Published: Wed, November 07, 2018
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Red Wall: Democratic Surge Fails To Erase Senate Republican Majority

Red Wall: Democratic Surge Fails To Erase Senate Republican Majority

A sharply divided USA electorate voted Tuesday to elect a new Congress and to render a midterm verdict on President Donald Trump, in a vote that could shift the balance of power in Washington and alter the next two years of Trump's presidency.

Unlike past presidents facing potentially unfavourable mid-term elections, Mr Trump hasn't shied from the spotlight - and it looks like he's succeeded in making this vote about him. Republican Brian Kemp, also secretary of state in Georgia, is running the election as well as running against Democrat Stacey Abrams. And in Tennessee, Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn defeated former Gov. Phil Bredesen, a top Democratic recruit.

Four GOP seats in Orange County, including two where the incumbent Republicans retired, were in play, along with three other seats to the north beyond Los Angeles and into the Central Valley.

Beto O'Rourke, a charismatic Democrat who lost in a closely watched bid to dethrone Republican Senator Ted Cruz in Texas, told voters that Trump was wrong, describing his state as built from "immigrants, asylum seekers and refugees". Democrats have campaigned heavily on the topic - attacking Republican attempts previous year to repeal Obamacare health insurance reforms.

That would give the Senate the role of blocking House-passed Democratic initiatives on everything from health care to the potential repeal of tax cuts on the wealthy that the GOP enacted previous year.

Democrats faced a far more hard challenge in the Senate, where they were nearly exclusively on defense in rural states where Trump remains popular. Joe Donnelly and either pad their slender Senate majority or offset possible Democratic gains elsewhere.

President Donald Trump is deeming the election results a "tremendous success", as Republicans maintain control of the Senate but Democrats make gains in the House.

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Phillips noted that, while this is frequently the case, the focus seems to be more on rhetoric this time than on policy.

Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin was re-elected in West Virginia, a state Trump captured by 42 percentage points in his 2016 election triumph.

Most top House races are set in America's suburbs where more educated and affluent voters in both parties have soured on Trump's presidency, despite the strength of the national economy.

Trump has headlined 30 rallies in two months and packed out arenas of adoring fans. REUTERS/Michelle McLoughlin Voters line up to vote as polls opened in the U.S. midterm congressional and gubernatorial elections in Deerfield Beach, Florida, U.S. November 6, 2018.

The House Intelligence Committee may revive the panel's dormant Russian Federation investigation after Republicans ended the probe past year after concluding there was no evidence of collusion between the Trump presidential campaign and Russian Federation. He was active on Twitter throughout much of the day, blasting out endorsements for Republican candidates and weighing in on the balloting.

McSally's Democratic opponent is Kyrsten Sinema, 42, a 3-term member of the House of Representatives who spent several years of her childhood in poverty after her parents divorced.

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said her party had momentum on its side.

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"We're going to do our job; they may think that's a nightmare", said Representative Elijah Cummings of Maryland, who will become chair of the House Oversight Committee - a body that showed no appetite for oversight under Republicans for the last two years. "Do not let their scare tactics frighten you away from the polls". Victories in contested House races across Florida, New York, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Minnesota gave them cause for optimism.

Democrats themselves sought to root their campaigns in more bread-and-butter issues, such as health-care and what they portrayed as Republican assaults on the popular aspects of Obamacare.

"I feel honored that the voters have understood the work I do and issues I am interested in", Hutchinson said.

At his rallies, Trump frequently declares that 2018 is the election of "Kavanaugh and the caravan".

"In a certain way I am on the ballot", Trump told supporters during a tele-town hall organized by his re-election campaign. Perhaps more important, they would claim subpoena power to investigate Trump's personal and professional shortcomings.

This story will be updated as more election results come in.

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