Published: Thu, November 08, 2018
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US Democrats win House, Republicans keep Senate

US Democrats win House, Republicans keep Senate

Instead of getting shellacked in Florida, the GOP won all-important contests for governor and Senate, both with Mr. Trump's help.

The Democrats' narrow path to the Senate was slammed shut after setbacks in Indiana, Tennessee, North Dakota and Texas. More women than ever were running, along with veterans and minorities, many of them motivated by revulsion over Trump.

Two issues more than any others were on voters' minds.

Health care and immigration were high on voters' minds as they cast ballots, according to a survey of the American electorate by The Associated Press.

"They can play that game", he said.

The political and practical stakes were sky-high.

Trump said that if the Democrats plan to "waste Taxpayer Money investigating us at the House level", then Republicans "will likewise be forced to consider investigating them for all of the leaks of Classified Information, and much else, at the Senate level".

"Nobody turns over a (tax) return when it's under audit", Mr Trump said during a news conference when asked about the returns.

Some Democrats have already vowed to force the release of his tax returns.

But in some other toss-up races, the GOP managed to hold on.

During the campaign, Pelosi urged candidates to focus on lowering health care costs and creating jobs with infrastructure investment, and she tamped down calls for impeachment.

In Texas, Sen Ted Cruz staved off a tough challenge from Democrat Beto O'Rourke, whose record-smashing fundraising and celebrity have set off buzz he could be a credible 2020 White House contender.

Trump offered an olive branch to House Democrats as an alternative to an investigative face-off.

Almost 40 per cent of voters cast their ballots to express opposition to the president, according to AP VoteCast, the national survey of the electorate, while one-in-four said they voted to express support for Trump. In elections for Congress, governorships and state legislatures alike, the number of women who ran outstripped previous years, as did the number of women nominated.

Though it must drive anti-Trumpers up the wall, the fact is that Mr. Trump's party did not lose anything close to the 50-60 plus House seats Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama lost two years after winning the White House.

The future of the special counsel investigation headed by Robert Mueller could also depend on whether Democrats take control of one of the houses. And in New Jersey, Democrats re-elected embattled Sen.

Democrats' performance in the House battlefield was mixed. But in Kentucky, one of the top Democratic recruits, retired Marine fighter pilot Amy McGrath, lost her bid to oust to three-term Rep. Andy Barr.

In Virginia's 7th District, a Republican-leaning area near Richmond, Republican Rep. Dave Brat was in a tight race with Democrat Abigail Spanberger, a former Central Intelligence Agency officer. In addition, at least 13 women won Senate seats.

The vote was seen as a referendum on the president, even though he is not up for re-election till 2020.

His take-no-prisoners approach troubled many Republicans seeking to appeal to moderate voters in suburban House districts, but Trump prioritised base voters in the deep-red states that could determine the fate of the Senate. Among those expected: Vice-President Mike Pence and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, an informal adviser to the president.

Trump spent election night watching returns with family and friends at the White House. Democrats relied more upon women, people of colour, young people and college graduates.

When Cummings and other Democrats asked previous year for records detailing Trump's separation from his businesses, they received an eight-page glossy pamphlet and a single email. A margin of less than half a percentage point automatically triggers a recount.

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

Trump boasted a growing economy but campaigned aggressively in the closing days on a hardline anti-immigration message.

She said: "Today is more than about Democrats and Republicans, it's about restoring the Constitution's checks and balances to the Trump administration".

Ending eight years of Republican control that began with the tea party revolt of 2010, Democrats picked off more than two dozen GOP-held districts in suburbs across the nation on the way to securing the 218 seats needed for a majority.

Democrats boasted record diversity on ballots.

History was also made in New England, where two states elected their first African-American congresswomen: Ayanna Pressley in MA and Jahana Hayes in CT.

As of early Wednesday, voters were on track to send at least 99 women to the House, surpassing the previous record of 84.

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