Half polls closed; voters pit Trump strength, Democratic resistance

US midterm elections 2018 LIVE updates: Voting underway as Donald Trump faces litmus test

After Brexit And Donald Trump, Can We Trust The Midterm Polls In 2018?

The party needs to gain a net of 23 seats to take control of the House for the first time since 2010. If Democrats' promised "blue wave" materializes, it should be evident.

As Election Day unfolded, Democrats were increasingly confident, predicting a House majority on the strength of voter enthusiasm, robust fundraising and unusually fresh candidates.

Trump, who frequently warns of voter fraud and has claimed without evidence that millions of fraudulent votes were cast in 2016, said on Twitter on Monday that law enforcement should be on the lookout for "illegal voting".

"They (Republicans) have been trying to take Medicare away form us, our medical services, and it's important that we vote for candidates who will defend that", he said at a polling place in Tornillo, Texas.

If ever there was an off-year election for younger voters to break tradition, this is it. But they failed to win the governor's mansions in OH and Florida, two big states where they'd had hopes for marquee victories.

Polls are also closed in parts of in, where Democrat Joe Donnelly, a top target of the President's frenetic final midterm election campaign swing, is fighting an uphill battle for re-election against Republican Mike Braun. Other super negatives for the President include New Jersey, New York (-21 in both), Virginia (-13), MI (-9) and Pennsylvania (-10). The higher end of that range would give Democrats a slim majority among governors nationally - something they have not had in almost a decade. She also backs Trump and said Republicans are moving in the right direction on health care.

The long-running "Russia collusion" probe has been sidelined in the election debate as purely domestic issues such as economy and health care have taken center stage. They also channeled frustration with a historically unpopular president into grassroots energy that propelled them back to power in a number of districts that Democrats haven't represented in years, in some cases decades, like the Virginia district where Democrat Abigail Spanberger defeated Republican Dave Brat in a district that a Democrat hasn't represented since 1970. In one result that did not come as a surprise, former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney won a Senate seat in Utah. While the Republican president is not on the ballot, the campaign has been indeed largely about him, with Democrats missing no opportunity to tear into the administration's immigration policies, branding the president racist and even comparing him to Osama bin Laden. Florida and Georgia, meanwhile, could make history by electing their states' first black governors - and leading Democrats such as former President Barack Obama made special pitches for Andrew Gillum in Florida and Stacey Abrams in Georgia in the final days.

Trump administration reimposes some of the Iran sanctions that Obama administration relieved
He said claims by USA secretary of state Mike Pompeo that the measures would not hit ordinary Iranians were a "complete nonsense". But the other parties to the deal - Britain, France, Germany, China and Russian Federation - stuck with it.

Republicans had initially tried a different messaging strategy.

Voters are feeling better about the state of the economy than they have since before the Great Recession of 2008. Two independents, Jason Grenn from Anchorage and Dan Ortiz from Ketchikan, and three Republicans, Gabrielle LeDoux of Anchorage, Paul Seaton of Homer and Louise Stutes of Kodiak, joined with Democrats for a 22-18 majority coalition caucus.

Ms Pelosi is expected to seek the top job of House speaker, a post she held for four years beginning in 2007.

Victories in contested House races across Florida, New York, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Minnesota gave them cause for optimism. Donors responded to heated political battles, like funding a wall on the border with Mexico and Republicans' failed attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, by flooding candidates with cash.

The southern Miami district that had always been the home of Republican Ileana Ros-Lehtinen was expected to be another easy pickup for the Democrats - and it was. They'll offer their own legislation on DACA and dare Trump to oppose it. They have also talked about pushing for improvements to the Obamacare system. Heitkamp reached out to Trump White House officials and attempted to craft a bipartisan posture, but she voted against Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court. " But that could change with new revelations from the Robert Mueller investigation or from congressional oversight ― and Pelosi's position as the top Democrat in the House isn't certain either".

It means Democrats will have to bridge the demands of a party that has grown to embrace progressives, like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who is expected to win in a safely Democratic district in NY, while electing moderates like Conor Lamb in Pennsylvania, who won a special election earlier this year and is favored to win Tuesday in a reconfigured district.

That divide could make it hard for House Democrats to unify around an agenda.

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