Democrats capture US House majority in rebuke to Trump

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

Democrats are projected to win back control of the House of Representatives on Tuesday, with voters sending a message that they want a check on Donald Trump's presidency.

In midterm elections two years after he won the White House, Trump and his fellow Republicans were set to maintain their majority in the U.S. Senate, CNN, NBC and ABC News said, following a divisive campaign marked by fierce clashes over race, immigration and other cultural issues. Democratic favorite Conor Lamb, who stunned Washington by winning a special election in the state, beat Republican Rep. Keith Rothfus in a new district.

Democrats acknowledged their path to Senate control was always slim but took solace in limiting their losses. Political gridlock between the White House and Congress could hinder Trump's pro-business agenda and raise concerns about United States political instability, but investors may have already priced this in.

They've also already reportedly threatened to subpoena Mr Trump's tax returns.

The first national elections since Trump captured the White House in a stunning 2016 upset will be a referendum on the polarizing Republican president and his hardline policies, and a test of whether Democrats can turn the energy of the liberal anti-Trump resistance into victories at the ballot box.

Americans are voting for all 435 seats in the House and 35 out of 100 seats in the Senate, a as well as state governors.

Democrats could derail Trump's legislative agenda for the next two years should they win control of the House or the Senate.

Pollsters, gun shy after getting their 2016 predictions wrong, urged caution. Several dozen races where candidates from the two sides are barely separated will decide the day.

A Democratic majority would break the Republicans' eight-year hold on the House that began with the tea party revolt of 2010.

"Tremendous success tonight. Thank you to all!" This is someone the president went in and closed the deal for last night. The flood of political donations from interest groups and individuals will make it the most expensive midterm ever, and early signs suggest voter turnout could be the highest in half a century. This time, they're sitting up.

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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.

And on the streets there was a palpable buzz.

Long lines and malfunctioning machines marred the first hours of voting in some precincts, including in Georgia, where some voters reported waiting up to three hours to vote in the hotly contested gubernatorial election. "We have a president that is willing to work across the aisle to get things done", she told Fox News. Both Florida and Georgia have open governor's seats, and both races feature a black Democratic critic of the president squaring off against a white, Trump-supporting Republican.

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.

Today's elections are the first opportunity for Americans to have a say about Donald Trump's presidency.

The president so dominates politics across the country that despite not being on any ballot he has made the election largely about him.

The nationwide survey indicated that almost two-thirds said Trump was a reason for their vote. "'Don't worry about it, I'll just figure it out'".

In the final stretch, Trump has ramped up his hard-line rhetoric on immigration and cultural issues, including warnings about a caravan of migrants headed to the border with Mexico and "liberal" mobs, and touted a growing USA economy that he said would be threatened by Democrats.

Trump has sent soldiers to the Mexican border, threatened to have illegal immigrants shot if they throw stones, and vowed to restrict citizenship rights.

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