US Elections: Democrats Retake House, Republicans Keep Senate

U.S. President Donald Trump meets with law enforcement at the Broward County Sheriff's Office in the wake of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, U.S., February 16, 2018. REUTERS/Eric Thayer

BEVERLY HILLS, November 07, (THEWILL) – Democrats seized control of the lower house of Congress in midterm US elections dealing a stern rebuke to Donald Trump almost two years into his polarizing, rollercoaster presidency.

Fox and NBC television networks called the result in the US House of Representatives, while confirming expectations that Trump’s Republicans will retain control of the Senate.

The result upends the balance of power in Washington, where Trump has enjoyed an easy ride from Republican dominance of both houses of Congress since his shock election in 2016.

Democrats will now be able to block legislation and light a fire under Trump’s feet with investigations of his opaque finances and Russian interference in his 2016 election, and possibly push for impeachment.

Trump was watching the results roll in from the White House, where he spent the day holed up with friends and family.

Americans voted enthusiastically, with long lines quickly forming at polling stations from New York to California and from Missouri to Georgia.

All 435 seats in the House of Representatives, 35 seats in the 100-member Senate and 36 governorships were up for grabs.

Democrats quickly made important gains in the House, but Republicans defended in crucial races, like incumbent Andy Barr of Kentucky, whose House seat had seemed at risk.

In the Senate, Republican Mike Braun snatched the seat from Democratic Senator Joe Donnelly, but corruption scandal-tainted Senator Bob Menendez saved his seat for the Democrats in New Jersey.

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.

Even so, Democrats were highly confident, with Nancy Pelosi, the party’s top leader in the House, saying “it’s just a question of the size of the victory.”

Former vice president Joe Biden, often touted as a possible Democratic candidate to take on Trump in 2020, said he’d have been “dumbfounded” not to win the House.

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