US President Donald Trump‘s Republican Party has maintained a majority in the Senate, the upper chamber of the country’s Congress, after a climactic midterm season marked by violence and heated rhetoric.
Tuesday’s midterm elections, the first nationwide vote since Trump’s election in November 2016, will help determine the course of the next two years of his presidency.
In the run-up to the vote, Democrats hoped to enact a “blue wave” and flip both the House and the Senate, enabling them to block much of Trump’s controversial programmes on topics like immigration.
But Republicans were heavily favoured to keep control of the Senate heading into Tuesday.
Some closely-watched Senate races resulted in Republican wins, including the neck-and-neck race between Texas incumbent Ted Cruz and Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke.
Republican Mike Braun captured incumbent Joe Donnelly’s seat in Indiana and Republican Kevin Cramer beat incumbent Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota.
Yet, riding a tide of anger with the president, the Democrats were able to take control of the House, according to projections, opening the opportunity to block Trump’s agenda and open his administration to intense scrutiny.
A simple House majority would be enough to impeach Trump if evidence surfaces that he obstructed justice or that his 2016 campaign colluded with Russia.
But Congress could not remove him from office without a conviction by a two-thirds majority in the Republican-controlled Senate.
All 435 seats in the House, 35 seats in the 100-member Senate and 39 state and territorial governorships were up for grabs.