President Trump May Call It A “Big Victory”, But The Democrats Have Won Control Of The House

As Bloomberg adds, the projections from NBC and Fox reflect good trends for Democrats in the recent calls: namely, that they’re continuing to flip the races where they were favored, and picked off the occasional toss-up. CNN is projecting that Democrats could win up to 35 seats. Republicans have picked up 2 Senate seats, though 11 races remain undecided.

And, as we reported earlier, NBC also called the Senate for the Republicans, which means that after the 2016 fiasco, this time conventional wisdom was correct, and consensus – Dems get House, GOP keeps Senate – was right.

Which means that in addition to Nancy Pelosi, who is set to become the new House Speaker, Adam Schiff taking over the House Intelligence Committee, and Elijah Cummings becoming the news Oversight Committee chair, the new chair of the House Financial Services committee will be none other than Maxine Water. 

Waters has frequently clashed with Trump, calling for his impeachment – and earning a nickname as “low IQ” from the president.

She’s signaled she’ll likely be an aggressive watchdog on the panel, as she sought (unsuccessfully) to subpoena Trump family records from Deutsche Bank AG and opposed a bipartisan effort to scale back some elements of Dodd Frank

That hasn’t stopped President Trump from spinning the night as an unmitigated win.

Here’s a roundup of some other key late-breaking races.

  • In what was perhaps the biggest House upset in Democrats’ favor, voters in the normally red 11th Congressional district on Staten Island and in South Brooklyn gave the upset to Democrat Max Rose, who topped the former Staten Island District Attorney 52% to 48%, with 92%.
  • Democrat Andrew Gillum has conceded to Republican Ron DeSantis in the tight Florida governors race dealing a major blow to Dems hopes of retaking governorships. Gillum, the mayor of Tallahassee, was vying to be Florida’s first black governor.
  • Former Tennessee Titan Democrat Colin Allred defeated House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions in his Dallas-area district, winning another major victory for Dems.
  • Fox News is projecting that Democratic incumbent Senator Claire McCaskill has been defeated by her GOP opponent Josh Hawley.
  • Former CFPB head Richard Cordray lost his bid to be Ohio’s next governor.
  • Jared Polis has become the first openly gay man to win a governor’s race, besting Republican Mike DeWine in Colorado.
  • Boston’s Ayanna Pressley has become the first black woman elected to Congress from Massachusetts (she famously defeated a long-time Democratic incumbent in a primary earlier this year. On the same tip, “girl from the Bronx” Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has become the youngest woman ever elected to Congress at the age of 29. She defeated Democratic leader Joe Crowley in a primary in the spring.
  • Democrat Laura Kelly defeated Kris Kobach to turn the Kansas governorship blue.
  • Republican Brian Kemp is ahead of Stacey Abrams in the race for Georgia governor by 10 points with 81% of precincts reporting, according to CBS. Abrams, who was endorsed by several celebrities, including Oprah Winfrey.
  • North Dakota Democratic incumbent Heidi Heitkamp lost to Republican challenger Kevin Kramer.
  • Democrats are presently winning all four Iowa congressional districts, including the seat of Rep. Steve King.
  • Democrat Kate Brown is projected to win election to Oregon governor

In one silver lining for  Republicans, Denver Riggleman, a man who once wrote bigfoot-themed erotica (a published a novel entitled “Mating Habits of Bigfoot and Why Women Want Him”), has defeated his Democratic challenger Leslie Cockburn

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Update 22:15 EST: After a series of surprising wins in key Senate races, NBC now projects Republicans will retain Senate control. At the same time, however, it now looks almost guaranteed that Republicans will lose control of the House.

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Update 22:10 EST:  After the earlier fiasco, in which CBS called Texas for Beto O’Rourke only to correct itself, moments ago ABC called the Texas Senate race for Ted Cruz

Despite the Cruz setback. the Democrat wins in the house continues with CNN projecting: Sharice Davids wins KS03, Chrissy Houlahan wins PA06, Dean Phillips wins MN03, Max Rose wins NY11. CNN projects: Sharice Davids wins KS03, Chrissy Houlahan wins PA06, Dean Phillips wins MN03, Max Rose wins NY11.

With these wins, the Democrats only need another 15 turns to take control of the House.

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Update 22:00 EST: Mitt Romney has won the senate race in Utah; as Republicans Hold another key Senate seat. Meanwhile, as Bloomberg reports, “Democrats are picking up congressional seats across the country, but not at a rate that would suggest a wave. The race for control of the House remains close, with projection models still predicting a flip of the lower chamber.” At the same time, the path to Senate control looks almost non-existent for Democrats, following losses by Sen. Joe Donnelly in Indiana and Marsha Blackburn’s hold of Tennessee’s Senate seat.

