Democrats have taken back control of the House of Representatives but not won a majority in the Senate as the historic “blue wave” they hoped for failed to materialise at the midterm elections.
Several high profile Democrats – Beto O’Rourke in Texas, Andrew Gillum in Florida – failed in their attempts to defeat Republicans.
In Georgia Stacey Abrams, hoping to become the first ever black female governor of a US state, is refusing to concede to her rival, Republican Brian Kemp – she trails by two per cent, with 99pc of the votes counted, but remains hopeful that absentee votes may push her over the line. He has declared victory already.
The results of Tuesday’s vote mean that the Republicans no longer hold both wings of the US Congress, handing Donald Trump’s political opponents a stronger foothold in Washington from which to oppose his presidency.
The Democrats now have the numbers to veto Mr Trump’s proposed laws in the House and launch a string of damaging investigations into his administration through the committees they will control.
However in the Senate it was a different story, with Republicans unseating a string of Democratic senators up for re-election in states Mr Trump won in 2016. It indicates many of the president’s supporters are still with him two years into office.
Projections suggested the Republicans could even increase their majority in the Senate, allowing them to push ahead with controversial judicial and cabinet appointments with less fear of rebellions.
Mr Trump, quick to put his spin on a night of mixed results, tweeted: “Tremendous success tonight. Thank you to all!”
Sarah Sanders, the White House press secretary, said: “Anybody that was anticipating a blue wave tonight is not going to get it.”
In some of the most closely watched races, Democrats lost out. Beto O’Rourke, who had become a pinup for American liberals by running a surprisingly competitive race in Texas, ultimately fell short, with Ted Cruz winning re-election as the state’s senator.