millions in small donations and rocketed into contention thanks to a viral video introducing her candidacy, but her bid fell short in a district where Trump beat Clinton by 15 percentage points.

Democrats' longshot prospects for capturing a Senate majority were pinned on hopes of their supporters surging to the polls.

Drawing attention like few other midterm contests, the election has pitted competing visions of the country against each other, with race often being front and centre, punctuated by two racially tinged crimes.

Early indications would appear to support this.

Municipal and judicial elections were also on the ballot.

At a polling station in Arlington, Virginia, head election officer William Harkins said: "it's a very good turnout".

Some 38.4 million Americans have cast their ballots in early voting compared to 27.4 million in the 2014 midterms, according to the US Elections Project. "I think it's about the character of the country", he said in Wilmington, Delaware, where he voted.

Trump has used what many say is divisive and xenophobic rhetoric in the lead-up to Tuesday's vote. "I just love the deregulation and I just want to keep everything moving, because I'm loving it".

What happens on election day?

The president has boasted about the economy and hammered away at illegal immigration in the closing days of the campaign as he seeks to retain a congressional majority and salvage his legislative agenda.

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

Trump to monitor election results from behind closed-doors
But the GOP gained ground in the Senate and preserved key governorships, beating back a "blue wave" that never fully materialized. Minnesota and MI may pave the way for the first Muslim women to be in Congress with candidates Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar.

He claimed Monday that Democrats wanted to make America "a giant sanctuary city for drug dealers, predators, and bloodthirsty MS-13 killers". Democrats blamed the charged political atmosphere for the increase in anti-Semitism. Ted Cruz fended off Rep. Beto O'Rourke, the well-financed liberal darling, and Tennessee, where Rep. Marsha Blackburn prevailed. "No one from outside can stir paranoia or fear that can change that".

Defeated Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney was poised to win a Senate seat from Utah.

Americans started voting Tuesday in critical midterm elections that mark the first major voter test of US President Donald Trump's controversial presidency, with control of Congress at stake. The five-term incumbent broke with his party and voted against the Republican tax bill and the GOP's 2017 effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

Other tight Senate races are in Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, Nevada, North Dakota, Tennessee, and West Virginia.

Hillary Clinton, the 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, said it was time for Americans to say "enough" after two years of watching the Trump administration "attack and undermine our democratic institutions and values".

"Let's hear it more for preexisting medical conditions", Pelosi said Tuesday night.

Voter Ontaria Woods said about two dozen people who had come to vote left because of the lines. Democrats also captured governorships in MI and IL. His take-no-prisoners approach troubled many Republicans seeking to appeal to moderate voters in suburban House districts, but Trump prioritized base voters in the deep-red states that could determine the fate of the Senate.

Election workers assist would-be voters at First Ward Creative Arts Academy on November 6, 2018, in Charlotte, North Carolina.

In the latest forecast by CNN's Harry Enten, Democrats are tipped to win 226 seats and the House majority while Republicans will win just 209 seats. "I like the fact that he is not a politician, and I forgive some of the socially incorrect or politically incorrect things that he says".

Carol Reynolds, 83, described herself as a former Republican as she cast her ballot in Laguna Beach. He frequently invoked his upset win in 2016 and tried to recapture that energy in his final rallies, at times relegating the candidates he had traveled to endorse to supporting actors in the theater of a Trump rally.

Asked on Monday how he would handle a lower chamber controlled by his political opponents, the president appeared to concede it was a risk.

Polls are also closed in parts of in, where Democrat Joe Donnelly, a top target of the President's frenetic final midterm election campaign swing, is fighting an uphill battle for re-election against Republican Mike Braun.

A loss of the House will also trigger significant second guessing of the President's tactics, given that he chose not to make the booming economy his primary midterm argument, instead turning to a searing indictment of Democrats focusing on immigration and laden with racial language.

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