Democrats to retake U.S. House, GOP to retain Senate

President Donald Trump looks at his watch near the end of a campaign rally Monday Nov. 5 2018 in Cape Girardeau Mo

In the last 24 years, Democrats have only controlled the House of Representatives for four years.

"We always knew these races are going to be close", said Rep. Katherine Clark of MA, co-chair of House Democrats' recruitment efforts.

But the Democrats' edge is narrow.

Trump had noted the energy as he wrapped up a punishing schedule of rallies around the country that were meant to boost Republican candidates - and his own brand heading towards reelection in 2020.

Republicans still had advantages in some areas, giving them hope of retaining a slim majority. And they would claim subpoena power to investigate Trump's personal and professional shortcomings. It wasn't clear what "leaks" he was referring to.

Mr Trump will be holding his final three get-out-the-vote rallies Monday in Ohio, Indiana and Missouri, a day after stops in Tennessee and Georgia, where the president's closing argument to voters was on stark display as he sought to motivate complacent Republicans to the polls by stoking fears about the prospects of Democratic control.

The 2018 elections also exposed an extraordinary political realignment in an electorate defined by race, gender, and education that could shape US politics for years to come. Projections showed the Democrats poised to turn as many as 35 seats, even as their aspirations of an even more impressive breakthrough gradually faded away.

This year there are a record number of women on the ballot, which could significantly increase the number of women in elected office from a fifth of the 535 seats across both chambers. The House was also getting its first two Muslim women, MA elected its first black congresswoman, and Tennessee got its first female senator.

Democrats were defending a whopping 10 seats in states won by Trump in 2016.

Democrats could also recapture governor's offices in several battleground states such as Michigan, Wisconsin and OH, a potential help for the party in those states in the 2020 presidential race.

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By failing to pick up the two seats needed, it's unclear whether the Democratic caucus's leadership ranks will change at all. Democrats won seats stretching from suburban Washington, New York and Philadelphia to outside Miami, Chicago and Denver.

On Sunday Trump and former USA president Barack Obama made dueling election appearances, offering sharply different views on the country's problems but agreeing on the high stakes for voters in the final 48 hours of a tight campaign.

Overall, more voters disapproved of Trump's job performance than approved - a finding that is largely consistent with recent polling. But in Kentucky, one of the top Democratic recruits, retired Marine fighter pilot Amy McGrath, lost her bid to oust to three-term Rep. Andy Barr. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is widely expected to retain his post as the Democratic leader. In a tweet Wednesday, he referred to the election results as a "Big Victory". Democratic Senate incumbents were up for re-election, for example, in North Dakota, Indiana, and Missouri - states Trump carried by nearly 25 percentage points on average two years ago.

Some hurt worse than others.

Almost 40 percent of voters cast their ballots to express opposition to the president, according to AP VoteCast, a national survey of the electorate, while one-in-four said they voted to express support for Trump.

A poll in October by the Institute of Politics at Harvard Kennedy School found that for 18-to-29-year olds, 40 percent report that they will "definitely vote" in the midterms, with 54 percent of Democrats, 43 percent of Republicans and 24 percent of Independents considered likely voters.

Still, about one-third of voters said Trump was not a factor in their votes.

How close are the elections going to be?

Kobach had built a national profile as an advocate of tough immigration policies and strict voter photo ID laws. He served as vice chairman of Trump's now-defunct commission on voter fraud. Both Barack Obama's and Bill Clinton's numbers were 5 points higher, and both suffered major midterm losses of 63 and 54 House seats respectively. It's called the midterm penalty for the president's party.

Several ambitious Democrats easily won re-election, including presidential prospects Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Elizabeth Warren of MA and Kirsten Gillibrand of NY. A handful of others played outsized roles in their parties' midterm campaigns, though not as candidates, and were reluctant to telegraph their 2020 intentions before the 2018 fight was decided. They included New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, California Sen.

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