A turbulent election season that tested President Donald Trump's slash-and-burn political style against the strength of the Democratic resistance comes to a close as Americans cast ballots in the first national election of the Trump era.
REUTERS/Michelle McLoughlin Mist shrouds the U.S. Capitol dome on the morning of midterm Election Day, as voters go to the polls to decide the control of the U.S. House and Senate in the mid-term of the Trump presidency in Washington, U.S. November 6, 2018. The victory by the staunchly pro-labor Brown, which was expected, underscored that Trump's 2016 dominance of that and other Midwestern states was not a lock.
"I don't think there's a Democrat in this country that doesn't have a little angst left over from 2016 deep down", said Stephanie Schriock, president of EMILY's List, which spent more than ever before - almost $60 million in all - to support Democratic women this campaign season.
"Under President Trump's leadership, the Republican National Committee has raised more than a quarter billion dollars, fueling an extraordinary ground game geared toward defying midterm history and protecting the GOP's majorities".
Initial vote counts were too tight to call a pivotal race in IN, where Republicans hoped to oust moderate Sen.
Democrats acknowledged their path to Senate control was always slim but took solace in limiting their losses. They also held on to competitive seats in Texas, where Sen. Hillary Clinton carried both of these districts in 2016.More news: Kemp turns election system worries into a political weapon
Striking a dark tone at a rally in IN on Monday evening, Trump accused Democrats without offering any evidence of "openly encouraging millions of illegal aliens to break our laws, violate our borders and overrun our country". If McGrath, the Democrat, wins in this solid Republican district, it could be a sign that that Democrats will take the House majority, because they'll likely win easier contests than this one.
However, the winning a majority in the Senate will be an uphill task. Fueling their intensity has been Trump's anti-immigration rhetoric and policies, his efforts to dismantle health care protections enacted under President Barack Obama and the #MeToo movement's fury over sexual harassment.
By leading Democrats back to power for the 116th Congress, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi immediately becomes the front-runner for Speaker of the House, as the leading campaign fundraiser and the institutional legislative authority for Democrats. "And so this really was my opportunity to help this country in changing who is making the decisions".
Thirty-five Senate seats were up for election in the midterms, as well as the controlling party for the 65 seats not on the ballot during this cycle.
Republicans were hoping those dynamics would be offset by a vibrant USA economy and by a president whose insult-laden approach to political discourse was as stirring for conservative voters as it was infuriating to liberals.
The election saw all 435 seats in the House of Representatives and 35 of 100 in the Senate up for grabs, as well as 36 governorships, many of those state races toss-ups according to the polls.More news: Pop singer Beyonce lends star power to Texas Democrat O'Rourke
Trump himself 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.
Meanwhile, several 2020 presidential prospects easily won re-election, including Sens.
In Kansas, Democratic state Sen. Nevada could be more important, because Dean Heller is the most vulnerable Senate GOP incumbent in the nation, and Democrats probably need to win his seat to seize the majority.
Republicans held on to the upper chamber with key victories in Indiana, Texas and North Dakota. That would make it 54 seats-and Jon Tester in Montana and Claire McCaskill also await their fate with voters. Though they also need to hold all their current seats, including some in states where Trump did well in 2016.
"I just feel like if I want to be part of the conversation on either side, I want to be able to say, 'Hey I voted'".
A US Department of Homeland Security official said the reports of voting technology failures appeared so far to have had no significant impact in preventing people from voting. His name is Dean Heller and his Democratic challenger is Jacky Rosen.More news: Paul Merson names Liverpool FC star as signing of the season
At stake was control of at least one house in the United States Congress, and with it Trump's ability to drive ahead with an unconventional style of government that has divided Americans like rarely before. Ted Cruz held off Democrat Beto O'Rourke. The president also said soldiers would use lethal force against migrants who throw rocks, before later reversing himself. Jeff Flake of Arizona and Tennessee's Bob Corker, both leaving Congress after accusing Trump of dishonesty and questioning his competence.