More races go to Democrats, including Senate seat in Ariz.

NEW YORK (AP) — No, it wasn't a blue wave. But a week after the voting, Democrats are riding higher than they thought on election night.

As vote counting presses on in several states, the Democrats have steadily chalked up victories across the country, firming up their grip on the U.S. House and statehouses. The slow roll of wins has given the party plenty to celebrate.

President Donald Trump was quick to claim victory for his party on election night. But the Democrats, who hit political rock bottom just two years ago, have now picked up at least 32 seats in the House — and lead in four more — in addition to flipping seven governorships and eight state legislative chambers.

They are on track to lose two seats in the Senate in a year both parties predicted more. On Monday night, Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema won Arizona's Senate race, beating Republican Rep. Martha McSally to take the seat held by retiring GOP Sen. Jeff Flake.

The overall results in the first nationwide election of the Trump presidency represent the Democratic Party's best midterm performance since Watergate.

"Over the last week we've moved from relief at winning the House to rejoicing at a genuine wave of diverse, progressive and inspiring Democrats winning office," said Ben Wikler, Washington director of the liberal group MoveOn.

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U.S. Sen.-elect Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., smiles after her victory over Republican challenger U.S. Rep. Martha McSally, Monday, Nov. 12, 2018, in Scottsdale, Ariz. Sinema won Arizona's open U.S. Senate seat in a race that was among the most closely watched in the nation, beating McSally in the battle to replace GOP Sen. Jeff Flake. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
CORRECTS FROM SEN.-ELECT TO CANDIDATE- U.S. Senate candidate Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., speaks to a supporter at the Barton Barr Central Library, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, in Phoenix. Sinema and Republican challenger Martha McSally are seeking the senate seat being vacated by Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., who is retiring in January.(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
CORRECTS TO DOWNTOWN PHOENIX CAMPUS NOT TEMPE - Democratic Senate candidate Kyrsten Sinema hands out doughnuts to Arizona State University students on the campus in downtown Phoenix on Monday, Nov. 5, 2018. Sinema, a congresswoman who teaches at the school, closed out her campaign against Republican Rep. Martha McSally with a dash across the Phoenix metro area. (AP Photo/Nicolas Riccardi)
Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Kyrsten Sinema gestures before performing the coin toss before an NCAA college football game between Arizona State and Utah, Saturday, Nov 3, 2018, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Kyrsten Sinema talks to volunteers at a get-out-the-vote phone bank in Phoenix, Ariz., Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018. Sinema and Republican Martha McSally are taking different approaches to the campaign, with Sinema focusing on retail politics and McSally rallying with high profile Republicans like Donald Trump Jr. (AP Photo/Bob Christie)
U.S. Senate candidates, U.S. Rep. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., left, and U.S. Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., prepare their remarks in a television studio prior to a televised debate, Monday, Oct. 15, 2018, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)
A supporter crosses her fingers as she talks with Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Kyrsten Sinema, at a get-out-the-vote event at the Arizona Education Association headquarters in Phoenix, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018. Sinema is facing Republican Martha McSally in the race to replace Republican Sen. Jeff Flake, who is retiring. (AP Photo/Bob Christie)
Arizona Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema fills bags at a food bank in Phoenix, Ariz., Friday Oct. 19, 2018, while campaigning for an open U.S. Senate seat. Her opponent, Republican Rep. Martha McSally, was spending part of the day at a rally in Mesa, Ariz., with President Donald Trump, escorting him on a tour of Luke Air Force Base. (AP Photo/Bob Christie)
FILE - In this Oct. 15, 2018 file photo, U.S. Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., goes over the rules in a television studio prior to a televised debate with U.S. Rep. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., in Phoenix. Sinema won Arizona's open U.S. Senate seat Monday, Nov. 12, in a race that was among the most closely watched in the nation, beating Republican Rep. Martha McSally in the battle to replace GOP Sen. Jeff Flake. (AP Photo/Matt York, File)
Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., talks to campaign volunteers at a Democratic campaign office on primary election day Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2018, in Phoenix. Sinema is seeking the current U.S. Senate seat occupied by outgoing Republican Sen. Jeff Flake, and will face the Republican primary winner of the race between Rep. Martha McSally, former state Sen. Kelli Ward, and former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, if Sinema wins the Democratic primary. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., middle, talks to campaign volunteers at a Democratic campaign office on primary election day Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2018, in Phoenix. Sinema is seeking the current U.S. Senate seat occupied by outgoing Republican Sen. Jeff Flake, and will face the Republican primary winner of the race between Rep. Martha McSally, former state Sen. Kelli Ward, and former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, if Sinema wins the Democratic primary. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., hugs a supporter at a Democratic campaign office on primary election day Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2018, in Phoenix. Sinema is seeking the current U.S. Senate seat occupied by outgoing Republican Sen. Jeff Flake, and will face the Republican primary winner of the race between Rep. Martha McSally, former state Sen. Kelli Ward, and former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, if Sinema wins the Democratic primary. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, who is running against Republican Rep. Martha McSally for the open Arizona Senate seat Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., is vacating, talks to campaign volunteers, Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018, in Tempe, Ariz. Arizona's Senate race pits Sinema, a careful politician running as a centrist in a Republican-leaning state, against McSally, a onetime Trump critic turned fan. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
FILE - In this Aug. 21, 2018, file photo, U.S. Senatorial candidate U.S. Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., speaks with volunteers in Phoenix. Sinema is the Democratic nominee seeking the seat of retiring U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. in a race against U.S. Rep. Martha McSally, R-Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York, file)
In this Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018 photo, U.S. Senatorial candidate U.S. Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., volunteers at a food pantry in Phoenix. Sinema is the democratic nominee seeking the seat of retiring U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. in a race against U.S. Rep. Martha McSally, R-Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)
U.S. Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz. speaks prior to delivering her signatures to the Arizona Secretary of State's office Tuesday, May 29, 2018 at the Capitol in Phoenix. Sinema is officially running as a Democrat for U.S. Senate seat being vacated by retiring Republican Sen. Jeff Flake. Women running for office have crossed another threshold with a record number of candidates for the U.S. Senate. In the two major parties, 42 women are expected to have qualified for 19 Senate seats. (AP Photo/Matt York)
IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN - U.S. Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema seen at the 2018 Human Rights Campaign Los Angeles Dinner at JW Marriott L.A. Live on Saturday, March 10, 2018, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Dan Steinberg/Invision for Human Rights Campaign/AP Images)
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The blue shift alters the trajectory of Trump's next two years in the White House, breaking up the Republican monopoly in Washington. It also gives Democrats stronger footing in key states ahead of the next presidential race and in the redrawing of congressional districts — a complicated process that has been dominated by the GOP, which has drawn favorable boundaries for their candidates.

