Published: Fri, November 09, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Democrats strike first as polls close in most USA states

Democrats strike first as polls close in most USA states

In the suburbs outside the nation's capital, Virginia Rep. Barbara Comstock - among the most endangered GOP incumbents, branded Barbara "Trumpstock" by Democrats - lost to Jennifer Wexton, a prosecutor and state legislator. This year, women tied the record for most governor's seats women have ever held - nine - a number that was previously reached in 2004 and 2007.

Democrats picked off two Republican House seats in Florida, including one held by Representative Carlos Curbelo. It would also nearly certainly bring an onslaught of investigations of his businesses and his administration. The Republicans have a majority in the House with 235 congresspeople to 193 Democrats. Individual races "will be close", she said, but because of the "quality of our candidates" and emphasis on preserving health care, "I feel confident we will win".

"There's a great electricity in the air, like we haven't seen, in my opinion, since the '16 election".

The campaign unfolded against a backdrop of ugly rhetoric and angry debates on immigration, health care and the role of Congress in overseeing the president.

Democrats accused Trump of fear-mongering and former president Barack Obama decried his deployment of troops to the border with Mexico as a "political stunt". And Pelosi would look to regain the speakership. She is not running as a progressive firebrand, but just as Brat rode the Tea Party wave against Cantor, Spanberger could capitalize on the suburban backlash to the President in a traditionally Republican district.

What happens on election day?

AP VoteCast also shows a majority of voters considered Trump a factor in their votes.

As voters head to the polls Tuesday, nothing was certain.

Americans are voting for all 435 seats in the House of Representatives and 35 of 100 seats in the Senate - the two bodies that make up Congress. Governors are also being chosen in 36 out of 50 states.

This was seen as the most likely outcome before Americans went to the ballot box.

However, Goodstein believes that the relative silence over the alleged links between Trump's 2016 campaign and Russian Federation will be broken again as soon as the Democrats take over the House.

Of the Republicans surveyed, 87% predicted that the GOP would maintain its House majority on Election Day, while only 74% of Democrats believed that their party would retake the House. Trump had been tweeting support for specific GOP candidates, even as he acknowledged potential losses by emphasizing that his focus was on the Senate.

But the Republicans could lose up to 10 state gubernatorial races.

Several districts on the East Coast with early poll closing times were among those watched Tuesday for signs of the electorate's mood.

In Virginia's 7th District, a Republican-leaning area near Richmond, Republican Rep. Dave Brat was in a tight race with Democrat Abigail Spanberger, a former Central Intelligence Agency officer. Like other Democrats across the country, Spanberger emphasized protecting people with pre-existing conditions from being denied coverage or charged more by insurers. Now she faces a challenge from gun control activist Lucy McBath, whose son was shot and killed in 2012 after a dispute over loud music.

The GOP's hold on the majority was complicated by an unusually large number of retirements as well as persistent infighting between conservatives and centrists, with much of the conflict centered on the question of allegiance to Trump. It also means Senate Republicans can continue to confirm new appointments that may arise for members of the President's Cabinet.

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Marsha Blackburn says she's received a "tremendous response" statewide and said she thinks she will win her tough contest in Tennessee. Harris was facing a stiff challenge from Marine veteran and small-businessman Dan McCready.

While at his polling place Tuesday, Bredesen said it was an important day that is not just about a Democrat and a Republican but about two different visions for the job. They are projecting a 39-seat gain for the Democrats. 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.

The GOP campaign committee distanced itself from eight-term Rep. Steve King of Iowa after racial remarks, and his seat was unexpectedly contested in the final week of the campaign.

Republicans, who prior to Tuesday's vote had a slim 51-49 hold on the Senate, are keeping their majority, according to early results. At least three other red districts flipped to blue.

"We always knew these races are going to be close", said Rep. Katherine Clark of MA, co-chair of House Democrats' recruitment efforts. "And so this really was my opportunity to help this country in changing who is making the decisions".

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