Washington | US President Donald Trump has described the midterm election results as a “tremendous success” even as opposition Democrats wrested the House of Representatives from the ruling Republican party, which managed to retain its majority in the Senate in the highly polarised polls.
Trump, who campaigned aggressively in the last several weeks, Wednesday offered an olive branch to Democrats, saying he wanted to work together with the Democratic leadership to continue delivering for the American people, including on economic growth, infrastructure, trade, lowering the cost of prescription drugs.
“Last night the Republican Party defied history to expand our Senate majority while significantly beating expectations in the House for the midterm year,” Trump told reporters, hours after the Republicans lost control of the House for the first time in eight years.
“These are some of the things that the Democrats do want to work on, and I really believe we’ll be able to do that. I think we’re going to have a lot of reason to do it,” he said as he termed the midterm poll results as a “tremendous success”.
The Democrats now have majority in the 435-member House, while Trump’s party has retained majority in the 100-member Senate.
The statements from the Democratic party leaders after the results indicated it would make it tough for President Trump, who wants major legislative changes on some of his signature issues including immigration, tax and healthcare reforms.
By capturing the House of Representatives, the Democrats may exert a major institutional check on Trump and break the Republican monopoly in Washington.
In the House of Representatives, the Democrats seized at least 28 seats from Republican hands – enough for the majority in the 435-membered chamber.
In the outgoing House, the Republicans had 235 seats while the Democrats 193.
All four incumbent members of the so-called ‘Samosa Caucus’ — Raja Krishnamoorthi, Pramila Jayapal, Ro Khanna and Ami Bera — were re-elected to the House. The new House would come into being next January.
However, the ruling Republican Party retained its majority in the 100-member Senate where it currently has a razor-thin majority of 51-49 seats. Thirty-five of the 100 Senate seats went to polls. The latest reports put the Republican tally at 51 and Democrats at 46.
A record number of close to 100 women, a majority of them being Democrats, won seats in the House, a massive victory for female candidates across the political spectrum. At least 28 of them were elected to the House for the first time. The elections also resulted in Rashida Tlaib becoming the first Muslim woman elected to the House of Representatives along with Somali-American Ilhan Omar.
Leading from the front, Trump addressed some 30 rallies in last 60 days crisscrossing some of the major battleground States.
Trump said he achieved this result in spite of a very dramatic fund-raising disadvantage driven by Democrats’ wealthy donors and special interests, and very hostile media coverage.
“The media coverage set a new record and a new standard,” he alleged.
“This vigorous campaigning stopped the blue wave that they talked about. I don’t know if there ever was such a thing, but could have been. If we didn’t do the campaigning, probably, there could have been,” he said.
Trump said during the first mid-term of his predecessor Barack Obama in 2010, the Democrats lost 63 seats in the House and six Senate seats.
By expanding the Senate majority, the voters have also clearly rebuked the Senate Democrats for their handling of the Justice Brett Kavanaugh hearings, Trump said, adding that those Republicans who did not “embrace” his policies lost their elections very badly.
Trump also said he was ready for a different approach with the Democrats if they desire to take that path.
After their victory Tuesday night, some of the Democrats have been seeking investigations against Trump.
“They can play that game, but we can play it better, because we have a thing called the US Senate, and a lot of very questionable things were done, between leaks of classified information and many other elements that should not have taken place,” he said.
Trump said but it will end up nowhere in the next two years and it would be easy for him to go back to the people during his re-election and blame the Democrats for everything.
“I really respected what Nancy (Pelosi) said last night about bipartisanship and getting together. She used the word “uniting” and she used the bipartisanship statement, which is so important because that’s what we should be doing,” Trump said.
Trump said now was the time for members of both parties to join together, put partisanship aside, and keep the American economic miracle going strong.