OVERVIEW: Democrats take House, Republicans keep Senate majority

2018-11-07 05:19

The Democrats gained control over the House of Representatives following the US midterm elections, while the GOP (Republicans) hold on to the Senate.

US midterm elections for dummies: What losing the House means for Trump

The results for the United States (US) midterm elections are mostly in and show that the Republican Party will remain in control of the Senate while the Democratic Party now holds a majority in the House of Representatives. What does this mean for President Donald Trump's administration? 

READ: Here is a dummies guide.


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Last Updated at 09:14
07 Nov 17:30

07 Nov 16:45

Female House speaker

It's a pivotal moment for Nancy Pelosi – the beginning of a triumphal return as the nation's first female House speaker, or the start of a political reckoning over who should lead Democrats in the Donald Trump era.

With Democrats winning control of the House, President Trump signalled on Wednesday his support for Pelosi as speaker.

Reclaiming the speaker's gavel could be Pelosi's last act, one she intends to use to restore the power of the office after GOP Speaker Paul Ryan's retirement. She wants to impress on Americans the importance of the legislative branch as a co-equal branch of government.

07 Nov 16:36

WATCH: Mixed reactions to US midterm election results

Democrats gain control of the House of Representatives, but Republicans hold on to the Senate in a bitter setback for Trump. Here are some reactions to the 2018 US midterm election results. 

07 Nov 16:19

07 Nov 15:39

07 Nov 15:25

As much as America voted, some chose not to or couldn't (AP)

According to AP VoteCast, a national survey of the electorate, nonvoters said the biggest reasons for them not voting were they didn't like politics generally and they don't know enough about the candidates' positions. Few said it was because they did not know where to vote, it takes too much time or they didn't have the required identification.

Nationally, 70% of registered voters who chose not to vote in the midterm election were younger than 45. A wide share of those who did not vote – around 8 in 10 – did not have a college degree. About as many nonvoters were Democrats (32%) as Republicans (32%).

07 Nov 15:11

07 Nov 14:55

07 Nov 14:46

07 Nov 14:44

'Younger, browner, cooler'

"It is the end of one-party rule in the United States, thank God, and the beginning of a new Democratic Party: Younger, browner, cooler, more women, more veterans."

Seizing the Senate had never looked a likely prospect for the Democrats, and in the event they fell short of a tidal wave of voter support that would have given them control of both chambers of Congress.

Winning the Senate majority would have allowed Democrats to apply the brakes even more firmly on Trump's policy agenda and given them the ability to block any future Supreme Court nominees.

However, the Democrats will now head House committees that can investigate the president's tax returns, possible business conflicts of interest and possible links between his 2016 election campaign and Russia.

07 Nov 14:37

07 Nov 14:23

Post-election news conference

US President Donald Trump is said to hold a post-election news conference at 11:30.

07 Nov 14:19

07 Nov 14:18

07 Nov 14:12

More women candidates

In locking down a majority, Democratic candidates flipped seats in several suburban districts outside Washington, Philadelphia, Miami, Chicago, Denver and Dallas that were considered prime targets for turnover because they were won by Hillary Clinton in 2016.

The Democrats made only slight inroads in Trump country, where they tried to win back white working-class voters.

Midterm elections are typically difficult for the party in power, but the GOP's hold on power was further weakened by an unusually large number of retirements as well as infighting between conservatives and centrists over their allegiance to Trump.

The Democrats, in turn, benefited from extraordinary voter enthusiasm, robust fundraising and unusually fresh candidates. More women than ever were running, along with veterans and minorities, many of them motivated by revulsion over Trump.

As the returns came in, voters were on track to send at least 99 women to the House, shattering the record of 84 now.

07 Nov 14:05

07 Nov 13:56

07 Nov 13:56

07 Nov 13:54

No 'Blue wave'

Tuesday's contest saw several historic firsts in the Democratic camp: in Kansas Sharice Davids - an attorney and former mixed martial arts fighter - became the first Native American woman elected to Congress.

And in the Midwest a onetime Somali refugee, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib, who is the daughter of Palestinian immigrants, shared the historic distinction of becoming the first two Muslim women elected to the US Congress.

But the rosiest expectations of some Democrats - that they could create a "blue wave" even when playing defence on the Senate map - proved unfounded.

Republicans were forecast to have defeated several Democratic senators in states won by Trump - Florida, Indiana, Missouri and North Dakota.

07 Nov 13:53

Democrats seize US House but Trump averts 'blue wave'

Just after polls closed on the West Coast, and again early Wednesday Trump took to Twitter to hail his party's performance and declare victory.

