Democrats flip House, Republicans add to Senate majority

Former President Obama greets people at a rally for Illinois Democrats on Sunday in Chicago

Former President Obama greets people at a rally for Illinois Democrats on Sunday in Chicago. Ashlee Rezin Chicago Sun Times via AP

Trump's shadow has hung over the midterm elections that will determine the future of his presidency, with the monthslong fight serving as a testing ground for his nationalist appeals and the strength of the coalition that powered him to the White House two years ago.

In Indiana, Trump-backed businessman Mike Braun defeated Democratic incumbent Joe Donnelly. Marsha Blackburn triumphed in Tennessee.

Trump previously claimed responsibility for the outcome of the midterm elections, with a White House statement saying the he gave voters a "clear choice".

Four GOP seats in Orange County, including two where the incumbent Republicans retired, were in play, along with three other seats to the north beyond Los Angeles and into the Central Valley. Still, she was within striking distance in a Lexington-area district Trump won by 15 percentage points in 2016. She is against Brian Kemp, the Georgia secretary of state and the Republican nominee. But on the early vote, Democrats are leading in a trio of suburban districts thought to be key to the party's effort to break the GOP's super majority in the House.

President Donald Trump is deeming the election results a "tremendous success", as Republicans maintain control of the Senate but Democrats make gains in the House. The requests cover a range of issues, from the rollout of the Muslim travel ban, to documents detailing the response to Hurricane Maria, the administration's refusal to defend the Affordable Health Care Act in court, and administration use of chartered flights.

Also likely taking the stage during this hour: Mitt Romney, who is expected to easily win a US Senate seat from Utah.

Six of the seven Democratic state senators unseated in the primaries were members of the now-defunct Independent Democratic Conference, a coalition of wealthy Senate Democrats.

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.

Barack Obama was president in 2010, and Republican voters were frustrated by their party's inability to oppose his agenda effectively. The President has energised a staggering number of Americans at packed arenas and in overflow crowds at rallies across the country.

The early exit polls are most useful in figuring out which campaign messages resonated with voters.

United States voters give verdict on Trump as control of Congress at stake
Even if Republicans do hold on in the Senate, a Democratic takeover of the House would be a pivotal moment in Trump's presidency. Trump is stressing Senate contests like Indiana's after sending signals that maintaining the House may be out of reach.

Perhaps the most striking finding of the poll is that 43 percent of American mid-term voters named healthcare as the top issue for them.

AP VoteCast, a national survey of the electorate conducted by The Associated Press, highlighted the effect Trump was having on voters. He was active on Twitter throughout much of the day, blasting out endorsements for Republican candidates and weighing in on the balloting.

A Democratic victory in the House would further hinder the border wall plan and complicate congressional approval of a deal to update the North American Free Trade Agreement. He himself has characterized the election as a referendum on his presidency.

At last count, Democrats had gained a net 14 of the 23 Republican-held seats needed to capture a majority. But while CNN projects that Democrats will take the House, Republicans will hold the Senate.

"We need to go out and get our women engaged", said Sarah Chamberlain, president and CEO of Republican Main Street Partnership. "Do not let their scare tactics frighten you away from the polls".

The party also continues to oppose the president's withdrawal from a 2015 global nuclear deal with Iran, and may use control of the House as a vehicle to undermine or probe his policy of "maximum pressure" on the Islamic republic.

At stake was control of at least one house in the United States Congress, and with it Trump's ability to drive ahead with an unconventional style of government that has divided Americans like rarely before.

The campaign unfolded against a backdrop of jarring political imagery, heated rhetoric and angry debates on immigration, health care and the role of Congress in overseeing the president. I really think it's more than just about a specific issue.

Trump has defiantly rejected the idea that his own rhetoric contributed to the incidents and lamented the week before Election Day that the attacks slowed Republican momentum.

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