By Carlo Versano
The Democratic Party successfully flipped the House of Representatives in a bitterly contested midterm election, guaranteeing a substantive check on President Trump’s power and presenting a new challenge for the two-year-old administration.
Addressing supporters, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, presumably the House Speaker-elect, said: "Tomorrow will be a new day in America."
But Republicans prevented the "blue wave" they had feared, holding the Senate and several high-profile statehouses, including Florida, where Andrew Gillum conceded the race to Ron DeSantis, who had doubled down on his allegiance to Trump in the campaign.
In Texas, Sen. Ted Cruz managed to fight off an insurgent campaign from Beto O'Rourke that had energized Democrats around the country. Republicans also flipped three blue Senate seats in red states, picking off Claire McCaskill in Missouri, Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota, and Joe Donnelly in Indiana.
As of early Wednesday morning, the closely-watched governor's race in Georgia was still too close to call. Two other key gubernatorial races went to Democrats. Kris Kobach, a top Trump ally in red Kansas, lost his campaign. Republican Scott Walker also lost his bid for a third term as governor in Wisconsin.
In the House, Democrats sent incumbent Republicans packing on the strength of turnout in suburban districts, from Richmond to Kansas City to Miami, with more gains expected in the west.
On social media, voters reported long lines and packed gymnasiums throughout the day, signaling a higher-than-usual turnout for a midterm election that has been all but cast in stone as a referendum on the Trump presidency.
There were numerous reports of technical problems around the U.S. as voters headed to the polls Tuesday. In one Georgia county, voters waited for hours while election workers tried to locate power cord for the voting machines. Even Brian Kemp, the Republican candidate for Georgia governor who oversees the state's elections, had trouble casting his ballot.
Exit polls gave a sense of how this election was being framed in the minds of the electorate. In NBC News' exit poll, 78 percent of voters nationwide said it was important that more women be elected to office. Seventy-one percent expressed the same sentiment about minorities.
That exit poll found three out of four voters worry that the country is becoming more divided ー and two-thirds said Trump was a factor in their vote. CNN's exit poll also found deep pessimism about the direction of the country, an unusual trend line in a strong economy.
President Trump seemed unfazed on Twitter: "Tremendous success tonight. Thank you to all!"