U.S. mid-term elections 2018: Americans vote in 'poll of a lifetime'

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In the event the Democrats do win the House, Trump would be more vulnerable to impeachment - a process used by Congress members to remove a president.

As a result, most congressional analysts believe that the one thing that the Democrats in the House will be able to do without help from either the Senate or the President is "oversight".

Every seat in the House was up for grabs on Tuesday. An open seat that included Atlantic City was also ripe for Democratic pickup by state lawmaker Jeff Van Drew after the GOP campaign committee abandoned Republican Seth Grossman over racially charged comments.

Faced with the possibility of keeping the Senate but losing the House, aides have begun laying out the political reality to Trump, who could face an onslaught of Democratic-run investigations and paralysis of his policy agenda. Victories by GOP challenger Mike Braun over Senator Joe Donnelly in IN and Republican Marsha Blackburn's win in Tennessee cut off any small chance Democrats had to make gains, as did the loss by Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota. "And the big money was not on our side", House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., said, citing a "motivated base" on the Democratic side who inundated Republican incumbents with small donations to their challengers.

In a sign that Trump dominance two years ago isn't necessarily fatal for Democrats, their incumbents were expected to win re-election in six other states that he carried.

Democrats also could recapture governorships in several battleground states such as Michigan, Wisconsin and OH, a potential help for the party in those states in the 2020 presidential race.

Tightly contested Senate races in Florida and West Virginia also were too close to call, as were high-profile races for governor in OH and Georgia.

Outside Richmond, one-time tea party favorite Rep. Dave Brat faced an unusually strong challenge from Democrat Abigail Spanberger, a former Central Intelligence Agency operative motivated to run for office after the GOP vote to gut the Affordable Care Act.

Voters "rejected the politics of hate, the politics of division and the politics of ideology", Spanberger told supporters Tuesday night.

At least 64 House races remain competitive, according to a Reuters analysis of the three top non-partisan forecasters, and Senate control was expected to come down to a half dozen close contests in Arizona, Nevada, Missouri, North Dakota, Indiana and Florida. He was defeated by Democrat Debbie Mucarsel-Powell. Five of those races are considered toss-ups.

Former Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala noted that both of her opponents in the race for a House seat from Florida were women.

In North Carolina, Republicans were struggling to hold onto a seat where Baptist minister Mark Harris ousted a GOP incumbent in the primary. Still, she was within striking distance in a Lexington-area district Trump won by 15 percentage points in 2016. Perhaps most importantly, they are voting in representatives to the Senate and to the House of Representatives (the House). Ahead of the vote, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi confidently predicted last week that Democrats would indeed win back the House.

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A turbulent election season that has tested President Donald Trump's slash-and-burn political style against the strength of the Democratic resistance comes to a close as Americans cast ballots in the first national election of the Trump era.

But what is the reason behind the surge in numbers and what are midterm elections for? One quarter of those casting a House ballot said they did so in part to support him.

Almost 40% of voters cast their ballots to express opposition to the president, according to a national survey of the electorate, while one-in-four said they voted to express support for Mr Trump. Polls show Wexton claiming the seat, which has been held by a Republican for over 30 years.

This midterm election has generated a lot more heat and a lot more voter interest than previous midterms because in many ways it's a referendum on President Trump.

Voters between the ages of 18 and 34 backed Democrats by 62 percent to 34 percent, up from 2014 when 54 percent backed Democrats and 36 percent supported Republicans.

A simple House majority would be enough to impeach Trump if evidence surfaces that he obstructed justice or that his 2016 campaign colluded with Russian Federation. About three-quarters of the registered voters named health care as in important issue to their vote, according to recent Pew research.

"Ever since President Trump has been in office, it has just been not the country that I am used to or that I thought I would be in", said Sarah Roth, 22, a Democratic voter from Minnetonka, Minnesota.

Despite positive feelings about the economy, overall, voters were pessimistic about the direction of the country. The survey is separate from the traditional exit polls for the television networks.

The midterm elections are also often a time when local politicians make a name for themselves on a national level.

Ballot counting could drag in tight races, leaving some races undecided long after Election Day.

Women also reached a record number in the Senate. Democrats are relying more upon women, people of color, young people and college graduates.

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