Democratic candidates flipped seats in several suburban districts outside of Washington, Philadelphia, Chicago and Denver that were considered prime targets for turnover because they were won by Hillary Clinton in 2016.
Democrats struck early in the battle for the US House of Representatives on Tuesday, but faced an uphill climb to capture the Senate after Republican Mike Braun knocked off incumbent Democrat Joe Donnelly in Indiana.
Texas, for example, had a chance to send its first Hispanic woman to Congress.
In Colorado, Jared Polis will be the country's first openly gay governor. In the first weeks of the new Congress, Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas) is expected to introduce a bill not just to enable Medicare negotiation, but to authorize the federal government to award drug licenses to competing companies when manufacturers and Medicare fail to agree on a given medicine's price. Basically, what happened was the same slight error - the marginal underrepresentation of white working class voters favouring Trump - was replicated in a number of key districts located in states with large numbers of electoral college votes. Republicans picked up seats in IN and North Dakota, knocking off Joe Donnelly and Heidi Heitkamp respectively. It will also determine whether Senate Democrats can launch investigations into controversies that have surrounded Trump while he has been in office and before he was elected, including allegations surrounding obstruction of justice, Trump's finances and potential Russian collusion. Democratic Senate incumbents were up for re-election, for example, in North Dakota, Indiana, and Missouri - states Trump carried by nearly 25 percentage points on average two years ago. Firstly, in a broad sense, many see the midterms as a referendum on the performance of the sitting president, so poor performance for the Republicans could be an ominous sign of what's to come in 2020.
At least one race will last beyond Tuesday.
But to the dismay of some Republicans he has often pivoted away from that message in the final week of campaigning to emphasize a hardline - and critics say, racist - crackdown against illegal immigrants.
In the Miami area, former Clinton administration Cabinet member Donna Shalala won an open seat, while GOP Rep. Carlos Curbelo lost his bid for a third term in another district.
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Democrats were most optimistic about the House, a sprawling battlefield set largely in America's suburbs where more educated and affluent voters in both parties have soured on Trump's turbulent presidency, despite the strength of the national economy.
Trump has headlined 30 rallies in two months and packed out arenas of adoring fans. "We just can't let that happen, because it's un-American". "I think he's trying to divide this country", said Hutchins, acting executive director of a group that advocates on labor issues.
Even in state and local races, there was national interest.
Turnout appeared to be unusually high with partisans on both sides urging people to vote.
Americans voted enthusiastically, with long lines quickly forming at polling stations from NY to California and from Missouri to Georgia.
Some voting problems reported Problems with voting machines prevented Americans from casting ballots in a dozen states, U.S. rights advocates said, following complaints about registration problems, faulty equipment and intimidation received during early balloting. Some of the lines were due to election glitches.
Election Day saw some blatant attempts to lessen turnout with disinformation on social media, and there were glitches nationwide that could slow the vote count.
If control of the House comes down to several tight races in California, the nation may have to wait until Wednesday or even several days later for a final tally. State law also allows voters to mail in their ballots on Election Day.
The President planned to have dinner with his family and to watch the results, which could have a profound impact on the rest of his term and could reshape Washington's balance of power, in the residence of the White House.