U.S. midterm polls: Democrats leading in fight to win House

The Latest Abrams vows to wait for all the votes in Georgia

The Latest Abrams vows to wait for all the votes in Georgia

Democratic candidates buoyed by widespread opposition to Donald Trump seized the balance of power on Capitol Hill, but Tuesday's US midterm elections failed to produce what critics had hoped would be an even more scolding rebuke of the most controversial and divisive president of the modern era.

In a sign that Trump dominance two years ago isn't necessarily fatal for Democrats, their incumbents were expected to win re-election in six other states that he carried. But blue-collar voters and rural America embraced his aggressive talk and stances.

In the last 24 years, Democrats have only controlled the House of Representatives for four years.

On Tuesday, the president telephoned House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, a conversation that her office said included congratulations and a nod to her pitch for bipartisanship.

But the Democrats' edge is narrow. Democrats needed to gain 23 seats to reclaim control.

Trump was expected to address the results in greater detail at a White House news conference later Wednesday.

WASHINGTON (AP) -Democrats have won half the seats they need to reclaim the House majority, while Republicans were picking up key Senate contests.

Many Democratic candidates in tight races shied away from harsh criticism of Trump, focusing instead on bread-and-butter issues like maintaining health insurance protections for people with pre-existing medical conditions and safeguarding the Social Security retirement and Medicare healthcare programs for senior citizens.

Faced with the possibility of keeping the Senate but losing the House, aides have begun laying out the political reality to Trump, who could face an onslaught of Democratic-run investigations and paralysis of his policy agenda. It wasn't clear what "leaks" he was referring to.

As far as partisan affiliation is concerned, young Democrats appear more willing to make their voices heard than their Republicans counterparts this cycle.

Districts around the country reported unusually high turnout: according to Michael McDonald of the US Elections Project, 38.4 million Americans cast their ballots early ahead of this election, compared with 27.4 million in the 2014 midterm.

Trump's racially tinged anti-immigrant appeals could hurt Republican candidates in swing states like Arizona and Nevada where college-educated voters could be decisive, but his rhetoric could help in deeply conservative areas. Bill Nelson was trailing his challenger, current Republican Gov. Rick Scott, with most of the vote in. Wexton was among the record number of women running this year.

Among the new faces are Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of MI, the first two Muslim women elected to Congress; and Sharice Davids of Kansas, the first Native American woman to win a House seat.

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The party drew blood in IN, ousting one-term Democrat Joe Donnelly in a state that had been seen as a must-win for Democrats seeking to gain control of the upper chamber.

Mr Kemp looks to defend his party's control of a state Democrats believe could be a presidential battleground in 2020. Democrats flipped seats in suburban districts outside of Washington, Philadelphia, Miami, Chicago and Denver.

Both parties have claimed major victories.

In Kansas, Democrat Sharice Davids beat a GOP incumbent to become the first gay Native American woman elected to the House.

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

Trump sought to take credit for retaining the GOP's Senate majority, even as the party lost control of the House. In a tweet Wednesday, he referred to the election results as a "Big Victory".

Trump encouraged voters to view the first nationwide election of his presidency as a referendum on his leadership, pointing proudly to the surging economy at recent rallies.

Some hurt worse than others.

"If the Democrats think they are going to waste Taxpayer Money investigating us at the House level, then we will likewise be forced to consider investigating them for all of the leaks of Classified Information, and much else, at the Senate level".

What has President Trump being saying?

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

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.

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