According to the latest PredictIt odds, after being tied with the Democrats as recently as an hour ago, the Republicans odds of keeping the House have tumbled to just 10%.

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Update 21:45 EST: In what may be remembered as the biggest gaffe of the evening, moments ago CBS first called the Texas Senate race for Beto O’Rourke over Sen. Ted Cruz, but moments later corrected itself, amending to say it doesn’t call Texas Senate race, instead blasting the following: Democrat Beto O’Rourke’s Race in Texas Senate Still Unclear, CBS Reports

Meanwhile, with the Trump Hotel bar in DC reportedly “at capacity”, President Trump (who is at a private reception in the White House) is greeting supporters and shaking hands.

Tennessee’s Marsha Blackburn is leading Democrat Phil Bredensen (who was famously endorsed by pop sensation Taylor Swift) in the race for Bob Corker’s Senate seat, putting her on track to become Tennessee’s first female Senator. Meanwhile, Dems have picked up two key seats in Pennsylvania’s 5th and 17th districts, widening the Dems win rate for ‘flippable’ seats to 4 and sending odds that the GOP will retain control of the House tumbling.

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Update 21:15 EST: 538’s forecasting model is now placing Republican odds of winning the House back below 50% to 45.7%.

But online betting markets are still more optimistic, with PredictIt seeing the GOP essentially deadlocked for control of the House.

Meanwhile, New York City’s Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has officially become the youngest woman ever elected to Congress at the age of 29, winning more than 80% of the votes in New York’s 14th Congressional district.

In Texas, Beto O’Rourke’s lead briefly shrunk to just 79 votes (O’Rourke: 2,196,196 Cruz: 2,196,117). In North Dakota, Democrat Heidi Heitkamp is way behind with 38% of the vote compared with Republican Kevin Cramer’s 62%.

Meanwhile, Nancy Pelosi speaking at a campaign event in Washington proclaimed that Democrats “will win tonight” and said her majority will run a Congress that is “open” and “transparent.”

This as Bloomberg pointed out that even a narrow win in the House will prompt “soul searching” for Democrats.

If Democrats lose both the House and Senate tonight, it will be a catastrophic defeat for both the party and its policy goals. But even a narrow victory in the House that comes in below expectations will prompt some soul-searching.

Leaders in the party are likely to openly question whether an avowedly liberal presidential candidate would be best suited to take on President Donald Trump in 2020, when the party will need to recapture swing districts and states. A narrow victory will also increase the governing headaches for Democratic leaders, and could even endanger Nancy Pelosi’s bid to become the first woman re-elected as Speaker. Of course, there’s still a lot of votes to be counted.

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Update 21:00 EST: It’s 9 pm on the East Coast and polls have officially closed in most of the country. The upshot according to a summary from BBG is that Republicans are performing better than expected, though Dems have so far averted any major disasters.

Polls in nine states close at 9pm, meaning that voting has concluded in the majority of the country.

So far, things are trending well for Republicans. Toss-up districts in Kentucky and Florida have gone to the GOP, and they’ve held on to seats where Democrats might have been competitive in a so-called tsunami.

There’s also reason for GOP optimism in the Senate, with Sen. Joe Donnelly, a Democrat, appearing unlikely to win re-election in Indiana. That makes a surprise Democratic victory in the upper chamber unlikely.

Still, Democrats avoided disaster in New Jersey’s Senate race and have flipped some House districts where they were favored.

Here’s a summary of the remaining tossups.

While Democrat Joe Manchin has successfully defended his West Virginia Senate seat from Republican challenger Patrick Morrisey, in Texas, what looked like a promising race for Dems early on has transitioned into a tossup as Ted Cruz has eroded insurgent Democrat Beto O’Rourke’s early double-digit lead.

As of 9 pm, Democrats must pick up 21 more Republican seats and not lose any of their own to win the House. But perhaps most telling of all, CNN’s Jake Tapper has proclaimed: “This is not a blue wave.”

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Update 20:45 EST: Democratic incumbent Joe Donnelly has lost to Republican challenger Mike Braun in Indiana, a major blow to Dems that means Republicans will likely expand their majority in the Senate. Trump had made defeating Donnelly a priority, even visiting Indiana on Monday in his pre-midterm rally blitz. Pollsters have called it: The GOP has won the Senate. And as Lexington Kentucky’s Andy Barr has won re-election, defeating Amy McGrath and dealing a major blow to Democrats’ ambitions for winning a solid majority in the House. Republicans are now favorites to win the House and Senate, according to real-time polls and online betting markets.

For those keeping score at home, the GOP has retained two competitive seats (VA5 and KY6), while Dems have swung two (VA10, FL27).




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