"Received so many Congratulations from so many on our Big Victory last night, including from foreign nations (friends) that were waiting me out, and hoping, on Trade Deals," Trump wrote.

"Now we can all get back to work and get things done!"

However, network projections said Democrats would take control of the House for the first time in eight years, upending the balance of power in Washington where Trump enjoyed an easy ride following his shock 2016 election with Republican dominance of both chambers.

07 Nov 13:41

WATCH: US midterm elections - key things we learned

The US has voted in midterm elections billed by some as among the most important in history. Here are the things to emerge so far.

07 Nov 13:39

SEE: Drive-thru voting stations and more on US midterms

Americans started voting on Tuesday in critical midterm elections that mark the first major voter test of Donald Trump's presidency, with control of Congress at stake.

07 Nov 13:37

07 Nov 13:31

07 Nov 13:30

07 Nov 12:58

07 Nov 12:50

Florida returns vote to 1.5 million ex-felons

Florida voters on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved an amendment to allow ex-felons who have served prison terms to vote, allowing another 1.5 million people to take part in the 2020 presidential election.

So-called Amendment 4 automatically restores voting rights to felons who have completed their sentences, paid restitution and fulfilled their parole or probation obligations - except those convicted of murder or sex crimes.

07 Nov 12:43

07 Nov 12:40

WATCH: Hang on, what ARE the US 'mid-terms'?

"First of all, what are the mid-term elections?" – This is the second most Googled question about the mid-term elections.

It refers to a set of elections that take place every four years, halfway into a US president's four-year term.

07 Nov 12:37

Midterm election loss won't put Trump back in his box

Donald Trump boasts about winning, but after Democrats seized the House of Representatives on Tuesday, the reality show-host-turned-president is finding out how it feels to be one of the "losers" he usually mocks.

And has he responded with humility? Did the former billionaire real estate dealer and ringmaster at "The Apprentice" appear downcast?


Trump was triumphant.

07 Nov 11:54

07 Nov 11:53

The Senate is getting several new members as Republicans retain control. A look at some of the new senators, all but one a Republican from a state where President Donald Trump remains popular:

JACKY ROSEN (Nevada Democrat)

Nevada's newest senator, Jacky Rosen, 61, decided to take on incumbent Republican Sen. Dean Heller last year when she was only six months into her first term as congresswoman from the Las Vegas area.

JOSH HAWLEY (Missouri Republican)

Democrat Claire McCaskill's good fortune finally ran out on Tuesday when Republican Josh Hawley flipped a crucial Senate seat in Missouri.

MIKE BRAUN (Indiana Republican)

Before launching his political career as a Republican, Braun voted in Democratic primaries until shortly before he first ran for the statehouse in 2014. He previously served as a member of a local school board.

KEVIN CRAMER (North Dakota Republican)

It was on display late in his Senate campaign when he minimised Christine Blasey Ford's allegation of sexual assault by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh by characterising them as "teenagers who evidently were drunk". As with some other statements during his career, 57-year-old Cramer found himself explaining and defending the remark — but eventually riding out the damage.

MARSHA BLACKBURN (Tennessee Republican)

Tennessee is replacing Bob Corker, one of the Senate GOP's most outspoken critics of President Donald Trump — at least at times — with a close ally of the president in Marsha Blackburn.

07 Nov 11:32
3 years old Elan Filippi (L), high fives Matt Gnojek, a.k.a. Colorado Captain, after dropping of his father's ballot for the midterm elections at the Denver Elections Commission building. (Jason Connolly / AFP)

07 Nov 11:28

Democrat Steve Sisolak elected Nevada governor, defeating Republican Adam Laxalt.

- AP

07 Nov 11:25
A smartphone shows a tweet by US President Donald Trump saying "Tremendous success tonight", after most of the result of the US midterm elections were called by US Media (Eric BARADAT / AFP)

07 Nov 11:22

Democratic House victory could echo from Moscow to Riyadh

The Democratic victory in the US House of Representatives could echo from Moscow to Beijing to Riyadh, with empowered Democrats now able to launch new investigations into President Donald Trump's international business empire and his political dealings with the rest of the world.

Overturning control of the House in Tuesday's midterm elections has given the Democrats a powerful weapon to wield against Trump: subpoenas whose reach could extend far beyond the White House and Washington.

