USA mid-term elections 2018: Americans vote in 'poll of a lifetime'

Lamar Ellis
November 8, 2018

With the Democratic Party needing a net gain of 23 to take back the House, its candidates flipped seats in several suburban districts outside Washington, Philadelphia, Miami, Chicago and Denver that were considered prime targets for turnover because they were won by Hillary Clinton in 2016.

But he conceded on Monday the House may slip from his party's grasp.

They paved their path to victory by defeating Democrats Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Missouri's Claire McCaskill. The party defeated Republicans from the Northeast to the South and across the Midwest.

If Democrats manage to win the House of Representatives, Trump would be left without congressional support to move his agenda forward. It is typical enough that the party of the President will take a hit at the midterms.

The House has 435 voting representatives, divided proportionally to the population of each state.

In southern Oregon, Democrat Jeff Golden, a river guide and public television production manager, edged Republican Jessica Gomez to take Republican Sen.

Anxious Republicans privately expressed confidence in their narrow Senate majority but feared the House was slipping away. Victories by GOP challenger Mike Braun over Senator Joe Donnelly in IN and Republican Marsha Blackburn's win in Tennessee cut off any small chance Democrats had to make gains, as did the loss by Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota. And Florida has a competitive US Senate election, where Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson has led Republican Governor Rick Scott by a few points.

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.

Outside Richmond, one-time tea party favorite Rep. Dave Brat faced an unusually strong challenge from Democrat Abigail Spanberger, a former Central Intelligence Agency operative motivated to run for office after the GOP vote to gut the Affordable Care Act.

Voters "rejected the politics of hate, the politics of division and the politics of ideology", Spanberger told supporters Tuesday night. Joe Donnelly lost his bid for reelection in IN, and Republican Marsha Blackburn won the open Senate seat in Tennessee, a race that Democrats had hoped would slide into their column. Sen.

Romney clinched the win Tuesday as he defeated Democrat Jenny Wilson, a member of the Salt Lake County council.

But in some other toss-up races, the GOP managed to hold on. The last polls were to close seven hours later in Alaska, with results trickling in through the evening.

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"This was a hard campaign", Curbelo told reporters in Miami.

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.

But in some other tossup races, the GOP managed to hold on. She finished about 3 percentage points behind the incumbent in a Lexington-area district Trump won by 15 percentage points in 2016.

"Democrats, if they're going to win tonight and if they're going to win in 2020, have to have an affirmative, positive agenda, having nothing to do with President Donald Trump", Goodstein said. GOP Rep. Mimi Walters is running against Democrat Katie Porter, a consumer protection lawyer and Elizabeth Warren protégée.

Trump's polarizing impact on the country has driven unusually high interest in the election, the first major political test of his presidency and one that will provide Democrats with clues to the strategy they'll need to challenge him in 2020.

Voter turnout, normally lower when the presidency is not at stake, could be the highest for a midterm election in 50 years, experts predicted. A Democratic victory would break the Republicans' eight-year hold on the House that began with the tea party revolt of 2010.

Almost 40 percent of voters cast their ballots to express opposition to the president, according to AP VoteCast, the national survey of the electorate, while one-in-four said they voted to express support for Trump. His supporters were also very motivated to head to the polls to ensure Trump can continue to make the changes they want for America.

Preliminary exit poll results reported by ABC News showed that 18- to 29-year-olds accounted for 13 per cent of voters nationally, up from 11 per cent in 2014. Still, Republican voters tended to be overwhelmingly supportive of the president.

In trying to stem Republican losses, Trump made only passing reference to his $1.5 trillion tax cut - the GOP Congress' signature achievement - and instead barnstormed through mostly white regions of the country, interjecting dark and foreboding warnings.

Today, voters are turning out to elect Republican candidates not just for themselves, but for the future of their country, the future of their families, the future of their businesses and the future of their pocketbooks. I really think it's more than just about a specific issue.

A majority of the 113,000 voters surveyed said the country is headed in the wrong direction.

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