America battles for its soul in midterm elections

Blanche Robertson
November 8, 2018

Two other sources close to the White House said that Trump is already blaming retiring House Speaker Paul Ryan for the loss of the House. The Florida Senate race between Democrat Bill Nelson and Republican Rick Scott remained deadlocked.

Jay Ghazal, a political consultant and former Congressional aide says the Democratic majority in the House will also have some effects on Trump's foreign policy: "The House will be able to vote to increase foreign aid, something the president has been cutting". Moscow denies meddling and Trump denies any collusion.

He seized on scenes of a caravan of Central American migrants heading through Mexico for the U.S., mused on ending the constitutional guarantee of citizenship to all people born in the United States and ran a television advertisement, deemed too provocative to air by mainstream networks, that linked Democrats to a criminal who was an undocumented immigrant. However, Democrats have said they firmly intend to govern, developing legislation about health care and a tax cut for working families instead of the uber-rich and corporations. A Republican-led Senate would allow Trump's conservative remaking of the USA judiciary to continue.

But the return to split control of Congress after four years of GOP majorities will be a major test for the president, who has shown little ability to reach across the aisle. Trump was badly underwater among women voters - who favor Democrats 62% to 35% - a gender gap, that if borne out by real votes, could prove devastating to Republican hopes.

Although a number of Democratic heavyweights hit the trail to stump on behalf of candidates, including former president Barack Obama, former vice-president Joe Biden and former talkshow host Oprah Winfrey, the narrative was still dominated by Trump and his freewheeling rhetoric.

This was a House election centered around sharply polarized reactions to the presidency of Donald Trump.

New York Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is projected to have become the youngest woman ever elected to the US House at 29 years old.

In the Senate, where Republicans were heavily favored to keep control heading into Tuesday's voting, Republican Mike Braun captured incumbent Joe Donnelly's seat in IN and Republican Kevin Cramer beat incumbent Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota.

Some of the biggest Democratic stars of the campaign season were struggling.

President Donald Trump departs following a campaign rally for Republican Senate candidate Mike Braun at Allen County War Memorial Coliseum November 5, 2018 in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R) held on to that open seat in Tennessee for the Republicans, defeating Democratic contender former Gov. Phil Bredesen by a wide margin.

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"We have the beginning of a new Democratic Party, younger, browner, cooler, more women, more veterans, can win in MI, can win in Pennsylvania, can win in OH", said Van Jones, a CNN political commentator.

Florida is living up to its history as a cliffhanger state, with Democratic Sen.

"We will have a responsibility to find our common ground where we can, stand our ground where we can't", Pelosi said.

Tom Mooney, a voter in the same district said he was casting his vote for the Republicans.

Election Day saw some blatant attempts to lessen turnout with disinformation on social media, and there were glitches nationwide that could slow the vote count.

But as he touched down in IN for the second leg of his final-day tour Monday, even Trump conceded that the House may slip from his party's grasp.

In the last two decades there have only three election cycles where one party picked up 24 or more seats.

With divided leadership in Congress and a president who has taken an expansive view of executive power, Washington could be in store for even deeper political polarization and legislative gridlock.

Health care and immigration were high on voters' minds as they cast ballots in the midterm elections, according to a wide-ranging survey of the American electorate conducted by The Associated Press.

The party of a first-term president tends to lose congressional seats in off-year elections. "I just couldn't believe it", he said, referring to Senate hearings were held where Kavanaugh was accused of sexually assaulting a woman when they were both teenagers.

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