U.S. midterms: Democrats take House as Republicans retain grip on Senate

The US House of Representatives

The US House of Representatives

Both parties have a chance, if only a slim one, for an upset in the respective chambers where they're playing as underdogs. Republicans maintained their strength in conservative, rural states, while Democrats made inroads across America's suburbs.

With control of Congress and Trump's agenda at stake, early voting hit record levels and turnout appeared high across the country. If Democrats' promised "blue wave" materializes, it should be evident.

The election gave Democrats a three-fifths supermajority in Oregon's Legislature with greater power to impose taxes, but the Senate president said Wednesday he'll still seek bipartisan support, noting that Republican lawmakers could doom revenue-raising bills if they sit out the votes. And they would claim subpoena power to investigate Trump's personal and professional shortcomings.

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

The first signs will come from key congressional races on the east coast in suburban Virginia, New Jersey, Florida and NY, however this will likely be a long day.

His opponents say taking control of the House and Senate is the only way to stop Trump's agenda on issues like immigration, nominating judges, and healthcare. "Thank you to all!" Historical patterns and current polling shows the majority party, the Republicans in this case, losing seats during a midterm election. She urged voters to "vote against radicalism, bigotry, and corruption" and "for fantastic candidates all over the country - including a historic number of women".

About 4 in 10 voters choose health care as the most important issue facing the country, and 7 in 10 say the nation's health care system needs major changes, the exit polling shows. The flood of political donations from interest groups and individuals will make it the most expensive midterm ever, and early signs suggest voter turnout could be the highest in half a century.

"The midterm elections used to be, like, boring", Trump told a crowd Monday in Cleveland, Ohio.

Heller was described recently by The Guardian newspaper as "the most vulnerable Republican incumbent".

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Phil Bredesen has cast his vote in Nashville.

It was the first of the 23 seats the party needs to gain a House majority.

Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin was re-elected in West Virginia, which Trump captured by 42 percentage points.

"Senate Democrats faced the most hard political map in 60 years", said Sen. The Justice Department dropped the charges after his trial ended in an hung jury.

Democrats' performance in the House battlefield was mixed.

The committee also distanced itself from eight-term Rep. Steve King of Iowa after racial remarks, and his seat was unexpectedly contested in the final week of the campaign.

Midway through Trump's first term, the elections once again focused on health care, only this time Democrats were on the attack against Republicans, attacking the GOP over attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act and its signature protections for people with preexisting conditions.

The Associated Press called the very first US House race at 6:32pm, when Republican Hal Rogers safely won re-election in Kentucky's fifth congressional district.

Pennsylvania was particularly daunting for Republicans after court-imposed redistricting and a rash of retirements put several seats in play.

Experts expect the state's 2nd, 9th and 13th congressional districts - George Holding vs. Linda Coleman; Mark Harris vs. Dan McCready; and Ted Budd vs. Kathy Manning, respectively - to be North Carolina's tightest House races. And Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, another potential 2020 contender, also won her race.

Trump was spending Election Day at the White House and tweeting support for Republicans in the toughest races.

As of Wednesday, voters were on track to send at least 100 women to the House, surpassing the previous record of 84.

AP VoteCast is a nationwide survey of more than 120,000 voters and nonvoters conducted for the AP by NORC at the University of Chicago. GOP Rep. Karen Handel scored a four-point victory in a fiercely-contested 2017 special election against Democrat Jon Ossoff.

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

Speaking to reporters in Madrid on Tuesday, Lavrov lamented that Russian-American ties have become "hostage to internal political squabbles in America". Trump has encouraged voters to see it as a referendum on his leadership, pointing proudly to the surging economy at recent rallies.

In Kansas, Democrat Sharice Davids beat a GOP incumbent to become one of two Native American women, with Deb Haaland of New Mexico, elected to the House.

Problems with voting machines were preventing some Americans from casting ballots in a dozen states, USA rights advocates said, following complaints about registration problems, faulty equipment and intimidation they had received throughout early balloting.

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