UPDATE – US: Democrats win House, Republicans keep Senate

ADDS DETAILS THROUGHOUT

By Michael Hernandez

WASHINGTON (AA) – Democratic hopes for a "blue wave" fueled by opposition to U.S. President Donald Trump fell short Tuesday with the party on track to take control of the House of Representatives even as it lost critical ground in the Senate.

Republicans increased their hold on the 100-member chamber, holding at least 51 seats in the Senate as both parties claimed legislative victories. Additional Senate races have yet to be called, but Republicans are on pace to increase their hold of the chamber after taking at least three seats held by Democratic incumbents.

Democrats were at a disadvantage heading into the midterms, holding most of the seats up for election in the Senate even as they were expected to take the House.

"Today is more than about Democrats and Republicans. It's about restoring the Constitution's checks and balances to the Trump administration," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said in Washington while announcing her party's victory in the House.

U.S. President Donald Trump phoned Pelosi, who is expected to be the next speaker of the house late Tuesday evening to extend his congratulations over the Democratic victory in the House, according to Drew Hammill, who is Pelosi's chief of staff.

Trump himself lauded the Republican electoral gains, saying on Twitter: "Tremendous success tonight. Thank you to all!"

Still, he is unlikely to be pleased with the Democratic inroads that will see Democrats now hold the power to hold subpoena-backed investigations of the president and his administration that could see the president make public his tax returns, something he has vehemently opposed despite prior precedent.

With control of the House comes control of its committees, a power that previously laid with Republicans who were resistant to calls to take a tough line against the president.

Democrats are now more likely to actively seek to stymy the president's agenda barring a dramatic and highly doubtful about-face by the president on his major policy goals. They also now wield the power to launch a formal impeachment hearing, which if passed in the House, would be tried in the Republican-held Senate.

Trump had worked hard to ensure neither chamber fell to the Democrats, holding a campaigning blitz in the run-up to Tuesday's polls that saw him traverse the continental U.S.

In addition to Pelosi, Trump spoke by telephone with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel to congratulate him on the Republican gains, and also spoke with outgoing House Speaker Paul Ryan, the White House said.

US: Democrats win House, Republicans keep Senate

By Michael Hernandez

WASHINGTON (AA) – Democratic hopes for a "blue wave" fell short Tuesday as the party took control of the House of Representatives but lost critical ground in the Senate.

Republicans increased their hold on the 100-member chamber, holding at least 51 seats in the Senate as both parties claimed legislative victories. Additional Senate races have yet to be called.

"Today is more than about Democrats and Republicans. It's about restoring the Constitution's checks and balances to the Trump administration," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said in Washington while announcing her party's victory in the House.

U.S. President Donald Trump phoned Pelosi, who is expected to be the next speaker of the House, late Tuesday evening to extend his congratulations over the Democratic victory in the House, according to Drew Hammill, who is Pelosi's chief of staff.

Trump himself lauded the Republican electoral gains, saying on Twitter: "Tremendous success tonight. Thank you to all!"

UPDATE – US midterms: Democrats flip first seats in House

ADDS DETAILS THROUGHOUT

By Michael Hernandez

WASHINGTON (AA) – Democratic challenger Jennifer Wexton upset Republican incumbent Barbara Comstock Tuesday night for a seat in the House of Representatives — the first in a growing wave of victories critical to Democratic hopes in the chamber.

The seat in Virginia's 10th congressional district was the first Democratic pickup of the night in the federal legislature as the party seeks to seize on an energized American electorate in this year's midterm elections.

It was closely followed by a rapid-fire projection in favor of Democrat Donna Shalala, who is set to replace outgoing Florida Republican Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. Democrats took at least 14 more races as polling stations closed in much of the western U.S.

Among those victories is Sharice Davids, who is set to replace four-term Representative Kevin Yoder. Her victory marks yet another historic milestone in the federal legislature, as Davids will be the first Native American woman and the first lesbian Native American elected to Congress.

Democrats need to pick up 23 seats in the chamber without losing any they currently hold in order to take control of the House. They have the best chance of securing a majority in that chamber but face steep odds in being able to do the same in the Senate, where most of the seats up for election are held by Democratic incumbents.

But at least one House seat held by a Democrat has gone to the Republicans.

In the Senate, Republicans are projected to pick up at least two seats from Democrats, putting the total number of seats they will control in the 100-member chamber at just under half, or 49 seats.

The midterms are critical for U.S. President Donald Trump as he seeks to secure his legislative agenda for the final two years of his first term in office.

Ocasio-Cortez youngest woman elected to US House

By Michael Hernandez

WASHINGTON (AA) – Democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez became the youngest woman to be elected to the House of Representatives Tuesday.

Republican Representative Elise Stefanik previously held the distinction when she won her seat at the age of 30.

Ocasio-Cortez, who will be 29 years old when she begins her term next January, had widely been expected to win, having received the endorsement of former presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders.

The Latina pulled off an upset victory earlier this year in a primary race against Democratic incumbent Joe Crowley. Ocasio-Cortez’s victory shot her into the national spotlight with questions about whether the far-left wing of the Democratic party she represents is posing a viable challenge to the establishment.

Crowley was one of the highest-ranking Republicans in the House, with expectations that he would assume the speakership.

Ocasio-Cortez is set to represent New York's 14th congressional district, which includes parts of Queens and the Bronx.

US midterms: Democrats flip first seats in House

By Michael Hernandez

WASHINGTON (AA) – Democratic challenger Jennifer Wexton has upset Republican incumbent Barbara Comstock for a seat in the House of Representatives, multiple media outlets reported Tuesday.

The seat in Virginia's 10th congressional district is the first Democratic pickup of the night in the federal legislature as the party seeks to seize on an energized American electorate in this year's midterm elections.

It was closely followed by a rapid-fire projection in favor of Democrat Donna Shalala, who is set to replace outgoing Florida Republican Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.

Democrats need to pick up 23 seats in the chamber in order to take control there. They have the best chance of securing a majority in the House but face steep odds in being able to do the same in the Senate, where most of the seats up for election are held by Democratic incumbents.

The midterms are critical for U.S. President Donald Trump as he seeks to secure his legislative agenda for the final two years of his first term in office.