U.S. President Donald on Wednesday claimed victory in the midterm congressional elections despite his Republican Party losing control in the House of Representatives to the Democrats.
“Those that worked with me in this incredible Midterm Election, embracing certain policies and principles, did very well. Those that did not, say goodbye!” he tweeted.
“Yesterday was such a very Big Win, and all under the pressure of a Nasty and Hostile Media!” he added. “Tremendous success tonight. Thank you to all!” he said in another tweet.
The Democrats have won at least 220 seats in the 435-member House, capturing 27 seats from the Republicans. The GOP, however, maintained their control over the Senate. They control at least 51 seats in the 100-member chamber.
In terms of governorships, the parties have split wins in key States. Democrats, who have added seven governorships to their side, won three key States that President Trump carried in the 2016 elections — Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin.
Florida and Ohio went to the Republicans. These States, like Michigan and Wisconsin, are expected to be crucial for the 2020 presidential election. Losing the widely watched Florida Governor Race came as a big blow to the Democrats who had pinned their hopes on a progressive candidate — the African-American Mayor of Tallahasee, Andrew Gillum — winning against lawyer Ron DeSantis, an admirer of the President.
Mr. Trump made two trips to Florida in the last week before elections to campaign for Mr. DeSantis, lending his political clout to the race, a strategy that clearly paid off there.
Close in Georgia
The fight was still on in Georgia, where Stacey Abrams, potentially the country’s first African-American Governor, had not conceded to Republican candidate Brian Kemp. While 100% of the precincts have had their votes tallied, Ms. Abrams’s campaign is banking on postal ballots. If both candidates get less than 50% of the vote, they will enter a run-off on December 4.
The gubernatorial race in Florida has been mired in voting rights controversies as Democrats have accused the Republicans of voter suppression and called for Mr. Kemp to resign as Secretary of State, vested with organisational powers over the election.
A federal judge last month had ordered that election officials stop rejecting absentee ballots on grounds of signature mismatches. On Sunday, Mr. Kemp’s office accused Democrats of hacking into the online voter registration system, a charge denied by Democrats.
Nancy Pelosi, currently the House Minority Leader, is likely to become the Speaker of the House, though she does not enjoy support throughout her party and there is speculation that she may make room for another, perhaps younger, candidate.
Pelosi for Speaker?
Ms. Pelosi got some unexpected support from Mr. Trump, who has been a critic in the past. “In all fairness, Nancy Pelosi deserves to be chosen Speaker of the House by the Democrats. If they give her a hard time, perhaps we will add some Republican votes,” he said on Wednesday morning on Twitter.
Going forward, Mr. Trump will have to recalibrate his path through a presidency in which he has thus far not hesitated to barrel ahead with policies and executive orders on immigration and the border, health care and taxes.
The Democrats, who will now chair powerful House committees, can regulate, investigate and issue subpoenas. They will likely ask to see Mr. Trump’s tax returns and investigate any ties he may have to Russia. If there are grounds for it, the House may also seek to impeach the President.