HOUSE: Democrats close in on taking back control of House

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Despite a seemingly energized grassroots electorate, the Democratic Party has been viewed as a long shot to take back control of the Senate where Republicans now hold a narrow majority of 51 seats to 49 seats for Democrats. Gallup, on Election Day, reported that 81% of voters it described as either Democrats or "Democratic leaners" are "very or somewhat worried" about what will happen in the USA if Republicans maintain their majority in either the House of Representatives or the Senate.

The wild card in the 2018 U.S. House midterm elections is the spillover from President Trump's wildly successful 40-day barnstorming tour to pick up U.S. Senate Seats.

In House races, Democrats scored some early victories Tuesday in their quest to wrest control of the chamber, but Republicans were holding on in some key races where they faced strong challengers as initial returns were tallied.

With Democrats considered a good bet to grab House control from Republicans, keeping the Senate was seen as crucial for the Republicans' goals of tax and spending cuts, trade, immigration restrictions, curbs on Obama's health care law and judicial nominations.

Nevada Sen. Dean Heller, the only GOP incumbent seeking re-election in a state Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton won in 2016, became the only Republican senator to lose. She finished about 3 percentage points behind the incumbent in a Lexington-area district Trump won by 15 percentage points in 2016.

Outside Richmond, one-time tea party favorite Rep. Dave Brat faced an unusually strong challenge from Democrat Abigail Spanberger, a former Central Intelligence Agency operative motivated to run for office after the GOP vote to gut the Affordable Care Act. A disproportionate number of the seats up for election were in traditionally Republican states with Democratic incumbents.

The outcome of the midterms will also mark the culmination of a bitter partisan battle for control of Congress and set the stage for the 2020 elections, where an expansive field of Democratic presidential candidates is expected to challenge Trump after his first term in office.

"It's great. People are finally awake right now; they're realising that this election - the midterm election - is very important for them".

What are the midterm elections?

Almost 40 per cent of voters cast their ballots to express opposition to the president, according to AP VoteCast, a national survey of the electorate, while about 25 per cent said they voted to express support for Trump.

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Trump is expected to observe Tuesday night's results at a watch party in the White House's residence with family and friends, according to Sanders' statement.

Voters between the ages of 18 and 34 backed Democrats by 62 percent to 34 percent, up from 2014 when 54 percent backed Democrats and 36 percent supported Republicans.

Problems with voting machines were preventing some Americans from casting ballots in a dozen states, U.S. rights advocates said, following complaints about registration problems, faulty equipment and intimidation they had received throughout early balloting. Still, Republican voters tended to be overwhelmingly supportive of the president. At times he even appeared at odds with his own campaign, which in the election's final days released a gauzy ad aimed at suburban women. He was active on Twitter throughout much of the day, blasting out endorsements for Republican candidates and weighing in on the balloting.

Besides stymieing the Trump agenda, a Democratic victory in the House could allow Democrats to launch multiple committee investigations of the Trump administration and possibly even impeachment proceedings.

But with his party losing its majority in the House, the results represented a bitter setback for Trump after a campaign that became a referendum on his leadership.

And while several races remain toss-ups, some early trends point to gains by the Democratic Party, which pundits still see as likely to secure a majority in at least the lower House of Representatives.

On Tuesday night, he called to congratulate Pelosi and acknowledged her plea for bipartisanship, the leader's spokesman said. Republicans were hoping that Young Kim, a Korean American woman, would win her California race to give the party some additional diversity. "Do not let their scare tactics frighten you away from the polls".

Trump has already been trying out defensive arguments, noting that midterm losses are typical for the party in the White House, pointing out a high number of GOP retirements and stressing that he has kept his focus on the Senate.

Democrats' chances were always considered weak in the Senate, where they were nearly exclusively on defense in rural states where Trump remains popular. Seven in 10 voters said they wanted "moderate" or "strong" regulations and restrictions for firearms, the poll found. About two in 10 each choose the economy and immigration as their top issue, and just one in 10 say it's gun policy. Liberal House member Beto O'Rourke's underdog Senate campaign fell short in conservative Texas against Republican incumbent Ted Cruz.

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