Tuesday 17 October 2017

Republicans win two more years of control in House of Representatives

Supporters of Donald Trump cheer the GOP presidential nominee at a campaign rally in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Photo: Getty
Supporters of Donald Trump cheer the GOP presidential nominee at a campaign rally in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Photo: Getty

Alan Fram, in Washington

Republicans have retained their lock on the House of Representatives for two more years as candidates triumphed in a variety of districts Democrats had hoped to take in Florida, Virginia and elsewhere.

Donald Trump's divisive comments about women and Hispanics meant Democrats had envisioned big gains in suburban and ethnically diverse districts for the lower chamber of the US Congress.

Instead Democrats seemed on track for modest pick-ups as Republican contenders were buoyed by their presidential candidate's tight battle against Hillary Clinton.

While expectations were nearly zero that Democrats would win the 30 seats they needed to capture House control for next year, both sides had anticipated they would cut into the historic Republican majority by perhaps a dozen seats.

Donald Trump holds as child dressed as him during a rally at Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Photo: Getty Images
Donald Trump holds as child dressed as him during a rally at Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Photo: Getty Images

"This could be a really good night for America," House speaker Paul Ryan, who won a 10th term in Wisconsin, told supporters in his home town of Janesville.

In Florida, Republican Carlos Curbelo won a race that suggested Mr Trump's damage to the party would be limited.

With around seven in 10 of the Miami-area district's voters being Hispanic, Democrats had targeted it and the race became one of the country's most expensive, with an 18 million dollar price tag, but Mr Curbelo distanced himself from his own party's nominee and held on.

Virginia representative Barbara Comstock kept her seat in the Washington DC suburbs despite Democrats' relentless attempts to tie her to Mr Trump. The two sides spent more than 20 million dollars on that contest in a district of highly educated, affluent voters that both sides had viewed as vulnerable to a Democratic takeover.

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 09: Republican president-elect Donald Trump delivers his acceptance speech during his election night event at the New York Hilton Midtown in the early morning hours of November 9, 2016 in New York City. Donald Trump defeated Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton to become the 45th president of the United States. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 09: Republican president-elect Donald Trump delivers his acceptance speech during his election night event at the New York Hilton Midtown in the early morning hours of November 9, 2016 in New York City. Donald Trump defeated Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton to become the 45th president of the United States. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 09: Republican president-elect Donald Trump delivers his acceptance speech during his election night event at the New York Hilton Midtown in the early morning hours of November 9, 2016 in New York City. Donald Trump defeated Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton to become the 45th president of the United States. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 09: Republican president-elect Donald Trump delivers his acceptance speech during his election night event at the New York Hilton Midtown in the early morning hours of November 9, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC) Reince Priebus (R) hugs Republican presidential elect Donald Trump during election night at the New York Hilton Midtown in New York on November 9, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / JIM WATSONJIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images
People cheer as voting results for Florida come in at Republican presidential nominee Donald Trumps election night event at the New York Hilton Midtown on November 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Republican presidential elect Donald Trump gestures while speaking during election night at the New York Hilton Midtown in New York on November 9, 2016. Photo: Getty
Republican presidential elect Donald Trump (L) gestures next to his family as he arrives to speak during election night at the New York Hilton Midtown in New York
Republican president-elect Donald Trump embraces his wife Melania Trump during his election night event at the New York Hilton Midtown in the early morning hours of November 9, 2016 in New York City. Donald Trump defeated Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton to become the 45th president of the United States. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Republican president-elect Donald Trump embraces his wife Melania Trump during his election night event at the New York Hilton Midtown in the early morning hours of November 9, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 09: Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, delivers a speech as Republican president-elect Donald Trump looks on during his election night event at the New York Hilton Midtown in the early morning hours of November 9, 2016 in New York City. Donald Trump defeated Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton to become the 45th president of the United States. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, delivers a speech as Republican president-elect Donald Trump looks on during his election night event at the New York Hilton Midtown in the early morning hours of November 9, 2016 in New York City. Donald Trump defeated Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton to become the 45th president of the United States. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Republican presidential elect Donald Trump (L) arrives with his family on stage to speak during election night at the New York Hilton Midtown in New York on November 9, 2016. Trump stunned America and the world Wednesday, riding a wave of populist resentment to defeat Hillary Clinton in the race to become the 45th president of the United States. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGANMANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 09: Republican president-elect Donald Trump gives greets people in the crowd after delivering his acceptance speech at the New York Hilton Midtown in the early morning hours of November 9, 2016 in New York City. Donald Trump defeated Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton to become the 45th president of the United States. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Campaign chairman John Podesta speaks on stage at Democratic presidential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's election night event at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center November 9, 2016 in New York City. Clinton is running against Republican nominee, Donald J. Trump to be the 45th President of the United States. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Hillary Clinton tweeted "Whatever happens tonight, thank you for everything."/ Pic via @HillaryClinton
A graphic depicting Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump squaring off in a boxing ring sits in Times Square on November 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
The Trump family and team watch the results (Photo: Twitter/Donald Trump)
Jake Krupa colors in an electoral map as states projected for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump or Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at an election watching party in Coconut Grove, Florida. AFP PHOTO / RHONA WISERHONA WISE/AFP/Getty Images
The dollar tumbled against the yen and euro while the Mexican peso fell off a cliff as polling results in the knife-edge US presidential race pointed to a strong showing by Donald Trump. AFP PHOTO / BEHROUZ MEHRIBEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP/Getty Images
Ivanka Trump tweets: "Such a surreal moment to vote for my father for President of the United States! Make your voice heard and vote! #Election2016" Pic via Twitter/ @IvankaTrump
People watch voting results at Democratic presidential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's election night event at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)
A woman reacts as she watches voting results at Democratic presidential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's election night event at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
People cheer at Republican presidential nominee Donald Trumps election night event at the New York Hilton Midtown on November 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
An employee of a foreign exchange trading company stands in front of a monitor displaying Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton (L) and Republican presidential nominee (Photo by Yuya Shino/Getty Images)
A police officer stands outside Trump Tower in New York City on election day November 8, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / DOMINICK REUTERDOMINICK REUTER/AFP/Getty Images
People vote on the US presidential election at Santa Monica City Hall on November 8, 2016 in Santa Monica, California / AFP PHOTO / Frederic J. BROWNFREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images
Nicolette Janoski displays a sticker after voting on November 8, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)
Voters cast ballots at a laundrette in Chicago, Illinois Picture: AFP/Getty
People cheer as voting results for Iowa come in at Republican presidential nominee Donald Trumps election night event at the New York Hilton Midtown on November 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Donald Trump’s son Eric glances across at the ballot being filled by his wife Lara Yunasska while voting at the 53rd Street Library in New York. Photo: Bloomberg
A man poses for a picture near the cardboard cutouts of U.S. presidential nominees Hillary Clinton (L) and Donald Trump, at an election event hosted at the U.S. ambassador's residence in Kathmandu, Nepal November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar
Supporters of U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton react at her election night rally in Manhattan, New York, U.S., November 8, 2016. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
A supporter of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton bows her head at an election night rally in New York, U.S., November 8, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
A supporter of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump holds up a Trump doll during an election night party at a hotel in downtown Phoenix, Arizona on November 8, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Laura SegallLAURA SEGALL/AFP/Getty Images
People watch elections results during election night at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York on November 9, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / DON EMMERTDON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images
People gather around Times Square to view televised results of the US presidential election on November 9, 2016 in New York. / AFP PHOTO / EDUARDO MUNOZ ALVAREZEDUARDO MUNOZ ALVAREZ/AFP/Getty Images
Supporters of U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton react at her election night rally in Manhattan, New York, U.S., November 8, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
A man leans out of a Hummer shouting words in support of U.S. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump while driving through Times Square in New York, U.S., November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Mark Kauzlarich

