Democrats reclaimed control of the US House of Representatives Tuesday night after eight years out of power, dealing a major setback to President Trump’s legislative agenda — but Republicans were able to expand their narrow Senate majority and, with it, the ability to confirm crucial judicial nominees.
The split decision on Capitol Hill follows one of the most intense and chaotic midterm campaign seasons in recent memory, in which President Trump campaigned aggressively across the country for Republican candidates and powerful Democrats including former President Barack Obama campaigned for Democrats. However, Trump was able to help prevent a total Democratic takeover in Congress.
Republicans are guaranteed to keep control of the Senate after netting early victories by flipping two Democratic seats in Indiana and North Dakota and winning a contentious race in Texas between incumbent Republican Senator Ted Cruz and Democrat Beto O’Rouke. Several other Senate remained too close to call as of Wednesday morning including the Florida race between Democratic incumbent Senator Bill Nelson and challenger Republican Rick Scott. That race is heading for a recount as the latest returns had Scott leading Nelson by some 33,000 votes or 0.42 percent. Under Florida’s electoral laws if the initial results are less than 0.5 percent a recount of the votes is required.
It is projected the Republican majority in the US Senate could improve from 51-49 seats to 53-47.