Democrats could also recapture governor's offices in several battleground states such as Michigan, Wisconsin and OH, a potential help for the party in those states in the 2020 presidential race.
The midterm elections to be held on Tuesday are the first major electoral battle since U.S. President Donald Trump clinched the White House. While they are independent, Sanders and King both caucus with the Democrats, so if they retain their seats and the Democrats have 49 seats, the Democrats will be considered to have control of the Senate.
Republicans started 2017 - the beginning of the two-year, 30th Legislature - with a majority in the House. Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump there by 20% in 2016.
However, even some Republicans became jittery after a Florida man and ardent Trump supporter was charged with sending homemade bombs to more than a dozen senior Democrats and other high profile opponents of Trump. On top of that, Democrats could start a bunch of investigations into Trump's dodgy dealings, like allegations his 2016 Presidential campaign colluded with Russian Federation, or the many legal and ethical questions that are constantly being asked about the administration. Moscow denies meddling and Trump denies any collusion.
Trump spent election night watching returns with family and friends at the White House, his shadow looming large over the results. Trump has been painting a picture of a dystopian America overrun with "radical socialists" and illegal immigrants.
President James Buchanan's Democratic Party was divided over the issue of slavery, even as Buchanan backed the new state of Kansas having a pro-slavery constitution. Bill Nelson hoping late votes in Democratic counties could narrow his slim deficit to his challenger, the outgoing Gov. Rick Scott. But the Democrats gradually picked up one House seat after another of the 23 they needed to take control. Floridians who do not like Trump will certainly vote for Nelson.
Likely House outcome: Democrats take control.
Democrats painted sharp distinctions with Trump, insisting that only they will protect the health-care gains made under Obama, that Trump has employed inhumane measures to keep migrants out, and that the divisiveness he has fostered must end.
Democrats' fate depends upon a delicate coalition of infrequent voters - particularly young people and minorities - who traditionally shun midterm elections.
A loss of the House will also trigger significant second guessing of the President's tactics, given that he chose not to make the booming economy his primary midterm argument, instead turning to a searing indictment of Democrats focusing on immigration and laden with racial language. There are now 236 Republicans, 193 Democrats, and six vacancies.
Some of the biggest Democratic stars of the campaign season were struggling.
Voting has already wrapped up in parts of Kentucky, where the White House is watching incumbent three-term Republican Rep. Andy Barr's effort to hold his seat a state Trump won by 16 points in 2016 as a potential barometer of how the night will go.
Democratic former President Barack Obama delivered doughnuts to campaign volunteers in a House district in suburban Virginia, where Democrat Jennifer Wexton, a state senator, is challenging Republican incumbent Barbara Comstock in a fiercely contested race. It's also a watershed year for women candidates and candidates of color, which could boost Democrats - if their turnout operations are effective.
All 40 House seats and half the 20-member Senate are up for election this year.
Election officials say 34.3 million people have already voted and the real number is probably higher, according to the US Elections Project, a University of Florida-based information source.
Midterm elections in the USA generally garner far less attention than the presidential ones, but this year, not surprisingly, the situation is different as there is a lot at stake for both parties. In the last such congressional elections in 2014, there were 27.5 million early votes. "I think he's trying to divide this country", said Hutchins, acting executive director of a group that advocates on labor issues. Without another Democratic victory, it seems, Democrats will remain the minority in the Senate. Pinellas County Democrats joined forces to cross campaign with Congressman Charlie Crist, Attorney General candidate Sean Shaw, Florida House District 69 candidate Jennifer Webb and Senate District 24 candidate Lindsay Cross. "Get out and VOTE for Peter!", Trump wrote.
"This is the single most important off-year election of my lifetime". I really think it's more than just about a specific issue.
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