United States mid-terms: Polls open for Trump’s ‘referendum’

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New Mexico's 2nd district is another key race: Susie Lee, a Democrat, is facing Republican Danny Tarkanian for the House seat held by Democrat Jacky Rosen, who is challenging Dean Heller, and Nevada's 4th district, where GOP candidate Cresent Hardy is facing off against Democrat Steven Horsford. Joe Donnelly versus Republican Mike Braun in IN; and Democratic Sen. If Bredesen wins, he'll be Tennessee's first Democrat Senator since Al Gore in the early 1990s. Party stalwarts and some independents have been roused by revulsion toward Trump's anti-immigration rhetoric and policies and his efforts to dismantle health care protections enacted under President Obama, and by the #MeToo movement's fury over sexual harassment. The GOP's grip on high-profile governorships in Georgia and Wisconsin were at risk as well.

President Donald Trump is spending Election Day calling allies, tweeting endorsements and following news coverage, after concluding a six-day rally blitz in Missouri late Monday. Voters reported waiting up to three hours to vote.

Some 34.3 million people have cast early ballots and the real number is probably higher, according to the US Elections Project, a University of Florida-based information source. Also, more said they showed up at the polls to express opposition than did those who said they were casting a ballot to support him.

Two issues more than any others were on voters' minds: 25 percent described health care and immigration as the most important issues in the election.

Today's elections are the first opportunity for Americans to have a say about Donald Trump's presidency.

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

"The president absolutely is the focal point".

The party needed a net gain of 23 seats to break the Republicans' eight-year hold on the House that began with the tea party revolt of 2010. And in New Jersey, Democrats re-elected embattled Sen. Bob Menendez, who, less than a year ago, stood trial for federal corruption charges.

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In Virginia, political newcomer Jennifer Wexton defeated two-term GOP Rep. Barbara Comstock. Right now, Republicans have 240 seats, and Democrats have 195.

Republicans retained Senate seats in the South, Midwest and West and ensured at least a 51-49 majority, equal to their current margin.

Today's results were set to transform the House, not only in partisan makeup but also in gender, age and ethnicity.

All 435 seats in the US House were up for re-election, although fewer than 90 were considered competitive while Some 35 Senate seats were in play, as were nearly 40 governorships and the balance of power in virtually every state legislature.

Meanwhile, several 2020 presidential prospects easily won re-election, including Sens. All three and Sherrod Brown, a pro-labor senator victorious in OH, are considered potential 2020 Democratic presidential contenders.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders minimized likely Democratic gains.

Indeed, the election was in many ways a referendum on the president himself, two years after he beat most predictions and took the White House, even as he lost the popular vote. Among those expected: Vice President Mike Pence and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, an informal adviser to the president. And they would claim subpoena power to investigate Trump's personal and professional shortcomings.

Some Democrats have already vowed to force the release of his tax returns.

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Tuesday's elections also tested the strength of a Trump-era political realignment defined by evolving divisions among voters by race, gender, and especially education. IN is Trump country (and the home state of Vice President Mike Pence), but Donnelly is slightly ahead in most recent polls. Democrats are relying more upon women, people of color, young people and college graduates.

Republicans built on their slim Senate majority and ousted four incumbent Democrats: Bill Nelson in Florida, Joe Donnelly in Indiana, Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota and Claire McCaskill in Missouri.

Despite the increasing likelihood of a Democrat takeover in the House after the midterms, betting odds on a possible Trump impeachment have held study on online political prediction markets like PredictIt.

Tuesday's results will be colored by the dramatically different landscapes in the fight for the House and Senate.

Over three quarters of voters think Americans are becoming more politically divided.

Midterm elections are typically hard for the party in power, and GOP incumbents were on the defensive in many races across the country.

Democrats boast record diversity on the ballot.

In addition to electing their lawmakers, Americans in several states will vote on ballot measures. The questions of the hour: Which woman will win the Arizona Senate seat being vacated by Republican Jeff Flake?

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