Democrats seized control of the House of Representatives on Tuesday in a midterm setback for Donald Trump, but the US president managed to avoid a feared “blue wave” as his Republican Party expanded its Senate majority after a polarizing, racially charged campaign.
House Democrats were projected to capture 229 seats and the Republicans 206 as a result of Tuesday’s midterm elections, according to several networks such as NBC, ABC and FOX News.
The Republicans, before Tuesday’s midterm, controlled the 435-seat House by a 240 — 195 majority. The minority party to seize the House needed to flip a net of at least 23 congressional districts from Republican “red” to Democratic “blue.”
Heralded by Trump as a “tremendous success,” the Republican Senate victories will all but end any immediate talk of impeachment, even as the Democratic-led House will enjoy investigative powers to put new checks on his roller-coaster presidency.
Just after polls closed on the West Coast, Trump took to Twitter to hail his party’s performance.
Representative Nancy Pelosi, who is likely to return as speaker of the House despite opposition from some centrist Democrats, promised that the party will serve as a counterweight — but also work with Trump.
“Today is more than about Democrats and Republicans. It’s about restoring the constitution’s checks and balances to the Trump administration,” Pelosi told a news conference.
But she added: “A Democratic Congress will work for solutions that bring us together, because we have all had enough of division.”
Democrats will now be able to block legislation and light a fire under Trump’s feet with investigations of his opaque finances and Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Tuesday’s contest saw several historic firsts in the Democratic camp: in Kansas Sharice Davids — an attorney and former mixed martial arts fighter — became the first Native American woman elected to Congress.
And in the Midwest a onetime Somali refugee, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib, who is the daughter of Palestinian immigrants, shared the historic distinction of becoming the first two Muslim women elected to the US Congress.
But the rosiest expectations of some Democrats — that they could create a “blue wave” even when playing defense on the Senate map — proved unfounded.