Democrat Ahead in Arizona as Vote Counting Continues in Close Elections

Democrat Ahead in Arizona as Vote Counting Continues in Close Elections”

The historical first midterm that 2018 most resembles is that of Richard Nixon in 1970 when Republicans lost twelve House seats but gained two Senate seats.

Those results, state by state and district by district, framed the geographic and demographic challenges for both President Donald Trump and whoever becomes the Democratic presidential nominee two years from now. "The Democrats are the party of rigid ideology and total conformity". He took to Twitter the morning after the split election outcome for the GOP to put Democrats on notice about their threats to investigate him and the administration.

The White House did not respond to an inquiry for this article.

Two years ago, Trump secured his victory by winning two big prizes, OH easily and Florida narrowly, and then carrying Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania by the thinnest or margins - less that one percentage point in each state.

However, Democrats did eke out a narrow win to beat Scott Walker in Wisconsin and comfortably won the governor's office in MI. Gains in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania were offset by mixed results in OH and GOP dominance in electoral powerhouse Florida.

It's not clear there definitively is one in either instance. But becoming speaker requires a majority of the full House, 218 votes, and her slim majority - now at 222 - leaves her little cushion. But party strategists acknowledged that much work remains to be done in those Midwest battlegrounds. Claire McCaskill in Missouri and Republican Attorney General Mike DeWine defeating Democrat Richard Cordray in the race for OH governor. OH long has been a fiercely contested state, though one with a slight Republican edge. That may have shifted recently to give Republicans a greater advantage than in the past. Ballots will still be counted in close races for days, if not weeks, to come. Republican Ron DeSantis ousted Democratic opponent Andrew Gillum by less than one percentage point in a hotly contested race in Florida; Mike DeWine won the governorship in OH; and Republican Brian Kemp was ahead of Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams by 1.6 points with 100 percent of precincts reporting.

Sanders dismissed the suggestion that Trump could turn the tables on Democrats, using a relatively short term spike in popularity to grow his own power and eventually do longer term damage to the same programs, like Medicare, that Sanders wants to protect and expand.

Results elsewhere speak to changes underway in other states that traditionally figure into the competition in presidential races. Tammy Baldwin and the state's Democratic governor, Tony Evers. "There's definitely a turnout benefit to talking to conservatives the way Trump has". Democrats were defending 25 of the 33 seats up for reelection.

In Nevada, another purple state, Democrats defeated an incumbent Republican senator (Dean Heller) and captured the governorship.

What the president has failed to do is translate those political instincts into a coherent Trumpist program that delivers on the promise of his election. However, the controversy over confirming Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court appears to have hurt them further. Yet the personal style many of his supporters so enjoy repels numerous other voters, including some Republicans, leaving him with an approval rating below 50 percent.

Also striking was how numerous House races were decided by margins of five points or less.

Mitt Romney, who won the Senate race in Utah, spoke strongly against Trump in 2016 but has since toned down the rhetoric and expressed somewhat measured support for several key points of Trump's agenda.

Republicans will be aiming to take those back in two years. Democrats flipped a district in the Atlanta suburbs that has been represented by Republicans for 40 years, for half of that time by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

House Democrats projected that their net gain of at least 11 seats may be the party's largest in more than 40 years, since the electoral shake-up that followed the Watergate scandal.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel argued today that Democrats must build an urban-suburban coalition through issues like healthcare and education and thereby prevent the President from driving a wedge between the two constituencies on other issues.

"It will probably be very good for me politically" if I'm investigated, he said.

Hours earlier, the president had hailed a "big victory" in the midterm election and tweeted that "now we can all get back to work and get things done!"

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