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November 7, 2018

Democrats take control of House, GOP retains Senate

Agencies

Washington, Nov 7: The opposition Democratic Party is projected to regain control of the House of Representatives while the ruling Republican Party is all set to retain its majority in the Senate in the critical midterm elections held on Tuesday, according to projections made by major US media outlets.

Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, 78, is expected to be re-elected as Speaker of 435-member House of Representatives, which is equivalent to Lok Sabha in the Indian parliament.

In the outgoing House, the Republicans had 235 seats while the Democrats 193. The new House would come into being next January.

However, the ruling Republican Party led by President Donald Trump appeared to be all set to retain a majority in the 100-member Senate where it currently has a razor-thin majority of 51-49 seats. The GOP is expected to increase its tally, as counting of votes were still going on when reports last came in.

In his first tweet after election results started coming in Trump claimed success. "Tremendous success tonight. Thank you to all!".

Trump in campaign rallies had said that he was on the ballot and made it a referendum on his nearly two years rule.

The US President who headlined an unprecedented 50 rallies - 30 in the last two months alone - and has campaigned for dozens of candidates at all levels of government, according to White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, watched the results come in with friends and family in the White House residence.

"The President has energized a staggering number of Americans at packed arenas and in overflow crowds at rallies across the country," Sanders said.

"Under Trump's leadership, the Republican National Committee has raised more than a quarter billion dollars, fuelling an extraordinary ground game geared toward defying midterm history and protecting the GOP's majorities," she said.

In her victory speech in Washington DC, Pelosi said: "Tomorrow will be a new day in America".

The former House speaker said that the election result is about "restoring the system of checks and balances" in Trump administration thus indicating that the new Democratic party would play the role of a strong opponent in for the US President.

In victory, The Washington Post said Democrats regained some of the confidence — although less of the power — they lost in 2016 when Trump won a surprise victory over Hillary Clinton.

"In this election, they sought to energise groups that Clinton did not: young voters, Latinos, African Americans and infrequent voters," the daily said.

According to The New York Times, amid signs that the nation's deep political and cultural divisions that lifted Trump in 2016 may only be deepening, "rural voters were breaking sharply" with their counterparts in the suburban districts and metropolitan areas, as turnout soared in a midterm election that came to serve as a national referendum on the president.

The Democrats also won some of the high-profile governor's race including Kansas, Illinois, Michigan and Minnesota. The GOP retained its governorship in Florida.

The elections also resulted in Rashida Tlaib becoming the first Muslim woman elected to the House of Representatives along with Somali-American Ilhan Omar.

Democrats take control of House, GOP retains Senate

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