Split decision: Democrats and Republicans claim victory
by Harvest Prude
Posted 11/07/18, 01:15 am
With Democrats projected to retake the House of Representatives and Republicans maintaining a majority in the Senate, both parties claimed a partial victory early Wednesday in the first nationwide election since President Donald Trump took office.
Republicans pointed to wins in Senate contests in Indiana, Missouri, Tennessee, and Texas as proof that a potential Democratic blue wave had sputtered dry. But Democrats are calling the capturing of the 23 seats needed for a House majority a clear rebuke to the president’s performance.
Midterm elections typically see less media buzz and lower voter engagement, but this year, both parties pulled out all the stops in an effort to fire up their respective bases. Trump took a hard line on immigration while GOP candidates focused on a roaring economy. Democrats predicted dire consequences to healthcare should a Republican supermajority remain intact, and their message resonated with suburban voters, who helped flip districts in Colorado, Kansas, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington.
The split Congress is sure to set up a host of obstacles the Trump administration has so far avoided with a Republican supermajority. An opposition-controlled House is almost certain to trigger a string of investigations of the president and his administration. Democrats will wield oversight capabilities to call for Trump’s tax returns, issue subpoenas, and open probes into alleged corruption.
A split Congress also sets up a more difficult legislative path for Trump’s agenda. Democrats can block any major legislative initiatives such as securing funding for a border wall or repealing Obamacare.
The last time Congress had a Republican majority in the Senate and a Democratic majority in the House was during the Reagan administration.
While the president reportedly called House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., to congratulate her on her party’s victory, he later raved over the night’s mixed verdict on Twitter, “Tremendous success tonight. Thank you to all!”
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Harvest is a graduate of the World Journalism Institute and a reporter for WORLD.