Setback for Trump; Democrats set to gain majority in United States lower House

Andrew Gibson of Streetsboro Ohio casts his ballot as his daughter Sophia McNeal age four looks

Democrats must gain 21 more seats in the 435-member House of Representatives to regain control of the chamber, which is now led by President Donald Trump's Republicans.

Now it looks like Republicans and Democrats will split control of Congress. Republicans have picked up enough Senate seats to block Democrats there, expanding GOP control over the Senate. It was just the second midterm election in over three decades when the party holding the White House gained seats.

In suburban areas where key House races were decided, voters skewed significantly toward Democrats by a almost 10-point margin. Health care was mentioned by nearly twice as many voters as the next most common issue, immigration.

Polls indicated that Democrats have a good chance of winning the 23 seats they need to seize the House, while Republicans were forecast to retain the Senate or even increase their current razor-thin majority of 51-49.

Voters also punished moderate Senate Democrats running in Trump-heavy states who opposed the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

All 50 states and Washington DC will go to the polls, and voter turnout is expected to be high. Fundraising for both candidates topped $11 million. More women than ever were running, along with veterans and minorities, many of them motivated by revulsion over Trump.

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. He predicted an "invasion" from the migrant caravan making its way toward the USA and decried the "radical" agenda of speaker-in-waiting Pelosi. Sens. Chris Murphy of Connecticut, Ben Cardin of Maryland, Tom Carper of DE and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island also won.

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"This is our source of strength", O'Rourke said as he voted in El Paso.

More than 40 million Americans had already voted, either by mail or in person, breaking early voting records across 37 states, according to analysis.

Two-thirds of Americans said their vote is about Donald Trump, according to CNN exit polls, and more than half of all voters said they believe the country is on the wrong track.

The Democratic candidates tried to stick to an economic message of lowering health care costs and investing in infrastructure to create jobs.

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.

Outside Richmond, Virginia, 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. Like other Democrats across the country, Spanberger emphasized protecting people with pre-existing conditions from being denied coverage or charged more by insurers.

Another top California Democratic representative, Adam Schiff, would likely rise to chair the House Intelligence Committee, where he is now the ranking member.

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Representative-elect Jennifer Wexton, a Democrat from Virginia, center, speaks during an election night rally in Dulles, Virginia, U.S., on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018. At least three other red districts flipped to blue. Several have history making potential, especially in Florida where Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, a Democrat, is trying to become the state's first African-American governor in an ill-tempered duel with former Rep. Ron DeSantis, a Trump favorite. Also victorious was Republican Mitt Romney, the vanquished 2012 GOP presidential candidate, who grabbed an open Utah seat.

"I am so honored to share both the ballot and the stage with the many visionary, bold women who have raised their hand to run for public office", said Ayanna Pressley, who became the first black woman elected to Congress from MA.

Trump's Republican coalition is increasingly older, whiter, more male and less likely to have a college degree. Following President Obama's first term, 63 House seats and six Senate seats were lost by the Democrats.

Yet Trump's party will maintain Senate control for the next two years, at least.

The tax law has been particularly problematic for Republicans in New Jersey, where four of five GOP-held seats were being seriously contested. They are projecting a 39-seat gain for the Democrats.

About a half-hour later, he gave GOP Rep. Peter King a shout-out.

There are 36 gubernatorial seats and hundreds of state legislature seats in play.

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"We've got to get down to work as soon as we are sworn in on January 3 and make some real change come about. we're going to have a lot of brand new members - many of whom will come from tough districts, many of them that never served in any elected office in their higher lives".

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