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US midterm elections: Republicans hold the Senate, Democrats secure House victory

The polls closed in the last US state at 10:30am PST

SAMAA | and - Posted: Nov 7, 2018 | Last Updated: 3 years ago
Posted: Nov 7, 2018 | Last Updated: 3 years ago

As polling draws to a close and results pour in from across the United States, analysts say Republicans have retained control of the Senate and the Democrats have won the House of Representatives. The US midterm elections are widely seen as a referendum on the president.

As of 8:35am, the Democrats need nine more Republican seats to win the House.

Democrats seized control of the lower house of Congress in midterm elections, dealing a stern rebuke to Donald Trump almost two years into his presidency. Fox and NBC television networks called the result in the US House of Representatives, while confirming expectations that Trump's Republicans will retain control of the Senate.

The result upends the balance of power in Washington, where Trump has enjoyed an easy ride from Republican dominance of both houses of Congress since his shock election in 2016.

Related: Democrats hope to sway voters as US heads to midterm polls

By 10:30pm eastern time (8:30am Pakistan Standard Time), the Democrats flipped 11 seats held by Republicans, putting them on track to attain the net gain of 23 seats that they need to win the House of Representatives.

The final polls — in Alaska — will close at midnight eastern time (10am PST). There were reports that some polling locations would be kept open for an extra hour after encountering delays and technical difficulties following a record turnout, with reports of long queues and broken machines at various polling sites in Georgia, Texas and New York City.

Keep your eye on:

Republican Brian Kemp is well ahead of Democrat Stacey Abrams in Georgia's governor election.

Republican Ted Cruz is predicted to win against the charismatic Beto O’Rourke. O’Rourke held an early lead over the former presidential candidate in the race for the US Senate, before the race tightened. If he is successful, he would become the first Democrat elected to the Senate in Texas in three decades.

 Here are some prominent wins:

Democrat Mikie Sherrill wins election to the House in New Jersey’s 11th congressional district

Democrat Conor Lamb wins re-election to the House in Pennsylvania’s 17th congressional district.

Democrat Sharice Davids wins election to the House in Kansas’s 3rd congressional district.

Democrat Dean Phillips wins election to US House in Minnesota’s 3rd congressional district

Kris Kobach, a Republican candidate in Kansas, a state won by Trump by more than 20 points, has fallen short in his gubernatorial bid, CNN reported.

Utah polls are closed and retiring senator Orrin Hatch will be replaced by the former governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney.

Related: Facebook blocks 30 accounts to curb ‘interference’ in US midterm elections

An American voter told SAMAA Digital that they live in a time where everything is not as trustworthy as it once was. “In the past two years confidence has definitely waned…but I am a hopeless optimist and I hope what we do will be better for the country,” he said.

He said that even though he doesn’t trust the process 100%, he feels good about participating in it.

“The more we participate in it, the more transparency we can demand of the process itself,” he explained.

Pakistani community members also weighed in on the midterm elections.

We are trying to ensure that all members of the Pakistani community vote, said one man. It will make a difference on the voting circuit, he added. He explained that the main issues they are facing relate to immigration and governance, as well as some local issues. He hoped that by voting they can ensure representation for themselves.

Related: Bomb threats sent to Barack Obama, Hilary Clinton and CNN in the US

Another member of the community said that they are voting for people who will represent their values and fight for them. Hate crime is a big issue, he said, adding that they want candidates who will introduce greater policies about this.

Gun violence is a big issue, said a member of the Pakistani community. By voting we can select a better candidate, who can take our issues to higher authorities in a proper manner. “We’re voting for the community and the country,” he said.
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