Dems flip a string of GOP seats in early House returns

08 November, 2018, 17:21 | Author: Wade Massey
  • Dems flip a string of GOP seats in early House returns

Democratic candidates buoyed by widespread opposition to Donald Trump seized the balance of power on Capitol Hill, but Tuesday's USA 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. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., who heads the Senate GOP's campaign committee, said in an interview.

For weeks, pollsters have been projecting that the Republicans would lose control of the House but maintain control of the Senate, the result being a divided Congress that would untether some of Trump's most vociferous political challengers.

Since 1952, the party of the sitting president has lost an average of 17 Minnesota House seats in midterm elections.

But the battle for the 35 Senate seats is expected to favour the Republicans because numerous contests are in states Mr Trump won in 2016.

Republicans are favored to retain control of the Senate, whose powers include confirming Trump's nominations to lifetime seats on the Supreme Court.

There was a strong chance Mississippi's special election to complete the unexpired term of retired Republican Sen. Democratic Senate incumbents were up for re-election, for example, in North Dakota, Indiana, and Missouri - states Trump carried by nearly 25 percentage points on average two years ago. Ted Cruz fended off Rep. Beto O'Rourke, the well-financed liberal darling, and in Tennessee, where Rep. Marsha Blackburn prevailed. It was widely expected that if the Republicans padded its current two-seat majority, it would do so only modestly.

History was working against the president in the Senate: 2002 was the only midterm election in the past three decades when the party holding the White House gained Senate seats. Like other Democrats across the country, Spanberger emphasized protecting people with pre-existing conditions from being denied coverage or charged more by insurers.

Though Republicans entered the night commanding the Senate only narrowly, a crucial piece of math worked for them: Democrats and their two independent allies defended 26 seats, Republicans just nine.

"Senate Democrats faced the most hard political map in 60 years", said Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., chairman of Senate Democrats' political arm.

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Also in the House, Democrats Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of MI will be the first Muslim women to serve in Congress. The win was momentous for a number of reasons, not just that Democrats can now challenge Trump and the Republican party agenda.


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That state's Democratic senator, Bill Nelson, also suffered a narrow loss at the hands of Republican opponent Rick Scott, with all signs pointing towards the GOP actually widening its Senate majority as Democratic Sen. Bredesen had promised a bipartisan approach if elected.

Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin was re-elected in West Virginia, which Trump captured by 42 percentage points.

The new Democratic House majority will end the Republican Party's dominance in Washington for the final two years of Trump's first term with major questions looming about health care, immigration and government spending.

Democrats' longshot prospects for capturing a Senate majority were pinned on hopes of their supporters surging to the polls. Fueling their intensity were Trump's anti-immigration stances, his efforts to dismantle health care protections enacted under Obama and the #MeToo movement's fury over sexual harassment. "And so this really was my opportunity to help this country in changing who is making the decisions".

Almost 40 percent of voters cast their ballots to express opposition to the president, according to AP VoteCast, a national survey of the electorate, while one-in-four said they voted to express support for Trump.

Democrats were most optimistic about the House, a sprawling battlefield set largely in America's suburbs where more educated and affluent voters in both parties have soured on Trump's turbulent presidency, despite the strength of the national economy.

Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders and Democrats Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Kirsten Gillibrand of NY and Minnesota's Amy Klobuchar were easily re-elected. All three and Sherrod Brown, a pro-labor senator victorious in OH, are considered potential 2020 Democratic presidential contenders. Bob Menendez, who saw federal prosecutors drop bribery charges against him in January after a mistrial, faced wealthy pharmaceutical executive Bob Hugin.

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

AP VoteCast is a nationwide survey of more than 120,000 voters and nonvoters conducted for the AP by NORC at the University of Chicago.

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