Democrats defeated two Florida Republican incumbents, but those results seemed due to local circumstances.

John Mica, a 73-year-old 12-term veteran from the Orlando area, was criticised by Republican strategists for a lacklustre campaign and lost to Democrat newcomer Stephanie Murphy.

Democratic challenger Charlie Crist, once the state's Republican governor, defeated David Jolly in a St Petersburg district that had been redrawn to favour Democrats.

Democrats spent 4 million dollars and beat Scott Garrett, a member of the hard-right House Freedom Caucus from a northern New Jersey suburb of New York City, and they defeated Bob Dold, a Republican moderate from the Chicago suburbs where Democratic strength proved overpowering.

Donald Trump is claiming criticism from senior figures in the Republican Party like Paul Ryan is holding him back electorally (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)
Donald Trump is claiming criticism from senior figures in the Republican Party like Paul Ryan is holding him back electorally (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

Both parties' candidates and outside groups spent nearly 1.1 billion dollars combined on House campaigns, short of the 1.2 billion dollar record in 2012, according to the Centre for Responsive Politics, a non-partisan research group.

Republicans had only a slight financial edge.

While Mr Trump hurt Republicans in some areas, his appeal to working-class white voters and their antipathy to Ms Clinton helped candidates in others.

That seemed to help Republicans limit an erosion of their House majority, which would have left hardline conservatives with added clout to frustrate party leaders.

Ivanka Trump
Ivanka Trump

Even with the Ryan-led House advantage, work has stalled on spending bills after hitting objections from conservatives, including about 40 members of the Freedom Caucus. A major loss of moderate Republicans would have increased dissident Republicans' leverage next year.

Bobble head figurines of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton greet Republican party supporters registering to watch a presidential debate watch party hosted by the Colorado Republican Party at Choppers Sports Grill in Denver, Colorado, Photo Jason Connolly/AFP/Getty Images
Bobble head figurines of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton greet Republican party supporters registering to watch a presidential debate watch party hosted by the Colorado Republican Party at Choppers Sports Grill in Denver, Colorado, Photo Jason Connolly/AFP/Getty Images

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