Republicans Maintain Control of the House… AND THE SENATE

screen-shot-2016-11-08-at-8-41-42-pmRepublicans have the House. We can call that right now. The rest…it’s still developing.

Republicans will maintain control of the House of Representatives, NBC News projects.

The GOP is seen taking 236 seats to the Democrats’ 199, according to NBC’s House Model.

Republicans were widely expected to hold the House and create a policy buffer in a possible Hillary Clinton presidency.

Still, the development proves all the more important for the Republican agenda — and the potential to block the Democratic policy slate — as the parties fight for Senate control and the presidency on Tuesday night.

And now we know the Republicans control the Senate. They have gained enough votes to hold the majority.

Republicans held onto their slim Senate majority Wednesday, a stinging blow to Democrats in a night full of them. Democrats had been nearly certain of retaking control but saw their hopes fizzle as endangered GOP incumbents won in Missouri, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and even Democrat-friendly Wisconsin.

GOP-held New Hampshire remained too close to call in the early morning hours Wednesday, but even if Democrats eked out a win there it would not make a difference.

Republicans started the night with a 54-46 majority in the Senate and were on track to end up with at least 52 seats, presuming they win a December runoff in Louisiana, as expected.

The outcome added to a debacle of a night for Democrats, who lost the presidency and faced being consigned to minority status on Capitol Hill for years to come.

Republicans celebrated their wins, already looking ahead to midterms in 2018 when Democrats could see their numbers reduced even further with a group of red-state Senate Democrats on the ballot.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who will serve in that role next year under a President Trump, issued a statement congratulating the president-elect.

“After eight years of the Obama administration, the American people have chosen a new direction for our nation. President-elect Trump has a significant opportunity to bring our nation together,” McConnell said. “It is my hope and intent that we succeed in the years ahead by working together with our colleagues across the aisle to strengthen our national and economic security.”

As the night wore on, Democratic operatives struggled to explain why their optimistic assessments of retaking Senate control were so mistaken. Some blamed unexpected turnout by certain segments of white voters, or FBI Director James Comey’s bombshell announcement that he was reviewing a new batch of emails connected with Democrat Hillary Clinton.

In Pennsylvania, GOP Sen. Pat Toomey won a narrow victory for his second term over Democratic challenger Katie McGinty. It was a race Democrats expected to win going into the night — and one that many Republicans felt nearly as sure they’d lose.

The story was the same in Wisconsin, where GOP Sen. Ron Johnson, written off for months by his own party, won re-election against former Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold in a rematch.

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