WASHINGTON, D.C. — Democrats on Tuesday captured the House of Representatives for the first time in eight years to exert a major institutional check on President Donald Trump and break the Republican monopoly on power in Washington.
But the GOP made good on a favorable map in the Senate and increased its majority after an acerbic midterm election that enshrined America’s deep political divides and shaped a highly contentious battleground for the stirring 2020 presidential race.
Republicans moved to close off the Democratic path to a Senate majority when challenger Mike Braun beat Indiana Sen. Joe Donnelly, and Marsha Blackburn won in Tennessee, according to CNN projections. Republicans later picked up their second Democratic Senate seat of the night when Kevin Cramer beat one Sen. Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota, CNN projected.
**CHECK OUT THE BALANCE OF POWER MAP, ABOVE**
There was a blow for Democratic morale as Texas Sen. Ted Cruz held off a stronger than expected challenge from Beto O’Rourke to win a second term, CNN projected. In one result that did not come as a surprise, former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney won a Senate seat in Utah.
Trump is trying to defy historic omens that suggest that commanders in chief often get a rebuke from voters in the midterm election of their first term. His approval rating -- 39% in the latest CNN poll -- is within the range where the President's party typically suffers heavy losses on Capitol Hill.
The President is deeming the election results a "tremendous success," as Republicans maintain control of the Senate but Democrats make gains in the House.
Trump tweeted Tuesday night: "Tremendous success tonight. Thank you to all!"
Trump spent the evening watching returns in the White House with family and friends. He spent the days leading up to Election Day on a campaign rally blitz, aimed at boosting Republicans running for Senate.