The Republicans drew closer to Senate Day by winning in the crucial battlefields of Indiana and Tennessee to consolidate a more conservative majority.
The victories of Indiana-based businessman Mike Brown and Rep. Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.), Two staunch confederates of President Trump, came through the Democrats of the Centers, where both parties raised tens of millions of dollars.
In other countries, melee battles were decided in a national competition that had an impact on the coming battles over federal justice, trade, health care, government spending and immigration. It was also important to Trump – not just for his agenda, but also because his government could face a series of investigations starting next year. Some Democrats have even addressed the possibility of impeachment.
With the card in their favor, the Republicans, who currently control both Congress chambers, wanted to maintain and possibly extend their 51-49 lead in the Senate. Analysts across the political spectrum had preferred them to remain in power, even though they said the Democrats could gain control of the house.
"I see two things," said Jim Manley, a former Senate Democrat advisor, and looked ahead. "A president unwilling to tone down his rhetoric and Senate Republicans who are unwilling to break with him."
In some of the most watched Senate races, central Democrats opposed conservative Republicans who embraced Trump with passion. Competitions in Missouri, North Dakota, Indiana, West Virginia and Tennessee fell into this category.
Even before the vote on Tuesday, the Senate Republicans stood next year for a Trump Pro job. Sens. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) And Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), Who have often expressed concerns about Trump's tone and government philosophy, are retiring. John McCain, a trumped Trump critic, died in August.
The Democrats tried to defeat candidates who marched with Trump in Lockstep, taking care of health care and other so-called "kitchen tables". This contrast has been tested across the country.
In North Dakota, Republicans were confident that MP Kevin Cramer would defeat Senate Heidi Heitkamp, the most vulnerable Democratic senator. A Cramer victory would mean that one of the few moderate Democrats in the Chamber would be replaced by a close ally of Trump.
In the east of Missouri, Attorney General Josh Hawley (R) Sen. tried to displace Claire McCaskill (D) in a similarly dynamic race. Hawley, like Cramer, championed Trump's views on trade, though he had criticized that farmers in his state were suffering from the president's custom duties.
Two states in Indiana won Brown as an outsider who wanted to shake up Washington.
A wildcard next year is Mitt Romney. The former Republican presidential candidate won the seat of retired Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R). Romney has criticized Trump, including in a speech against his candidacy in 2016. Recently, however, he was less openly hostile to the president.
The Democrats also wanted to gain some seats in the Sunbelt, while Rep. Jacky Rosen (D) attempted to depose Senator Dean Heller (R), a former critic of the Trump party, who heated up during the presidential campaign.
In Arizona, Democrats leaders Kyrsten Sinema, a former Green Party activist who acted as a moderate Democrat, hoped to win Flake's seat. Her opponent was Republican Martha McSally, a former Trump critic who laid down her hostility in the campaign.
Florida, another state with a diverse population, was the site of the expensive and decisive showdown between Senator Bill Nelson (D) and Governor Rick Scott (R). Unlike most of the other top candidates, Scott distanced himself from the presidential election campaign.
Many Democratic Senate candidates have beaten Trump's tariffs. In Tennessee, former governor Phil Bredesen, who lost to Blackburn, overturned tariffs as damaging to the state's automotive, agricultural and whiskey industries.
The Senate Democrats hoped to retain some important seats. They defended 26 of the 35 seats in the ballot, including 10 in the states of Trump.
Sens. Joe Manchin III (Va V) held onto his seat. Manchin was the only Democrat who voted for Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh. He has announced areas of cooperation with the president and would remain an important Republican target for crossover support in combat.
The Democrats hoped that Jon Tester (D-Mont.) Would keep his seat, even though Trump held a rally in his state during the final stages of the campaign.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) Also stood under a national microscope. Following a fierce clash with Trump in the 2016 preseason, Cruz stood in his campaign against Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D), a challenger who reached rock star status on the left. The President held a rally with Texas in October.
The Senate's republican agenda may not be nearly as ambitious as it has been in the past two years, when the GOP controlled the federal government after Trump's surprise hit. A takeover of a democratic house would probably be a major obstacle to reaching agreement on most major issues if the Republicans were to retain the Senate.
Even in this scenario, the Senate must navigate in some high-stakes battles. The Trump administration is preparing for a massive post-interim transformation that could trigger nominations for the Attorney General and other Cabinet posts that the Senate should take on over the coming months.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) Has made confirmation of federal judges a top priority. This is a task for the Senate alone, and the McConnell allies said that this will be central to the next Congress if the Republicans retain control of the Chamber.
"I think what is really important to both the government and the Republicans in the Senate is to continue to work in the area of human resources," said Josh Holmes, a former McConnell chief of staff and one of his closest confidants. "I think the judicial remake is high on the agenda, no matter what."
A race that both parties had not finished on Tuesday was in Mississippi. The special elections for the successor of the retired Republican Thad Cochran could lead to a runoff election on 27 November.