US Politics

Relive the US midterm elections day as it unfolded

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SBS News is live blogging the results of the US midterms.

American voters have poured out across their bitterly divided country to deliver judgement on President Donald Trump in the polls.

Here's the latest on the US midterm elections.

7:30pm (AEDT)

That's a wrap from us at SBS News.

For more midterms coverage, check out what the results mean and how diverse candidates were the big winners of the night.

The US now looks set for a Democratic House of Representatives and a Republican Senate.

It's a big win for the Democrats, who can disrupt Mr Trump's legislative agenda as well as launch investigations into his business and electoral activities.

But it also shows the US has never been more divided.

Messy and loud politics look set to continue into the 2020 presidential election and perhaps beyond.

6:30pm (AEDT)

It's been a historic night for women.

According to NBC News, a record number of women were elected to the House of Representatives.

"As of early Wednesday morning [US time], at least 95 women had won seats, breaking the current session's record of 84 women," the outlet said.

They're still way outnumbered by men in the 435-seat chamber. 

It's not just the number of women elected that's historic.

At 29, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the youngest woman ever elected to Congress; Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar became the first Muslim women elected to Congress; and Deb Haaland and Sharice Davids are the first Native American women elected to Congress. 

Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib.
Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib.
AAP

5:45pm (AEDT)

THE MIDTERMS IN PICTURES

Beto O'Rourke kisses his wife Amy Sanders.
Beto O'Rourke kisses his wife Amy Sanders.
Getty

People react to midterm election results during a DCCC election watch party.
People react to midterm election results during a DCCC election watch party.
Getty

Americans check results for Minnesota's Fifth Congressional District.
Americans check results for Minnesota's Fifth Congressional District.
Getty

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez hugs a supporter after her victory.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez hugs a supporter after her victory.
Getty

Voters wait in line for polls to open on Tuesday morning.
Voters wait in line for polls to open on Tuesday morning.
Getty

Marie Rice reacts as it is announced that Ted Cruz won his race.
Marie Rice reacts as it is announced that Ted Cruz won his race.
Getty

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi celebrates the result.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi celebrates the result.
Getty

The Empire State Building glows in red, white, and blue to mark the midterm election day.
The Empire State Building glows in red, white, and blue to mark the midterm election day.
Getty

5:00pm (AEDT)

STATE OF THE RACE

  • Democrats take the House: As widely expected, the Democrats won control of the lower house of US Congress. They will now be able to block Mr Trump's legislative agenda, as well as launch investigations into his business and electoral activities. Impeachment proceedings are now a possibility though widely seen as unlikely.
  • Republicans keep the Senate: Also as widely expected, the Republicans have kept control of the upper house of US Congress. This year's map strongly favoured the GOP. As such, US Congress will become divided between the two major parties.
  • A blue wave? Both parties are trying to control the narrative of whether Tuesday represented a rebuke of Mr Trump. The president tweeted that the day was a "tremendous success" while House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said "tomorrow will be a new day in America".
  • Beto loses: Former punk rocker Beto O'Rourke failed to beat Ted Cruz in Texas' Senate race, one of the most expensive in history. But he continues to light up social media for telling supporters "I'm so f***ing proud of you guys".
  • Historic firsts: The midterms delivered several historic firsts. Jared Polis became the first openly gay man to be elected governor, Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar became the first Muslim women elected to Congress and 29-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez became the youngest woman ever elected to Congress.   

4:30pm (AEDT)

Beto O'Rourke has addressed supporters in Texas - with some fans calling it his "first 2020 stump speech".

"I am as inspired, I'm as hopeful as I have ever been in my life, and tonight's loss does nothing to diminish the way that I feel about Texas or this country," he said.

Mr O'Rourke was defeated by Republican Ted Cruz in one of America's most expensive and closely watched midterm races.

Twitter has lit up after the 46-year-old told the crowd, "I'm so f***ing proud of you guys".

3:50pm (AEDT)

House Minority Leader and Democratic heavyweight Nancy Pelosi has spoken at the DCCC celebration party.

The former (and perhaps future) speaker of the lower house told supports that "thanks to you, tomorrow will be a new day in America. Remember this feeling".

