The US Midterms look a lot better to Democrats today.

Yesterday, as hopes were dashed for a political tsunami at the polls, it felt as though partisans and sympathisers on social media - exhibiting freshly re-opened wounds from 2016 - were drawing defeat from a substantial victory. CNN analyst Van Jones described the result as "heartbreaking".

There were some bitter pills to down along the way - the close Florida Senate and governor races and new party idol Beto O'Rourke giving Ted Cruz's Senate seat a shake in Texas but falling short.

There was no uniform rebuke of President Donald Trump's extreme rhetoric over immigration and Trumpism in general.


The result went the way pundits and pollsters had forecast.

They said the Democrats would gain the House of Representatives and the Republicans would hold onto the Senate.

They said Democrats would make gains with moderate Republicans in urban/suburban areas.

They expected that race by race it would be decided by small margins.

They predicted the Democratic national vote advantage in the House races.

From the Republican viewpoint, even though they lost the House, they held tough in the Senate and even improved their majority.

They still have the advantage of a booming economy - even if it could shield many red House districts.

Looking ahead to the 2020 presidential election: The fact that Trump has a key ally in the always critical state of Florida will give Democratic strategists sleepless nights.

There will be a lot to unpick about these elections.

A notable feature was the Democrats' quick return to the Midwest and Rust Belt after 2016. The old 'blue wall' that was supposed to guarantee Hillary Clinton victory in 2016 resurfaced. Democrats won governor and Senate races in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania - states that gave Trump a narrow Electoral College win.

The new House crop will be a more diverse bunch with more women, African-Americans, Hispanics, Muslim-Americans, former veterans, Native-Americans and an openly gay governor in Colorado.

Going forward, the Democrats have won the ability to put the brakes on the US President for the first time in Trump's runaway reign.

They will have the ability to launch inquiries and wield subpoenas and wave the threat of impeachment before the White House.

While the expectation will be for legislative gridlock, Trump could potentially work with the Democrats on infrastructure reform.

More likely a marathon pre-2020 campaign period will soon kick in.

For the Democrats, it will be a tricky assignment. They have to be more than just Trump blockers. They have to legislate and bring benefits to the people who voted for them.