Democrats seize US House in rebuke to Trump

Former Gov. Phil Bredesen is interviewed past the 100-foot polling place boundary after voting Tuesday in Nashville Tenn. Bredesen is running against Rep. Marsha Blackburn R-Tenn. for the U.S. Senate

Democrats seized the House majority from President Donald Trump's Republican Party on Tuesday in a suburban revolt that threatened what's left of the president's governing agenda.

But Tuesday's elections remain noteworthy for the fact they generated unprecedented interest among voters keen to weigh in on the first two years of a presidency riven by angry anti-immigrant rhetoric, bitter political feuding and pointed personal attacks on the part of Trump himself.

Turnout was expected to be much higher than in previous times on Election Day Tuesday when USA voters headed to the polls to choose their representatives in both chambers of Congress in the midterm elections.

"Tomorrow will be a new day in America", said Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi.

But the Democrats' edge is narrow.

The party needed a net gain of 23 seats to break the Republicans' eight-year hold on the House and place a check on President Donald Trump.

Trump had noted the energy as he wrapped up a punishing schedule of rallies around the country that were meant to boost Republican candidates - and his own brand heading towards reelection in 2020.

Democrats were on course to flip at least 26 seats from Republican hands, with strong performances among suburban white women who had narrowly turned to Trump two years ago and in key battleground states such as Pennsylvania.

Early Wednesday, Trump warned Democrats against using their new majority to investigate his administration.

It was a far different story in the 100-member US Senate, where Republicans retained their control. It wasn't clear what "leaks" he was referring to.

But the battle for the 35 Senate seats is expected to favour the Republicans because numerous contests are in states Mr Trump won in 2016.

According to Michael McDonald of U.S. Election Project - which tracks election turnout - 38.8 million Americans cast their ballots ahead of the Election Day, surpassing the 27.4 million in the 2014 midterms. Among those expected were Trump's adult children, White House aides, Republican officials and presidential friends.

But the rosiest expectations of some Democrats - that they could create a "blue wave" even when playing defence on the Senate map - proved unfounded. The House was also getting its first two Muslim women, MA elected its first black congresswoman, and Tennessee got its first female senator. The Republican incumbent had been branded Barbara "Trumpstock" by Democrats in a race that pointed to Trump's unpopularity among college-educated women in the suburbs.

Democrats could also recapture governor's offices in several battleground states such as Michigan, Wisconsin and OH, a potential help for the party in those states in the 2020 presidential race.

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For Democrats, the road to the 218-seat majority ran through two dozen suburban districts Hillary Clinton won in 2016 and through swaths of Trump country in the Rust Belt and heartland where voters backed the president.

But Democratic former President Barack Obama hit the campaign trail in the election's final days to challenge Trump, questioning his policies and character.

Overall, more voters disapproved of Trump's job performance than approved - a finding that is largely consistent with recent polling.

Democrats failed to defeat a vulnerable incumbent in Kentucky, where Republican Rep. Andy Barr won over former Marine fighter pilot Amy McGrath.

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.

Republicans were forecast to have defeated several Democratic senators in states won by Trump - Florida, Indiana, Missouri and North Dakota.

Some hurt worse than others.

Democrats also failed to capitalize on potential gains in Texas, where Sen.

"I like the fact that he is not a politician, and I forgive some of the socially incorrect or politically incorrect things that he says".

Overall, 6 in 10 voters said the country was headed in the wrong direction, but roughly that same number described the national economy as excellent or good.

But what are the midterm elections and why are they important?

Still, about one-third of voters said Trump was not a factor in their votes.

He bet big on a xenophobic closing message, warning of an immigrant "invasion" that promised to spread violent crime and drugs across the nation.

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