Democrats on Tuesday captured the House of Representatives and are set to exert a major institutional check on President Donald Trump, while breaking the Republican monopoly on power and ushering in a younger, more female and more racially diverse political generation.
But the GOP solidified their Senate majority after an acerbic midterm election that enshrined America’s deep divides and shaped a highly contentious battleground for the stirring 2020 presidential race.
The opposite trends in the House and the Senate underscored a political and cultural gulf among diverse and affluent liberals living in big cities and their suburbs and the mostly, white, working class and rural conservative bloc of voters for whom Trump remains an iconic figure.
In his first reaction to a mixed night, Trump chose to celebrate Republican successes even though the loss of the House meant his record of busting political convention could not defy the traditional first-term midterm curse faced by many of his predecessors.
“Tremendous success tonight. Thank you to all!” he tweeted.
More reaction is sure to come from Trump as he is scheduled to hold a news conference at 11:30 a.m. ET in the East Room of the White House.
But the new Democratic House will pose a perilous problem for the President, who must now brace for the novel experience of oversight from Capitol Hill with Democratic committee chairs promising constraints on his power that the GOP never attempted.
Nancy Pelosi, the former House speaker who is in position to lead again, pledged that the new majority would work to rein in the White House as well as to improve health care, lower the cost of drugs and protect millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions.