GOP aims to keep Senate control, aided by Trump-friendly map

  • GOP aims to keep Senate control, aided by Trump-friendly map

GOP aims to keep Senate control, aided by Trump-friendly map

U.S. voters decide Tuesday whether President Donald Trump will keep his Republican majority in Congress or face a hostile Democratic majority after a bitter campaign for midterm elections described by both sides as a battle for America's soul.

He would have a ready-made target, a Democratic-controlled House, to blame for blocking progress.

Fox and NBC television networks called the result in the United States House of Representatives, while confirming expectations that Trump's Republicans will retain control of the Senate. But Pelosi brushed off such comparisons Tuesday, arguing that Clinton won the popular vote, and was handicapped by the Electoral College, which won't be a factor in House races.

Democrats have been projected to win enough seats to take control of the House after eight years of Republican rule.

Trump had fought hard before polling day, crisscrossing the country to claim that Democrats would introduce socialism and making incendiary attacks on illegal immigration that opponents denounced as racist.

The White House has been stressing the historical headwinds it faced: In the last three decades, 2002 was the only midterm election when the party in office gained Senate seats. The victory by the staunchly pro-labor Brown, which was expected, underscored that Trump's 2016 dominance of that and other Midwestern states was not a lock.

Democrats Ilhan OImar and Rashida Tlaib are also expected to make history in Minnesota and MI respectively as the first Muslim women elected to Congress.

There are 35 Senate races being decided across 33 states. "If Jeff Flake challenges Trump, we're in for a very interesting scenario in which it's possible for an as-yet-unnamed Democrat to come through simply because of a split in the right in the Republican Party".

In Indiana, Trump-backed businessman Mike Braun defeated Democratic incumbent Joe Donnelly.

Democrats in the House could be banking on launching an investigation using the results of US Special Counsel Robert Mueller's already 18-month-old probe of allegations of Russian interference on Trump's behalf in the 2016 presidential election.

Voters will "define the future, not just of Texas, but of this country, not just of this generation but every generation that follows", said Democrat Beto O'Rourke, who is challenging Senator Ted Cruz in traditionally deep-Republican Texas.

Republicans held on to the upper chamber with key victories in Indiana, Texas and North Dakota.

There was some consolation for Democrats as Senators Joe Manchin and Bob Menendez held on to their seats after tough campaigns in West Virginia and New Jersey respectively.

Democratic candidates had won or were leading in a net dozen or so House of Representative seats held by the Republicans by about 8:30 p.m., apparently on target for gaining the 23 extra districts needed to seize a majority in the House.

It's a tale of two chambers. That win effectively closed the Democrats' chances to win the Senate. Donald Trump will continue to have a Republican majority ready and willing to confirm his executive and judicial appointments. The only question now is the size of his party's advantage.

All 435 House of Representative seats are in play.

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

Democrats are expected to gain control of the House but not the Senate. With that comes the ability to stop the Trump legislative agenda in its tracks and puts some teeth in congressional oversight of his administration.

A Reuters analysis of the past half century showed stocks fared better in the two calendar years after congressional elections when Republicans control Congress and the presidency than when Democrats controlled the two branches, and at least as well as during times of gridlock.

In another attempt at a first, black Democrat Stacey Abrams appeared to be losing against Republican Brian Kemp in the Georgia governor's race.

In Florida, left-wing progressive Andrew Gillum has conceded after an ugly battle against a Trumpist conservative, Ron DeSantis.

Jared Polis is projected to win the Colorado gubernatorial race, becoming the first openly gay man to be a USA governor.