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Election Day to test Democratic resistance in Trump era

07 Novembre 2018

Polling stations opened at 06:00 (11:00 GMT) on the East Coast, as Republicans and Democrats battle for control of the two houses of Congress.

Democrats need to gain 23 seats in order to regain the majority in the lower chamber, a position of power they haven't been in since 2010. "I don't think so", Trump said, invoking images of the caravan of Central American migrants moving through Mexico. Florida has the longest coastline in the USA, but Florida's Republican candidate for governor, Mr Ron DeSantis, is a climate sceptic.

The airtight House contests are scattered across the country: Among them, Democrat Abigail Spanberger is challenging Republican Rep. Dave Brat in Virginia's 7th Congressional District; Democrat Danny O'Connor and Republican Troy Balderson are rematching in Ohio's 12th Congressional District; and Democrat Harley Rouda is challenging longtime Rep. Dana Rohrabacher in California's 48th Congressional District. It happened with Jimmy Carter with George H.W. Bush. Forty-four per cent said they either were unsure which party to support or meant to back neither party's nominee. "They'll be miserable because they're in the minority".

The final polls varied, but they were generally good for Democrats.

What if Republicans keep the House?

USA voters will decide whether Trump will keep his Republican majority in Congress or face a hostile Democratic majority after a bitter campaign for midterm elections described by both sides as a battle for America's soul. She lashed a sign to her front porch reading "VOTE FOR GUN CONTROL", and she is stunned every time she sees the crowd at Trump rallies on television cheering for his divisive language. But a Republican Senate will not remove him from office.

In the event the Democrats do win the House, Trump would be more vulnerable to impeachment - a process used by Congress members to remove a president. Taxes are not, thank goodness, on the verge of being cut again.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and other GOP leaders have also been blaming Social Security and Medicare as sources of the ballooning deficit, suggesting cuts and other reforms could be coming if they hold control.

But with turnout a key unknown factor and pollsters still unsure about the effect of Trump's maverick style on voters, both parties admit that they may be in for nasty surprises.

The Democrats lost 63 House seats and six Senate seats in a historic wipe-out, which left Washington hopelessly gridlocked for the remaining six years of Obama's presidency.

Most polls have Hawley with a slight lead but not above the surveys' margin of error. "Whether we consider it or not, the press is very much considering it a referendum on me and us as a movement". As election day neared, the polls increasingly showed that Trump had a real chance of winning.

Most Republicans admit the best-case scenario is keeping the losses to a minimum.

Mr Trump attended three rallies on the final day of campaigning, telling his supporters: "Everything we have achieved is at stake tomorrow". "We need to elect politicians who believe in it and will do something about it". "We should learn history to know that those things don't end well". They can do whatever they want and I can do whatever I want'.

Facebook also blocked about 115 user accounts after United States authorities tipped it off to suspicious behaviour that may be linked to a foreign entity, the company said hours voting began. "He's just so irresponsible", said Albrecht, who worries Trump's embrace of the far-right is remaking his party. Not to mention he has never hesitated to throw an ally under the bus, says Doug Heye, the former communications director for the RNC.

When he spoke to Four Corners in September, Trump's former top political adviser Steve Bannon warned there would be "civil war" in the party.

Those who believe in the dire message, particularly white conservative voters in the middle of the country often derided as flyover territory because it is so alienated from the more liberal, progressive, and economically vibrant coastal areas, are expected to vote Republican.

It turns out that numerous problems are closer to home.

But Trump earlier in the day appeared to distance himself from the fate of House Republican candidates.

"I don't think there's a Democrat in this country that does't have a little angst left over from 2016 deep down", said Stephanie Schriock, president of EMILY's List, which spent more than ever before - almost US$60 million in all - to support Democratic women this campaign season.

Election Day to test Democratic resistance in Trump era