Nancy Pelosi's quest for House speaker may be derailed by fellow Democrats

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European markets were also higher.

Measures including expanded background checks and a ban on assault-style weapons are likely to reach the House floor when Democrats retake control after eight years of Republican rule.

According to this survey, a full 61 percent of those who say they attend service once a week or more supported the Republicans, while among those who go to church at least once a month, 57 percent went for Republicans. Liberal Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson, however, had been reassuring pessimistic Democrats, urging them to cheer up because the chances of a blue wave were, in fact, quite good. Claire McCaskill was projected to lose her re-election bid, and Nevada Democratic Rep. Jacky Rosen was projected to unseat Republican Sen. But the threat of impeachment was now on the minds of many Democrats after Trump fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday, replacing him with Matthew Whitaker, as acting attorney general, who was Sessions' chief of staff who has been sharply critical of Mueller's investigation.

Each candidate undeniably faced uphill battles in seats long held by Republicans. Anyone contemplating Nevada as a tax-friendly domicile for long-term retirement and business planning ought to consider the implications of this change.

One well-placed observer believes that the party's best hope was actually among those defeated on Tuesday.

Republicans successfully fended off some of the most high-profile Democratic challengers in Beto O'Rourke (Texas Senate Seat), Stacey Abrams (Georgia Governor), and Andrew Gillum (Florida Governor). Bill Nelson in Florida were refusing to concede as of late Wednesday, despite having no obvious path to victory in remaining uncounted ballots or via a recount.

The Democratic contenders will have to navigate the struggle between the party's establishment and progressive wings that flared during the 2016 primary between Clinton and Bernie Sanders, with several candidates expected to test how far to the left they can run and still win a national election.

They argue that such favors to Trump include Chinese government trademarks for his companies, payments for hotel room stays and event-space rentals by representatives of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, and proceeds from Chinese or Emirati-linked government purchases of office space in Trump Tower.

That will allow Mr Trump's party greater leeway over judicial and executive appointments. But what does a divided Congress mean for the future? Democrats flipped a district in the Atlanta suburbs that has been represented by Republicans for 40 years, for half of that time by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. As Banking Committee chair, he shaped a bipartisan law this year to strengthen national security reviews of USA acquisitions by foreign companies, aimed at thwarting China's purchases of sensitive technologies - a key complaint in the US trade dispute with China. The next House speaker-almost surely the current minority leader, Nancy Pelosi-will name a new set of committee chairmen who can call hearings, compel testimony and subpoena documents.

As important for the long term, the popular vote share for Democratic candidates was overwhelming - when all of slow-counting California's votes are tallied, the Democrats' margin will likely surpass the GOP's in their 1994, 2010 and 2014 waves. Republicans appears to be retrenching, now more Trumpy than ever. If legislation is to move, compromise will be necessary. Democrats must now follow their lead, stand up to Trump and offer the progressive alternative that so many Americans have been clamouring for.

"It's a return to the way our state politics have been", Loomis said. These positions are reconcilable.

To get this hard task right, Democrats must recognize why the voters engineered a transfer of power that has marginalized noxious partisans like Devin Nunes, the chair of the House Select Committee on Intelligence, and empowered watchdogs like the man who will take the gavel from him: veteran prosecutor Adam Schiff.

Trump had a lot to do with the Republicans' relative success on Tuesday. In Pennsylvania the Democrats picked up three seats and a governor with nearly 60 per cent of the vote.

Few if any House Democrats were publicly using the "I" word after the Republicans' devastating political losses in what the Founding Fathers called "the people's house".

Now that they've lost, the question becomes, who is the leader of the new Democratic party? They had nothing to do with Kavanaugh's confirmation.

The views expressed in this post are exclusively those of the author.

Anne Summers is an Australian writer based in the US. All comments will be reviewed by our moderator prior to publication.