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US Midterms

No big upsets as Trump's Republicans keep Senate and Democrats take House

There’s already been a disagreement between Democrat Nancy Pelosi and President Donald Trump.

LAST UPDATE | 7 Nov 2018

pjimage (13) Nancy Pelosi, rumoured to be the next Speaker of the House, was reportedly congratulated by President Donald Trump. Photojoiner Photojoiner

  • The ‘blue wave’: No sweeping win for the Democrats; White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders dismissed it as a blue “ripple”
  • One each: The Democrats have taken the House, the Republicans have kept control of the Senate, and are on track to increase their majority
  • The Texan race for the Senate: In a shock for many, Beto O’Rourke ran a very close race against former presidential hopeful Ted Cruz but ultimately lost 
  • A win for diversity: The first two Muslim congresswomen; the youngest congresswoman ever elected; the first openly gay governor of the US and Ayanna Pressley has become Massachusetts’ first black congresswoman
  • Comeback kid: Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney was elected to the Senate, marking a return to the national political stage
  • As it happened: We liveblogged all the developments throughout the night

THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY has regained control of the House of Representatives in the US midterm elections, but failed to regain control of the Senate.

With the majority of states announced, Democrats are expected to increase their House seats by 30+, and Republicans will get a slight boost in the Senate. Just a third of Senate’s 100 seats were up for election: 26 of those 35 seats were held by Democrats, meaning that it was going to be very difficult for Democrats to pick up seats.

It’s expected that Californian Nancy Pelosi will be appointed House Speaker. During her speech today, she said a Democratic Congress “will work for solutions that bring us together, because we have all had enough of division”.

The American people want peace. They want results.

There’s already been a miscommunication, or disagreement between the two party leaders: it’s been reported that Trump called Pelosi to congratulate her on the House win, while a White House spokesperson denied that this would happen. 

There were a number of closer-than-expected races during the midterm. In Florida, Andrew Gillum just lost out on becoming its first black governor to Republican Ron DeSantis, while climate change candidate Bill Nelson lost to Rick Scott in the Senate race (50% to 49.7%).

The biggest surprise came from Beto O’Rourke – a Texan running for the Senate against the former presidential candidate Ted Cruz. Although they were neck in neck right until the very end, and the final result was very close – 51% to 49% – Cruz retained his Senate seat in the republican stronghold.

The election has resulted in a record 100 women in the House, the first two Muslim congresswomen; the youngest congresswoman ever elected; and the first openly gay governor of the US.


US election day 2018 San Diego County residents wait in line at the Registrar of Voters to vote on election day 2018. John Gastaldo John Gastaldo

There was a sense of urgency among voters flocking to the Brooklyn Museum in New York City, where production artist Gilad Foss warned that democratic values were “kind of under attack”.

Across the East River in Manhattan, high school senior Ayla Jeddy voted after turning 18 in September.

“I looked up all the candidates last night, and I did vote for candidates who opposed the most egregious of (Trump’s) policies: his immigration policies … and his attitude towards women in general,” she said.

Two-page ballots caused delays in New York, while voters in Georgia also faced long waits due to technical problems and high turnout.

At a polling station in his home town, the border city of El Paso, Carlos Gallinar enthused that O’Rourke was “just great for El Paso, great for Texas, great for United States”.

“With all the issues that are happening across the country and the negative energy coming out of Washington and this president, it’s great to see someone like Beto who has great energy, great enthusiasm, a positive great message.”

- with reporting from © AFP 2018 and Órla Ryan

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