"Democrats pledge a Congress that works for the people," she said, adding that Americans have "had enough of division".

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
AAP

3:30pm (AEDT)

A Democratic House, a Republican Senate, what does it all mean?

On a practical level, Democrats will have far more power in Washington DC.

Control of the lower house allows them to block Mr Trump's legislative agenda and push their own policy.

They will now also be able to launch investigations of the president's opaque finances and Russian interference in his 2016 election, and possibly even push for impeachment.

People react to midterm election results during a DCCC election watch party.
People react to midterm election results during a DCCC election watch party.
Getty

On a symbolic level, the results show that the US has never been more divided.

Messy, loud politics will likely continue into the 2020 presidential election and perhaps beyond. 

3:20pm (AEDT)

Mr Trump has tweeted, calling the result a "tremendous success".

3:05pm (AEDT)

CNN has called it. Democrats win the House and Republicans keep the Senate. 

3:00pm (AEDT)

Mitt's back.

Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee for president in 2012 who lost to Barack Obama, has won a Utah Senate seat.

2:50pm (AEDT)

A string of major US outlets have called the midterms - that Democrats will win the House and Republicans will keep the Senate.

2:40pm (AEDT)

Two big calls from CNN. 

Ted Cruz is projected to beat Beto O'Rourke, meaning that Republicans are projected to keep the Senate.

2:30pm (AEDT)

Sharice Davids has become the first Native American women elected to Congress and the first openly LGBTQIA+ person to represent Kansas.

2:05pm (AEDT)

Twenty-nine-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has become the youngest woman ever elected to Congress.

The self-proclaimed "democratic socialist" made headlines earlier this year when she toppled Democratic Party grandee Joe Crowley in a primary vote.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez talks to supporters.
Getty

2:00pm (AEDT)

In what CNN calls a "historic first", Democrats Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar have become the first Muslim women elected to Congress.

1:50pm (AEDT)

Democrat Jared Polis has become the US' first openly gay man to win a gubernatorial election.

He is part of a record number of LGBTQIA+ candidates running for office this cycle

1:45pm (AEDT)

Fox News has called it - Democrats will take control of the House of Representatives.

1:30pm (AEDT)

Marsha Blackburn has won the Tennessee Senate race. This could signal that Republicans are set to keep that chamber.

1:20pm (AEDT)

More Beto news from Texas. According to CNN, out of more than four million votes counted, Mr O'Rourke is just 79 votes ahead.

1:05pm (AEDT) 

Some voters in Tennessee were forced to cast the ballots in darkness after a power outage.

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1:00pm (AEDT) 

US website FiveThirtyEight is being far less kind to the Democrats now than yesterday (see below), giving them just a 56.1 per cent chance of taking the House. It's still early in the counting though.

FiveThirtyEight
FiveThirtyEight

12:50pm (AEDT) 

Voters in parts of Georgia have been forced to wait up to three hours to get to the ballot box and vote. Read SBS News' report

The wait time to vote at the Pittman Park precinct in Atlanta was reported to be three hours. Pizza and snacks were donated for the people waiting in line.
AAP

12:40pm (AEDT) 

The Democratic pickups in the House continue, with Donna Shalala wining a seat in Florida.

12:30pm (AEDT)

Interesting news for those following the race between Beto O'Rourke and Ted Cruz in Texas: CNN has him ahead with 32 per cent of the vote counted.

CNN
CNN

12:10pm (AEDT)

The top-trending search on Google today has been "dónde votar" - Spanish for "where to vote". This could mean a large Latino turnout.

12:10pm (AEDT)

There are reports of huge lines at polling places across the country.

Voters in San Diego.
Voters in San Diego.
Getty

12:05pm (AEDT)

Watch coverage of the midterms here:

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11:55am (AEDT)

Polls have now closed across the eastern states and early results (safe seats) are starting to come in.

The Democrats have also taken take their first House seat from Republicans.

11:35am (AEDT)

Here's SBS News' guide to the midterms and why they matter

11:30am (AEDT)

The final opinion poll analysis by US website FiveThirtyEight has Democrats to win the House and Republicans holding onto the Senate.

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