Trump faces gridlock after Republicans lose House, keep hold of Senate

A number of races are so close that it may not be possible to declare a winner on election night leaving control of the House and Senate up in the air

Democrats seized control of the lower house of Congress in midterm elections Tuesday, dealing a stern rebuke to Donald Trump nearly two years into his polarising, rollercoaster presidency.

Yet Democrats' dreams of the Senate majority as part of a "blue wave" were shattered after losses in Indiana, Tennessee, North Dakota and Texas.

In the broader fight for control in the Trump era, the political and practical stakes on Tuesday were sky high.

Democrats lost 945 seats in state legislatures across the country during the 2009-2017 presidency of Democrat Barack Obama, the group said. And they would claim subpoena power to investigate Trump's personal and professional shortcomings.

In the House of Representatives, the Democrats gained 24 seats giving them enough for the majority in the 435-membered chamber. Of the House winners, 42 identify as non-white, as does one of the Senate winners.

On the other side of the country, in Atlanta, Georgia, voters waited in line for almost two hours to cast ballots, according to local media reports.

The most important elections concern Congress as it is the national legislative body responsible for passing laws on everything from immigration to the economy.

"Donald Trump went out and worked his tail off, " Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado, who heads the Senate GOP's campaign committee, said in an interview.

In defeating Democrat Phil Bredesen, GOP Rep. Marsha Blackburn will become Tennessee's first woman senator, MA sent the state's first black woman to Congress in Democrat Ayanna Pressley and Texas elected their first two Latinas to Congress, sending Democrats Veronica Escobar of El Paso and Sylvia Garcia of Houston to the House.

Yet Trump's party will maintain Senate control for the next two years, at least.

Blackburn, a conservative and ardent Trump backer, defeated former Tennessee governor Phil Bredesen, 74. Only a third of the Senate (35 seats) were up for election tonight, and a lot of them were in Republican strongholds. The GOP retained its governorship in Florida.

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 a hotly contested gubernatorial election.

Some 38.4 million Americans have cast their ballots in early voting compared to 27.4 million in the 2014 midterms, according to the US Elections Project. He lauded his party for winning at least half the 10 seats they were defending in states Trump carried and preventing Republicans from capturing a filibuster-proof majority.

He said: "It's all fragile".

The crucial polls, marking the first major voter test of Trump, is seen as a referendum on his controversial policies, including those on immigration.

He bet big on a xenophobic closing message, warning of an immigrant "invasion" that promised to spread violent crime and drugs across the nation.

That's very bad news for Donald Trump.

The president's current job approval, set at 40 percent by Gallup, was the lowest at this point of any first-term president in the modern era.

The surge of female candidates this year has drawn comparisons to the "Year of the Woman", when in 1992 voters sent 47 women to the House, and four women joined the Senate bringing women's numbers to six.

Democrats needed to pick up two dozen seats to seize the House majority and two seats to control the Senate. The Justice Department dropped the charges after his trial ended in an hung jury.

In Virginia, political newcomer Jennifer Wexton defeated two-term GOP Rep. Barbara Comstock.

There was also an historic gender gap that showed women more supportive of Democrats than Republicans.

In south Florida, former Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala defeated Republican Maria Elvira Salazar. In Kentucky, one of the top Democratic recruits, retired Marine fighter pilot Amy McGrath, lost her bid to oust to three-term Representative Andy Barr in the Lexington-area district.

Meanwhile, several 2020 presidential prospects easily won re-election, including Sens.

Trump called the results a "tremendous success", while House Democrat minority leader Nancy Pelosi said "tomorrow will be a new day in America".

Trump was watching the results roll in from the White House, where he spent the day holed up with friends and family. Among those expected: Vice President Mike Pence and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, an informal adviser to the president.

Women also contested governor's races across the country. Democrats are relying more upon women, people of color, young people and college graduates.

The demographic divides were coloring the political landscape in different ways.

And in the Senate, triumphant Republicans retained control, ousting Democratic incumbents in IN and North Dakota and ensuring they will remain as guardians of Trump's conservative agenda for two more years.

Democratic congressional candidate Ilhan Omar is greeted by her husband's mother after appearing at her midterm election night party in Minneapolis, Nov. 6, 2018.

Democrats boasted record diversity on ballots.

Voters also elect who they want for state governors and local public offices.

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