The Latest: Women elected to House in record numbers
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Election Day (all times local):
Asma Mohammed and Ashley Fairbanks celebrate as results come in at Democratic congressional candidate Ilhan Omar’s election night headquarters in Minneapolis on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018. State Rep. Ilhan Omar has won Minnesota’s 5th District race to become the first Somali-American and one of the first Muslim women elected to Congress. (Mark Vancleave/Star Tribune via AP)
Women will break the current record of 84 serving at the same time in the U.S. House.
With ballots still being counted across the country, women have won 75 seats and are assured of victory in nine districts where women are the only major-party candidates.
From the Women’s March opposing President Donald Trump the day after he was inaugurated in January 2017 through a stream of sexual assault accusations later that year that sparked the #MeToo movement, outrage and organizing by women have defined Democratic Party politics this election cycle.
More than 230 women, many of them first-time candidates, were on the general-election ballots in House races.
Despite the gains, men will continue to hold the vast majority of House seats.
Democrats have picked up at least 23 House seats, putting them on track to reach the 218 needed to seize control from Republicans after eight years.
Democrats knocked off at least 17 GOP incumbents, picking up moderate, suburban districts across the country. Democrats won seats stretching from suburban Washington, New York and Philadelphia to outside Miami, Chicago and Denver. West Coast results were still coming.
Democrat Abigail Spanberger of Virginia defeated Republican incumbent Dave Brat in suburban Richmond to put Democrats over the top.
House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi is hailing “a new day in America.”
Republican Ron DeSantis will be Florida’s next governor, riding President Donald Trump’s support to a victory over Democrat Andrew Gillum.
The 40-year-old former congressman and Navy officer won Tuesday after Trump came to Florida twice in the final six days of the election to help increase Republican turnout. Gillum was hoping to become Florida’s first black governor.
DeSantis was considered an underdog until Trump injected himself in the Republican primary, helping DeSantis cruise to victory over better-funded and better-known Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam.
DeSantis stumbled after his nomination, most notably by saying Floridians shouldn’t “monkey this up” by electing Gillum. Although he took a more moderate turn after the primary, DeSantis relied heavily on Trump in the campaign’s final days.
President Donald Trump 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.
Florida Democratic nominee for governor Andrew Gillum is conceding to his Republican rival Ron DeSantis. AP has not called the race.
The Tallahassee mayor was seeking to become the state’s first black governor and become the first Democrat to win the governor’s race in more than 20 years.
Returns show that DeSantis has a narrow lead in the race. DeSantis was supported by President Donald Trump.
Gillum tells a crowd at Florida A&M University: “I sincerely regret I couldn’t bring it home for you.” But Gillum, who is just 39 years old, vowed to remain involved in politics.
“I can guarantee you this I’m not going anywhere,” said Gillum. “We’re going to fight, we’re going to keep fighting.”
Gillum pulled off an upset when he won the Democratic primary in August.
Democrats have won half the seats they need to reclaim the House majority, while Republicans were picking up key Senate contests.
Democrats picked up at least 12 Republican-held House seats in early returns but fell short in a closely watched race in Kentucky as they fought to wrest control of the chamber after eight years of GOP rule.
Democrats needed a net gain of 23 seats to control the House and gain a check on President Donald Trump.
Democratic gains included several suburban districts eyed for turnover because they were won by Hillary Clinton, including seats outside Washington, Philadelphia, Miami and Denver.
Meanwhile, Republicans Mike Braun and Kevin Cramer won Democratic-held Senate seats in Indiana and North Dakota, ousting incumbents Joe Donnelly and Heidi Heitkamp.
Republicans have retained Senate control for two more years, shattering Democrats’ dreams of an anti-Trump wave sweeping them into the majority.
The result was all but assured when Republican Kevin Cramer ousted North Dakota Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp and when Republican businessman Mike Braun ousted Sen. Joe Donnelly in Indiana.
Meanwhile, Sen. Ted Cruz fended off a spirited challenge from Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke and Republican Sen. Marsha Blackburn triumphed in Tennessee.
The GOP’s gains come even as the results in Nevada and Arizona have yet to be determined.
Democrats are gaining ground in their fight for control of the House, picking up key seats in Florida, Pennsylvania and Minnesota.
The early wins give Democrats a share of the seats they’ll need for House control. They won two seats in Florida, knocking off two incumbents there, and have won three seats in Pennsylvania, where court-ordered redistricting made the terrain more favorable to Democrats. They have also defeated a Republican incumbent in Minnesota.
Democrats need a net gain of 23 seats to win the House.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders says a Democratic wave may look more like a “ripple.”
Sanders spoke to reporters at the White House Tuesday night, as election returns were still coming in. She says, “Maybe you get a ripple but I certainly don’t think that there’s a blue wave.”
She says there is still a “long way to go,” but the White House feels “good about where we are right now.”
Should Republicans lose the House, Sanders says the president’s agenda is not going to change.
Speaking on Fox News, Sanders said the candidates that Trump campaigned for are doing well. She also said that if Republicans should lose the House, Democrats should try to work across the aisle.
Polls have closed across the East Coast, but the results in some of the most closely watched races remain too close to call.
Polls across six states closed at 7 p.m. EST, including battlegrounds Georgia, Indiana and Kentucky. Polls in other key states including Florida, Pennsylvania and New Jersey closed at 8 p.m. EST.
At least two lower-profile elections with presidential implications were decided after the first major wave of polls closed in the East.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders easily won his third term as he considers another bid for the Democratic presidential nomination. And Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, another potential 2020 contender, also won her race.
Health care and immigration were high on voters’ minds as they cast ballots in the midterm elections, per a wide-ranging survey by The Associated Press.