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szdaily -> World -> 
Democrats seize House, Trump averts ‘blue wave’
    2018-11-08  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

DEMOCRATS took control of the lower house of Congress on Tuesday in a midterm rebuke to Donald Trump, but the U.S. president escaped a feared “blue wave” as his Republicans bolstered their Senate majority after a polarizing, racially charged campaign.

Heralded by Trump as a “tremendous success,” the Republican Senate victories will all but end any immediate talk of impeachment, even as the Democrat-led House will enjoy investigative powers to put new checks on his roller-coaster presidency.

But network projections said that Democrats would take control of the House for the first time in eight years, upending the balance of power in Washington where Trump enjoyed an easy ride following his shock 2016 election with Republican dominance of both chambers.

Democrats were on course to flip at least 27 seats from Republican hands, with strong performances among suburban white women who had narrowly turned to Trump two years ago and in key battleground states such as Pennsylvania.

In the 100-member Senate, with final, complete results not yet tallied, news reports said the Republicans had won at least 51 seats.

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.

Democrats will now be able to block legislation and light a fire under Trump’s feet with investigations into his opaque finances and Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Meanwhile, a record number of women appeared headed to Congress after Tuesday’s election. Women have never held more than 20 percent, or 107, of the 535 seats in Congress, the current number.

But late Tuesday night as results were still coming in, that record was on pace to be broken. Women ran for office in unprecedented numbers, mostly as Democrats and many as first-time candidates.

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 U.S. 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.

Trump boasted a growing economy but campaigned aggressively in the closing days on a hard-line anti-immigration message. He seized on scenes of a caravan of Central American migrants heading through Mexico for the U.S., mused on ending the constitutional guarantee of citizenship to all people born in the United States and ran a television advertisement, deemed too provocative to air by mainstream networks, that linked Democrats to a criminal who was an undocumented immigrant. (SD-Agencies)

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