As voters head to the polls in Tuesday's U.S. election, hopes have dampened among Democrats that they will make major gains in the U.S. Congress, even if their nominee, Hillary Clinton, wins the presidency.
Enough wind may have come out of Clinton's sails to slow the Democrats' Senate and House of Representatives headway because of the FBI's startling announcement last month that reignited the controversy about her email practices, congressional aides and analysts said.
If that is the case, they said, Republicans will likely defend their House majority and may be able to retain some Senate seats long seen as vulnerable to Democratic capture.
Americans will be voting to choose Clinton or Republican Donald Trump for president, and to fill 34 of the 100 Senate seats and all 435 House seats. Both the House and Senate are now controlled by the Republicans.
An analysis of Senate races issued on Monday by political scientist Larry Sabato's "Crystal Ball" project at the University of Virginia projected the election would end with Democrats and Republicans each holding 50 seats.
Continued Republican dominance in Congress could stymie any legislative agenda put forth by Clinton. A Trump victory, along with a Republican Congress, could mean a swift end for Democratic President Barack Obama's Obamacare health reforms.
A senior Democratic aide said the Clinton emails controversy, which erupted again after FBI Director James Comey said on Oct. 28 his agency would examine newly discovered emails that might pertain to her use of a private server while secretary of state, could reduce by at least 10 the number of House seats Democrats may capture from Republicans.