Published: Thu, November 08, 2018

The Fight for the Senate, 2018: The Results As They Come In

The Fight for the Senate, 2018: The Results As They Come In

Democratic incumbents were re-elected Tuesday in states from MA to OH as Republicans fought to retain Senate control, hoping that President Donald Trump's nationalistic appeals to hard-right voters would let them continue their role as protectors of his conservative agenda. That year, they leaned Republican by 12 points, but this election they supported Democrats by 12 points.

A Democrat-controlled House was expected to pursue anti-corruption and voter-rights legislation, and hold multiple investigations on controversial aspects of the Trump administration, not least being allegations of collusion between his 2016 campaign and Russian Federation.

They also could force Mr Trump to scale back his legislative ambitions, possibly dooming his promises to fund a border wall with Mexico, pass a second major tax-cut package or carry out his hardline policies on trade.

The door to a Democratic-controlled Senate slammed shut.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders called the results "a good night" for the White House.

US intelligence agencies have concluded the Russian government meddled in the 2016 election with social media posts meant to spread misinformation and sow discord, an accusation denied by Moscow.

Tuesday's result was a bitter outcome for Trump, a 72-year-old former reality TV star and businessman-turned-politician, after a campaign that became a referendum on his leadership.

More than 40 million Americans had already voted, either by mail or in person, breaking early voting records across 37 states, according to an AP analysis. Democrat Mikie Sherrill, a former Navy pilot and federal prosecutor, was favored for a suburban Newark seat. They also made inroads into Trump country as Democrats tried to win back white working-class voters.

President Donald Trump advocated forcefully for a handful of candidates in order to keep the GOP in control of the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives, and for many governors as well.

But the return to split control of Congress after four years of GOP majorities will be a major test for the president, who has shown little ability to reach across the aisle. Trump was badly underwater among women voters - who favor Democrats 62% to 35% - a gender gap, that if borne out by real votes, could prove devastating to Republican hopes.

The future of the special counsel investigation headed by Robert Mueller could also depend on whether Democrats take control of one of the houses. Only a handful of seats are viewed as potential pickup opportunities for Democrats, with the party hoping to flip seats in closely-watched races in states such as Arizona and Nevada, as well as longer shot attempts in Tennessee and Texas.


Some of the campaign's biggest Democratic stars lost. Though the Republican gains in the Senate make it even less likely that there would be a two-thirds majority needed to convict a president and evict him from office.

"Today is more than about Democrats and Republicans", House minority leader Nancy Pelosi, now poised to become the majority leader, said during a victory speech on Tuesday night.

Senators Bernie Sanders of Vermont, a 2016 Democratic presidential contender, and Tim Kaine of Virginia, Hillary Clinton's vice presidential nominee in 2016, easily won re-election, news networks projected. And in New Jersey, Democrats re-elected embattled Sen.

"We didn't agonize, we organized", she said.

Voters cast their ballots in the midterm elections on November 6, 2018, in Appleton, Wisconsin.

Tom Mooney, a voter in the same district said he was casting his vote for the Republicans. (Although early voting prior to Election Day was up, the turnout numbers don't necessarily reveal how constituents voted).

But with Democrats now in charge of the House, it poses new challenges for Trump.

A debate about whether Trump's rhetoric encouraged extremists erupted in the campaign's final weeks after pipe bombs were mailed to his top political rivals allegedly by a Trump supporter who was arrested and charged, and 11 people were killed in a shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue.

As the one of the most volatile midterm elections in USA history wound down, the Democrats pulled closer to the 218 seats needed for a majority.

"This is the single most important off-year election of my lifetime".

"I think everyone was bracing for any possible, insane scenario to show itself tonight but it basically looks like the baseline consensus forecast was correct", said Michael Purves, head of equity derivatives strategy at Weeden & Co, New York.

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