It means Democrats could look into everything from Chinese trademarks granted to companies linked to Trump and his daughter Ivanka, to a probable reopening of the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

- AP

07 Nov 11:18
A voter takes in the view outside a polling place after casting her ballot in California's 25th Congressional district. (AFP)

07 Nov 11:16

Facebook, Google are US election ad winners despite meddling outcry

Even before ballots are counted from Tuesday’s elections, some clear winners have emerged, as Google and Facebook reap windfalls from political advertising after a season of controversy over online political speech.

Political ad spending is on course to set a record, exceeding expenditures in the 2016 presidential election year, with a total of perhaps $9bn. Political ad buyers weren’t deterred by months of furor over election meddling by Russians using Facebook, Twitter and Alphabet's Google and YouTube.

07 Nov 11:15

07 Nov 10:49
Democrat Kim Schrier, running for Congress in Washington's 8th District, greets volunteers, including four-month-old Griffin Staniar, the son of a campaign volunteer, at her campaign office in Issaquah on election day. (Mike Siegel/The Seattle Times via AP)

07 Nov 10:49
Democratic candidate for Utah's 2nd congressional district Shireen Ghorbani dances after her concession speech at an election night party in Salt Lake City. (AP)

07 Nov 10:34

07 Nov 10:34
"....unbelievably lucky to have him and I’m just awed at how well they’ve done. It’s all the Trump magic - Trump is the magic man. Incredible, he’s got the entire media against him, attacking him every day, and he pulls out these enormous wins.” Ben Stein, “The Capitalist Code”," - Trump tweets.

07 Nov 10:16


Democrats seize control of the House of Representatives.

- Republicans retain majority in Senate.

- First openly gay governor elected in Colorado.

- First Native American women & first Muslim women elected to Congress.

- The youngest woman ever elected to Congress.

- First black congresswoman in Massachusetts.

- First female senators in Arizona and Tennessee.

07 Nov 10:09

Takeaways from VoteCast:


The country is almost evenly divided on whether Trump's campaign coordinated with the Russian government during the 2016 presidential election. Democrats overwhelmingly said there was collusion, and Republicans overwhelmingly said there was not.


Roughly three-quarters of voters were very or somewhat concerned about women not being believed when they make allegations of sexual misconduct. About the same share said they were very or somewhat concerned about men not being given the opportunity to defend themselves against allegations of sexual misconduct.


In suburban areas, where key House races will be decided, voters skewed toward Democrats by 6 percentage points. 


The survey found that 45% of voters approve of Trump's job performance. Nearly half of Americans said Trump is a strong leader and has brought needed change to the government.

About 7 in 10 voters said Trump stands up for what he believes in.Still, only about a third said Trump has the right temperament to serve as president. Around the same share see him as honest and trustworthy.

- AP

07 Nov 10:03

Takeaways from VoteCast:


A majority of voters overall said the country is headed in the wrong direction. Nearly 6 in 10 voters said it is headed in the wrong direction, while around 4 in 10 said it's on the right track.


A quarter of voters said the Affordable Care Act, often called "Obamacare", should be repealed entirely. About another quarter said parts of the law should be repealed. Around a third of voters said it should be expanded, and about 1 in 10 preferred it be left as it is.


About three-quarters of voters said the debate over Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh's nomination was very or somewhat important to their vote. Roughly half of voters approve of Trump's handling of Supreme Court nominations.

07 Nov 10:01

Takeaways from VoteCast:


Women voted considerably more in favor of their congressional Democratic candidate: 55% voted for the Democrat, compared with 41% voting for the Republican. Women ages 18 to 29 voted strongly Democratic, with 63% of those voters favoring the Democratic candidate. White women were narrowly divided in their views: 50% of white women voted for the Republican, while 46% voted for the Democrat. Among non-white women, 78% voted for the Democrat.


Nationally, 70% of registered voters who chose not to vote in the midterm election were younger than 45. A wide share of those who did not vote — around 8 in 10 — did not have a college degree. About as many nonvoters were Democrats (32%) as Republicans (32%).


Voters have a positive view of the state of the national economy — about two-thirds said the condition of the economy is excellent or good, compared with a third who said it's not good or poor.

- AP

07 Nov 09:58

Takeaways from VoteCast:


Health care was at the forefront of many voters' minds: 26% named it as the most important issue facing the country. Immigration was not far behind, with 23% naming it as the most important issue.


Nearly two-thirds of voters said Trump was a reason for their vote, while about a third said he was not. Nearly 4 in 10 voters said they cast their ballots to express opposition to the president, while a quarter of voters said they voted to express support for Trump.


A large majority of voters were enthusiastic heading to the polls, with nearly 9 in 10 reporting that they were extremely or very interested in the midterm election.

- AP

07 Nov 09:44

07 Nov 09:42

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