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The scene is set for 2020

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OPINION: United States President Donald Trump characterised this week's midterm elections as a referendum on himself. Some voters duly gave him a political black eye while others opted for a rousing "Atta boy, Mr President".

What happened on Tuesday and what does it all mean?

First, the Democrats won the House of Representatives for the first time in eight years. They did so in challenging circumstances, including that many House races took place in electoral districts that were drawn (and in some cases gerrymandered) by Republican-controlled state governments. (In fact, court decisions were required to create fair electoral maps in Florida, North Carolina, Virginia and Pennsylvania.)

Moreover, 317 of the 435 electoral districts swung towards the Left, and although Democrats flipped only 30 of these there was a drift to the Left among many voters in districts the Republicans held onto. In short, the Dems' performance is better than it looks at face value.

* Trump celebrates 'tremendous success'
* Democrats close to House........

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