"We have the beginning of a new Democratic Party, younger, browner, cooler, more women, more veterans, can win in MI, can win in Pennsylvania, can win in OH", said Van Jones, a CNN political commentator.
Democrats' dreams of the Senate majority, always unlikely, were shattered after losses in top Senate battlegrounds: Indiana, Missouri, Tennessee, North Dakota and Texas.
Some Democrats said during their campaigns they would not back Pelosi, but it's not clear yet if there are any Democrats willing to challenge her for the post.
Trump had worked hard to ensure neither chamber fell to the Democrats, holding a campaigning blitz in the run-up to Tuesday's polls that saw him traverse the continental U.S.
Those measures, they believe, will be broadly popular.
Actually, you can and do if you're like most Democrats and never-Trump Republicans. The victory for Democrats could open up the president to possible investigations and stymie the GOP's policy progress. That could lead to gridlock. Exit polling showed that voters, like Democratic candidates, considered health care the number one issue and they turned out in record numbers.
Unlike the midterms of 2006, when President George W Bush declared that Democrats had delivered "a thumping", or 2010, when President Barack Obama described Republicans' victory as "a shellacking", the Democrats did not score an overwhelming victory Tuesday night.
Internal Revenue Service law allows House and Senate tax-writing committees to request federal returns, and the ranking Ways and Means Democrat, Rep. Richard Neal of MA, has signaled publicly he would ask for them - a move the White House might fight.
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This year, women not only increased their numbers, but the new class of lawmakers also includes women from a wide patchwork of backgrounds, adding to a Congress that is expected to be more diverse.
In Texas, Democrat Colin Allred, a former National Football League player and civil rights lawyer, defeated the incumbent Republican, Pete Sessions. Randy Hultgren, R-Ill., who was defeated by another Democratic newcomer, Lauren Underwood in the 14th congressional district race.
In fact, even before the votes were fully counted, the two sides began sparring over the future course, although the Democratic Party itself is divided over whether to pursue a more aggressive line on Trump, including launching more aggressive investigations and initiating impeachment proceedings.
In a year when Trump put racial divisiveness on the ballot, Democrats ran and won with a diverse set of candidates who are infusing the party with new energy. Many are from the party's progressive wing.
At 29, Ocasio-Cortez is the youngest woman ever elected to Congress.
Democratic leaders plan to satisfy those demands by using their newfound majority to push through long-stalled initiatives that they say have broad support within the electorate. "It's about restoring the Constitution's checks and balances to the Trump administration".
"We took a thumping in the rural areas and I understand that", Heitkamp said.
When asked where he could specifically find common ground with House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, McConnell struggled to name examples - offering only the usual example of infrastructure, something that is often cited but rarely a bipartisan achievement. Dems are on track to gain 11 House seats in these states including California, a state where the GOP didn't even have a Senate candidate on the statewide ballot this year.
And, as The New York Times pointed out, Mr Trump is counting on his negative campaigning to bring out his supporters.