Trump faces restraints after Democrats win US House

Trump faces restraints after Democrats win US House

Democratic hopes for a "blue wave" fell short November 6 as the party took control of the House of Representatives but lost critical ground in the Senate.

Some leading Democrats have suggested they will use a 1924 law that allows the the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee to obtain the tax returns of any American from the Treasury Secretary.

WASHINGTON (AP) -Democrats have won half the seats they need to reclaim the House majority, while Republicans were picking up key Senate contests.

The president found partial success despite his current job approval, set at 40% by Gallup, the lowest at this point of any first-term president in the modern era. It was on par with other recent midterm "wave" elections which had margins of 7.1 for the Republicans in 1994; 8.0 for the Democrats in 2006; 7.2 in 2010 and 5.7 in 2014 for the Republicans.

Democrats themselves sought to root their campaigns in more bread-and-butter issues, such as health-care and what they portrayed as Republican assaults on the popular aspects of Obamacare.

With results still coming in, Republicans had a chance to increase their majority in the Senate.

Internal Revenue Service law allows House and Senate tax-writing committees to request federal returns, and the ranking Ways and Means Democrat, Rep. Richard Neal of MA, has signaled publicly he would ask for them - a move the White House might fight.

Though it must drive anti-Trumpers up the wall, the fact is that Mr. Trump's party did not lose anything close to the 50-60 plus House seats Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama lost two years after winning the White House. They included New Jersey Sen. "Two can play that game!" the president wrote on Twitter on November 7.

Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-Va.) lost to Democrat Jennifer Wexton, who partially ran her campaign by tying Comstock to Trump.

And outside Richmond, Virginia, one-time tea party favorite Rep. Dave Brat lost to Democrat Abigail Spanberger, a former Central Intelligence Agency operative motivated to run for office after the GOP vote to gut the Affordable Care Act. Some 35 Senate seats were in play, as were nearly 40 governorships and the balance of power in virtually every state legislature.

Meanwhile, several 2020 presidential prospects easily won re-election, including Sens.

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New York Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo - sometimes spoken of as a 2020 presidential contender - cruised to a third term. Among those expected: Vice-President Mike Pence and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, an informal adviser to the president.

It could have been a much bigger night for Democrats, who suffered stinging losses in OH and in Florida, where Trump-backed Republican Ron DeSantis ended Democrat Andrew Gillum's bid to become the state's first African-American governor.

Although Ronald Reagan would be aghast at Trump's protectionism and exclusionary nativism, the GOP is now Trump's party. She shocked many, including herself, last spring when she came out of nowhere to defeat 10-term Rep. Joe Crowley in New York's Democratic congressional primary.

Women voted considerably more in favour of their congressional Democratic candidate - with fewer than 4 in 10 voting for the Republican, according to VoteCast, a nationwide survey of more than 113,000 voters and about 20,000 nonvoters - conducted for The Associated Press by NORC at the University of Chicago.

Trump boasted a growing economy but campaigned aggressively in the closing days on a hardline anti-immigration message.

And then there's a lawsuit against Trump by almost 200 Democratic senators and representatives who accuse Trump of constantly violating the Constitution's emoluments provision banning the acceptance of gifts from foreign and domestic interests.

With 218 seats needed for a majority in the 435-member Houses, Democrats have won 220 and the Republicans 193, with winners undetermined in 22 races.

Democrats boasted record diversity on ballots.

Three states could elect their first African-American governors, while several others were running LGBT candidates and Muslims.

As the returns came in, voters were on track to send at least 99 women to the House, shattering the record of 84 now.

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