Friday, 16 November, 2018


Democrats snatch first House seats from Republicans in US midterms

A voter casts his ballot in the midterm election at the East Midwood Jewish Center polling station in the Brooklyn borough of New York City The Fight for the Senate, 2018: The Results As They Come In
Bennie Garza | 09 November, 2018, 05:25

The questions of the hour: Which woman will win the Arizona Senate seat being vacated by Republican Jeff Flake?

If Democrats capture the House, they could block Mr Trump's policy agenda and launch congressional investigations into Trump's administration, including his tax returns, possible business conflicts of interest and the nature of his 2016 campaign's ties to Russian Federation.

Republicans now control 29 governorships to 21 for the Democrats.

Now we're getting to the some of the nation's marquee races: the initial returns from the Texas US Senate race, plus four competitive US House races in New Jersey and another eight in Pennsylvania.

Striking a dark tone at a rally in IN on Monday evening, Mr Trump accused Democrats without offering any evidence of "openly encouraging millions of illegal aliens to break our laws, violate our borders and overrun our country".

"If the radical Democrats take power they will take a wrecking ball to our economy and our future", Trump declared in Cleveland, using the heated rhetoric that has defined much of his presidency. If Bredesen wins, he'll be Tennessee's first Democrat Senator since Al Gore in the early 1990s. There are 35 seats up for election this year, and 26 are held by Democrats, meaning Democrats have a lot to defend.

Fundraising, polls and history were not on the president's side.

Long lines and malfunctioning machines marred the first hours of voting in some precincts, including in Georgia, where some voters reported waiting up to three hours to vote in a hotly contested gubernatorial election.

In addition to electing their lawmakers, Americans in several states will vote on ballot measures. Voters agree. Two-thirds of those casting ballots said their vote was about Trump, according to preliminary exit polls posted by CNN.

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

In a last-minute controversy, NBC, Fox News and Facebook on Monday pulled an ad by Trump's campaign that critics had labelled racist. So how have these elections panned out in the modern era?

Democrats needed to gain two Senate seats to win a majority, assuming all their incumbents were re-elected, an unlikely outcome.

"We did have two maniacs stop a momentum that was incredible, because for seven days nobody talked about the elections", the President said at a Missouri rally last week.

But Democrats were disappointed elsewhere. Sen. Bob Menendez, who, less than a year ago, stood trial for federal corruption charges.

A Democratic victory in the House would further hinder the border wall plan and complicate congressional approval of a deal to update the North American Free Trade Agreement.

"Today is more than about Democrats and Republicans, it's about restoring the Constitution's checks and balances to the Trump administration", Nancy Pelosi, leader of the House Democrats, told supporters at victory party.

In south Florida, former Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala defeated Republican Maria Elvira Salazar. It is now made up of 51 Republicans and 49 Democrats. All 435 House seats are up for grabs today.

In Florida, six House seats are in play, and there are close and crucial battles for a Senate seat and the governorship. All three and Sherrod Brown, a pro-labor senator victorious in OH, are considered potential 2020 Democratic presidential contenders.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders says a Democratic wave may look more like a "ripple".

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

The political and practical stakes were sky-high.

But it remains to be seen whether Democrats' rage will amount to the so-called "blue wave" they have anticipated for almost two years, or whether it's even enough to gain the 23 seats needed to eke out a Democratic majority in the House. Perhaps more important, they would claim subpoena power to investigate Trump's personal and professional shortcomings.

It was also a sign that the GOP money infrastructure may not have worked its magic: national Republicans stuck with Comstock to the end, spending nearly a half-million dollars in TV ads in the final week. But all of those seats were up for election Tuesday. Polling suggests the Republican coalition is increasingly older, whiter, more male and less likely to have a college degree. Several have the potential to be the first of their background elected to office on Tuesday.

A CNN/SSRS poll released Monday showed Democrats with a gaping 55% to 42% lead over Republicans among likely voters in a generic congressional ballot.

The demographic divides were coloring the political landscape in different ways.

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.

Mr Trump also could face more pushback from Democrats on trade tariffs he has introduced, particularly in farm states hard hit by retaliatory measures from China or manufacturing states hit by higher steel and aluminium prices.

"There's a great electricity in the air, like we haven't seen, in my opinion, since the '16 election".

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