President Donald Trump suffers massive setback in US midterm elections

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The Democrats have taken control of the US House of Representatives in the mid-term elections, dealing a blow to President Donald Trump.

A Democratic majority in the lower chamber for the first time in eight years will restrict his ability to steer his programme through Congress.

But Mr Trump’s Republicans are set to strengthen their grip on the Senate.

Tuesday’s vote was seen as a referendum on a polarising president, even though he is not up for re-election till 2020.

The election confirms a historical trend for the party that is not in the White House to make gains in the mid-terms.

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi – who is set to become speaker, a position she held from 2007 to 2011 – told cheering supporters in Washington: “Thanks to you, tomorrow will be a new day in America.”

President Trump focused on the Senate, and praised himself by quoting a commentator.

What difference does the new House majority make?

The Democrats took control of the House, having gained more than the 23 seats they need to take over the lower chamber of Congress. Americans voted for all 435 seats in the House.

The Democrats could now launch investigations into Mr Trump’s administration and business affairs, from tax returns to potential conflicts of interest.

They could also more effectively block his legislative plans, notably his signature promise to build a wall along the border with Mexico.

But analysts say dealing with a hostile House may suit the president, who is known both for his partisan style and ability to switch positions.

They say he could either choose to accuse the Democrats of obstruction or try to reach deals to get legislation through.

Female candidates performed particularly well.

Two 29-year-old Democrats, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Abby Finkenauer – are due to be the youngest women ever to win House seats.

Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib are the first Muslim women and Sharice Davids and Debra Haaland the first Native American women to be elected to Congress.

All are Democrats.

-BBC


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