Term elections 2018: Trump makes final bid for votes

Frederick Owens
November 7, 2018

Republicans are aiming to retain Senate control in Tuesday's voting and renew their role as guardians of President Donald Trump's conservative agenda, banking on a lopsided electoral map that imperils far more Democratic seats to offset Trump's deeply divisive effect on voters. This, though, is Republicans' best chance to flip a gubernatorial seat with Mike Dunleavy.

If Republicans hang on to their majorities in the House and Senate after two years of protests and marches against the Trump administration, it would be a crushing blow to Democrats.

Trump is also hammering away at the anxieties of women voters.

Striking a dark tone at a rally in IN on Monday evening, Trump accused Democrats of "openly encouraging millions of illegal aliens to break our laws, violate our borders and overrun our country". He added: "The Democrat agenda is a socialist nightmare".

The demographic divides were coloring the political landscape in different ways.

Early voting leading up to Tuesday's midterm election revealed a wide variety of concerns with voting and registration systems around the country - from machines that changed voter selections to registration forms tossed out because of clerical errors.

Sixty of those vulnerable districts are now under Republican control or were left vacant when a Republican lawmaker resigned.

Trump, though, nearly assuredly will face an avalanche of investigations into his tax returns, his payments to adult-film star Stormy Daniels and his relationship with Russian Federation if Democrats win back the House - which comes with the much-coveted power to subpoena and launch congressional investigations.

Of the 35 seats up for grabs, 26 are held by Democrats and nine by Republicans.

But there was very little grace and nothing awesome in a bitter campaign, the nadir of which came when several television networks declined to air a patently racist advertisement from the Trump campaign - approved by President Trump - a commercial so xenophobic that even Fox News, the President's cable channel of preference, refused to air it.

Millions of Americans are today heading to the polls to choose which party member they want to represent them in both chambers of Congress, the House of Representative and the Senate.

That is reflected in the early vote totals for these midterms, which are high.

"The grassroots of the Democratic left are doing exactly what the Tea Party movement did in 2010".

On Monday, Facebook, NBC and even the Mr Trump's favourite network, Fox News, announced they would stop broadcasting a 30-second ad paid for by his campaign, which featured an undocumented Mexican immigrant.

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Problems with voting machines prevented Americans from casting ballots in a dozen states, USA rights advocates said, following complaints about registration problems, faulty equipment and intimidation they have received throughout early balloting.

Some Democrats have already vowed to force the release of his tax returns. None of it is going to happen unless they retake the White House and they know it.

Democrats' fate depends upon a delicate coalition of infrequent voters - particularly young people and minorities - who traditionally shun midterm elections.

Election workers assist would-be voters at First Ward Creative Arts Academy on November 6, 2018, in Charlotte, North Carolina.

A Trump supporter in Florida was charged recently with sending pipe bombs to high-profile Democratic critics of the president, and a gunman walked into a Pittsburgh synagogue and shot 11 worshippers dead several days later.

A slim Republican majority in the House would also present challenges, likely inflaming simmering intraparty disputes.

Democrats boast record diversity on the ballot. "His actions, his verbage, he's clearly the focal point", said Tim Phillips, president of the Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity, which has poured millions into certain races this cycle to help preserve the Republican majority.

The Republicans have long claimed that they are the party of the military.

The political realignment, if it solidifies, could reshape United States politics for a generation. The demographic shifts also reflect each party's closing argument.

In the Senate, where Democrats need to net two seats, there are five toss-ups, though the map is harder for them because of the large number of incumbent Democrats running for re-election in states won by Trump in 2016.

The president spoke to reporters on the airport tarmac here alongside Donnelly's opponent, Republican Mike Braun, ensuring he would get his picture on TV and in the papers.

Democrats, meanwhile, have beat their drum on health care.

Under President Obama, the GOP used the chamber to investigate the White House and block Democratic priorities. "If you want strong borders and safe communities vote for Republicans". It is a competition for the soul of America - a referendum on Trump and the venomous political culture that many blame for gridlock in Congress and a recent spate of hate crimes and politically motivated attacks.

"He is a sexist, a racist, a homophobe, a xenophobe and a religious bigot".

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