Trump and his allies discounted the Democratic victories on Monday, pointing to GOP successes in Republican-leaning states.

"Thanks to the grassroots support for @realDonaldTrump and our party's ground game, we were able to #DefyHistory and make gains in the Senate!" Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel tweeted, citing Senate wins in Indiana, Missouri, North Dakota and Tennessee, among others.

Indeed, just once in the past three decades had a sitting president added Senate seats in his first midterm election. But lost in McDaniel's assessment was the difficult 2018 Senate landscape for Democrats, who were defending 10 seats in states Trump carried just two years ago.

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez said in an interview: "I believe in facts. And the fact of the matter is, the Democratic Party had a historic night at the ballot box — and we are not resting,"

He said, "Our goal was to compete everywhere, to expand and reshape the electorate everywhere — and that's exactly what we've done."

The Democrats found success by attracting support from women, minorities and college-educated voters. Overall, 50 percent of white college-educated voters and 56 percent of women backed Democrats nationwide, according to AP VoteCast, a wide-ranging survey of the electorate.

Democrats featured historic diversity on the ballot.

Their winning class includes Massachusetts' first African-American female member of Congress, Ayanna Presley, and Michigan's Rashida Talib and Minnesota's Ilhan Omar, the first two Muslim women to serve in Congress, along with Kansas' Sharice Davids, the first lesbian Native American.

They also won by running candidates with military backgrounds who openly embraced gun ownership, such as Pennsylvania Rep. Conor Lamb and Maine's Jared Golden, who is poised to win his contest because of the state's ranked-choice voting system.

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Celebs vote in 2018 Midterm elections
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Celebs vote in 2018 Midterm elections
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We voted! And we agreed on this photo!
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The Democrats needed to gain 23 seats to seize the House majority. Once all the votes are counted, which could take weeks in some cases as absentees and provisional ballots are tallied, they could win close to 40.

Democrats have not lost a single House incumbent so far. Yet they defeated Republican targets such as Reps. Mike Coffman of Colorado, Barbara Comstock of Virginia, Carlos Curbelo of Florida and Dana Rohrabacher of California.

They could win as many as 19 House races in districts carried by Trump two years ago, according to House Democrats' campaign arm.

Ten House races remained too close for the AP to call as of Monday evening.

Far more of the Senate landscape was decided early, although contests in Florida and Mississippi remain outstanding.

While there were notable statehouse Democratic losses in Iowa and Ohio, the party flipped governorships in seven states: Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Nevada, Kansas, New Mexico and Maine.

Republicans now control 25 governorships nationwide compared to 23 for Democrats. High-profile contests in Florida and Georgia remain outstanding, though Republicans hold narrow leads in both states.

Overshadowed perhaps by the higher-profile statewide elections, Democratic gains in state legislatures could prove deeply consequential.

Overall, they flipped state legislative chambers in eight states this midterm season, including Washington state's Senate in 2017. The others include the state Senates in Maine, Colorado, New York, New Hampshire and Connecticut in addition to the state Houses of Representatives in New Hampshire and Minnesota.

With hundreds of races still too close to call, Democrats have won at least 370 new state legislative seats nationwide, according to the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, although the new seats were offset by Republican wins in some cases. The pickups include surprises in West Virginia, where Democrats knocked off the GOP majority leader-designate in the House and the majority leader in the Senate.

"We have elected a new generation of inspiring leaders and we know that a new era of democratic dominance is on the horizon," said the committee's executive director Jessica Post.

Still, Republicans will control the majority of state legislative chambers, governorships, the U.S. Senate and the White House. And even before the new Democrats take office, attention has begun to shift toward 2020.

Many Democrats have yet to shake off the stinging losses of 2016. Publicly and privately, Democrats are lining up for the chance to take down Trump in two years.

"This is step one of a two-step process to right the ship," Guy Cecil, chairman of the pro-Democrat super PAC Priorities USA, said of the midterms. "Democrats have every reason to be optimistic."

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