WASHINGTON (AP) — The Democrats captured the House seats in Tuesday's election, a victory that could put a check on President Donald Trump’s agenda over the next two years and lead to a multitude of investigations into his business dealings and administration.

As one of the most volatile midterm elections in U.S. history wound down, the Democrats early Wednesday reached the 218 seats needed for the majority. A Democratic majority would break the Republicans’ eight-year hold on the House that began with the Tea Party revolt of 2010.

While the Republican Party maintained control of the Senate, the Democrats' seizure of the House will end the GOP monopoly on power in Washington and open a new era of divided government.

“Tomorrow will be a new day in America,” Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said at a victory party in Washington.

The results held implications for coming battles over the federal judiciary, trade, health care, government spending and immigration. Trump’s worldview is expected to be reflected strongly in those debates in the wake of Tuesday’s elections.

The Democrats needed a net gain of 23 seats to take back the House. Democratic candidates flipped seats in several suburban districts outside of Washington, Philadelphia, Miami, Chicago and Denver that were considered prime targets for turnover because they were won by Hillary Clinton in 2016. They also made inroads into Trump country as Democrats tried to win back white working-class voters.

Midterm elections are typically difficult for the party in power, and GOP incumbents were on the defensive in many races across the country.

The Democrats benefited from extraordinary voter enthusiasm, robust fundraising and unusually fresh candidates. More women than ever were running, along with veterans and minorities.

By early Wednesday, women were assured of 85 seats in the House, a record.

The campaign unfolded against a backdrop of nasty rhetoric and angry debates on immigration, health care and the role of Congress in overseeing the president.

The debate was dominated not by the economy or the GOP’s $1.5 trillion tax cuts but by Trump’s dire prediction of “invasion” from the migrant caravan and what he called the “radical” agenda of speaker-in-waiting Pelosi.

For Democrats, the road to the majority ran through the two dozen suburban districts Clinton won and through swaths of Trump country in the Rust Belt and heartland where voters backed the president two years ago.

Among Democratic victories:

  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez defeated Anthony Pappas in New York City. Her victory was expected after she scored an upset over 10-term U.S. Rep. Joe Crowley in the Democratic primary in June.
  • Cindy Axne defeated Republican Rep. David Young to represent much of southwest Iowa.
  • Abby Finkenauer beat GOP Rep. Rod Blum to represent northeast Iowa. She and Ocasio-Cortez, both 29, will become the youngest members of Congress.
  • In Minnesota, State Rep. Ilhan Omar made history, becoming the first Somali-American elected to the U.S. House by defeating Republican Jennifer Zielinski in the heavily Democratic 5th District.
  • Democrat Sharice Davids unseated Republican Rep. Kevin Yoder of Kansas to become the nation’s first LGBT and Native American woman in Congress.
  • In the Miami area, former Clinton administration Cabinet member Donna Shalala won an open seat.

Republicans, however, cemented control of the Senate for two more years and positioned themselves for a more conservative majority, with victories by candidates who aligned closely with President Donald Trump.

North Dakota Rep. Kevin Cramer and Indiana businessman Mike Braun, both staunch Trump allies, won seats held by Democrats. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, a Republican and another Trump loyalist, defeated a popular former governor in Tennessee.

The outcomes also held significance for Trump himself. His administration could face an onslaught of investigations beginning next year. Some Democrats have even raised the possibility of impeachment.

With the map in their favor, Republicans — who currently control both chambers of Congress — were on track to preserve and expand their 51-49 advantage in the Senate. Analysts across the political spectrum had favored them to remain in power, even as they said Democrats were likely to wrest control of the House.

“I see two things,” said Jim Manley, a former top Democratic Senate aide, looking ahead. “A president unwilling to tone down his rhetoric, along with the Senate Republicans unwilling to break with him.”

Some of the most closely watched Senate races pitted centrist Democrats against conservative Republicans who ardently embraced Trump. Contests in Missouri, North Dakota, Indiana, West Virginia and Tennessee fell into this category.

Even before Tuesday’s vote, Senate Republicans were poised for a more pro-Trump roster next year. Sens. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., and Bob Corker, R-Tenn., who have frequently voiced concerns about Trump’s tone and his governing philosophy, are retiring. John McCain, a vocal Trump critic, died in August.

Democrats tried to defeat candidates who marched in lockstep with Trump by running on preserving health-care protections and other so-called “kitchen table” issues. In key races, they fell short.

In North Dakota, Cramer’s defeat of Sen. Heidi Heitkamp means that one of the chamber’s few moderate Democrats will be replaced by a close ally of Trump. Trump personally recruited Cramer to run. On major issues, Cramer endorsed Trump’s positions.

In Indiana, Braun ran in Trump’s mold, as an outsider eager to shake up Washington. He defeated a pair of House members in the Republican primary before beating centrist Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly on Tuesday.

Two states over in Missouri, state Attorney General Josh Hawley, R, ousted Sen. Claire McCaskill, D, in a race with similar dynamics. Hawley, like Cramer, championed Trump’s views on trade, even as he faced criticism that farmers in his state would suffer under the president’s tariffs.

One wild card next year is Mitt Romney. The former Republican presidential nominee won the seat of retiring Sen. Orrin Hatch, R. Romney has criticized Trump, including in a speech opposing his candidacy in 2016. But lately, he has been less openly hostile to the president.

Senate Democrats were defending 26 of the 35 seats on the ballot, including 10 in states Trump won. They were hoping to offset their losses with some gains.

Sen. Joe Manchin, D, held onto his seat in West Virginia. Manchin was the only Democrat to vote for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. He has touted his cooperation with the president and Republicans are expected to court his support in future votes.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who clashed sharply with Trump in the 2016 primary, lined up squarely behind the president en route to his defeat of Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D, who achieved rock star status on the left.

This report includes material from the Washington Post.

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