Dem Indiana senator loses, boosting GOP drive to keep Senate

Saul Bowman
November 12, 2018

Democrats seized control of the House of Representatives on Tuesday in a midterm setback for Donald Trump, but the United States president managed to avoid a feared "blue wave" as his Republican Party expanded its Senate majority after a polarizing, racially charged campaign.

Democratic teachers picked up two seats in suburban Louisville - special education teacher Tina Bojanowski defeated Republican incumbent Rep. Phil Moffett in the 33rd district and middle school teacher Maria Sorolis defeated Republican incumbent Ken Fleming in the 48th district.

The night's news wasn't completely disastrous for Democrats. It was just the second midterm election in over three decades when the party holding the White House gained seats.

It meant that even if every remaining Democratic incumbent was re-elected - which was far from guaranteed - they would have to win all three of the remaining GOP-held seats considered competitive.

Some analysts have said that if the Democrats win control of the House and resist President Trump, it could end up helping Trump's re-election chances in 2020. Others have pledged to pursue impeachment, although removal from office is unlikely so long as the GOP controls the Senate or even maintains a healthy minority.

With the final days of the 2018 campaign interrupted by a spate of politically motivated attempted bombings and a massacre at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, about 2 in 10 Democratic and Republican voters think their own party's way of talking about politics is leading to an increase in violence.

Despite Trump's deeply polarizing effect on voters, the GOP harnessed his rock-solid popularity with hard-right voters in rural, deep-red states.

Democrats were defending a whopping 10 seats in states won by Trump in 2016. "And so this really was my opportunity to help this country in changing who is making the decisions".

Republicans were banking on those dynamics being offset by a vibrant economy and by a president whose insult-laden approach to political discourse was as stirring for conservative voters as it was infuriating to liberals. "I like the fact that he is not a politician, and I forgive some of the socially incorrect or politically incorrect things that he says". He himself has characterized the election as a referendum on his presidency.

The snapshot of who voted and why comes from VoteCast, a nationwide survey of more than 116,000 voters and about 22,000 nonvoters conducted for The Associated Press by NORC at the University of Chicago. 25 percent described health care and immigration as the most important issues in the election, according to AP VoteCast, a national survey of the electorate.

Almost 40% of voters cast their ballots to express opposition to the president, according to a national survey of the electorate, while one-in-four said they voted to express support for Mr Trump. Bob Menendez won a third Senate term.

Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, a 2016 presidential contender, and Democrat Sen.

Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown was projected to hold his seat in Ohio.

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. Orrin Hatch. Virginia Democrat Tim Kaine, his party's defeated 2016 vice presidential candidate, won re-election to the Senate.

A simple House majority would be enough to impeach Mr Trump if evidence surfaces that he obstructed justice or that his 2016 campaign colluded with Russian Federation. And they would claim subpoena power to investigate Trump's personal and professional shortcomings.

The Democrats, in turn, benefited from extraordinary voter enthusiasm, robust fundraising and unusually fresh candidates. First-term Democratic Rep. Jacky Rosen ousted him, attacking him for backing last year's Republican effort to repeal President Barack Obama's health care law.

Republican Ted Cruz is predicted to win against the charismatic Beto O'Rourke.

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