(RNN) – In divisive midterm elections that led to surprisingly high voter turnout, the split in American politics was writ large with the Democrats taking the House of Representatives, though the Republicans retained control of the Senate.
While some races remain too close to call, it’s clear that both parties were energized leading up to Election Day. The Democrats predicted a blue wave – and in some respects, received one – but it was by no means a tsunami.
Democrats took control of the House by flipping at least 23 seats but lost several Senate races, most notably the high-profile contest in Texas between Republican Sen. Ted Cruz and Democrat Beto O’Rourke.
Still, Rep. Nancy Pelosi expressed excitement over the election results, saying the newly Democratic House will be able to place a check on President Donald Trump’s power. During Trump’s first two years, Republicans dominated Congress.
Looking beyond politics, the makeup of Congress is changing. There will be more women in the House than ever before.
More than 90 female candidates won their races by early Wednesday morning, including New York’s 29-year-old Alexandria-Ocasio Cortez, who became the youngest woman ever elected to Congress, and Oklahoma Democrat Kendra Horn, who scored a major upset against her incumbent challenger.
Two Muslim women, Democrats Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, and two Native American women, Democrats Deb Haaland and Sharice Davids, made history by winning their respective races.
Elsewhere, hopes for history-making black candidates were doused.
Republican Ron DeSantis won the Florida governor race over Democrat Andrew Gillum, and Georgia’s Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp held a distinct advantage early Wednesday, though Democrat Stacey Abrams refused to concede.
Several Senate seats remain undecided in tight races.
No winner was declared in the Arizona contest between Republican Rep. Martha McSally and Democrat Rep. Kyrsten Sinema.
Republican Gov. Rick Scott declared victory in Florida, but the Associated Press has not called the race and Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson has not publicly conceded.
In Montana, Democratic incumbent Sen. Jon Tester and Republican Matt Rosendale face a too-close-to-call contest.
In Texas’ 23rd Congressional District, Republican Rep. Will Hurd and Democrat Gina Ortiz Jones face a race that’s too close to call.
Though the AP initially called the contest in favor of Hurd, the margin between the candidates later narrowed, prompting the AP to withdraw its statement early Wednesday.
The race to become the next Connecticut governor, between Democrat Ned Lamont and Republican Bob Stefanowski, was too close to call as of Wednesday morning.
How the midterms results will affect the Trump administration remain unclear.
On Twitter, Trump declared the night a “tremendous success.” He said Monday he expects to make Cabinet changes following the elections but described them as customary.
Stalwart liberal incumbents - such as Dianne Feinstein, D-CA, Bernie Sanders, I-VT, Tim Kaine, D-VA, Sherrod Brown, D-OH, Sheldon Whitehouse, D-RI, Chris Murphy, D-CT, Ben Cardin, D-MD, Bob Casey, D-PA, and Elizabeth Warren, D-MA - won re-election.
Democratic incumbents Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey also managed to hold on to their seats.
The Mississippi special Senate race between Democrat Mike Espy and Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith will go to a runoff on Nov. 27 after no candidate got 50 percent of the vote. Hyde-Smith was appointed to her Senate seat to replace incumbent Thad Cochran after he retired in April. If elected, she would be the first woman voted into the Senate for the state.
Rep. Maxine Waters, D-CA, who has made headlines for her opposition to Trump, won re-election in her state’s 43rd Congressional District. Waters was one of several prominent politicians who were targeted by mail bombs in late October.
Republican Rep. Steve Scalise, who was shot when a gunman targeting conservatives opened fire on a practice for a Congressional baseball game last year, becoming a symbol of the country’s sometimes violent divides, was re-elected in Louisiana’s 1st District.
Republicans also held Ross Spano’s seat in Florida’s 15th District, Steve King’s seat in Iowa’s 4th District and Devin Nunes’ seat in California’s 22nd District.
A number of Republican incumbents, including Bill Lee in Tennessee, Asa Hutchinson in Arkansas, Greg Abbott in Texas, Doug Ducey of Arizona and Charlie Baker in Massachusetts cruised to re-election.
Democratic governors Andrew Cuomo of New York and Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania won re-election without difficulty in New York.
One local race in Kentucky made headlines because of who lost. Kim Davis, the Republican county clerk in Rowan County, KY, lost to her Democratic challenger, Elwood Caudill Jr. Davis gained notoriety after she was jailed for refusing to issue licenses for same-sex marriage in 2015.
Republican Dennis Hof, a brothel owner who died before the election, won his race to join the Nevada Assembly. A Republican will be appointed to serve his term, the Reno Gazette-Journal said.
In Florida, voters approved an amendment that will restore voting rights to most felons when they complete their sentences. Those convicted of sex offenses and murder are exempt from the amendment.
Previously, felons had to wait at least five years after their sentence was fulfilled before they could request their voting rights restored. About 1.5 million people are affected by the new law.
Voters in Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, Nevada and Oklahoma approved Marsy’s Law, which advocates for victims' rights and ensures the victims of crimes are told about criminal proceedings and can be present and heard at those proceedings.
Here are some of the other noteworthy issues being voted on in ballot measures around the country:
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