With only two years left of Barack Obama’s presidency it seems his unpopularity contributed to a dismal night for the Democrats.
The party has lost its majority in the Senate, with the Republicans now controlling 52 seats meaning they’ve now ceased power in both Houses of Congress.
The party won in Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Montana, North Carolina, South Dakota and West Virginia. And they are expected to gain more as votes are counted from other states.
The midterms were also seen as a vote on Barack Obama’s time in the White House, with the Republicans focusing on voter dissatisfaction, which appears to have worked in their favour.
As well as seats up for grabs in the Senate, the Republicans also made sweeping gains in the House of Representatives, with a projected increase in their majority to levels not seen since World War Two.
With 435 seats up for re-election in the House of Representatives, the Republicans have currently won 243 seats, compared to the Democrats 175.
When the new Congress is sworn in January it will be the first time since 2006 that the Republicans have controlled both chambers.
The last two years of Barack Obama’s presidency could prove difficult with Republicans able to block the President’s power and policy.
Mitch McConnell, who retained his Kentucky seat in the Senate, is likely to become the Republican majority leader in the chamber. Political analysts have suggested that he’s likely to find compromise with the President and Democrats.
This compromise is likely to be found in order stop gridlock in Congress which could damage the future Republican presidential nominee on the run up to 2016.
Million’s of Americans also voted in tough fought governor’s races where Republicans saw off challengers in Florida, Maine & Wisconsin.
The extent of the Republican’s gains last night can be seen in Maryland & Massachusetts, two of the countries Democratic safe states, where the party’s candidates won. In Illinois, Barack Obama’s home state, Republican Bruce Rauner won against incumbent Democratic Governor Pat Quinn.
With voter turn out expected to be low, as it always during midterms, political gridlock in Congress, which has reached historic highs, is likely to be seen as another source of frustration for voters.
Republican leaders have insisted that they will push ahead with their policies, forcing Barack Obama to negotiate on their terms.
But, Republicans will have to prove to voters that they are able to govern, that they are responsible as the race to the White House begins.
By Joshua Godfrey