Voting underway as Donald Trump faces litmus test

Voters line up to cast their ballot just before the polls open in the mid-term election

Voters line up to cast their ballot just before the polls open in the mid-term election

The first polls have been closing across the USA in one of the most closely watched midterm congressional elections in living memory, which are likely to be seen as a referendum on President Donald Trump's administration.

The results allowed both parties to claim partial victory, but highlighted an extraordinary realignment of USA voters by race, sex and education.

Young voters also swung aggressively toward Democrats, with those ages 18 to 34 backing Democrats by 62 percent to 34 percent support for Republicans, a 28-percentage point gap.

The long-running "Russia collusion" probe has been sidelined in the election debate as purely domestic issues such as economy and health care have taken center stage. If Democrats' promised "blue wave" materializes, it should be evident.

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. And they would claim subpoena power to investigate Trump's personal and professional shortcomings.

Some Democrats have already vowed to force the release of his tax returns.

"I sure hope so", McConnell said when asked if he predicts Republicans will keep control of the upper chamber.

Democrats are defending 10 Senate seats in states that Trump won in 2016. Victories in contested races across Florida, New York, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Minnesota gave them cause for optimism. Analysts expect pressure on stocks if Democrats gain control of the House and a sharper downward reaction if they win the Senate, too. The president proclaimed the election's outcome a "tremendous success".

The party of a first-term president tends to lose seats in off-year elections and Trump's heated rhetoric and the acrimonious political climate has made even some Republicans jittery. Almost 4 in 10 said they were casting ballots to express opposition to him, while just 1 in 4 said their vote was an expression of support.

Voters are feeling better about the state of the economy than they have since before the Great Recession of 2008.

Indeed, the election was in many ways a referendum on the president himself, two years after he beat most predictions and took the White House, even as he lost the popular vote.

"Everything we have achieved is at stake", Trump declared in his final day of campaigning.

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The president's current job approval, set at 40 percent by Gallup, was the lowest at this point of any first-term president in the modern era.

The surge of female candidates this year has drawn comparisons to the "Year of the Woman", when in 1992 voters sent 47 women to the House, and four women joined the Senate bringing women's numbers to six.

Democrats, whose very relevance in the Trump era depended on winning at least one chamber of Congress, were laser-focused on health care as they predicted victories that would break up the GOP's monopoly in Washington and state governments.

Fifty-eight of voters said the country is headed in the wrong direction, compared with 41 percent who said it is on the right track, according to a nationwide survey conducted in all 50 states for The Associated Press and Fox News. Joe Donnelly in Indiana, Republican Josh Hawley defeating Democratic Sen. If Bredesen wins, he'll be Tennessee's first Democrat Senator since Al Gore in the early 1990s. The Senate, where only 35 seats are up for grabs, has a map that favors the Republicans.

"Senate Democrats faced the most hard political map in 60 years", said Sen. The Justice Department dropped the charges after his trial ended in an hung jury. Another top California Democratic representative, Adam Schiff, would likely rise to chair the House Intelligence Committee, where he is now the ranking member.

Rashida Tlaib, a social worker born in Detroit to Palestinian immigrant parents, won a House seat in a district where she ran unopposed by a Republican candidate.

Former Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala noted that both of her opponents in the race for a House seat from Florida were women.

Heller was described recently by The Guardian newspaper as "the most vulnerable Republican incumbent".

All 435 seats in the U.S. House were up for re-election, although fewer than 90 were considered competitive. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, and potential 2020 presidential candidate Sen. We will be at both the headquarters for Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Republican challenger Marc Molinaro. In Florida's Senate race, Democrat Bill Nelson was in a tight contest with Republican Rick Scott, the state's governor. Among those expected were Trump's adult children, White House aides, Republican officials and presidential friends.

Democrats sustained a net loss of 13 governorships under Obama, according to the Republican Governors Association.

The demographic divides were coloring the political landscape in different ways. McAdams believes that Democrats failed to offer an "alternative narrative" and that might hurt them at the ballot box. Democratic Rep. Beto O'Rourke, a darling of progressives from coast to coast, raised record contributions but faced long odds of ousting tea party Sen.

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