The election near the halfway mark of a president's first term is traditionally a referendum on the White House occupant.
Mr Trump barnstormed the critical Senate battleground states in the final days of the campaign, effectively making the contests as much about him as they were about the individual candidates.
The first result would represent a rebuke to Trump's entire political approach: His failure to tame his volatile instincts in the interests of national unity and his unwillingness to embrace the presidency itself as a national trust. Democrats, though, hammered him this cycle by tying him to President Donald Trump, who swooped in with a last-minute endorsement of Paulsen.
And on Monday, he made the case that if Democrats win, they will work to roll back everything he's tried to accomplish.
But it is a measure of the country's volatile political climate and the lessons of Trump's logic-defying win in 2016 that no one can say for sure how Tuesday night will unfold. This happened in 2012, when Democrats in House races received almost 1.5 million more votes than Republicans, with the Republicans nonetheless winning a majority of the seats (by a margin of 234-201). "You see how they've behaved". "Vote for the Democrat". A street in the city's charming Little Italy section bears her name - Via Nancy Alessandro Pelosi - celebrating the famous daughter who decamped for San Francisco and helped transform California from the state of Ronald Reagan to the headquarters of Trump resistance.
"It is very important". I thought this guy understood civics.
But Trump earlier in the day appeared to distance himself from the fate of House Republican candidates.
"Even though they won back the House, they're going to have to decide whether they ought to advance as a more Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders type of party with more liberal positions, or as a more center-left party", Gergen said.
"I'm ready to ride the Blue Wave", said Barry Rubin, 60, displaying a surfboard that read "Surfers for Harley Rouda".
"But when we can't find that common ground, we will stand our ground".
"It is worth noting that numerous House seats that are toss-ups are in California, and control of the Senate could come down to the race in Nevada and/or a close race in Texas. As I've told others, "Living good quietly is no longer enough".
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Democratic Rep. Jerry Nadler said in a statement that the results are an indication that "Americans are demanding accountability".
"House Republicans fought the good fight, but the headwinds of history and the president's unpopularity in suburban areas proved too much". "But I have never seen such an enthusiastic Republican Party".
Critics within the Republicans have lambasted the president for politicising the armed forces, which have been deployed to the country's southern borders to prevent, what has been termed a "caravan" of immigrants, from entering the United States.
"I don't care. They can do whatever they want, and I can do whatever I want", Trump said as he deplaned in IN for his second rally of the day. He received similar applause when promoting the economy, unemployment numbers and judicial appointments.
"I think it's about the character of the country", he said in Wilmington, Delaware, where he voted. The crowd responded with the chant, "Lock her up!"
Democrats are confident of overturning the Republican majority in the House, but a booming economy is likely to favour the Republican incumbents.
Trump's scorched-earth campaigning came to define the 2018 campaign. "The bottom line is - and I don't think he'll do it - the rhetoric needs to be toned down". "That's a big difference", he said, crediting his rallies for the influence.
The final weeks before the election were marked by the mailing of pipe bombs to his top political rivals, with a political fan of Trump arrested and charged, and the mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue in which 11 people died, sparking a debate about Trump's biting rhetoric and whether it encouraged extremists.
In a Fox News op-ed on Monday he wrote that the U.S. "has the best economy in the history of our country - and hope has finally returned to cities and towns across America".
The president has boasted about the economy and hammered away at illegal immigration in the closing days of the campaign as he seeks to retain a congressional majority and salvage his legislative agenda.