Democrats must do more than Trump-bashing if they want to win

Tom Reel  San Antonio Express-News  ReutersRep. Beto O'Rourke speaks as Senator Ted Cruz looks on during a debate in San Antonio Texas Oct. 16 2018

Tom Reel San Antonio Express-News ReutersRep. Beto O'Rourke speaks as Senator Ted Cruz looks on during a debate in San Antonio Texas Oct. 16 2018

A sharply divided USA electorate voted Tuesday to elect a new Congress and to render a midterm verdict on President Donald Trump, in a vote that could shift the balance of power in Washington and alter the next two years of Trump's presidency. And by 9:30 eastern time, NBC had reported that Democrats would win enough seats to take back control of the House of Representatives. If McGrath, the Democrat, wins in this solid Republican district, it could be a sign that that Democrats will take the House majority, because they'll likely win easier contests than this one.

The battle for the House is a fight to the finish, as Democrats try to flip the majority in a referendum on President Donald Trump and Republican control of Congress.

"The big picture is that midterm elections go against the president's party", said John Fortier of the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington.

Still, nearly 7 in 10 said the economy was in good shape, and those who said their personal finances were in better shape now than two years ago outnumbered those who believed their finances were worse off, according to the polling. But she lost a close race to Republican incumbent Andy Barr. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly Milford Hayes and his son Myles watch as Milford's wife, U.S. Democratic Congressional candidate Jahana Hayes, is interviewed at a voting station in Wolcott, Connecticut, U.S., November 6, 2018.

While the economy continues to thrive, Trump has spent much of the campaign's final days railing against a caravan of Latin American immigrants seeking asylum at the U.S. border.

Another key House race is in California, where Democrat Harley Rouda is seeking to unseat longtime Republican incumbent Dana Rohrabacher in Republican bastion Orange County. Perhaps more important, they would claim subpoena power to investigate Trump's personal and professional shortcomings. Still, she was within striking distance in a Lexington-area district Trump won by 15 percentage points in 2016. Democrats are relying more upon women, people of color, young people and college graduates. The survey is separate from the traditional exit polls for the television networks.

Democrats are drawing strength from women and college-educated voters in general, who swung decidedly against Trump since his election.

It also will test Trump's ability to compromise, something he has shown little interest in over the last two years with Republicans controlling both chambers of Congress.

Mr Trump's party is projected to hold on to the upper chamber in Congress, where they now hold a slim 51-49 majority.

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He deployed more than 5,000 troops to the border and suggested he may triple that number.

The demographic divides were coloring the political landscape in different ways.

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.

"An American voter is not happy with one party being in charge", he said.

In the Senate, where Republicans were heavily favored to keep control heading into Tuesday'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.

Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey beat Republican challenger Bob Hugin to win a third term.

"In 2010 ... it was more about did you agree or disagree with Obamacare?" he recalled.

The White House said Tuesday it hoped Democrats would forget the investigations and try to find common ground with a president willing to work on shared priorities. Campaigns unfolded against a backdrop of jarring political imagery, overheated rhetoric and angry debates on immigration, health care and the role of Congress in overseeing the president.

"We're not some fringe element of the Democratic Party".

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