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Democrats flip 2 GOP seat in early returns for House battle

Democrats flip 2 GOP seat in early returns for House battle

What it would mean: President Trump and Republicans would step on the gas, validated by an election cycle dominated by negative news coverage and polling that said the GOP had its back against the wall.

The House has 435 members with states represented on the basis of population. And even if both chambers were to pass a bill, Trump could veto it and House Republicans are unlikely to help override his decision.

Health care and immigration were high on voters' minds as they cast ballots, according to a wide-ranging survey of the American electorate conducted by AP.

The demographic divides were coloring the political landscape in different ways. Debbie Stabenow, a Democrat, is facing a challenge from Republican challenger John James.

Republicans are expected to retain their slight majority in the US Senate, now at two seats, which would let them retain the power to approve US Supreme Court and other judicial nominations on straight party-line votes.

"We have the beginning of a new Democratic Party, younger, browner, cooler, more women, more veterans, can win in MI, can win in Pennsylvania, can win in OH", said Van Jones, a CNN political commentator.

Trump spent election night watching returns with family and friends at the White House, his shadow looming large over the results.

Given Trump's stunning victory in 2016, few were confident in their predictions.

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

Democrats, whose very relevance in the Trump era depended on winning at least one chamber of Congress, were laser-focused on health care as they predicted victories that would break up the GOP's monopoly in Washington and state governments. About 40 million early votes were likely cast, said Michael McDonald, a professor at the University of Florida who tracks the figures.

History was working against the president in both the House and the Senate: The president's party has traditionally suffered deep losses in his first midterm election, and 2002 was the only midterm election in the past three decades when the party holding the White House gained Senate seats.

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If they do win control of the House, Democrats will try to harden U.S. policy toward Saudi Arabia, Russia and North Korea, while maintaining the status quo on hot-button areas like China and Iran.

Two races which are of particular interest are Georgia, where Democrat Stacey Abrams is seeking to become the first black woman to become governor of a U.S. state, and Florida, where Democrat Andrew Gillum is locked in a bitter battle with Republican and Trump acolyte Ron DeSantis.

Trump sought to take credit for retaining the GOP's Senate majority, even as the party lost control of the House. Stacey Abrams, a Democrat who won the backing of former President Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey, was aiming to be the first black female governor in the nation.

They also attracted a higher proportion of younger voters than at the last midterm elections four years ago and will change the face of Washington.

Democrats feel they need to limit the losses in the Senate. "Usually it's a relatively bipartisan issue, but it could be impacted by who wins the gubernatorial races in particular", said Capri Cafaro, executive in residence at American University's School of Public Affairs and a former state senate Democrat in OH, another signatory.

Democrats also boast record diversity on the ballot.

Three states could elect their first African-American governors, while several others are running LGBT candidates and Muslims. An open seat that included Atlantic City was also ripe for Democratic pickup by state lawmaker Jeff Van Drew after the GOP campaign committee abandoned Republican Seth Grossman over racially charged comments. It is now made up of 51 Republicans and 49 Democrats.

The political realignment, defined by race, gender and education, could re-shape US politics for a generation.

Wrapping up the campaign in recent days, Trump repeatedly raised fears about immigrants, issuing harsh warnings about a caravan of Central American migrants that is moving slowly through Mexico toward the USA border. He dispatched more than 5,000 troops to the region, suggesting soldiers would use lethal force against migrants who throw rocks, before later reversing himself. They could try to scale back some of the tax perks given by Trump and Republicans to corporations and the rich.

Daudt said Republican candidates were running on expanding their popular record of reducing health care costs, cutting taxes, and increasing funding for roads and bridges and for schools. Pollsters have made a lot of adjustments to hopefully correct what they got wrong in 2016, but they can't tell you precisely who is going to show up to vote. He cited Trump rallies that drew thousands in crucial states during the campaign's closing weeks and added, "The president was THE factor".

"He is a sexist, a racist, a homophobe, a xenophobe and a religious bigot".


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