Shalala, Mucarsel-Powell flip Miami-Dade House seats to Democrats

08 November, 2018, 10:28 | Author: Wade Massey
  • Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media caption What ARE the US mid-terms? Our guide explains everything

The Democrats will need to capture 23 seats now held by Republicans to take control of the House of Representatives, a likely possibility.

The Democrats can now launch investigations into Mr Trump's administration and business affairs, from tax returns to potential conflicts of interest, while blocking his legislative agenda. In the Miami area, former Clinton administration Cabinet member Donna Shalala won an open seat, while GOP Rep. Carlos Curbelo lost his bid for a third term in another district.

In Virginia, political newcomer Jennifer Wexton defeated two-term GOP Rep. Barbara Comstock.

The Democratic gains were fueled by women, young and Hispanic voters, a Reuters/Ipsos Election Day poll found. Fifty-five percent of women said they backed a Democrat for the House this year, compared to 49% in the 2014 midterm congressional election.

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.

One by one, those districts were carried by the Democrats.

Overall, however, Republicans seem much more optimistic about keeping the Senate than the House.

Although a number of Democratic heavyweights hit the trail to stump on behalf of candidates, including former president Barack Obama, former vice-president Joe Biden and former talkshow host Oprah Winfrey, the narrative was still dominated by Trump and his freewheeling rhetoric.

If they do win control of the House, Democrats will try to harden US policy toward Saudi Arabia, Russia and North Korea, while maintaining the status quo on hot-button areas like China and Iran.

Heralded by Trump as a "tremendous success", the Republican Senate victories will all but end any immediate talk of impeachment, even as the Democratic-led House will enjoy investigative powers to put new checks on his roller-coaster presidency.

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. More women than ever were running, along with military veterans and minorities, many of them motivated by Trump's rise.

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With divided leadership in Congress and a president who has taken an expansive view of executive power, Washington could be in store for even deeper political polarization and legislative gridlock.

Republicans held on in what amounted to a home game for the party. "In short, should the Democrats take the House, we can expect more policy gridlock and the revelation of more political scandals", Brown said.

Health care was considered the key issue in Tuesday's election by 26 percent of voters, with immigration mentioned by 23 percent, according to AP VoteCast, a national survey of the electorate conducted by The Associated Press.

Republicans have now won enough seats to maintain control of the Senate as two more states flipped red late Tuesday night, closing any path for Democrats to take control.

How women and independent voters cast their ballots was likely to determine the outcome.

Ballot counting could drag in tight races, leaving some races undecided long after Election Day.

Outside Richmond, Virginia, one-time tea party favorite Rep. Dave Brat lost to Democrat Abigail Spanberger, a former Central Intelligence Agency operative motivated to run for office after the GOP vote to gut the Affordable Care Act. Like other Democrats across the country, Spanberger emphasized protecting people with pre-existing conditions from being denied coverage or charged more by insurers.

And in North Dakota, Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp was ousted by her Republican challenger.

The Republican majority will leave town with Obamacare still the law of the land and with a deficit going through the roof on the back of GOP tax cuts. Democrat Mikie Sherrill, a former Navy pilot and federal prosecutor, was favored for a suburban Newark seat.

Republicans do not have to defend as many vulnerable incumbents as Democrats in the midterms.

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