Democrats on Track to Win Majority in House, Split Congress Likely After Midterms

Melanie Sun
By Melanie Sun
November 7, 2018Politics

A Democrat majority in the House has been projected after preliminary results of the midterm elections came in midnight ET, predicting a split congress.

Real Clear Politics projected a gain of 26 seats for the Democrats, who needed a gain of at least 23 seats to secure the 218 seats needed for a House majority.

The announcement was made by major media around midnight, with some of the 435 races still undecided.

If confirmed, Democrats say the swing of power in the House will help them “keep a check” on the Trump administration’s policies where they could block further tax cuts, deregulation, and changes to America’s immigration laws, as well as the building of a U.S.–Mexico border wall.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters earlier in the evening that no matter the result in the House, the Trump administration’s agenda was not going to change and was still focused on lowering taxes, growing the economy, creating jobs, defeating ISIS, remaking the judiciary, and tackling the opioid crisis. She said they would also continue looking at boosting infrastructure and trying to get the Democrats to come to the table on tackling illegal immigration.

Reuters reported that “Democrats rode a wave of dissatisfaction with President Donald Trump to win control of the U.S. House of Representatives” and cited the Republican campaign as “divisive,” without passing comment on the campaign strategy of the Democrats.

According to a POLITICO/Morning Consult poll taken just two weeks before the election, 67 percent of Americans said they believed the media had done more to divide the country than unite the people since the time that Trump took office. The same poll showed that 56 percent of these pollsters believed that the president had done more to divide the country than unite it.

At a campaign rally in Fort Wayne, Indiana, on Nov. 5, Trump shared his observations of the political climate in the United States with the crowd. “Every day since [his win in 2016], the failed old ruling class have been trying to claw back their way into power.

“They’re not having an easy time,” the president added. “I shouldn’t say this because I do want to unite … but the fact is we’re driving them crazy.”

Despite his party losing the House, Trump wrote on Twitter, “Tremendous success tonight.”

Midterm election results typically go against the incumbent administration. In the 2014 midterm elections, the Obama administration suffered a loss of 13 seats in a House of 188 Democrats and a loss of nine seats in the Senate.

Earlier in the evening, major media and political commentators announced that the GOP had likely secured its Republican majority in the Senate and was looking to extend the lead by four to five seats.

As of midnight election night, Real Clear Politics projected a 52 seat Republican Senate.

Projected results in the 36 gubernatorial races projected a blue creep, with the Democrats likely picking up five governors’ seats, according to Real Clear Politics. Before the midterm election, Republicans held 33 of the 50 governors’ seats while the Democrats held 16. Gov. Bill Walker in Alaska was an independent but has stood down from re-election in the midterms.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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