Term election results: What it all means for Trump

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Almost 40 percent of voters cast their ballots to express opposition to the president, according to AP VoteCast, a national survey of the electorate, while about 25 percent said they voted to express support for Trump.

The loss of the House is a serious blow to Trump who must now brace for the novel experience of oversight from Capitol Hill with Democratic committee chairmen promising constraints on his power that the GOP never attempted.

The House Intelligence Committee, which ran the chamber's investigation into 2016 Russian investigation meddling, will be under the control of outspoken Trump antagonist Adam Schiff, who has pledged to look deeper into the president's foreign financial dealings.

Still, Trump brushed off criticism that he was alienating moderate voters as he continued his massive rallies and overheated rhetoric.

In the House, Democrats picked up seats across the map, ousting incumbent Republican Barbara Comstock in suburban Virginia and sending Donna Shalala, a former Cabinet secretary under President Bill Clinton, to the House in south Florida. Kamala Harris, former New York City Mayor Tom Steyer and former Vice-President Joe Biden. Yet he was vindicated in voting that took place for Senate seats and a smattering of governorships - endorsing an agenda and a style of governing that inspired the very backlash that cost his party the House.

The Republican president is the omnipresent figure as Americans render their verdict Tuesday on the past 21 months of Trumpism.

In the candidates it nominated, and ultimately the races it won, the Republican Party again served notice that it is controlled by Trump.

But Trump is such an unusual politician who has made a career overturning conventions and expectations that it's possible he will defy ominous precedents.

"We always knew these races are going to be close", said Rep. Katherine Clark of MA, co-chair of House Democrats' recruitment efforts. They also benefited from a new court-drawn map in Pennsylvania, a state where they had netted three seats with leads in two more, and courts' decisions in recent years to force minor changes to GOP gerrymanders in Florida, Virginia and North Carolina.

In the Senate, where Republicans were heavily favored to keep control heading into yesterday's voting, Republican Mike Braun captured incumbent Joe Donnelly's seat in IN and Republican Kevin Cramer beat incumbent Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota.

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Just 35 of the 100 seats in the Senate, and all of the 435 seats in the lower House of Representatives are up for grabs. A big question for Democrats is whether or not they can flip Republican held seats in these suburban areas.

As Election Day unfolded, Democrats were increasingly confident, predicting they would pick up at least the 23 seats needed for a House majority on the strength of voter enthusiasm, robust fundraising and unusually fresh candidates.

Pelosi told a Washington audience that the Democrats' victories in House races on Election Day signified "restoring the Constitution's checks and balances" on the Trump administration.

Fifty-eight per cent of voters said the country is headed in the wrong direction, compared with 41 per cent who said it is on the right track, according to a nationwide survey conducted in all 50 states for the Associated Press and Fox News.

Preliminary exit poll data found that Trump was a factor for nearly two-thirds of House voters.

Two issues more than any others were on voters' minds: 25 percent described health care and immigration as the most important issues in the election.

He bet big on a xenophobic closing message, warning of an immigrant "invasion" that promised to spread violent crime and drugs across the nation. About two in 10 each choose the economy and immigration as their top issue, and just one in 10 say it's gun policy.

The president found partial success despite his current job approval, set at 40 per cent by Gallup, the lowest at this point of any first-term president in the modern era. The extraordinary U.S. midterm election has been a tug of war over key issues, but none has had a more dramatic impact on voters than Donald Trump, the man who isn't even on the ballot. Democrats are left hoping that the four liberal members of the bench remain in good health for the next two years.

Aides set up televisions in the White House residence for Trump, first lady Melania Trump and their guests to watch election results come in, with the sets tuned to different cable news channels. Often, a president's party loses ground in midterms because the opposition is roused to anger.

Republicans also held on to the only open seat in Tuesday's vote.

Democrats boasted record diversity on ballots. Democrat Jared Polis in Colorado became the first openly gay man elected governor.

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